The Federal Government has said that President Muhammadu Buhari won’t diverge from his commitment to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible general elections.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, unveiled this to State House AFLM after the weekly Federal Executive Council( FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister was responding to a claim by Kaduna State governor, Nasir el- Rufai, that some unnamed persons or “ essentials ” in the Presidential Villa were working against the electoral success of the aspirant of the All Progressives Congress( APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the coming presidential election.
He maintained that President Buhari, being the main occupant of the Aso Rock Villa, had stressed times without number that he wanted his administration to deliver a credible exercise.
The Minister said that if there were essentials within the seat of power who are working against the triumph of the ruling party, it has not been brought officially to his notice.
He said “ On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that no matter what, this administration is concentrated, determined to ensure free and fair elections.
But I think with this administration, the most important person is Mr. President, and I think he has shown by words and by deeds that he’s committed to free, fair and credible election. And fair, free, credible elections actually means not favouring anybody or disadvantaging anybody.
And everyplace he goes, he makes that genuinely clear indeed as recently last Friday when he was in Daura, he said the same thing.
howbeit, we do n’t know officially, “If there’s anybody working against a aspirant.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister also took Transparency International( TI) to task over its latest report, which saw Nigeria dropping five places in the 2021 Corruption Perception Index( CPI) ranking.
He explained “ We aren’t fighting corruption because we want to impress Transparency International or any organization whatsoever.
We ’re fighting corruption because we believe if we don’t fight corruption, there ’ll be no growth either in terms of the economy or even political. thus, what we do and what we ’re putting in place to fight corruption isn’t because we want to be rated by anybody.
howbeit, for example, what we ’re doing catches the attention of Transparency International and they enhance and give us better marks, “ If. nevertheless, I can assure you that we don’t know what template TI is using.
Whatever template they’re using is easily unconscious of what this administration is doing, to fight corruption.
Corruption fighting isn’t just by how numerous people have you arrested? How numerous people have you tried? How numerous people have you condemned? Of course, even in that respect, we’ve a veritably impactful record. Is it the EFCC or is it the ICPC?
You see, if you look at what we ’re doing even to make corrupt practices, nearly insolvable or delicate I’ll just give you two cases. For instance, this administration, when funds were returned from the Abacha loot and other funds were recovered from the US, the UK, and Europe, this administration was that rather than pay these funds into the treasury and face the possibility of it being stolen or looted, the administration decided that we will put this money into a separate account and ask the National Sovereign Investment Fund to manage these funds, and we used this money for specific schemes.
And some of our legacy schemes today actually are being financed from our money that have been stolen, which were returned and which we’ve kept. To me, this is one example of how to fight corruption. An example of how to ensure that people don’t steal what has been recovered again.
I make bold to say that we’ve been more proactive in fighting corruption and people aren’t willing to see what we’ve put in place in fighting corruption. And that’s why I gave that example of putting money away and how those funds are being used.
Again, the courage of this administration even to expose high ranking officeholders of administration who have ran foul of the law, is evidence of our determination and courage to fight corruption.
So, we aren’t really upset or irritated about rating of the TI, because we know that everything we do is to ensure that we fight corruption the stylish way we know how to do.
Like I said, if TI aren’t seeing this, also again, I think they’ve to change their template. But again, we ’re not fighting corruption to impress them.