President Muhammadu Buhari is in control of his administration, despite revelations of corruption, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, has said.
Shehu said the fact that the President did not cover up any of the alleged acts of graft showed the anti-graft war was on course.
The presidential aide was reponding to comments and an editorial criticising the President over increasing allegations of corruption in his administration.
“As many detractors have done lately, these ‘influencers’, ‘celebrated columnists’ and ‘editorial comments’ do no more than endorse the opposition’s utterly wrong and fallacious position that the President is not in charge of his government.
“Sometimes, we are forced to wonder whether some writers are mindful of the implication of words for the strategic and territorial interests of the nation.
“The fact that these baseless and appallingly mischievous attacks can freely be aired is itself evidence of the right to freedom of expression prevailing in the country today,” he said.
Shehu said while Nigerians were bound to hold divergent opinions on corruption in agencies, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), many of the comments were disguised as objective criticisms but “are merely speaking the language of the opposition – the people who ruined the country during their 16 years of corruption on an industrial scale”.
He added: “The government was the first to point out the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by the EFCC leadership would cause the administration.
“The question to ask is: did they expect the President to draw a curtain over these suspected scandals by not ordering audits and investigations? And for them to turn around to accuse him of a cover-up?
“To cover up and not order audits and investigations as the President did would amount to a historic betrayal of the mandate and the faith placed in him by Nigerians.
“President Buhari’s integrity, uprightness and probity are intact and well known. Let us remind these so-called editorial writers that ECOWAS, Africa Union and the international community at large recognised President Buhari as Champion of the Anti-Corruption Fight in Africa.
“Nigerians are convinced that he is honest. They voted for him as President against the background of corruption, public policy paralysis and growing menace of terrorists threatening to take over a sizable portion of the nation’s territory.