By Ismaila Chafe
The Presidency has warned it will not succumb to media attacks nor be deterred by false accusations by disgruntled elements to quench its anti-graft war.
“The war against corruption is here to stay. As long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in power, Nigerians can rest assured of that.
“It will not succumb to media attacks. It will not be deterred by false accusations. It will not be quenched by disgruntled elements.’’
The Presidency was reacting to retired Col. Dangiwa Umar’s media attacks against the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
Umar had accused the government of being unfair in the war against corruption.
But presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, condemned Umar’s media attack
Shehu said that by now, President Buhari’s administration was quite familiar with the barrage of verbal attacks that have accompanied the determination to fight corruption.
“A number of Nigerian elite who are uncomfortable with the disruption of business as usual, have fought viciously, usually via the media.
“However, this comment, coming from Umar, is highly disappointing because he is not in a position to label accusations. He should, instead, allow others to do this.
“Curiously, despite the various accusations and media attacks, no one has so far come forth with any evidence of President Buhari’s selective approach to the war against corruption,’’ he said.
Shehu challenged anyone or organization with any evidence of bias or partiality in the fight against corruption to make it public
He stated that all the agencies involved in the war against corruption were allowed freedom to carry out their responsibilities, without any interference whatsoever from the Presidency.
“If Umar or anyone else feels that they have any evidence to the contrary, they are encouraged to make this public.
“Ultimately, the final frontier of the war against corruption is the judiciary.
“After the anti-graft agencies have gathered proof of corruption and made arrests, they present the accused before competent courts of the land, who have the final say on who is guilty of corruption and who is not.’’
Shehu maintained that President Buhari had never interfered with the judicial process, despite publicly expressing his frustration with how slowly corruption cases were handled.
“A number of Nigerian elite have over the years benefitted from various forms of corruption, including monthly payouts from the office of previous National Security Advisers.
“Let me clarify that this is not in reference to Col. Umar in particular.
“The Buhari’s administration has offended so many of our greedy elite by putting a stop to this, plugging many of the holes through which our country’s resources, belonging to each and every one of us, were looted by a few.“
He explained that these elite who have been benefitting from corruption have been frustrated, but the government would not allow allow them to frustrate the war against corruption.(NAN)