President Muhammadu Buhari has again spoken in the defence of his ministers and aides, exonerating them from any corrupt practices.
Recall that the President had, during his first media chat last December, said none of his ministers was corrupt.
“I don’t think I tolerate corruption, I don’t think I picked anybody that I know will embarrass my government. But if you have any evidence about any of my ministers, I accept responsibility for the 36 ministers that I have.
‘’I don’t think I took anybody among the ministers who has got a case in court. Tell me one out of the 36. I don’t think I will deliberately make that mistake.”
His speech was sequel to an information reported particularly by online media, saying that Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the immediate past Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, who is also the serving Minister of State for Petroleum, was being probed over crude oil swap deals and gas lifting during his term as GMD of the petroleum corporation.
President Buhari in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, made an appeal for decent and civilized comments, especially when it involved the integrity of those serving the nation. He said:
“Terrible and unfounded comments about other people’s integrity are not good. We are not going to spare anybody who soils his hands, but people should please wait till such individuals are indicted.”
Buhari’s statement came on the same day the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, defended the present government by disproving as grossly incorrect and unfounded, information making rounds in some quarters claiming that the anti-graft war of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was lopsided as it is aimed at members of the Peoples Democratic party and others perceived to be enemies.
Answering questions yesterday, July 19, from newsmen at the end of the 27th Ordinary session of African Union in Kigali, Rwanda, Osinbajo, said the speculation was the handiwork of those who wanted to make light of the anti-corruption war and deter the government from recovering stolen funds.
Citing as an example, corruption in the military with regards to the arms deal scandal, Osinbajo explained that the only individuals responsible for the procurement were all members of the opposition party who had held office within the period in question. He therefore described the speculation as absurd and without foundation or basis.