By Kingsley Omonobi & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJAAs eminent Nigerians continued to urge the Buhari administration to tread cautiously in the fight against corruption and perceived looters of the commonwealth, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday, asked  President Muhammadu Buhari to jail those found guilty of embezzlement while their property should be confiscated.

 I-G SOLOMON ARASE (2ND R), PRESENTING A SOUVENIR TO PRESIDENT  MUHAMMADU BUHARI (4TH-L), DURING THE NATIONAL SECURITY SUMMIT 2015 IN  ABUJA ON MONDAY (17/8/15).WITH THEM ARE  GOV. DANKWANBO IBRAHIM OF GOMBE,  (3RD R),SULTAN OF SOKOTO, MUHAMMADU SA'AD ABUBAKAR III  (L), FORMER  INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, MR SUNDAY ADEWUSI (R) AND OTHERS
I-G SOLOMON ARASE (2ND R), PRESENTING A SOUVENIR TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI (4TH-L), DURING THE NATIONAL SECURITY SUMMIT 2015 IN ABUJA ON MONDAY (17/8/15).WITH THEM ARE GOV. DANKWANBO IBRAHIM OF GOMBE, (3RD R),SULTAN OF SOKOTO, MUHAMMADU SA’AD ABUBAKAR III (L), FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, MR SUNDAY ADEWUSI (R) AND OTHERS

The Sultan spoke on a day President Buhari declared that there was no going back on the anti-graft war and no amount of pressure will derail him.

Speaking against the background of the President’s anti-corruption crusade at the National Security Summit 2015 organized by the Nigeria Police and The Sun Newspapers in Abuja, the Sultan said: “We are 100 per cent in support of your fight against corruption in this country. It is our belief that all those found guilty should not only have their entire assets seized and forfeited to government but also they should face jail sentences. In order to establish a decent state, corruption must be fought to a standstill”.

Drawing an analogy of the polluted source of a spring, which affects the entire water coming from there, he said: “We have a pure spring in our President Muhammadu Buhari today.”

Also citing the culture of leadership in the days of the Caliphate, the Sultan said of his ancestors: “On his employees, the ruler must urge his caliphate leaders to estimate their wealth before appointing them, and should watch their conduct at all times. He shall confiscate whatever is in excess of their legitimate income, and if in doubt confiscate half of it.”

On community partnership in crime prevention, he said: “Traditional leaders have continued to enjoy a pride of place in the national security architecture. What has contributed to the success of traditional institutions in managing security includes the majority of the community who share in the subsisting values that subordinates individual and private interest to the general interest of the society.

“Regardless of how many mosques or churches you have built or the charitable works you have carried out, the community will still wish to know the source of your wealth; the respectability you desire will only be conferred when the legitimacy of this source is verified and certified. To ensure that our security agencies become truly a 21st century outfit with the ability to discharge their mandate effectively, we should be able to cater for their operational needs and the welfare of their members, so that when we say they serve and protect they should be able to do that.

“We should endeavour to build sturdy bridges and bridge the gaps between our security agencies and the communities. The record of the recent past is before us. Whatever we do should be meaningful and sustainable.

“The Nigerian Police and other security agencies must join the crusade against corruption. Regardless of how well-trained and equipped (you are) you cannot attain your full potentials if corruption and corrupt elements grace the corridors. Those who corrupt our national institutions from the outside must face the same consequences as those who do it from  within.

“I also wish to call upon you, to institute a national integrity plan for this country as soon as feasible, which we believe will refocus our moral, ethical and spiritual energies and the indefatigable spirit of our people into building a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic country which shall take its pride of place in the comity of nations”.

I won’t succumb to pressure — Buhari

Meanwhile, in what seems like a direct response to those calling for a halt of probes, President  Buhari has said that he would not succumb to pressure on the anti-graft war.

He said he contested and got elected by Nigerians to correct anomalies of the past.

According to him, time has come for Nigeria to change course, saying that it was no longer business as usual.

Addressing a group of Nigerians who marched to the Presidential Villa under the name “Nigerians March Against Corruption”, in solidarity with the President’s efforts at stamping out corruption so far, President Buhari promised a relentless prosecution of the war against corruption, with due regard for the rule of law.

According to him,  all persons found culpable will be prosecuted and upon conviction, forfeit their ill-gotten wealth to government.

“I believe it is time for Nigeria to change course. That is why I sought election as President and got  elected. As President, I am determined that Nigeria must move away from a course of endemic corruption that was leading us to perdition.

“There can be no question of our wilfully allowing anyone to get away with corruption. No matter the pressure and entreaties, the anti-corruption war will continue and all accused persons will have their day in court,” the President said.

President Buhari who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, also reiterated his resolve to end insurgency and create more jobs for Nigerians, especially the youth.

He also called for the continued support and solidarity of Nigerians to his government.

Meanwhile, the protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions among which were “President and VP must declare their assets, “I voted Buhari to fight corruption”, “Govs and their deputies must declare their  assets”, “NASS, epitome of corruption” was led by Aisha Yesufu.

Essentially, their protest followed remarks by some Nigerians who were apparently getting uncomfortable by the wave of probes which may soon blow across the country.

Other leaders of the group who spoke pledged their support for the anti-corruption crusade of President Buhari, urging the President not to be deterred by the stance of the critics.

10,000 more policemen, CCTV coming

In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the federal government would be putting in place appropriate framework that will facilitate the employment of an extra 10, 000 policemen.

Additionally, he said government is to establish properly trained and equipped federal anti-terrorism, multi-agency task force that will effectively address the challenge of Boko Haram and any form of insurgency in a sustainable manner.

President Buhari who spoke at the one-day National Security Summit  in Abuja said: “In order to further strengthen the security of the public space, consideration is being given to the expansion of the CCTV monitoring system across major cities and towns in the country while police accountability mechanism will be strengthened.”

According to the President, “The need for community input to policing and crime management in Nigeria has even become more imperative considering our current national security challenges in which kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, transnational crimes, terrorism and other organized crimes have evolved to threaten our national values and developmental strides.

“While it is understandable that unemployment, illiteracy, radicalization, negative peer-group influence, substance abuse and erosion of family and moral values are social factors that underline criminal tendency, the reality remains that the task of addressing these challenges is that of parents, communities and the state.”

Disclosing that efforts were being made to enhance the operational capacity of officers of the Nigeria Police force through tailor-made training programmes that would give them the right civil orientation in their roles as guardians of the constitution, the President said his administration will encourage the development of state-level community policing under a model that will integrate members of the community to policing functions at the grassroots level.

Commending the leadership of the police force for appreciating the yearnings of members of the public by ordering the dismantling of police road blocks which have consistently constituted a dark side of policing and object of discord between the police and the citizenry, Buhari said the initiative of the IGP to introduce the ‘Safer Highway Motorized Patrol Scheme’ and deployment of 555 patrol vehicles along all major highways to fill the void created has reassured the citizens of their safety and security”.

In his remarks, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar called on the federal and state governments to face the task of reforming and re-positioning our national institutions; including the Nigeria Police force and related agencies.

“It is imperative, to ensure that our security agencies truly become 21st century organizations able to discharge their mandates effectively and efficiently. We should be able to cater to their operational needs and to the welfare of their members. When we state that they serve and protect, we should mean it by word and deed.

“Secondly, our national security agencies must join the crusade against corruption, with commitment and determination. Regardless of how well trained and equipped an organization is, it cannot attain its full potential if it allows corruption and corrupt elements to grace its corridors. Those who conspire to corrupt our national institutions from the outside must face the same consequences as those who do it from within”, the Sultan said.

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