The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop blaming “his failures” in anti-graft war on the Nigerian system, in response to what the president said on Tuesday.
Atiku, in a statement he personally issued yesterday, said Buhari should focus on delivering good governance and stop the blame game.
President Buhari had told the Federal Capital Territory community, who paid him Christmas homage at his official residence in Abuja, that his administration was slow in fighting corruption because the system is slow.
President Buhari, who apparently was reacting to those allegedly accusing his administration of being too slow in tackling the nation’s challenges, including endemic corruption, said: “It’s not Baba (Buhari) that is slow, but it is the system. So, I am going by this system and I hope we will make it,” he said.
But Atiku, a former vice president, countered saying Buhari’s excuse was deceptive, arguing that if the Nigerian system was the problem, the president would have accepted restructuring in order to provide good governance to Nigerians.
“My point of departure from the president is in blaming his failure on the system. I disagree. The system has challenges, yes, but where there is political will, the system can make progress,” he said. “I was vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 and we used that same system to speedily convict no less a personality than an Inspector General of Police and several others including cabinet ministers and other high officials,” he said.
“Mr. President, the problem with your anti-corruption war is not the system. You are the problem,” he said.
“The system allows you to arrest, try and convict your former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was fingered in a major corruption case, but you chose to let him go Scot free and you demonstrated your tolerance for his corruption by giving him a prominent role in your re-election campaign and recently welcoming him to the Presidential Villa with open arms.
“The system allows you to arrest, try and convict Abdulrasheed Maina, the biggest ever alleged thief in our civil service history, who is suspected of looting the pensions of millions of aged Nigerians. Yet you chose not to go that route, preferring instead to recall him, reinstate and double promote him while giving him armed guards to move about.
“The system allows you to probe the $25 billion NNPC contracts awarded without due process, but you chose to bury the matter under the carpet, hoping the Nigerian people will forget about that grand scale alleged looting exposed by a leaked memo from a member of your cabinet. Nothing in the system stops you from telling Nigerians who owns the billions found in an Ikoyi apartment,” he said.