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We are succeeding in corruption war – Buhari

Tinubu to Jonathan: Your administration won gold medal in corruption

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the ongoing fight against corruption has started yielding fruitful results as Nigeria is now a respected nation in the world.

Buhari spoke on Thursday during the public presentation of a book titled; Making Steady, Sustainable Progress for Nigeria’s Peace and Prosperity in Abuja.

The book reflects a mid-term scorecard on Buhari’s administration at the Presidential Villa.

The president further disclosed that the nation’s creditworthiness was sound, saying that the country’s first Euro – Bond offer was over-subscribed four times.

He added that the country had gone through difficult times due to World–Wide Economic Recession.

Buhari also stated that Nigeria was coming out of recession and government’s efforts were aimed at easing economic hardships with more jobs, social security platform for vulnerable families and unemployed as well as infrastructural projects.

He said. “I would, at the same time like to assure all Nigerians of my commitment to improve security, fight corruption and re-structuring the economy.”

According to the President, his administration will continue to address the recurring issue of herdsmen and farmers clashes, kidnapping and armed robberies.

He said: “Within the confines of our budgetary resources we are giving top priority to security. During the year it was my great pleasure to secure the release of 103 Chibok School Girls.

“We are working day and night in cooperation with our international partners to free remaining girls and all other hostages; men, women and children.

“We are all aware now, if you steal public funds and are caught you will face the law.

The President also lauded the efforts of the presidential media team for organising the event.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who also spoke at the event, identified humility and prudent management of public resources as the greatest assets of Buhari.

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who unveiled the book paid tribute to the achievements of Buhari.

He lauded the efforts of the president in fighting corruption and other social vices in the society.

He, however, called for an upward review of public servants’ salaries to reduce temptation and check corrupt tendencies in the system.

The 360-page document carefully chronicles achievements of the present administration in the different sectors of socio-political, economic development.

Tinubu to Jonathan: Your administration won gold medal in corruption

In a related development, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has stated that former President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration only won gold medal in corruption and earned red card in governance.

According to Tinubu, the development has led the country into a total mess.

Tinubu stated this in his key note address at the presentation of a book tilted: ‘Making Steady, Sustainable Progress’ at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja on Thursday,

He said: “One minister and her rogues’ gallery picked the pocket of this nation for billions of dollars. While poor at governance, these people could give a master thief lessons in the sleight of hand. In governance, they earned a red card but in corruption, they won the gold medal”.

Tinubu also noted that it was not that our institutions had become infected by corruption but that it had become institutionalized.

He said, “The prior government used the public treasury as a private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves.

“So much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush.

“President Buhari has set an axe to the root of this dangerous tree. I would be lying if I said the war against large-scale corruption has been won.

It has not, it will take time and countless swings of the axe to fall such a deeply-rooted tree. But try we must. This is what the President is doing.

“Gone are the times when a minister can pilfer billions of dollars as easy as plucking a piece of candy from the table.

“We have much to do to combat this disease. Not only must we track down the takers. In the long term, we must review the salaries of public servants and create universal credits for our people to reduce temptation.

“We must also take greater care by placing people of character, competence and goodness into key positions. When they fail, they must be removed without remorse or favor.

“Unlike its predecessor, this government has demonstrated the will to walk this path. While this might not cause much fanfare or celebration, this cleanses the institutions upon which a nation’s well being is founded with a future assured”.

The APC chieftain also advised President Buhari to look towards true federalism to balance power and responsibility between Federal government and the States.

He said, “In addition, more needs to be done to make business and consumer credit available by lowering interest rates. We also must move towards true federalism by the balance of power and responsibility between the federal government and the states. In so doing, we will attain the correct balance between our collective purpose on one hand and our separate grassroots realities on the other”.

According to him, “We are many things as a people. Among them, is that we can be a clamorous nation. Noise abounds, voices rise and Critics moan. The angry and the desperate even question whether this nation should exist, whether it is an experience or experiment that has failed.

“Mr. President, the noise can be loud, almost deafening at times. Yet ultimately both noise and clamor shall fade, for progress.

“What shall be left is reality and fact. The core reality, the fact of our political existence, is that Nigeria is an indivisible entity; a nation of many people, wedded in common enterprise with its better days yet before it.

“Yes, we were born of a complicated past, and face a challenging present but our future, yes our future, can be one of progress, compassion, justice and hope, if only we have the courage to make it so”.

Tinubu observed that before the emergence of Buhari’s government, Boko Haram wreaked havoc on a daily basis spreading its evil arm across great expanses of territory, saying that Boko Haram invaded town and villages, erasing the peace and normalcy of the people to replace it with wanton brutality, hatred and death.

He said, “They hoisted their dreadful flag where only the green and white of Nigeria should have been. Today, that evil flag is not planted over an inch of our precious land. This violent scourge recedes into the darkened shadows of inhumanity from whence it came making people once under its horrid dominion now breathe the air of freedom and safety.

“Boko Haram has not been completely defeated. But there is no question, that it has been decimated and made shorter and weaker. They shall never constitute the threat they once were.

“This is no accident. It is the result of the policies and commitment of President Buhari, his government and the men and women of our armed forces who place their lives on the line in silent heroism to protect this nation and its people.

“Had the previous government remained in place, Boko Haram would have surely eaten more territory and devoured more people. This nation might have indeed been divided and cut asunder, not by choice but by the knife of terrorism”, he added.

He pointed out that the economy remains the biggest challenge, saying that, “The prior government operated during times of plenty. The opposite is the case now. Sadly, that plenty was stolen or directed toward policies of no lasting consequence to the average Nigerian save to compel them to say another opportunity had been wasted.

“Through no fault of its own, this administration had to grapple with a rapid fall in oil prices which brought recession and collapsed our exchange rate regime. More fundamentally, it showed that the very economic model upon which this nation operated was outmoded and flawed. Unfortunately the past administration did nothing to re-calibrate the economy.

“But with fewer resources at hand, this government is compelled to do more. It must respond to immediate needs in a way that leads to long-term economic reform. This will be a complex journey. This government has taken the first steps in the right direction.

Speaking on the way forward, since the country has exited from recession, Tinubu said, “We are inching out of recession. The exchange rate has stabilized. Internationally, we are seen as on the mend and have been recognized for making significant progress in the ease of doing business adding, he is truly the right man for this time and place”.

Mathew Dadiya and Tom Okpe, Abuja

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