*Says elite who benefited from NSA fighting back
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The Presidency, last night, rebuffed allegations of selectiveness in the war against corruption made against Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by the erstwhile military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar, describing him as a frustrated man.
It also said it had become accustomed to a fight back by the elite class.
The Presidency in a statement by a Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), Mallam Garba Shehu, also said none of the elite class fighting back had shown evidence of the selectiveness of the fight against corruption.
He further said President Buhari had not at any time interfered with the prosecution of corruption suspects, even as he said several of those fighting back had at one time or the other benefited from security votes from the office of the National Security Adviser. Mallam Garba was, however, quick to exclude Col. Umar from such beneficiaries.
Col. Umar (retd) had in a statement issued, weekend, flayed the Presidency for directing its anti-corruption war at only the opposition, saying the decision to ignore court orders to release erstwhile NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd(, is inexcusable.
He further said the Buhari administration had in its actions sought to humiliate former President Goodluck Jonathan who he, Umar, praised for his excellent democracy credentials.
Responding, yesterday, Shehu said: “By now, President Buhari’s administration is quite familiar with the barrage of verbal attacks that have accompanied the administration’s determined war against corruption.
“A number of Nigeria’s elite, uncomfortable with the disruption of business as usual, have fought viciously, usually via the media. However, this comment, coming from Colonel Umar, is highly disappointing, because he is not in a position to label accusations. He should, instead, allow others to do this.
“Curiously, despite the various accusations and media attacks, no one has so far come forth with any evidence of President Buhari’s selectiveness in the war against corruption.
“All the agencies involved are allowed freedom to carry out their responsibilities, without any interference whatsoever from the Presidency.
“If Colonel Umar or anyone else feels that they have any evidence to the contrary, they are encouraged to make this public.
“A number of Nigerian elite have over the years, benefitted from various forms of corruption, including monthly payouts from the office of previous National Security Advisers.
“Let me clarify that this is not in reference to Colonel Umar in particular.
“The Buhari’s administration has offended so many of our greedy elite by putting a stop to this, plugging many of the holes through which our country’s resources, belonging to each and every one of us, were looted by a few.
“Naturally, these elite are frustrated. But we shall not allow them to frustrate the war against corruption.
“The war against corruption is here to stay. As long as President Buhari is in power, Nigerians can be rest assured of that. It will not succumb to media attacks. It will not be deterred by false accusations. It will not be quenched by disgruntled elements.”