Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has accused the federal government of paying lip service to the fight against corruption, saying the President Muhammad Buhari-led administration is politicizing the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The governor accused the government at the centre of not doing enough to build institutions to fight corruption.
Tambuwal stated this at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of the 2019 United Nations development framework and launching of Spotlight Initiative held at the Council Chambers, Government House, Sokoto.
He said: “When I was the speaker of the federal House of Representatives, I accused the then President Goodluck Jonathan, who was a member of my party of supporting corruption. That is when he granted former Bayelsa State governor, late Deprieye Alaimesiagha, who was accused of corruption, state pardon.
“Now it is a public knowledge in Nigeria today, the moment you align yourself with a particular party, you are immune to the fight against corruption.
“We cannot get the issues of fight against corruption right especially when the agencies that is assigned to the task are at the beckon of the federal government, when they don’t like your face, they set EFCC after you.
“We are very much aware, once you joined a particular party, you are immune from being prosecuted by the EFCC or ICPC. That is not the way to go.
“There is a need to stop politicizing the fight against corruption but take it head long, otherwise we won’t go anywhere.
“We knew what happened here during election, when EFCC was all over the place, arresting people anyhow, identified for them by their political masters with the belief that people are buying votes.”
According to the governor, “We know the political actors here who used EFCC as part of their campaign to come and intimidate people here. The earlier we realised that we are not doing it right the better for the institutions to do it better.
“That is why during my tenure as the speaker, I spoke about it and I still want to assure you now that I am ready to support the constitutional amendments that will make our institutions strong.
“There is need to separate the office of the Minister for Justice from the Attorney General of the Federation. The minister can be a politician while the attorney general of the federation should be above board and not a politician.
“We also need to separate the office of the Accountants General and that of the Chief Accountant of the Federation.
“We must go back to the constitution and do the right thing, or else, we may not get it right.”
Earlier in his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, who represented the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, decried the disturbing mega trend that is of concern to the global body.
He said the global body is worried by the country’s explosive demographic growth put at an estimated 3.2 per cent, while the economy is growing at 2.1 per cent.
Kallon stated that the rest are the multi dimensional poverty and increase in equality, impact of climatic change and competition with natural resources, pervasive corruption, insecurity and the empowerment of women.
He also briefed Governor Tambuwal on the UN reforms in the areas of prevention, peace and security, reform on UN governance system and improving management and accountability