By Chinwendu Agoha (Governance Reporter)
The war against graft and other forms of corrupt practices need the buy-in and maximum support of all Nigerians, both supporters and critics, in order for it to succeed.
This is the view of the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO). The group said that it is not right for some Nigerians to sit on the fence and only come out to criticize an effort to which their only contribution has been unfair, sometimes ill-motivated, cynicism.
The group, in response to Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka’s charge that President Muhammadu Buhari's war on corruption has lost steam, said this perception was totally faulty.
In a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the BMO stated that "given where we were coming from, the war against corruption had not just been a success but was steady on course.
“Only recently a Federal High Court ordered the final forfeiture of hundreds of millions of Naira traced to former Governor Yari of Zamfara State.
“The EFCC recently showcased a few of its successes to Nigerians: it secured 865 convictions in the year 2020 alone. That is an average of about three convictions every working day of the week.
“Billions of Naira have been recovered under the President Buhari administration. And that continues to be the case in different parts of the country.
“Hundreds of Billions of Naira have been recovered by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC).
“Systems have also been set in motion to prevent high handedness of government officials and brazen looting of our resources. We have seen the profits and savings Nigeria has made with the implementation of the TSA policy. We have seen the reforms—unprecedented in Nigeria’s history-that are ongoing in the oil and gas sector, with NNPC publishing reports of its financials for the first time in history".
The BMO also advised that critics should work with facts and sincerity, else they would allow prejudice to blind them from giving proper appraisals of events.
BMO further noted that if any arm of the government was serious about fighting corruption it was the executive, and called on Nigerians to call out members of the judiciary to be more committed to the fight against corruption.
“President Buhari has shown an utmost commitment to the fight against corruption. It is a daily matter for him. But there is the degree that he can achieve in this fight if he does not have the buy-in of other arms of government, especially the judiciary".
The group recalled that President Buhari in his further effort to further strengthen the anti-graft war signed Executive Order 10 of 2020 which made it mandatory that all States of the Federation should include allocations to the Legislature and the Judiciary in the first line charge of their budgets
“The judiciary must be committed, and this must manifest in their judgments and rulings, to the fight against corruption and the reformation of the Nigerian system", the statement added. NNL.