A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, has weighed in on the Senate’s rejection of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, saying that it was now left for the country to take a stand either for or against corruption.
The senate, which has twice refused to confirm Mr. Magu’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari, stepped up their rejection of the EFCC boss, Tuesday, by resolving not to screen President Buhari’s nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, because of Mr. Magu’s continuous stay in office.
Mr. Attah on Tuesday expressed critical views about the senate’s handling of Mr. Magu’s nomination.
“For goodness sake, if the reason you don’t want to confirm Magu is because he is fighting corruption honestly, then you are on the side of those who are really saying that corruption must remain,” Mr. Attah said on Tuesday in an interview with Planet 101.1 FM in Uyo.
“This country has to make up its mind whether it wants to endorse corruption or it wants to accept Buhari’s fight against corruption.
“Why would he select somebody that he knows is capable of fighting corruption, and we refuse to confirm him,” Mr. Attah said, adding that he wasn’t saying that the senate must confirm every nominee of the president.
“I read certain things even while I was away (outside the country) that greatly disturbed me. Unless somebody tells me that those things were false, then I remain greatly disturbed.
“I read that even the DSS had advised Magu to discontinue his investigation of certain senators. I read that the DSS told Magu to discontinue the investigation of governors who are accused of having diverted this Paris Club refund.
“Why would you select certain people and say ‘don’t investigate them’?”
The former Akwa Ibom governor attacked the argument that Mr. Buhari was being selective in his war against corruption.
“The people with the easiest opportunity to be corrupt are people who were in government.
“The people who were in government before Buhari came were PDP people. So, should Buhari now say ‘I want to fight the APC people who were not in government and didn’t have the opportunity to indulge in this corruption’?
“He has to fight those who were indulging in this corruption, and it happens that PDP were the ones in government and they were doing all kinds of things with money. How can that translate to being selective?”
When reminded that there were some former PDP members who were part of the previous administration, but were now serving in the Buhari administration, Mr. Attah said he was looking forward to a time where such people would be investigated as well and be prosecuted if they are found wanting.
“When you hear the amount of money recovered from certain individuals, and then organisations, and what is being hidden away in several places, then you’ll know that we have been most unfair to ourselves by supporting those types of actions.
“I feel very saddened that because we don’t like Buhari, we don’t even want to support his fight against corruption.”
Although he applauded the administration’s successes against Boko Haram, Mr. Attah said President Buhari hasn’t done much to check the menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the country.
“Why are the herdsmen being allowed to run riots, and kill people, rape women, and do all kinds of things, and we don’t pursue them with the same kind of force that we pursue the Boko Haram people?
“I have heard all kinds of things like they are not from Nigeria, they are from Niger! Do we have such a loose border, that we cannot control them?” Mr. Attah said.