President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to claims by the 49-member Senate Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party which on Thursday kicked against the current administration’s war against corruption, claiming it was selective and lacked transparency and fairness.
In a statement Sunday night, Mr. Buhari described the claims by the
Godwill Akpabio-led caucus as “false, baseless and totally
Mr. Akpabio and his colleagues had at a press conference in Abuja
Thursday alleged that the administration’s anti-graft war was mainly
targeted at opposition politicians.
“The [PDP] caucus is not happy with the current trend that seems to
suggest that the war against corruption is selective and targeted at PDP
stalwarts and states,” the group said at the briefing.
“The current war lacks transparency, fairness to all and appears to be aimed at political adversaries.”
But in a statement via his Senior Special Assistant on Media and
Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday, Mr. Buhari said it was regrettable
that “wild allegation of bias and partisanship” could come from
respected and distinguished members of the Nigerian Senate.
Mr. Buhari said, “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
“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 shouldn’t 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 President remains wholly committed to fulfilling that promise
and will not be deterred from the relentless prosecution of the war
against corruption because he remains convinced that, as he has said,
“unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”.
The President also dismissed the claim by the caucus that he and his
party were meddling in the ongoing cases at election tribunals and using
the State Security Service to harass electoral officials believed to
have sympathy for the PDP.
“The claim by the PDP Senate caucus that President Buhari and his
administration are meddling in election petition cases through the
Department of State Services (DSS) is also untrue,” Mr. Buhari said.
“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 think 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
“President Buhari also wishes to re-assure all Nigerians that his
administration will not discriminate against individuals or groups in
the performance of its duties and that favours or patronage will not be
dispensed on the basis of votes.
“The President remains committed to his Oath of Office and the letters and spirit of the constitution.
“He calls on all Nigerians to join hands with him in the fight against
insecurity, corruption and impunity in Nigeria so that we can have a
country that will prosper for the benefit of all of its citizens and
future generations of Nigerians.