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Anti-graft war is on, but corruption is fighting back dirty – Presidency

The Presidency weekend admitted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war had not been easy. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,…

The Presidency weekend admitted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war had not been easy.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said corruption had been fighting back vehemently by "finding accomplices in various forms and guises."

Speaking on a radio programme, Hannu Da Yawa, on FRCN Kaduna, Shehu, however, assured that Buhari’s administration would not stop fighting corruption "despite the strong resistance of the opposition and their actions to thwart the government’s efforts everyday."

He said: "Let me say one thing. Those whose illicit ways of accumulating money have been stopped will criticize this government but all that will not derail the unfaltering commitment of the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to the war against corruption."

The presidential spokesman recalled that Buhari had declared fighting corruption as one of the cardinal policies of his election campaign.

"He is aware that this was one of the main reasons why Nigerians in their millions put their trust in him; the main reason they voted him into power in 2015. To keep that trust of ordinary Nigerians who voted him into the office, he has vowed to give corruption a good fight. He will not let them down," Shehu stated.

According to him, "the days when corruption reigned indiscriminately in Nigeria are over. Nothing will return our country to those sad, old days of wanton thievery that have plunged us into the economic mess from which Nigeria is currently recovering. The war against corruption in Nigeria is one of those clashes between good and evil, where good is determined to triumph."

Shehu denied that members of the the ruling All Progressives Congress were being spared, saying ‘all are equal before the law."

Speaking of Buhari’s administration’s efforts towards promoting transparency, he noted that following the president’s directives, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria carried out an audit of accommodation agents in Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia, saving over $16.7m.

"Each Hajj pilgrim is being saved between 600 to 1,000 Saudi Riyals, which is about N60,000-N100,000 from accommodation, money that had lined the pockets of agents in the past.  This year, houses are being rented directly from owners." He commended ordinary citizens for embracing the whistleblower policy by " taking extraordinary risks to expose corruption," he said.

On the ongoing repairs of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the relocation of flight services to Kaduna, Shehu said the government and people of Kaduna should think hard to devise ways by which the social and economic benefits brought to Kaduna in this period did not depart the city with the reopening of the Airport in Abuja.

"’The government of Nigeria has done a big thing for Kaduna. You must show appreciation to this by supporting the administration," he urged.

He cited what he called "massive cash releases for capital projects in excess of a record one trillion Naira under the 2016 budget," commending the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, for riding on all the federal roads across the nation.

 He said Buhari was determined to execute the Mambila power project, the Lagos-Kano, Lagos-Calabar and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway modernization projects and the new Presidential Initiative on Fertilizer.

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