Buhari insists: I won't spare anyone in fight against corruption

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that he would leave no stone unturned in his efforts to rid the country of corruption.

Speaking at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps, Buhari assured that his administration would fight corruption within the ambit of the law.

Buhari’s deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, had recently disclosed that the president was under intense pressure from the elite to “cool down” on the anti-corruption war.

But Buhari explained that because pervasive corruption would make it impossible to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria, it had become necessary for his government to wage a relentless war against “the cancer of corruption”.

“We are resolved to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria; a country that is inclusive of all her diverse peoples and a country that is at ease with itself. Building such a country will not be possible where corruption is pervasive. Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption. So long as corruption holds center stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm.

“You are witnesses to the preliminary findings that have emerged in the past few weeks from our investigations into corrupt practices in different sectors of Nigeria's Public Service. I will leave no stone unturned in the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption. I must however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law.

“In a similar fight in the past, and armed with the might of military muscle, I led a government that required persons presumed to be corrupt to prove their innocence. Today, as committed democrats, and in a culture of deepening democracy, we respect the law that presumes all persons innocent until they are proven to be guilty.

“Nigeria has no choice, nor can the country afford to be an island in itself. Against this backdrop therefore, since my assumption of office, I have demonstrated my commitment to interact with my colleagues in Nigeria's neighbours and beyond.  This is consistent with the pledge that I made at my inauguration to steer the affairs of the country in a manner that will allow us to play the role that is expected of us.

“It is for this reason, that the Foreign Policy vision which we are currently pursuing is anchored on meaningful engagement with our neighbors, the African continent and the world at large”, Buhari stated.

The president also said that unlike before he assumed office when Boko Haram insurgents were fully in control of 14 local governments in the northeast; they held no territory in the country today.

According to him, the insurgents are currently hiding in Sambisa forest in Borno State and occasionally undertake cowardly attacks on innocent citizens in soft targets.