President Muhammadu Buhari is under pressure from some highly-placed Nigerians to slow down his anti-graft war, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo revealed on Thursday
He said the government will not pull the brakes because fighting corruption is what Nigerians want, the Vice President said.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke during a meeting with a delegation from the Moslem Congress of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said the Vice President noted that the government had been getting regular messages from some Nigerian elites urging it to take it easy.
“We get regular messages from some Nigerian elites saying ‘cool down’.
“It is a very strange morality, that some of those people have, very complicated but cutting across all tribes and religious differences,” he said.
He, however, observed that the masses of the Nigerian people have a clearer understanding of right and wrong.
“The masses don’t have that problem,” he said
According to him, a new tribe of Nigerians who would not compromise their values but would maintain a sense of right and wrong is now emerging.
“The man on the street is very clear, so whatever some of these elites say, we shall keep our focus on the masses who voted for us,” the Vice President said.
He said it was simply unacceptable that in the last 16 years, there is not a single federal government completed road, let alone rail.
Noting that the reason for their failure was corruption, he said the cost of projects were often inflated as people entrusted with public trust struggle to enrich themselves at the expense of the people.
Osinbajo said it was the same inordinate desire for enrichment that explains why money meant to procure arms were being distributed among persons at a time when the territorial integrity of the nation was being attacked.
“The insurgency has gone on for six years because government could not adequately equip the military,” he said
But the Vice President assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari will not relent, adding that we have no other agenda but ”the progress of this country”.
Osinbajo added: “Mr. President and I are extremely focussed on what we need to do. We will focus on critical things, infrastructure and social investments.”
The leader of the delegation from the Moslem Congress of Nigeria, Imam Abdulahi Shuaib expressed readiness to assist government where necessary.
“We are thankful that our candidates of choice in the election emerged,” he said, adding that the choice of the President and the Vice President was made by God during last year’s presidential election.
The Vice President also received delegations from the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency Reform (FOSTER), a group composed of NGOs involved in various programmes in the Niger Delta.
Osinbajo praised the engineers and highlighted the importance of the profession in national development.
“There is no question at all that engineers are central to the development of the society,” he noted.
The NSE delegation was led by its President, Mr. Otis Anyaeji.
The Vice President restated the government’s commitment to the development of the Niger Delta.
He praised the group for coming together to develop a common framework to support development in the area.
The group, which said it adopted a common framework to avoid duplication, was led by Mr. Richard Oshowole.
Many officials of the Goodluck Jonathan government are either being probed for alleged corrupt acts or being tried after being arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The $2.1billion arms cash which some government officials allegedly shared as campaign fund and the alleged fraud in arms procurement are top on the ongoing probe.
Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Sambo Dasuki is at the centre of the alleged fraud. He is standing trial for money laundering and criminal breach of the law – Thelegislature.net