The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has said there are corrupt power blocs in the presidency whose “civil war” cost Ibrahim Magu his confirmation as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Speaking when he received representatives of the National Association of Muslim Law Students in his office on Thursday, Mr. Sani became another elite voice to have raised concern about the President Muhammadu Buhari’s effective control of his government where his close allies and aides engage in open rivalry and crossfire.
Two former leaders of the country, told PREMIUM TIMES, speaking on strict condition of anonymity, that Mr. Buhari had lost control of his government and should consider overhauling his administration, after the State Security Service again blocked the confirmation of Mr. Magu, brushing aside the President’s clearance in letter to the Senate in January.
The Senate rejected the re-nomination of Mr. Magu on Wednesday, after the SSS reaffirmed its position the acting EFCC chairman will constitute liability to the anti-corruption campaign of the administration because he lacks integrity.
But Mr. Sani said: “Magu is a victim of the civil war between in the President’s kitchen cabinet. It is high time the President stood his feet to stop power blocs who are desirous of undermining and subverting his efforts.”
On Thursday, Sahara Reporters published excerpts from a leaked memo Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State sent the President, saying “in blunt terms” the Buhari’s administration was not delivering on promises made to Nigerians and accusing the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of being clueless and inexperienced.
He said Mr. Buhari had made progress in the fight against corruption to “good degree’ and also degraded Boko Haram.
“But Buhari is alone in the fight against corruption in the sense there are many persons around him who are corrupt.
“They did not declare their assets publicly like the President, Osinbajo and myself, hiding under the secrecy law,” Mr. Sani said.
An ad-hoc committee headed by Mr. Sani last year indicted the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, for breaching the country’s law in respect of ‘grass cutting” contract awarded by the Presidential Initiative on the North East, prompting the Senate to ask the President to sack and ensure prosecution of the SGF.
But the president wrote back to the Senate, clearing Mr. Lawal with claims the SGF was not given fair hearing and that the report of the committee was a minority one.
Mr. Sani then hit back at the President and accused him of bias in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Sani said, “the Eight Senate is not “rubber stamp Senate, but it is also not dagger or sword Senate.”
Advising the visiting students who asked him to talk to them on activism, Mr. Sani said the future of the country belongs to youth who should hold the leaders to account and be responsible.
He also urged action against religious extremism and ethnic tension.