The Presidency has attacked a former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido for persistently criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing anti-corruption war.
Lamido who is a 2019 presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in recent interviews accused the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of being more corrupt than the PDP. While alleging that there is a high level of corruption in the current administration, the former governor had also described the on-going anti-corruption war as selective.
But Lamido’s criticism has stirred the wrath of presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, who described the former governor as intellectually and morally bankrupt.
While warning that there was a grand plan by politicians seeking the destruction of national institutions such as the courts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and everything good that the nation stands for, the presidential spokesman said:
“It is only in Nigeria that a leader will divert money belonging to the public into his children’s account then turns round to start pontificating on public morals, in the process subjecting the nation’s honest leadership to daily attacks based on falsehood.
“It is even worse that such a person, facing criminal prosecution will start going around saying he wants to be president. Is this not one of the reasons why other countries are laughing at Nigeria? This is hooliganism. It is not opposition politics.
“The nation’s war against corruption spearheaded by EFCC was incidentally formulated by the past PDP administration. It is a tragic irony that the leaders of the same party are doing their utmost to weaken or destroy it. Watch it, is that why he is seeking to lead the country?
“Time and again, President Buhari had lamented that strongmen had destroyed the country’s strong institutions and that it will take strong men to rebuild them. He deserves the support of everyone to rebuild such institutions because they serve a common good.”
Appealing to opposition politicians to give President Muhammadu Buhari the support he needs to rebuild national institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission they either stifled or destroyed, the presidential spokesman challenged the presidential candidate to convince Nigerians that his trenchant attacks against the government and the judiciary were not a smokescreen to becloud the atmosphere of his criminal prosecution.
“In his diatribe published in the Vanguard newspaper last week, it is clear that the former governor not only set out to mock the President but the judiciary and important national institutions as part of an orchestrated plot to divert public attention from his scam related cases.
“If President Buhari’s war against corruption as he said, was a mockery what does one say of Governor Lamido’s sworn efforts to sabotage the country’s efforts to rid itself of the cancer of corruption?
“If accountability of public officials is the very essence of a mature democracy, it is indeed ironic that a politician seeking the leadership of the country making a mockery of institutions and leaders seeking to entrench that.
“As a country, Nigeria settled for President Buhari not just as president but the watchman of people’s wealth. The citizens are happy with that and the whole world is applauding. The African Union (AU) just named him as the champion of the war against corruption. Opposition politicians like Governor Lamido need to come to terms with the fact that their act needs updating.”