Again, President Muhammadu Buhari has come to the rescue of his ministers and aides, absolving them of any corrupt practices. Recall that the president had, during his first media chat last December, said none of his ministers was corrupt. President Muhammadu Buhari flanked by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Water Resources Minister, Engr. Suleiman Adamu (5r) while other Members of Council watched in a group photograph shortly after the swearing-in ceremony of the newly composed Federal Executive Council at the Aso Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 11/11/2015
“I don’t think I tolerate corruption, I don’t think I picked anybody that I know will embarrass my government. But if you have any evidence about any of my ministers, I accept responsibility for the 36 ministers that I have. I don’t think I took anybody among the ministers who has got a case in court. Tell me one out of the 36. I don’t think I will deliberately make that mistake”, he said. Asked if he would sack any of the ministers if he or she is charged to court for corruption, he said: “No, I will insist that the case go through the courts.” Again,the president, Monday, gave a clean bill of health to his ministers, appealing to discerning Nigerians to ignore orchestrated attempts to destroy their integrity. The president also extended the same clearance to senior government officials, who were being tarred with the brush of corruption without any concrete evidence.
He spoke against the background of reports, particularly by online media, that the immediate past Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who is also Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, was being investigated over crude oil swap deals and gas liftings during his tenure as GMD of the petroleum corporation. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, President Buhari appealed for decent and civilized comments, particularly when it has to do with the integrity of those who are serving the country.
“Terrible and unfounded comments about other people’s integrity are not good. We are not going to spare anybody who soils his hands, but people should please wait till such individuals are indicted,” the President said. President Buhari reiterated the administration’s commitment to probity, accountability and integrity, promising that transparency remained a watchword that defined his administration.