Two civil society organisations, the Socio-Economic and Right Accountability Project and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, said Buhari should probe and not just comment on the $16bn power projects and perceived corrupt former leaders of the country.
The SERAP Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “We have consistently maintained the position that previous regimes have misappropriated large sums of money on projects. What should happen is that the President must look into this vacuum and bring whoever is involved to justice. Nigerians insist that impunity must not continue.
“People must be held accountable for what happened in their regimes, no matter how highly placed they are. It does not matter who the corrupt former leaders now associate with. If the President agrees with us that there is indeed misappropriation, the government should move to bring the culpable people to book.”
Also, CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “Our stand is that the Federal Government should waste no time further but should probe whoever is behind poorly implemented national projects. Now that the President has confirmed that $16bn was wasted under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Buhari administration needs to summon enough courage and political will to bring the culprits to book.
“Power, influence and political leanings should not be considered in bringing whoever is guilty to book.”
While commending members of the support group earlier, the President admitted that not many of them had benefitted anything for supporting him over the years from his opposition days till now.
He said many of them were only expecting their reward from God while they were also working for a better future for their children and grandchildren.
The President said while some parents could afford to send their children abroad to study, he wondered the kind of Nigerians they wanted the children to come and work with back at home.
Buhari again listed part of the achievements of his ongoing anti-corruption war to include the way some suspected corrupt persons had disowned their properties.
“Now, we get some of the people with houses maybe in Abuja or somewhere in America and Europe, they swear, some of them to God, that the houses do not belong to them.
“But traces from their accounts, through the banks, through their companies, showed they belong to them but they said they did not belong to them.
“This is a terrible time and the people are asking what are we doing, why can’t you lock them up?
“And again, I went on by telling them that when I was in uniform, younger and rather ruthless, I got from the President downward and locked them up in Kirikiri. I said ‘you are guilty except you prove your innocence.’
“I myself was locked up and those who misappropriated public funds gave back what they had taken away. Who did anything about it?
“Then I decided to come and put on agbada. I tried one, two, three, four times. God agreed,” the President added.
He again recalled his experience in the courts while contesting the results of previous presidential elections that he contested and lost.
Buhari, however, said he had nothing to regret.
He promised to continue to work hard to reposition the country.
Buhari urged his supporters to continue to pray that God should put people of conscience at all levels of government in the country.
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