President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken publicly for the first time on the allegations of corruption against the leaderships of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying that appointees in both his administration and the previous one had abused their trust.
Speaking after observing his Eid prayers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, he expressed delight that some stolen assets were being “recovered, sold and proceeds put into the Single Treasury Account (TSA), which is inaccessible to the corruption persons involved.”
On how he felt about recent revelations at the EFCC and the NDDC, the president said: “There has been an abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration.
“A number of assets have been recovered and some money. But we have introduced TSA where all the monies are taken and I said asset should be sold and the money be put through TSA so that it can be identified at any level and I will see who will come after us and take it back again to those who misappropriated public funds.”
Assuring that all past and present cases would be fully investigated, he said “this is why we put the Commission (of investigation) in place.”
President Buhari decried the wastage of the resources earmarked to better the lives of the people of the region, lamenting that corruption had not been helpful in that regard, especially “if you recall there is the 13 per cent derivation.”
He warned against the vandalism of oil pipelines in the oil-producing areas, saying: “Those who are blowing pipelines and interfering with the production of petroleum products are hurting their people more than the rest of Nigerians because the majority of their people are fishermen, fisherwomen and farmers. Now if they pollute the land and the waters, the fish goes into the deeper sea where the people cannot go and they cannot grow anything. They are hurting their immediate communities more than any other thing.”
On security, the president recalled that his administration inherited Boko Haram in the North-east and the Niger Delta militants in 2015, saying that government had done its best to contain them.
On the Eid el-Kabir, he said: “I wish Nigerians the best of luck. In the Eid el-Kabir sermon, the Imam has said it all; we want security, prosperity and well being of all Nigerians. We want Nigerians to be very conscious of their country.
“I want Nigerians to be very conscious of their country and what we inherited when we came in 2015 was Boko Haram – North-east and the militants, the South-south. Nigerians know that we have done our best.
“What is coming up in the North-west and North-central is very disturbing indeed, but I believe the military, the police and other law enforcement agencies from the report I am getting, I think they could do much better. They could do much better, but we are keeping them on the alert all the time to do their duties.”