Muhammadu Buhari has lamented that some corrupt
Nigerians are using their stolen funds to wage war
against his administration.
He said the
situation had made his administration’s ongoing
anti-corruption war “tough and gruelling.” According to
a statement on Thursday by his Special Adviser on Media
and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke on
Thursday in a meeting he had with the United States
Secretary of State, John Kerry, on the of conference on
climate change, COP22, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Although he said corruption was fighting
vigorously back, the President assured Kerry
that the anti-graft war would be won. Buhari
said corrupt people had accumulated a formidable
arsenal of illicit wealth, which they were
deploying against the government on diverse
fronts. “But it is a war we are determined to
win, and which we will win. People of goodwill
are behind us, countries like America and many
others are with us, and we will surely win,” he
President also updated Kerry on the war against
insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria and
efforts being made to tackle humanitarian
problems caused by the insurgency. He informed
him that a presidential committee had been
launched “under Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, a man of high
integrity.” On the unrest in the Niger Delta
area, which manifests in the sabotage of
critical oil and power installations, the
President said the engagement process was
admitted that it was difficult to bring the main
protagonists of the insurgency under one umbrella for
The President said Nigeria was happy with American
support on different fronts, assuring Kerry that the
economic challenges facing the country were being
“frontally tackled, and we will overcome them soon.”
Kerry reportedly expressed delight at the many successes
of the Buhari administration, pledging continued US
support in the bid to overcome security, humanitarian,
political, and economic challenges.
As the Barrack Obama administration exits next January,
Kerry said he would love to continue engaging with
Nigeria, even in a private capacity.
He described Buhari as a strong international partner in
the battle against violent extremism.
However, two members of the Board of Trustees, Peoples
Democratic Party, Chiefs Ebenezer Babatope and Shuaib
Oyedokun, have said that the Federal Government’s
anti-corruption cannot succeed.
Speaking in separate telephone interviews on Thursday,
Babatope and Oyedokun described Buhari’s anti-corruption
war as selective and vindictive.
Oyedokun said, “If the President, who is fighting
corruption, suddenly discovers that people who have
stolen are using the proceeds of corruption to fight
him, I think it is an admission of failure. Corruption
cannot be fought with corruption.
“The President must be able to fish out those fighting
him with corruption and ensure they are tried. There are
allegations of corruption among those that surround the
President and his party members.
“He (Buhari) won’t succeed because he is using
corruption to fight corruption. When someone loses a
horse and he unknowingly tells the person that stole the
horse to help him find the horse, would the owner ever
find the horse?”
Babatope, a former minister of transportation, accused
Buhari of keeping silent on the allegations of
corruption against members of his political party.
He said, “It behoves the President to point out those he
says are using stolen wealth to fight him. It is not
enough to just state that some people are using stolen
wealth to fight him. He should mention names and make
sure they are prosecuted.
“The anti-corruption war will not succeed because we’ve
not defined what corruption is and who and who are
guilty of corruption.
“Some people in Buhari’s government are corrupt and he
has not tried them. His anti-corruption war is selective
and vindictive. Let the President bring out the corrupt
elements in his party and use the same yardstick he’s
been using for other people on his party’s members.”
Also the PDP as a political party dismissed the claim by
the President, saying majority of the people in the All
Progressives Congress came from the former ruling party.
It said the President was using the war against
corruption as vendetta against the opposition, adding
that the President was not sincere about it.
Spokesperson for the former ruling party, Prince Dayo
Adeyeye, stated this in an interview with one of our
correspondents, while reacting to the claim by the
He said the President was never serious about the war,
which he said was aimed at members of the PDP alone.
He said rather than wage a holistic war, the President
had refused to probe former members of the PDP who
defected to the APC.
Adeyeye said, “The President isn’t saying the truth
about the so-called war against corruption and he knows.
“That’s why he has been opening the door for those
undergoing corruption trials to cross over to the APC
and as soon as that is done, they become saints.
“Majority of the members of the APC today are from the
PDP. So, what has he done to those people? They have
become saints because they dumped the PDP?
“The President must come out openly to tell Nigerians
why those people are no longer under the radar of the
anti-corruption agencies just because they have joined
He also said that the President was using the
anti-corruption agencies to hunt members of the APC who
have different views apart from his (Buhari’s) in the
“He’s setting the agencies against his perceived enemies
even in his party, the APC,” he added.
Adeyeye called on the President to be sincere, but added
that it might be difficult to do so since the President
himself “is fighting a pre-determined war.”
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