By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja, has told former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, that fighting corruption by his administration was non-negotiable.
He made the submission while receiving Mbeki who heads the African Union (AU) High Level Panel on Illicit Flows from Africa in the State House.
Mbeki, according to the president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, was in Abuja to provide critical updates to Buhari on AU Anti-Corruption Campaign.
He quoted him as saying, “For this administration, fighting corruption is non-negotiable. It is a MUST,” adding: “We must fight corruption frontally, because it’s one of the reasons we got elected.”
Furthermore, Adesina said Buhari told Mbeki: “We campaigned on three fundamental issues – security, reviving the economy, and fight against corruption. It’s the reason we got elected, and we can’t afford to let our people down.”
According to the statement, Buhari said the government was making progress on anti-corruption war, saying he was very pleased with the assignment the former South African President was carrying out for the African continent.
It also said the president remarked that when Africa vigorously fights the war against corruption, “we will eventually appeal to the conscience of the rest of the world.”
Adesina added that Mbeki, in his remarks, said corruption was an African challenge that must be responded to, noting that “development challenges can only be met through the check of illicit financial flows.”
He also said Mbeki remarked that he was delighted that Buhari always touched the issue of corruption in most of his speeches, with the most recent being at the United Nations General Assembly last week.
Adesina quoted Mbeki as saying, “We are pleased with the way you take up the matter. Countries need political will to stop the illicit flow. Nigeria has shown good example. The more we are showing that we are acting as Africans, the easier to get the rest of the world to cooperate.”