Former governors of Kaduna and Anambra states, Balarabe Musa and Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, have jointly condemned President Buhari’s style of handling the corruption allegations involving Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Recall that on Sunday, the president replied Senate’s indictment of Lawal, for corruption as well as resubmitted Magu’s nomination for confirmation as EFCC chairman.
The president said Senate relied on a minority report to indict Lawal and also added that the Ad-Hoc committee which investigated the grass-cutting allegation against the SGF was biased. Bihari, in his letter to the Senate, said the panel did not give the SGF fair hearing by allowing him to testify before the committee.
The president also said he initiated an independent probe of Magu and discovered he was not corrupt, as alleged by the 2016 Department of State Services (DSS) report on him.
Reacting to the development, Balarabe Musa said what the development shows is that the present administration is not yet ready to fight corruption.
He added that Nigeria will not move forward unless government shows enough determination and commitment in the war against corruption. He said: “What I want to say is that Nigeria is yet, again, not ready to fight corruption. That is what the situation is.”
Also, echoing the position of his Kaduna counterpart, Dr. Ezeife said there is clear evidence that the present administration is not serious in the graft war.
His words: Are we fighting corruption blindly or is it selective fight? People are beginning to think so. In fact, they have strong evidence that the corruption we are fighting is selective and I don’t know how to dispute the observation of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that, we have not had the level of corruption that we are observing now; in fact, elements of corruption that kill the soul of man, that is the worst evil of corruption. That is where you go and vote and government uses their position to determine who should be the winner. The voters go out in the sun to cast their votes for a person to rule them; another person is given the mandate to rule them.
“Today, while some people are rushing into a particular political party, when that political party on its own merit cannot win a local government council election is because people are going in there for the governorship seat and re-election.
“I think it is no longer just a matter of corruption; it is a matter of system distortion, physical as election destroys the soul of man, destroys the soul of the territory.”
But, Chairman of the Presidential Anti-corruption Committee, Prof Itse Sagay differed. Speaking on Magu’s re-nomination, Sagay said the noise against Magu is a clear case of ‘corruption fighting back.’ He said those making noise are” corrupt people who want to derail the anti-corruption war of the present administration,” and added that efforts to compromise Magu by some powerful politicians have failed, hence, “the noise to bring him down.
“Magu is the best man for the job and that is why president Buhari has re-submitted his name to the Senate. All those complaining about Magu are like the case of corruption fighting back. Some undeserving of the position of the EFCC chairman are already putting their names forward…”