National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has deplored attempts by critics to crucify him for his son’s role in the oil subsidy theft, saying that as an adult, his son is old enough to answer for his actions.
Tukur’s son, Mahmud, is one of the 20 persons standing trial for alleged looting of the Petroleum Support Fund. Mahmud is the Managing Director of Eternal Oil and Gas, one of the companies indicted in the scam.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Monitoring, Mr. Bernard Mikko, yesterday, the PDP chair said there was no reason to castigate him or diminish his status for his son’s alleged involvement in the scam.
According to the aide, “The anger with which Nigerians vent their venom on corrupt officials or persons can therefore be seen from the standpoint of the angst against corruption or that they would have been the beneficiaries rather than the persons caught.
“This explains why we are quick to try suspects, especially those linked to top government functionaries in media circles, creating frenzy where none exists. Our laws are clear and even a primary school pupil knows we are all presumed innocent until proven otherwise and convicted by a competent court of law”
He continued: “The sons of the past and current PDP chairmen are no exception. Mahmud is the son of Bamanga Tukur, the current PDP national chairman. But since the reported arraignment of the former, the trial seems to have not only shifted from the courts to the media, but also shifted from the son to the father.”
Waxing biblical, Mikko said what is happening in Mahmud’s case contradicts Deuteronomy 24:16, which states that “the father shall not be put to death for his children and the children for their father; every man shall be put to death for his own sins.”
He also quoted from Ezekiel 18:20,which states that “the soul that sineth shall die. The son shall not bear iniquity for his father and neither shall the father bear iniquity for the son.”
Expatiating further, the aide said these biblical verses underscore the point that every individual is accountable for his or her own actions and that a parent cannot take medication to cure his or her child’s ailment.
He went further to make allusions to an uncle to the United States President, Barack Obama, Onyango Obama, who was arrested in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2011 for traffic offences.
Mikko also cited another instance in which President Obama’s aunt, Zeituni, was arrested for alleged immigration offences in April, 2008, pointing out that in none ofthe cases was President Obama’s reputation impugned upon by the American public.
“In South Korea, a ranking member of parliament and an elder brother to the president of that country, Lee Sang Deuk, was arrested for receiving $525, 000 bribes from chairmen of two troubled saving banks between 2007 and 2011 in return for helping them avoid regulatory audits and punishment.
“The former lawmaker was arrested just about two weeks ago, precisely on July 11, 2012, and his younger brother, Lee Myung Bak, who is also the incumbent president of the Korean Republic, was not dragged into the case as we are seeing in the subsidy trial in Nigeria.
“Corruption as a global phenomenon requires concerted effort by all to mitigate, and the simple way to this is to promptly report or expose all cases of it and allow justice to take its course. Once vendetta or any atom of ill will and malaise is introduced into it, it becomes corruptive in itself and will result in injustice,” the aide emphasised.
– The Nation