Lopsided ‘criticism against Buhari’s anti-graft war unfair’


An Ijaw Chief, Wilfred Ogbotobo, on Tuesday condemned the criticisms against President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Describing such criticisms as unfair, the Ijaw chief said it was impossible for the Federal Government to eradicate corruption overnight.

Speaking in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Ogbotobo, who hails from Nembe Kingdom, said most of the expectations of the critics could only materialize in dictatorship and not in democracy that required rule of law and due process.

He said the treasury looters were also spending such money to manipulate citizens to frustrate anti- graft war.

He said: “I don’t think it is fair to say the war against corruption is slowing down. The fact is that Nigerians want to see actions daily. They want to physically see the looted billions hauled in cash, in cash not stories, and the culprits arrested, chained and thrown into jails.

“These include mostly high ranking former office holders including past heads of state. They want to hear the names of the criminals mentioned. Unfortunately, it can’t be done that way all the time. This is a democracy where rule of law is paramount. It is not a military dictatorship.

“We should also realize that we are contending with a leviathan that had been with us since independence, successfully poisoned more than three quarters of our national life and effectively crippled our national psyche. A monster whose venomous tentacles permeate all facets of our institutions and hierarchies of our society.

“In a way it has the foundation of our corporate existence on its tentacles which it can threaten at will. This is the challenge we have before us. So fighting Nigeria’s brand of corruption is akin to challenging the very existence of the country. And I believe this is already manifesting glaringly, so I’m not hypothesizing.

“I believe there are points where outwardly the momentum would appear slow or actually slow down due to the ramifications, weight or depth of the issues concerned at that particular point.

“We must understand that. This shouldn’t be misconstrued as an ebb or a weakening in the fight against corruption. Not at all.”

Ogbotobo said it was also unfair to challenge the competence and commitment of Malami to the anti-corruption crusade.

He said Malami came from a lineage in the APC, where the anti-graft campaign of the administration originated and would not shirk in discharging his responsibilities.

He added: “I think the President found him competent, stable and reliable before choosing him as the point man on this very crucial responsibility which, arguably, is the signature of this administration.

“Malami is a lawyers’ lawyer. He understands the sensitivity of the challenge and I believe he has been very successful.

“In a way, this can be attested to by the robust international collaboration complementing our efforts and thereby drawing respect and support to Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight, from serious nations across the world.”


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