- Party chieftain asks Buhari to sack Babachir, Magu now
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on North-east Humanitarian Crisis investigating the alleged massive misappropriation of the federal government’s funds meant for the up-keep of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Senator Shehu Sani, has said the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not against the probe of the exercise. Sani’s position came just as a chieftain of the APC in Kaduna State, Yusuf Ali (Rabagardama), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve the embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF) Babachir David Lawal and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), Ibrahim Magu, of their jobs to save the image of the party.
The party’s chieftain said the embattled SGF has failed the integrity test, adding that the two men have become ‘liabilities to the administration.’
Ali who is a prominent figure in the Kaduna State APC loyal to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said there are other competent and credible people even from the North-east who can competently replace him while he serves out his time in any of the prisons assigned to him.”
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting with the party, the Senator representing Kaduna Central District, Sani said the leadership was not opposed to what the Senate has done but is merely concerned about his tone of criticisms against President Buhari on the floor of the senate.
Sani who arrived at the national secretariat of the APC by 1.35p.m. yesterday, met with the APC’s national leadership, led by the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the Deputy National Chairman (North) Senator Shuaibu Lawal, for an hour.
An unruffled Sani who spoke to journalists on the outcome of the meeting, insisted that the corruption probe is in public interest and must be carried out to a logical conclusion.
He said party was worried about caustic use of words in criticising the president and his policies each time he speaks on the floor of the National Assembly.
The activist-cum politician had in his response to a clearance letter supposedly sent by President Buhari on the allegations against SGF, likened the federal government’s seemingly biased anti-corruption posture to that of one using deodorant on allies while on other hand spraying perceived opponents with insecticides.
On whether the meeting with the party would in any way affect the probe, Sani said nothing would stop the Senate from holding its ground on the SGF corruption saga.
“We are investigation the massive misappropriation of funds for IDPs in the North-east. Nobody can stop that. We are determined to do our work and have done an interim report and we are going to come out with the full detail after this break and nobody in the party has said he is opposed to it. But I think that their major concern was my ‘grammar’.
“Sacking the SGF is not about Sani, but about the resolution of the Senate and what they said is binding on me. If the Senate says he should go, I share in that position and if they say he should remain, I share in that position too. I didn’t ask to be named chairman of the ad hoc committee and did not even know I was going to be in the committee. I was appointed and I have to do my job as it is and once I am done, I am out of it.
“Let me make this clarification, the party did not in any way send a letter to me contrary to reports, I only came to discuss with the leadership on moves to ensure greater solidarity among APC Senate caucus and to brief them on the probe of allegation against the SGF.
Among the members of the National Working Committee who received the Senator (NWC) were National Organising, Secretary, Osita Izunaso, National Treasurer, Alhaji Dogwa Gwagwarwa and the party’s National Youth Leader, Ibrahim Dasuki Jalo.
THISDAY last week reported that the APC had summoned Sani to come and explain his utterances regarding the anti-corruption crusade of President Buhari.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC from Kaduna State, Ali has asked President Buhari to spare himself of all the hue and cry that he is covering up some people in his administration who are alleged to be corrupt.
Ali said if the embattled SGF fails the integrity test, there are competent and credible people who can competently replace him.
Speaking on the controversy over the clearance of the acting EFCC Chairman by the Senate, Ali said: “The DSS which indicted Magu as lacking in credibility is equally part of the Buhari government, and it will be safer for the president to align with the DSS instead of disregarding its security report.
“A lot of people say Magu is a very competent officer but when a security report indicts him, he becomes a liability to the administration particularly being the head of the nation’s foremost anti-corruption agency. I am not privy to the response Magu gave to the query issued by the President but the appropriate thing Mr. President should have done is to replace Magu with equally another competent officer in order not to compromise the integrity of the anti-corruption war,” he stated.
The APC chieftain said any person charged with the responsibility of heading the EFCC should be someone of impeccable character who will drive the anti-corruption war with his integrity.
Ali asked President Buhari to remain on the side of the people by replacing Lawal and Magu without further delay.