We will not shield Ganduje- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, dismissed claims that his association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has diminished his commitment to the war against corruption.

This was contained in a statement by the Presidency, as criticisms trailed President Buhari’s endorsement of the embattled Governor for a second term on the platform of the All Progressive Congress APC, at a rally in Kano.

This is coming on the heels of recent public condemnation of statement credited to the APC National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, who stated in Benin, Edo State that who ever comes to the party will have his or her sins forgiven.

But presidency, in the reaction to the criticisms on Ganduje’s endorsement, cited a number of high profile prosecution of senior government officials, including that of the former Secretary to the Government and a former state governor who is a party member and now serving term in jail as indications of will and determination to wage the anti-corruption war without fear or favour.

Presidency also added that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of President Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

The statement explained that despite some of the suspects being close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation, administrative suspensions and prosecution.

The Presidency added that it is sheer mischief to suggest that President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him, explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished once they break the law.

It also cited the immunity Ganduje which exempts him from prosecution, adding that “ under Nigerian laws, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

“In the circumstances, the matter is in court and the President has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House of Assembly, which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with the allegations against Ganduje.”
The Presidency added that it is unfair to ignore the larger picture of the President’s major successes in the war against corruption, including blocking leakages of corruption, which in turn, boosted government revenues.

The statement challenged President Buhari’s critics to prove that those facing corruption allegations are innocent, adding that the President’s zero tolerance for corruption has boosted and remarkably improved Nigeria’s image in the eyes of world leaders.


Tony Ailemen, Abuja

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