By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
LAGOS — The war against corruption will remain a priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration irrespective of mutterings from home, the Federal Government said yesterday.
Speaking during an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, bemoaned the effect of corruption in the development of the country, saying the N55 billion allegedly received by 21 persons from the Office of the National Security Adviser was more than the N52 billion earmarked by the former government for zonal intervention programmes.
Noting the determination of supposedly corrupt persons to derail the anti-graft war and as such endanger the development programmes of the administration, Mohammed said it was instructive that the efforts of the Buhari administration had been acknowledged by the international community.
He said: “Some have said the government is dwelling too much on the war against corruption to the detriment of other areas of governance. Our response to that is that indeed, there is nothing like dwelling too much on this war. The situation is very grim indeed, as far as corruption is concerned. That is why the Federal Government is embarking on this sensitization campaign. Our approach, which is to count the cost of corruption, is not to vilify anyone but to use facts and figures to give Nigerians a sense of what corruption has done to their lives.
Acknowledging the support of the United States government in the battle, he said: “The Federal Government is delighted that the anti-corruption war being led by President Muhammadu Buhari has been acknowledged and applauded on a global stage.
“It is particularly gratifying that in that speech, Mr. Kerry made the link between corruption and terrorism. We agree that corruption is indeed a radicalizer because it destroys faith in legitimate authority. Let me remind you, gentlemen, that radicalization is a key causative factor of terrorism,” Mohammed said during a meeting with News and Political Editors in Lagos, yesterday.