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Reps, group okay Buhari’s anti-corruption war




House plans to cut salaries, allowances 

AGAINST the backdrop of the ongoing anti-corruption crusade by the Federal Government, indications have emerged that the House of Representatives will give President Muhammadu Buhari every backing he needs to prosecute the war.

The House, it was also learnt, has put mechanisms in motion that would ensure a drastic cut in the funding of its activities, including salaries and allowances.

The Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mohammed Sani Zorro, disclosed these to journalists in Lagos yesterday during an interactive session.

According to him: “We are ready to support unconditionally the war being waged against corruption as spearheaded by the Executive arm of government under President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Zorro, who represents Gumel/Gagarawa/Mai Gatari/Sule Tankarkar Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, said: “I can tell you this on behalf of the House.

Whoever is averse to the war against corruption in Nigeria is not a patriot. All patriotic people whether in the National Assembly or outside of it must support this war because of the implication of the degenerative level of our own corruption, which has compromised everything that Nigeria used to be. We are ready to assist in the building of a strong and strategic Nigeria.

This cannot come about with all these reports in the newspapers of pervasive corruption. So, unconditionally, the House will support the war against corruption.”

In another development, the Director of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Mrs. Idayat Hassan, has thrown her weight behind the on-going moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari to bring to book those found wanting of corrupt practices.

Idayat, who spoke during a summit in Abuja, said it behooves on well-meaning Nigerians to rally round the President to achieve the goal, maintained that the measure would go a long way in halting the spate of lawlessness and impunity that is prevalent in the polity.

According to her: “It is a welcome development. This government actually campaigned on two prisms, now it has changed to three.

Basically, security and corruption and now since inauguration, he has added the issue of employment to it, particularly youths employment.

Without the prosecution of all corrupt people, impunity will continue to reign in this nation. And it will not send a strong message to people.”

On the clamour in some quarters that the scope of the anti-corruption probe should be widened, Zorro said it is the prerogative of the Executive arm of government, which has control over the security and intelligence agencies, to decide that. “But what the parliament does is to check the excesses, if any, of whatever process that the Executive implements.

Once the National Assembly discovers that this anti-corruption pursuit is tilted unfairly, may be against a person or group of persons, they will query it.

But as of now, we are not entertaining any fears. We will support it, even if that corruption probe will involve the National Assembly.

We just have to clean up this country because corruption actually reduces our humanity to the barest level,” he said. “I am here to reveal to you that as a result of the consistent outcry by Nigerians, who had been taking critical exception to the funding of the National Assembly, the House has decided to review the holistic funding of its activities.

This review will also result in right-sizing the funding of the various aspects of our activities. We have already put a mechanism in motion to achieve that.

It may also result in the drastic cut of our finances be they salaries, allowances and running cost. We are conscious of our integrity; we will lead by example. “What I can assure you is that we are submitting to the will of the people as a responsive and responsible legislative institution.

We can no longer ignore the popular wishes of the Nigerian people who elected us in the first place. Even if the measures that we will consider will inconvenience us, we will rather make that sacrifice and respect the views of the Nigerian people once and for all.”

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