Shehu Sani, outspoken Kaduna State senator, says the lack of transparency in the handling of several high corruption cases has made Nigerians start questioning the sincerity, or lack of it, of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Sani said many Nigerians worry that there is a bipolar approach to anti-corruption in Nigeria and Buhari appears to be weak when it comes to “dealing with friends and friends of friends in corridors of power who are found to be corrupt”.
“Three things have raised issues here: the Babachir report that is still lying dusty in the Villa and is now part of the upholstery of the Villa. The second has to do with the issue of Kachikwu-Baru, which has now been resolved with Kachikwu and Baru shaking hands and saying that there personal differences are over. And the third is the Maina-Gate that is now a major issue in the National discourse and debate,” Sani said on AIT’s Focus Nigeria.
“The President needs to be very conscious of that, and I believe that if those who have access to go and him tell him to contest for 2019 election will spare part of the time they have in the Villa to tell him the truth about how his image and integrity is progressively being corroded by issues like this, I think they will be doing a great service to him.”
Sani stressed that the anti-corruption campaign could not be focused only on members of the opposition political parties while members of the ruling APC and the so-cabals are seen to be doing whatever they wish.
He said: “Nigerians are questioning the sainthood and the angelic posturing of this administration because the government came in with a lot of promises and pledges to clean the system and unfold a new agenda and spirit for the country.
“It is not good for the image of the President to see him being very fierce, vigorous and macho when it comes to tackling corruption perpetrated by elements and friends of the defunct Jonathan administration.
“He should be seen to be active, proactive and very much involve, with the same ferocity, virility and potency, to attack corruption when it applies to people from his own cabinet or from the ruling party.
“I would like to see all persons who are corrupt, not just people who are from the umbrella side, but also from the broom side and also from the cabal side.
“But right now, you see most of the persons who are paraded in court are people from the last administration. It is creating a very bad image when issues are being raised about this.
“Recently, the President’s Special Adviser on Prosecution (Okoi Obono-Obla) raised issues and said my committee (Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the North East) has no right to investigate the SGF (Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal).
“But what you can see is that the special adviser is part of those who believe that if you are pro-Buhari, you should have some shield or immunity or be above questioning.
“He believes that if you are pro-Buhari, you should also be like Buhari, but Buhari is alone in this fight against corruption. I can tell you this.”
Sani said the APC has its work cut out for it come 2019 general election if it intends to remain the ruling party.
“The APC is a party that responsible, reasonable and conscious Nigerians will agree with me that all is not all well with,” Sani said.
“In Kaduna, we have our problem with the tyrant [el-Rufai] who is always after Shehu Sani, in Kano there is Kwankwanso/Ganduje feud, in Kogi you have Dino [Melaye] and Yahaya Bello.
“These are few of the states that I just mentioned, but in most of the states today, there are crises; that is one.
“Secondly, you have people who have worked hard to bring this party to power, later they were being either marginalised or being categorised as corrupt.
“Bukola Saraki was not known to be corrupt when they needed his support and he mobilised five governors to win election. It is when he wants to be Senate President that they said ‘ah, this person is corrupt’.
“The likes of Atiku, who is speaking out today, is marginalised out of the system.
“Bola Tinubu of all people, for all that he has done to bring the South West and garner support and resources, today has maintained a position of silence which is clear that things are not moving fine.
“Why the party (APC) still remains a viable option is the fact that the opposition PDP is still very timid in its opposition.
“They have still not been able to prove a potent opposition force, in terms of holding government to account, because they are being dragged down by either fear of being hunted or arrested or framed or fear of the EFCC.
“And when you have an opposition that has such moral burden and fears, I can tell you in every possible way that it is going to be difficult for it to be able to dislodge the APC out of power.”