Rights groups want Buhari to shun corrupt persons
LESS than two weeks to the May 29 handover date, seven civil societies organisations (CSOs) yesterday reminded the President -elect, Muhammadu Buhari to live up to his campaign promise of ridding the country of corrupt practices.
In a statement jointly signed by Messers Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani and Nwagwu Ezenwa, the CSOs specifically urged Buhari to exclude persons of questionable characters in his cabinet.
The CSOs urged Buhari to also encourage members of the National Assembly to ensure that they vote those without ‘skeletons in their cupboards’ for leadership positions in the 8th assembly as well as appointments in the States and Local Government Councils of the country.
Congratulating Buhari on his victory at the poll, the CSOs urged him to abide by his party’s mantra of “change” coupled with his campaign promise, to rid the country of the cankerworm of corruption, which is the greatest challenge facing the nation.
Lamenting how corrupt practices has negatively affected the polity, the CSOs underlined why Buhari must work with persons with impeccable character in his cabinet thus: “Corruption has resulted in the needless death of many Nigerians, especially as scarce resources that should have been used to provide qualitative healthcare services for all, particularly the vulnerable groups in our midst, good roads, qualitative education in public schools, employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed population including the youth, amongst others, have been diverted into private pockets, thus depriving majority of Nigerians the opportunity of benefitting from the nation’s God-given wealth.
“This is even when we are not meeting our continental obligations of appropriating at least 15% on our national budget on health. It is against this background that many Nigerians voted for Major General Buhari (rtd.) and his party, with the belief, that your administration would fight strenuously to rid Nigeria of this foremost debilitating disease of corruption, once and for all!!!
“Major General Buhari (rtd) commences putting together the core team that would work with you to achieve your vision of a new Nigeria, where things are done differently and where the issue of corruption and corrupt tendencies would be dealt with frontally, thus ensuring that it becomes a thing of the past, we urge that every member of his team, must be individual that meet the following criteria: He or she must have recorded high levels of integrity both in his or her public and private life, He or she must never have been convicted of corruption or implicated in any corruption cases.
“He or she must not have any allegations of corruption or corruption charges pending against him or her. Where such exists, the nominee in question must first ensure that he or she conclusively clear himself or herself of such allegations using existing official channels before the process of his or her nomination gets on the way, including before being presented to the National Assembly for consideration.
“He or she must also have declared he or her assets publicly as this later requirement aligns with your recent comment, affirming your commitment to ensuring that this constitutional responsibility is discharged by yourself and by everyone that would be nominated to work with his administration, must be done conscientiously and made open to public scrutiny in line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, 2011.