Buhari's anti-graft war, lopsided, ineffective - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, December 12, 2022

Buhari's anti-graft war, lopsided, ineffective

Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), has described the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government as lopsided and ineffective.

The pro-democracy and environmental advocacy group which made the assertion at a press conference to mark this year's Anti-corruption Day (IACD), said that despite the much noise and media hype about the anti-corruption crusade by Buhari's administration, Nigeria still maintains a leading position in global corruption index.

FENRAD regretted that after its careful appraisal of Buhari's anti-corruption war seven years down the line, it came to a shocking and painful discovery that graft had worsened under the current administration.

The pro-democracy group which said Buhari's administration lacked the potency and political will to fight corruption, sought to know why some high profile corruption cases had suddenly died. 

FENRAD Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nwafor, in a statement read by Benedict Anaebo, noted that instead of abating, corruption had gone digital under Buhari's watch.

"Under this administration, issues of corruption like oil theft, subsidy scam, vote buying, budget padding, trading in influence and sundry corrupt practices bedevil Nigeria and Nigerians ", FENRAD lamented.

The statement further read:"It is alarming that Nigeria does not rank among countries with low incidences of corruption yet. The Transparency International (TI), 2022 corruption perception index (CPI) report  ranked Nigeria 154 out of 180 countries."

Continuing it said:"Both public sector and private sector corruption increased in an unheard-of scale in the last seven years. Corrupt officials now use ridiculous tactics not only to cover their tracks but also to evade justice.

"Animals like rodents, reptiles and primates were reported to have swallowed monies conveniently stashed in official vaults.

" Perceived corrupt officials being questioned by lawmakers slump, are rushed to hospitals and cases closed or are discontinued".

FENRAD accused Buhari of making mockery of his anti-graft war by granting pardon to "convicted former Governors and extending such clemency even to terrorists".

It said that instead of tackling corruption headlong, the President prefers hiding under the excuse that "corruption is fighting back".

 FENRAD also accused the anti-graft  agencies of bias and shielding Government cronies despite corruption allegations against some of them.

On the recent claims by President Buhari that state Governors were to blame for the 70% poverty among Nigerians for refusing to develop the rural areas, FENRAD said both the federal and state governments should "take responsibility for the shame".

It said that Buhari should not absolve himself of the blame when he had failed to exercise his oversight functions as the President, challenging him to show efforts made by his administration to call erring Governors to order.

FENRAD called for the strengthening of Nigeria's justice system that would place all citizens equal before the law.

"The weak justice system must be strengthened, laws must be created and where inadequate elaborated to strengthen weak institutions."

FENRAD identified lopsided appointments perpetrated by Buhari's administration as another dimension of corruption that must be stopped.

"Appointments to sensitive positions should be based on merit, not on tribe, religion, which has characterised Appointments in the last seven years".

It challenged President Buhari to use the remaining months of his tenure to correct some of the weaknesses of his administration and leave a legacy that posterity could remember him for.

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