Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed yesterday dismissed calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign, saying he was winning the war on corruption and, in five years, had recovered funds in excess of N800 billion and recorded over 1,400 convictions.
According to the minister, the recent allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies, including the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were evidence that the government was revving up the war on all corrupt individuals.
Mohammed, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, lamented that many, especially naysayers, “have misinterpreted these developments as a sign that the administration’s fight against corruption is waning. In fact, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has latched on to the developments to call for the resignation of Mr. President, a call that is nothing but infantile”.
To him, the Buhari administration fight against corruption is as strong as ever, with records to back up the claim. Already, he disclosed, the administration had recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800 billion as well as forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.
“President 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,” Mohammed said.
He maintained that the revelations of the past few weeks, especially the investigation of the anti-corruption czar, showed that the administration was not ready to sweep any allegation of corruption under the carpet.
“There is no sacred cow in this fight. Unlike the PDP, the administration will not cover up for anyone, including members of the ruling party and government, who are faced with corruption allegations.
“Our fight against corruption is blind to party affiliation, position in government and any other consideration. If the nation’s anti-corruption czar can be investigated, then the fight against corruption cannot be deemed to be fake, neither can it be said to be on the wane.”