John Shiklam in Kaduna
Acting Chairman, Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, yesterday dismissed President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at fighting the massive corruption bedevilling the country.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Kaduna at the opening ceremony of a public lecture on education, Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said if Buhari was committed to fighting corruption, the nation’s courts and prisons would have been congested with corrupt politicians.
“We have now seen corruption on a massive scale and nobody is doing anything about it,” he said.
According to him, many corrupt politicians are going about freely because the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has forgiven their sins.
He cited the case of Senator Danjuma Goje, a former governor of Gombe State, whose ‘sin’ the APC allegedly forgave.
“The president said he is fighting corruption, but I don’t believe him. If he is fighting corruption, our courts and prisons should be full by now. This is because corruption is everywhere.
“You don’t just pick one case and make it a universal example of fighting corruption. We have just seen the conviction of Orji Uzor Kalu and it is becoming something that the world should know; when there are so many people with 70 something billion (naira) with them.
“Those people should be in the same prison with Uzor Kalu. In any case, if you want to say that Uzor Kalu had committed an offence, but here is a national chairman of a party, the president’s party, who pronounces that don’t worry how much you have stolen somewhere else, as long as you come and say you are a member of APC, you are forgiven.
“A good example of that is former governor Danjuma Goje. It was the Attorney General of the Federation himself that went to court to say they were withdrawing the case from the court.
“His (Goje’s) offences are not different from Orji Uzor Kalu’s and many others that were reported,” he added.
Abdullahi also accused the media of poor reportage of the crises confronting the nation.
“The media is equally guilty in this direction. You journalists are part of the crises that we have because you are not addressing these issues as hard, objectively and fairly as you should,” he said.
Also commenting on the agitations for restructuring, Abdullahi said the presidential system of government must be abandoned if the country was to be restructured.
“If we are going to restructure Nigeria, we must abandon presidential system of government. If you want Nigeria to function as it used to function in 1960 at the point of independence, we should go and reconsider the retention of the presidential system of government because it is inefficient, it is corrupt and there is no accountability.
“Under the parliamentary system of government, you cannot be a minister until you are elected from your village. So, you are already accountable to your electorate and then the leader of your party who happens to be president or prime minister would make a nomination, which means other members must approve. If you are not a good man, from there you have failed,” he stated.