The federal government has reacted to Nigerians’ call on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.
Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, told the media on Tuesday, that Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) government are not corrupt.
He cited the scandals rocking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria Social Investment Trust Fund (NSITF).
Mohammed said “naysayers have misinterpreted these developments as a sign that the Administration’s fight against
corruption is waning.”
The minister noted that the resignation call by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) “is nothing but infantile.”
He said the fight against corruption remains a cardinal programme of the incumbent.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, the African Union’s Anti-Corruption Champion, who also has an impeccable reputation globally, remains the driver of the fight and no one, not the least the PDP under whose watch Nigeria was looted dry, can taint his image or reverse the gains
of the fight. Anyone who disagrees that the anti-corruption fight is alive and well is free to dare us.
“What the revelations of the past few weeks, especially the investigation of the nation’s anti-corruption Czar, have shown is that this Administration is not ready to sweep any allegation of corruption under the carpet; that there is no sacred cow in this fight, and that
– unlike the PDP – we will not cover up for anyone, including the members of our party and government, who faces corruption allegations.
“I wish to state that the allegations of corruption in NDDC, for example, are not new. What is new is the speed and seriousness with which this administration has tackled, and is still tackling, the allegations. Had such attention been paid to the running of the NDDC by previous administrations, the Commission would probably have avoided its present predicament. Is it not a sad irony, then, that those under whose watch the alleged freewheeling spending by the Commission
started are now the ones accusing those who are cleaning up corruption after them?”
Mohammed pointed out that the Buhari government has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800 billion and forfeiture of ill-gotten property.
“We are also putting in place enduring institutional reforms that will deter acts of corruption. Here we are talking about the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the
Whistleblower Policy, the expansion of the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System and the Open Government Partnership and Transparency Portal on Financial Transactions, among
“Let me also mention the ICPC’s Constituency and Executive Projects Tracking Group, aimed at tracking performance of publicly-funded projects, and the Commission’s escalation of the use of administrative sanctions in the public service by periodically submitting, for sanction, names of public servants who are being prosecuted. There is also the review of the personnel and capital fund expenditure of MDAs.”
Mohammed added that those celebrating the “so-called waning” of the anti-corruption fight are engaging in wishful thinking, and are not looking at the full ramifications of the fight.