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WHEN the Petroleum Revenue Task-force was inaugurated February 28, after the uproar generated by the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant nationwide protest, opinions were divided. Many people thought that the federal government just took the action to douse tension in the polity. But some people were also heartened that Nuhu Ribadu, presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, accepted to chair the committee. The idea was that Ribadu, known for his decisive actions when he superintended over the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, would certainly do justice to the assignment. Going by the contents of the report, it appears that he did a heck of a job by the comprehensive way he dealt with issues. But his good actions have been marred by the controversy which shadowed the leakage of the report to the press. Ribadu disowned the leaked report and described it as fake. What he termed as the authentic report was, however, submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan November 2. There was a mild drama at the presentation ceremony where some members of the committee, tried to wash their dirty linen in public. This gave them and the report a negative image. It got worse when the aides of the president attempted to rubbish the report. From their commentaries, it became obvious to us at Realnews that most of them have not read the report. So at our editorial board meeting, we decided to search for the authentic copy of the Ribadu report. After a couple of weeks, our effort yielded fruit. As we found out, the contents of the report are very thought-provoking and if the recommendations are implemented, the country will be the better for it. The report is the cover story in this maiden edition of Realnews. The story entitled: “The Mess in Ribadu’s Report” was anchored by Olu Ojewale, one of our tried and tested hands who is also the general editor. There is also an accompanying piece on “Crude Oil Theft: A Growing Business in Nigeria” which is bleeding the country dry, written by Maureen Chigbo, the editor.
Enjoy it.Maureen Chigbo Editor — Nov. 26, 2012 @ 01:00 GMT
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