The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has advised incoming Nigerian governors to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari’s style of separating governance from personal interests.
“You are lucky you have someone to learn from. Please, emulate President Muhammadu Buhari. He has no business partners, nobody sits with him to make deals,” Mr Ribadu told the newly elected governors on Tuesday.
He spoke as a guest of honour at the induction ceremony organised by the Nigerian Governors Forum in Abuja for the incoming governors.
Mr Ribadu said Mr Buhari does not have any new properties since his return to office.
“We don’t have overnight billionaires again. He (Buhari) is a good leader to emulate.”
Tagged “Mr Integrity”, Mr Buhari was presented, in the wake of the 2015 elections, as a no-nonsense anti-corruption fighter. He cut the picture of a stern leader who had no lush homes in Nigeria and abroad.
He eventually won that year’s general election over incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, on this ground and on his pledge to stamp out corruption.
Mr Buhari had narrated how he took a bank loan to pay for his party’s nomination forms, which then sold for N27 million.
Over the last four years, the president ruled the country with a painted image of a leader who detests the acquisition of wealth through illicit public funds.
But many Nigerians have become weary of this posture because there have been reports of pervasive corruption.
Days ago, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the president’s refusal to assent to a crucial audit bill – aimed at penalising government agencies and officials who refuse to submit their financial statement for audit – passed by the legislature several months ago is jeopardising the fight against corruption.
In 2015, Mr Buhari who had promised to declare his assets immediately after taking office failed to do so after more than three months in power.
Mr Buhari later provided information on his assets in September 2015, bowing to growing public pressure for the then new government to do so within its first 100 days.
However, over two years after that declaration, majority of respondents in a poll by PREMIUM TIMES and Buharimeter believe that what the president declared was insufficient to be considered the president’s public assets declaration.