Following the formation of his cabinet, Northern elders have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to go after corrupt politicians in the country.
According to the elders, since fighting corruption is one of his cardinal agenda, Buhari should ensure the cancer called corruption is fought head on.
The northern elders argued that the menace of corruption is preventing Nigerians from getting the benefit of good governance and advised the newly inaugurated ministers to emulate the president in the fight against corruption by setting up a standard Nigerians should follow.
Those who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday yesterday are the National Secretary of the Northern apex socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr Anthony Sani; former secretary to the defunct Kaduna State government, Alhaji Isa Katsina and Elder Dare Adebanjo.
The ACF scribe, Anthony Sani, said considering the fact that corruption constitutes sandbags on the path of socioeconomic development and the fact that it is the campaign mantra of President Buhari, the time to pay special attention to the menace of corruption is now.
Sani, who said the Buhari administration must fight corruption for the purpose of creating the enabling environment for the economy to take root and thrive, added that the ministers must support the president.
“It is expected that the ministers and all those in government should share the vision and aspirations of the APC-controlled government through good governance and living by example and above board for people to see.
“They should help promote ethos that government is not a gravy train. Transparent leadership that comes with honesty by the ministers can go a long way in inspiring citizens to join the fray for public good.
“This would also avoid a situation where people would complain that the fight against corruption is selective in favour of people who are in government or friends of government. This is because public confidence in the fight against corruption matters most,” Sani said.
San, who advised the ministers not to give Nigerians, especially the opposition, any reason to complaint about the fight against corruption, said if the ministers truly resolve to assist the regime in the campaign against corruption, it would percolate down every strata of government and extend to states and local governments.
“A situation where the fight against corruption is perceived as exclusive preserve of the federal government with its political appointees to the total exclusion of civil servants who aid and abet corruption should not be allowed to inch into popular consciousness.
“The campaign should also extend to states and local governments. This way, the ministers would encourage the public the more to join the war against corruption and stigmatize those who engage in corrupt practices,” Sani added.
On his part, the former Secretary to the Government of Katsina and defunct Kaduna States, Alhaji Isa Katsina, said corruption must be fought head on, adding that a searchlights must be beamed on the security agents.
The 70 year old who condemned what he described as disregard for justice in governance of Nigeria, noted it was not the best option in running the country.
Katsina, who said he has not lost hope for the future of the nation, urged President Buhari to take Nigeria to the next kevel as the present administration had promised.
Speaking in an interview with LEADERSHIP Sunday in Katsina, the elder statesman urged the president to investigate suspected collaboration between security agents and criminals.
“I believe he should investigate all these insinuations and find out whether they are true or not and probably take firm action, not this kind of you catch a thief, you make him sit in front of you and ask him, are you converting? And if he says I am converting, you say you are forgiven.
“That is not justice; you cannot run a country like that, however politically suave you think you are. You cannot because you are disregarding one of the essential factors of governance; that is justice,” he said.
On the fight against corruption, Isa Katsina, who was a year ahead of President Buhari in Katsina College, said: “Even those who were caught and taken to court were brought back and pardoned and appointed as ministers. What sort of thing is this? I don’t want to say I have no hope for the future; I have hope for the future and I hope Buhari will really bring a turn for the next level as he promised, that is my hope.”
To those expressing doubts about whether Buhari attended secondary school or not, he maintained that they were wasting their time because he and the president were in school together.
“Buhari attended secondary school; in fact I was thinking there was confusion because he entered that college in Katsina with the name, Leko Daura, not Buhari Daura or Muhammadu Buhari. So, perhaps he didn’t change his name formally and confusion arose but we knew him as Leko Daura. You see, Leko is a native name of a Fulani born, perhaps after three girls. He went there as Leko Daura and was registered there as Leko Daura.”
Also speaking, a public commentator, Elder Dare Adebanjo said President Buhari should not spare anyone in the fight against the scourge of corruption.
“The president should never spare anyone caught in the web of corruption no matter who is involved, across all the divides,” he said.
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