In a rousing speech to State House Staff, President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed his resolve to stand for integrity. The President spoke on Wednesday at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, as state house staff welcomed him from his medical vacation.
President Buhari warned his Staff and indeed, Nigerians across all divides to cultivate the right attitude and reject any form of corruption in all spheres of national life. The President who also emphasized personal integrity urged the workers to be conscious of stigmatisation which would largely bring shame to their families. He said that ridding Nigeria of corruption was necessary to secure a better country for posterity.
“I thank you for welcoming me back from my health break. You are the judges, perhaps I look healthier than I left or I came worse. All fraud must stop. If they don’t believe us, they should go, try and see those we caught red handed with public funds. This exercise will continue as long as this leadership is here.
“Whoever takes anything that does not belong to him or that he is not entitled to, it will be documented and the person will be taken to court. This is the only way I think we can bail ourselves out. I am asking you to dedicate yourselves more to your country because I said more than 30 years ago, that there is no other country, but Nigeria.
“We are determined to rehabilitate our country for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. I have never in my life from class monitor to this place, twice in different forms, believed in corruption. In what we are doing, if we had made mistakes along the lines, the country would have been further backward than this. But we don’t touch anybody who did not touch public funds.
“You should behave yourself. If you don’t have houses in Abuja and the whole of Europe, you will sleep soundly. You and your family will earn respect. But if you shortchange the treasury, you will be caught and I pity your family because people will be abusing them. People will be calling you big thieves that how did you raise money to build all the houses in Abuja and Europe with your meager salary.
“I think personal integrity is something to be encouraged. I assure you that I am absolutely dedicated to serve Nigeria. Those who behave themselves will never regret, but those who don’t behave themselves, na their problem.”
On the inability to pay salaries, the President said:
“27 out of the 36 states couldn’t pay salaries. This is a disgrace to Nigeria. It is a disgrace. Up till now, most states cannot pay salaries. What happened to all we have gotten over the years?
“We look up and down, left, right and centre, what have we saved? There was nothing because we developed a consumption culture that we were not supposed to develop. Most of your colleagues that have left service, I doubt if they are getting benefits. That is the situation we find ourselves in.”