President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has not in any way tainted his fight against corruption.
President Buhari in a statement released hours ago, noted that he has never taken sides when it comes to the issue of corruption, arguing that even those close to him the present dispensation have all been made to face the law once they are found wanting.
He also noted that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of his commitment to transparency and accountability.
Below is the President’s statement in full.
“GANDUJE: PRESIDENT BUHARI’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR REMAINS ON COURSE
President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claims that hisassociation with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has diminished hiscommitment to the war against corruption.
The Presidency in a statement Thursday said that there is adifference between perception and reality.
According to the statement, which followed comments afterthe proclamation by President Buhari of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as thegovernorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, at a rally in Kano,the presidency cited a number of high profile prosecution of senior governmentofficials that a former Secretary to the Government and a former state governorwho is a party member and now serving term in jail as indications of will anddetermination to wage the anti-corruption war without fear or favour.
It also added that the Executive Secretary of the NationalHealth Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrativeleave as part of President Buhari’s commitment to transparency andaccountability.
The statement explained that despite some of the suspectsbeing close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation,administrative suspensions and prosecution.
The Presidency added that it is sheer mischief to suggestthat President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him,explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished oncethey break the law.
On the specific issue of Governor Ganduje of Kano State, thestatement noted that Dr. Ganduje, as a sitting Governor, enjoys immunity fromprosecution in his own right. Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect ispresumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In the circumstances, the matter is in court and thePresident has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House ofAssembly, which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with theallegations against Ganduje.
The Presidency added that it is unfair to ignore the largerpicture of the President’s major successes in the war against corruption,including blocking leakages of corruption, which in turn, boosted governmentrevenues.
The statement challenged President Buhari’s critics to provethat those facing corruption allegations are innocent, adding that thePresident’s zero tolerance for corruption has boosted and remarkably improvedNigeria’s image in the eyes of world leaders.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
January 31, 2019″.