Presidency has described as “false, baseless and totally unjustifiable’’ the allegation that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is being selective and partisan in its prosecution of the war against corruption.
This is contained in a statement issued by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja late Sunday night.
The statement, particularly, noted with regret the allegation by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration was being selective in the crusade against corruption in the country.
The statement read, “we have noted with regret, the allegation by members of the PDP Senate Caucus that the present administration is being selective and partisan in its prosecution of the war against corruption.
We state without equivocation that the allegation is false, baseless and totally unjustifiable.
For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, we affirm that having made his zero tolerance for corruption clear to all and sundry, President Muhammadu Buhari does not micro-manage or interfere in the daily work of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies.
The wild allegation of bias and partisanship in the fight against corruption should not have come therefore from respected and distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
That claim belongs to the past and not the present. Public officials and other leaders accused of corruption by relevant agencies should plead their innocence, not malice.
President Buhari’s unwavering stance is that whosoever is charged with corruption should face the law irrespective of whether they are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), or any other political party.
As far as the President is concerned, corruption has no political party, no religion and no ethnic group.
It is important to remind the PDP Senate Caucus and all Nigerians that right from 2003 when he started campaigning for the Presidency of Nigeria, President Buhari consistently promised to do his best to curb corruption in the country.’’
The statement stated that Buhari remained wholly committed to fulfilling that promise and would not be deterred from the relentless prosecution of the war against corruption in line with his popular saying, “unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”.
It also frowned at the claim by the PDP Senate caucus that Buhari and his administration were meddling in election petition cases through the Department of State Services (DSS), saying such claim “is also untrue’’.
According to the statement, the duties of the DSS and other security agencies are clearly spelt out in the laws establishing them.
The Federal Government led by President Buhari does not give them instructions regarding their daily operations.
Election Tribunals and the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Abia and Akwa-Ibom States do not operate under the guidance of the president.
Any individual or group of individuals who thinks that their legitimate political and civil rights are infringed upon by the DSS or any institution is advised to seek protection and redress under our constitution and laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria instead of resorting to baseless allegations against the Buhari Administration.
On President Buhari’s watch, the rule of law, not impunity, shall govern every aspect of life in Nigeria and there will be no room for sentiments, bias and corruption in the application of the laws of the land.’’
The statement reassured all Nigerians that President Buhari’s administration would not discriminate against individuals or groups in the performance of its duties and that favours or patronage would not be dispensed on the basis of votes.
It said that the president remained committed to his Oath of Office and the letters and spirit of the constitution.
The statement quoted the president as calling on Nigerians to join hands with him in the fight against insecurity, corruption and impunity in Nigeria so as to have a country that would prosper for the benefit of all of its citizens and future generations of Nigerians.