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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Jonathan, Tinubu fight over corruption

National leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, took the immediate administration headed by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the cleaner. According to him, the former president got a red card in governance but won a gold medal in corruption.

However, Jonathan dismissed the claim that corruption was elevated to a gold medal status under his administration, as insisted that happenings in the last two years have shown that the incumbent administration has taken corruption to a frightening level.

Tinubu alleged that under the former president, so much money grew feet and ran faster than Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt.

This is as President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration had demonstrated its intolerance for corruption, warning that any public official caught will face the full wrath of the law.

According to him, Nigeria has now regained international respect as a result of its fight against corruption, with a lot of leaders now indicating interest to visit on monthly basis.

The duo spoke at the presentation of a book: "Making steady, sustainable progressive for Nigeria's peace and prosperity: A mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration," packaged by the presidential media team, at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.

According to Tinubu, "the prior (Jonathan's) government used the public treasury as a private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves.

"So much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush.

"One minister and her rogues' gallery picked the pocket of this nation for billions of dollars. While poor at governance, these people could give a master thief lessons in the sleight of hand. In governance, they earned a red card but in corruption, they won the gold medal.

"It was not that our institutions had become infected by corruption.Corruption has become institutionalised."

The former Lagos State governor said though the war on corruption has not been won, President Buhari has set an axe to what he called, "the root of this dangerous tree."

He noted that gone were the days when a minister could pilfer billions of dollars as easily as plucking a piece of candy from the table.

"We have much to do to combat this disease. Not only must we track down the takers. In the long term, we must review the salaries of public servants and create universal credits for our people to reduce temptation."

This is even as he said if Jonathan had remained in power, Boko Haram would have taken more territory and devoured more people.

"This nation might have been divided and cut asunder, not by choice but by the knife of terrorism."

He said though Boko Haram has not been completely defeated, it has been decimated and made shorter and weaker.

"They shall never constitute the threat they once were," he noted.

Tinubu also advised that Nigeria must urgently move towards true federalism, adding that it could not grow without robust industrial capacity.

He noted that the Buhari administration has changed the story of Nigeria for good in the last two years.

Jonathan's reaction

Jonathan in a statement by his former special assistant on New Media, Reno Omokri urged Tinubu to look at the verdict of the Transparency International on the state of corruption when the government was under his watch.

The statement read:

"First of all, the only global body for monitoring corruption is Transparency International which releases an annual Corruption Perception Index.

"It is a fact that Nigeria made her most improvement in Transparency International's annual Corruption Perception Index in 2014 under President Jonathan when we moved from 144 to 136 representing an improvement of eight points.

"Transparency International observed the Jonathan administration's fight against corruption in Nigeria's fertilizer procurement 
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