In the manner in which he was removed prematurely as head of state, President Muhammadu Buhari revealed that he was overthrown as a military leader of the country in 1985 for fighting corruption through anti corruption crusade. The president made this assertion on Tuesday while commissioning the newly completed office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said he was removed from office for fighting corruption.
Buhari said : “My first attempt to fight corruption, corruption fought back successfully. I was removed from office and detained for three years,”.
He said although the corrupt would always fight back, he would not be intimidated, adding that the Federal Government was determined to make a success of it.
President Buhari’s claim differs from that of United States of America which said under his regime corruption has become pervasive. Also, the Transparency International annual report on corruption shows Nigeria’s effort to curb the menace under his regime has yielded no fruit.
“War of corruption is not an easy one to fight, because it affects so many different branches of our lives, so much that some people do not even consider breaking trust is anymore a crime. It has become the norm. That is why we must fight this attitude and encourage Nigerians to change their attitudes and perspectives.
“The goal of this Administration is to ensure the protection of public trust, and the anti-corruption war is at its centre. We never intended, and we are not engaged in witch-hunt, but we are determined within the laws to call people to account.
“It is for this reason that we appeal to Nigerians to support regulatory agencies, like Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, because fighting corruption is everyone’s concern. I call on the Judiciary and the National Assembly to join hands in this national effort.
“I am glad to note that quite a number of nations are signifying interest to help us tighten their laws and enter into agreements with Nigeria to repatriate not only stolen funds but to make the culprits face due process of law.
“We are committed to working with our foreign friends to stop the inflow of stolen funds from Nigeria into their countries and recovering what is there already. These assets, when repatriated will be put to building our infrastructure,”The president stated.
Buhari said with the anti-graft war by his administration, everyone now knows that corrupt officials will be held to account no matter how long it takes.
He said although the completion of the complex was significant, it is also a sign of Nigerians’ resolve to fight corruption.
Nigerians could still recalled that Mr Buhari, a retired major general in the Nigerian Army served as the nation’s head of state from December 1983 and was ousted in August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. He was elected president in 2015 after several attempts.