The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties has expressed outrage over the recent suggestion by the National Peace Committee led by a former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, that President Muhammadu Buhari should tread cautiously in the fight against corruption.
The spokesperson of the committee and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, asked Mr. Buhari to follow due process in the ongoing anti-graft war.
He also said former President Goodluck Jonathan did some spectacular things that the incumbent president would appreciate.
The CNPP, in a statement on Friday by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, described the view of the committee as “subtle and scary blackmail,” which could wittingly or unwittingly dampen the raging momentum of the war against corruption being waged by the president.
“We sincerely believe with time the war against corruption will touch even unintended persons, groups and quarters; with the impeccable antecedent of Mr President. Let the music play on as looters have nowhere to hide,” it said.
The group said it had carefully perused the mandate of the committee but could not locate where the issue of stolen funds featured.
Stating that it was at a loss why the NPC skipped its brief, the CNPP said it was worried that the committee, which also has the Sultan of Sokoto has a member, had been “allowed to continue to do what only God knows.”
It added, “It is our candid view that why more Nigerian voters voted for President Buhari than for our dear ex-president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR; is simply the confidence the voters had in the integrity and transparency quotient of Mr. President.
“In other words, the social contract between President Buhari and Nigerians is to wage strident war against corruption, and return stolen funds for the development of our dilapidated social and physical infrastructure.
“More so this is the backbone of the change mantra, as stipulated in the All Progressives Congress’s Manifesto and commitment President Buhari made in the course of the presidential campaign. It is a debt and a bond.”
The CNPP said though it agreed that conceding defeat in primitive climes as Mr. Jonathan did after the presidential election was noble, the crass, pervasive and unbridled corruption which took place under the former president’s watch was more heinous.
It argued that protecting the former president would smack of intimidation.
The group said the Jonathan regime, like the previous ones since Nigeria’s return to civil rule in 1999, defied the timeless African tradition, which admonished leaders not to steal and if they are tempted to do so, that they should steal in such a manner that the owners will not know.
“They looted (the treasury) as if there is no tomorrow, and as if Nigerians are fools; that today we are impoverished, despondent and hapless in the midst of unprecedented oil revenue,” the CNPP said.
“Accordingly, for any group as highly placed as the National Peace Committee to resort to subtle and scary blackmail to subvert and dampen this momentum of war against corruption is to say the least – unkind cut if not ungodly cut.
“For us, the war against corruption is being waged in accordance with the spirit and letters of the law; therefore let the momentum of war against corruption continue.”
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