BY Fredrick Nwabufo
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is poised to prosecute corrupt public officers so as deter persons who may want to steal the nation’s funds from doing so.
According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari made the statement on Wednesday in New Delhi while reaffirming his administration’s resolute commitment to curbing corruption, plugging all loopholes in public sector accounting and deploying available resources for the good of all Nigerians.
“Addressing members of the Nigerian community in India, President Buhari declared that the recovery of stolen funds and prosecution of persons who have been indicted for corrupt practices will also continue to be vigorously pursued,” Adesina said in a statement.
“The president said that he expected the ongoing recoveries and prosecutions to serve as a deterrent to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gain.
“President Buhari assured the gathering that his administration fully recognised the devastating consequences of the illegal diversion of public resources meant for national development into private bank accounts, and was doing all within its powers to stop such diversions.
“The anti-corruption campaign will be ongoing for many years. We are committed to the enthronement of good governance that plugs the loopholes in public sector accounting, and the use of scarce resources for public good.
“We are determined to demonstrate exemplary leadership that will make our citizens to change their ways in a manner that lays a solid foundation for reconstruction and development.
“I am confident that our approach to fighting corruption through value re-orientation, improved internal processes and systems and the rule of law, as well as enhancing the capacity of the various anti-corruption agencies and institutions will prove more enduring in addressing this evil.
“In the meantime, we will continue to prosecute those who have been indicted for corrupt practices and ensure that stolen funds are recovered, to serve as deterrence to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gain.”
According to Adesina, the president told the Nigerian community he was fully aware of the expectations of Nigerians who elected him on the platform of change, integrity, probity and accountability, and was therefore doing his utmost best to meet those expectations.
“I wish to assure you that we shall do our best to fix the economy, create jobs for the teeming population of our youths and make the home environment safe, secure and more attractive to Nigerians outside the country like your good selves,” the presidential spokesman quoted Buhari to have said.
“On the economy, our aim is to address the challenge of infrastructure in all its ramifications, especially power and transportation. We are seeking to create jobs through agriculture, mining, industrial value-addition and the promotion of small scale enterprises.
“We are also taking steps to address criminality across the country. We are tackling the menace of terrorism posed by Boko Haram head-on and I am pleased to note that though sporadic attacks on soft targets have not stopped, the over-all capacity of Boko Haram to hold territory and determine the course of the conflict has been severely degraded.
“If the current positive trends are maintained, we are confident that by the end of this year, we would have succeeded in permanently turning the tide against the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria.”