13 November 2017
By James Ojo
The Presidency on Sunday slammed former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, over his recent attack on President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war and his subsequent declaration to contest for the 2019 presidential elections, saying it was unfortunate a person of his calibre could also be vying for the country’s most revered office.
Cerebral Lemon recalls that the former governor had in his statement described the ongoing anti-graft war as selective, adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, had failed Nigerians with its propaganda.
Lamido had said: “If there’s anybody who reaped most from PDP’s evil, it is the APC and they know what they campaigned on were pure lies. They know it.
“Their government is a creation of evil and shame, because it was fertilized by the PDP. The APC government is our daughter because the PDP made them. Minus the PDP, there would be no APC.”
“If you are with the APC, Buhari will clean you and that’s why all people from the PDP who went to the APC are very clean now. When they say we’re thieves, it is the smaller thieves that remained in the PDP, the bigger thieves are in the APC. If they cannot lead, they should quit and we take over,” he had added.
But reacting to Lamido’s criticism in statement, Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu stated that the series of interviews by the presidential aspirant aimed at attacking the Buhari’s anti-graft war “is a reflection of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the opposition in the country.”
Shehu wondered how the erstwhile governor who is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations of corruption could be attacking the ongoing war against graft.
According to him, “It is even worse that such a person, facing criminal prosecution will start going around saying he wants to be president. Is this not one of the reasons why other countries are laughing at Nigeria? This is hooliganism. It is not opposition politics.”
“It is only in Nigeria that a leader will divert money belonging to the public into his children’s account then turns round to start pontificating on public morals, in the process subjecting the nation’s honest leadership to daily attacks based on falsehood.”
He continued: “the nation’s war against corruption spearheaded by EFCC was incidentally formulated by the past PDP administration. It is a tragic irony that the leaders of the same party are doing their utmost to weaken or destroy it. Watch it, is that why he is seeking to lead the country?
“Time and again, President Buhari had lamented that strongmen had destroyed the country’s strong institutions and that it will take strong men to rebuild them. He deserves the support of everyone to rebuild such institutions because they serve a common good.”
While appealing to opposition politicians to give President Buhari “the support he needs to rebuild national institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission they either stifled or destroyed,” the Presidency challenged the presidential candidate “to convince Nigerians that his trenchant attacks against the government and the judiciary were not a smokescreen to becloud the atmosphere of his criminal prosecution.”
He said: “In his diatribe published in the Vanguard newspaper last week, it is clear that the former governor not only set out to mock the President but the judiciary and important national institutions as part of an orchestrated plot to divert public attention from his scam related cases.
“If President Buhari’s war against corruption as he said, was a mockery what does one say of Governor Lamido’s sworn efforts to sabotage the country’s efforts to rid itself of the cancer of corruption?
“If accountability of public officials is the very essence of a mature democracy, it is indeed ironic that a politician seeks the leadership of the country making a mockery of institutions and leaders seeking to entrench that.
“As a country, Nigeria settled for President Buhari not just as President but the watchman of people’s wealth. The citizens are happy with that and the whole world is applauding. The African Union, the AU just named him as the Champion of the war against corruption. Opposition politicians like Governor Lamido need to come to terms with the fact that their act needs updating.”