Presidency Accuses Obasanjo Of Influencing Transparency International Damning Report On Buhari

By Admin on February 24, 2018

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, came short of accusing Transparency International (TI), of taking a cue from former President Olusegun Obasanjo in giving its damning verdict that corruption in Nigeria has become worse under President Muhammadu Buhari.

The world’s corruption watchdog, in its recent report, gave the disappointing verdict, considered to be a heavy blow to Buhari’s signature project of declaration of a total war on corruption, which he took alongside security and rebuilding the economy of the country, before and after his election.

The reaction of the Presidency, gave insight into how hurt it feels that the TI failed to consider the progress it has made so far, especially in touching hitherto untouchables in Nigeria in its anti-graft war, wondering what other criteria it would have used outside the clear achievements attained so far.

“In the end, this whole episode may turn out to be just a political distraction, given the strong views some of TI’s patrons have expressed against the Buhari Administration,” the Buhari said, on Wednesday, in a statement through his spokesman, Garuba Shehu.

Though the statement did not mention Obasanjo by name, the former President is not only linked to TI as the Chairman of its Advisory Board, but the allusion became more pointed given his equally damning position on Buhari’s outing in the last three years.

Obasanjo, who campaigned vigorously for Buhari in the run to the 2015 election against former President, Goodluck Jonathan, took to his traditional method of writing a public letter, in not only assailing Buhari, but pointedly asked him not to contest year’s presidential election for a second term.

The President’s response read: “The Presidency notes that, while it welcomes constructive criticisms from the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), the organization has a responsibility to reflect the larger picture of the concrete and verifiable achievements of the Buhari administration since it came into office in May 2015.

“The government is still wondering the criteria or facts used by the anti-corruption watchdog to arrive at its very misleading and unfair conclusions in its assessment of the Federal government’s efforts in this anti-corruption crusade.

“Political will is the first major component of fighting corruption in any country and President Buhari has made a huge difference by demonstrating not only the political will but also the extraordinary courage to go after high profile looters, including former military service chiefs and Judges.

“It was once unthinkable to touch or prosecute the ‘‘big men’’ for corruption in Nigeria but President Buhari has ended impunity for corruption.

“Today, the Buhari administration has made accountability the bedrock of governance and corruption is no longer fashionable because it attracts consequences.

“Blocking leakages for corruption through the rigid enforcement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had made life tougher for corrupt officials. He regretted that these efforts were not acknowledged by the Corruption Watchdog.

“Figures published by the EFCC, the anti-corruption agency, reveal that  N738.9 billion was recovered in just two years of the Buhari administration and this impressive and unprecedented record is worthy of mention and acknowledgement by anybody genuinely looking at the larger picture of the country’s progress in the war against corruption.

“During the 7th session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria, the Chairman of the Agency Ibrahim Magu noted that the figure represents $2.9 billion dollars.

“Besides these impressive recoveries of looted funds, the EFCC has recorded more than 140 successful prosecutions.

“The Federal government has also signed international agreements to recover the proceeds of corruption and to block the laundering of stolen assets abroad by public officials.

“Anybody who knows where Nigeria was coming from would not believe that corruption is worse under the Buhari administration.

“We wonder where they got their facts from. At a time, they are alleging increase in the incidence of corruption under this government, the whole of Africa is applauding by choosing President Buhari as the continental Champion to lead the fight against it.

“Nothing can be more eloquent than this.

“In the end, this whole episode may turn out to be just a political distraction, given the strong views some of TI’s patrons have expressed against the Buhari Administration.

“This notwithstanding, facts are facts, and those facts won’t cease to be facts even if you don’t care to pay attention to them.”

 

Posted on March, 29 2018

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