Senators, others face legal tussle over Magu
Nothing will stop President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s war against corruption, the Presidency said yesterday.
It said that not even the strong resistance being put up by the opposition and its calculated actions to thwart the efforts at sanitising the system would force the government to give up on the crusade.
In a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency recalled that Nigerians gave their votes in 2015 to Buhari because of his commitment to rooting out corruption as one of the cardinal policies of his election campaign.
He said: “Let me say one thing. Those whose illicit ways of accumulating money have been stopped will criticise this government, but all that will not derail the unfaltering commitment of the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the war against corruption.
“He is aware that this was one of the main reasons Nigerians, in their millions, put their trust in him; the main reason they voted him into power in 2015.
“To keep that trust of ordinary Nigerians who voted him into the office, he has vowed to give corruption a good fight. He will not let them down.”
The Presidential spokesman also admitted that so far, the battle to uproot corruption has not been easy as corruption has been fighting back.
“Corruption has been fighting back vehemently, finding accomplices in various forms and guises. Nevertheless, the Buhari administration will not relent,” Shehu said, adding that the days when corruption reigned indiscriminately were gone for good.
He said: “Nothing will return our country to those sad, old days of wanton thievery that have plunged us into the economic mess from which Nigeria is currently recovering. The war against corruption in Nigeria is one of those clashes between good and evil, where good is determined to triumph.”
He dismissed rumours that members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were being spared, saying that all are equal before the law.
Highlighting the various measures introduced to promote transparency by the administration, Shehu disclosed that upon directives by the President, the National Hajj Commission audited accommodation agents in both Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia. More than $16.7 million will be saved by the paying pilgrims this year.
The statement reads: “Each Hajj pilgrim is being saved between 600 to 1,000 Saudi Riyals, which is about N60, 000-N100,000, from accommodation, money that had lined the pockets of agents in the past. This year, houses are being rented directly from owners.”
Shehu praised ordinary citizens for embracing the whistleblower policy by “taking extraordinary risks to expose corruption”.
On the rehabilitation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and the relocation of flight services to Kaduna for six weeks, the presidential aide said the government and people of Kaduna should think hard to devise ways by which the social and economic benefits brought to Kaduna in this period would not depart the city with the reopening of the Airport in Abuja.
He said: “The government of Nigeria has done a big thing for Kaduna. You must show appreciation of this by supporting the administration.”
On the cash releases for capital projects in excess of a record N1 trillion in last year’s budget, Shehu praised Works, Power & Housing Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola with the record of being the first-ever minister to ride on all the federal roads across the nation.
He listed the Mambila Power Project, the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway modernisation and the new Presidential Initiative on Fertiliser (PIF) as other projects dear to the President’s heart.
According to him, the impact of the PIF was already being felt in the reduction by half in the price of fertiliser.