· Decries blackmail of senior govt officials
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has mounted a fierce defence of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, over allegations that the minister ‎was being investigated over crude oil swaps and gas lifting during his tenure as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

A statement in Abuja yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president appealed to discerning Nigerians to ignore orchestrated attempts to sully the integrity of ministers and other senior government officials being tarred with the brush of corruption without any concrete evidence.

The statement said Buhari, while ‎reacting to reports, particularly by the online media, that Kachikwu was being investigated over crude oil swaps and gas lifting during his tenure as the GMD of the petroleum corporation, appealed for decent and civilized comments, particularly when it had to do with the integrity of those who are serving the country.

The president said: “Terrible and unfounded comments about other people’s integrity are not good.
“We are not going to spare anybody who soils his hands, but people should please wait till such individuals are indicted.”
Buhari reiterated the administration’s commitment to probity, accountability and integrity, promising that transparency remained a watchword, which would never be trifled with.