A coalition of civil society organisations, under the auspices of National Coalition for Democracy and Development (NACODD), have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining focused, resolute and non-partisan in waging a relentless war against corruption in Nigeria.
This was contained in a communique released at the end of a roundtable on Corruption, Security and Human rights in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The commendation came on the heels of recent invitation of two stalwarts of the ruling party in Nigeria, former governors Kano and Sokoto states both serving Senators Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Aliyu Wammakko.
This development surprised many of the critics of the current administration. Both politicians have been accused of money laundering and misappropriation of public funds during their tenures in their respective states.
While Kwankwaso, the immediate past governor of Kano State was alleged to have diverted local government funds amounting to N3.08 billion, Wammakko ex-governor of Sokoto State was alleged to have stolen and laundered about N15 billion naira.
Speaking to newsmen after presenting the communique, the Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Alex Babatunde urged the Nigerian President to use his position as the Anti-Corruption Champion of the African Union to show worthy examples for other African leaders.
According to him, President Buhari’s appointment is an eloquent testimony and a clear validation of his courageous efforts confronting vested interest. He further urged the President to continue to uphold disciple in all aspects of governance and continue to be a shining light in the continent. “The whole world is watching you and you cannot afford to fail”, he reiterated.
The group enjoined the President to do everything with his legitimate powers to ensure that the anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial CrimesCommission(EFCC) become strengthened and sufficiently financially independent to ensure that they can professionally and objectively prosecute cases against politically exposed persons who are found culpable in stealing public funds. It will be recalled that many opposition politicians have criticized the fight against corruption in Nigeria as being one sided and targeted at politicians outside the ruling party.
However, with the invitation of these two politicians, many commentators are beginning to reconsider their position and regain their trust on the neutrality of the President if he could allow such calibre of party members to answer questions relating to graft and theft of public resources.
According to NACODD Coalition, if the President can prove to the world that he can resist political influence and by allowing members of his political party to be prosecuted, it will definitely help improve the perception, credibility and rating of the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.