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Buhari lists anti-corruption gains in Democracy Day speech

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Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari waves at the crowd in Lagos, on March 29, 2018, as he attends the rally organized to celebrate the 66th birthday of the leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday insisted that his government’s commitment to fighting corruption was not negotiable and touted the endorsement of his effort by individuals and international bodies.

Buhari government came into power on the wings of promises to reposition the country by fighting corruption, improving security and remodelling the economy.

“Three years into this administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption,” Buhari said in a televised address to mark the nineteenth anniversary of Nigeria’s return to democracy and the third year of his administration.

“We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is.”

His government’s war against graft has polarised opinions with his core touting the gains made in the last years.

While there have been several seizures and court-ordered forfeitures, no high-profile conviction has been made.

The government in March and April published names of individuals it claimed stole public funds under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Some of the persons named on the two lists are currently standing trials.

But the opposition, whose members’ names were published, maintained the government has been selective in its prosecution of suspected public fund thieves. It accused the ruling APC of corruption.

“The APC Federal Government has manifested its frenzy by going after matters that are in court and in which none of the persons has been convicted,” PDP’s spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan said in a statement in March.

“Since the APC has decided to draw this attack, we will no longer hold back but appropriately commence a serialization of all looters hiding in APC and the Presidency,” he said.

However, Buhari insisted that the various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices were already “yielding remarkable results.”

“The Treasury Single Account (TSA) has realised billions of Naira being saved from maintenance fee payable to banks,” he said.

“N200 Billion has also been saved from elimination of ghost workers in public service.

“The Whistle-Blowing Policy has helped to recover over N500 Billion.”


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