A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri, has urged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to wage war against corruption and not the opposition.
Reacting to the report by the Transparency International that corruption has worsened under the President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s administration, Omokri said in a statement yesterday that former President Jonathan had consistently maintained that his administration fought corruption like no other government before it.
Omokri said President Jonathanâ€™s war against corruption had accounted for Nigeriaâ€™s best ever improvement in 2014 on the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, when the country moved from 144 the previous year, to 136, an 8-point improvement.
â€œTransparency had taken note of the total elimination of the corruption in the fertilizer procurement scheme via the e-wallet initiative of the Jonathan administration which cut out the middle man and thus saved the nation over â‚¦200 billion. Transparency International also took cognizance of the introduction of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which weeded out 50,000 ghost workers from the federal civil service between 2011 and 2015, saving the federal government over $1 billion annually,â€ he explained.
According to him, the former president speedily investigated and fired his ministers and aides who were accused of corruption.
Omokri also added that Jonathanâ€™s administration also dismissed the alleged notorious pension thief, Abdulrasheed Maina, from service.
â€œHaving made such significant progress in improving Nigeriaâ€™s anti-corruption rating, it is very disappointing that in the latest Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International today, Nigeria has relapsed deeper into corruption and has moved 12 steps backwards from 136 to 148. We consequently advise that timely efforts should be made to stem the free fall of Nigeria into the abyss of corruption. Let us retrace our steps and refrain from showy media trials while little or nothing is done on the legal front,â€ Omokri said.
According to him, the present administration should respect the judiciary and not hound or intimidate them in an attempt to cow them into giving favourable judgments against perceived political opponents.
â€œLet us call a spade a spade and conduct a true anti corruption war rather than an anti opposition war. The days of handcuffs for the opposition and hand outs for the cronies of the government must be put behind us. Allegations like the $25 billion NNPC contracts awarded without due process or the dubious â‚¦1.1 billion budgeted to clean the office of the National Security Adviser must be investigated and not swept under the table,â€ he said.
â€œNigeria belongs to all of us and we cannot watch it sink into the abyss without raising flags. This is a patriotic duty and we call on all Nigerians to rally together to confront the monster of corruption. Finally, this latest evidence from Transparency International has made a mockery of the African Unionâ€™s gesture of making President Muhammadu Buhari itâ€™s anti corruption champion. By this action, the AU now appears to be supporting corruption by making a man under whom corruption has increased its anti corruption icon. It does not help that in recent years, Nigeria has refused to obey valid court judgments in Nigeria and beyond Nigeria. It is to the great embarrassment of Nigeria that we who used to be the pillar of the ECOWAS sub region are now routinely cited for flouting judgments of the ECOWAS court. That ought not to be. That ought not to be at all,â€ he explained.