By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Reacting, President of United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said: “If the President has re-forwarded the name of the EFCC acting chairman for confirmation after he was rejected by the Senate, and he has allegedly cleared the Secretary to the Government of the Federal, SGF, Mr. Babachir Lawal, of corruption, he may have his reasons.
“For the EFFC chairman, the President is not forcing the senate to confirm him. He probably re-forwaded his name to the senate based on information at his disposal. The senate has a duty to equally look into it and take a position. If it maintains its earlier position, the senate should say so and make its finding public. Members should do their jobs with utmost patriotism, putting the interest of the nation above personal interest.”
Buhari should not use double standard—ASUU
On his part, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, told the Federal Government not to use double standard in the fight against corruption in the country.
According to him: “Obviously, anybody that hears this kind of reaction from the president will think he is shielding public officers. We think there should not be double standard. Where prima facie case has been established, it is expected that the person should step aside.
“He said the senate didn’t give him fair hearing but Senator Shehu Sani said he was given opportunity to come and defend himself. My candid advise is that government should act in a way that will not water down public perception of its seriousness on anti corruption war. Government should not give impression that it has double standard; one for perceived enemies, the other one for those in government.”
It’s wrong for Buhari to clear SGF—SSANU
Similarly, President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, Samson Chijioke Ugwoke, faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged clearance of the Secretary to the Government of the Federal, SGF, over corruption allegations.
Ugwoke contended that it was not the responsibility of the presidency to investigate the SGF who is directly under him, rather the duty of the anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offence Commission, ICPC, and other bodies to probe the allegations.
He said: “It is wrong for Buhari to come and say that the SGF has been cleared. There is no smoke without fire. He should tell us how he was cleared. People have been complaining that those working with the president are spared of the anti-corruption fight. There have been cases of corruption against some ministers around him, he says nothing and went ahead to send their names to the senate. To me, it is improper and it goes to show that the President is not serious with the fight against corruption.
“Look at what is happening in a university where a Vice Chancellor was accused of corruption with evidence and he was investigated, yet he is still in office. The President should come out clear and start with his own people and not his perceived enemies or those he feels are in the opposition party. This is an assumption people are having and the way he is handling the corruption fight shows he is not serious.
“See the case of Magu, see a very strong DSS report which investigated his past, life style as a police officer. A person living above his earning and living a flamboyant life, see the report of the senate which many feel was correct and see the position of the President on the matter.”
Buhari should restore confidence in his anti-corruption fight—ASUP
Also reacting, the President of Academic Staff a Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Yusuf Dutse, said President Buhari before his election in 2015, had promised not to spare anybody in his fight against corruption but the reverse appeared to be the case.
Dutse said the President should provide a level play ground where reports and issues are fairly treated, adding, “But when people are covered, the intention will be eroded.”
He claimed the senate committee had come up with its report that indicted the SGF and the president had also said that a committee was set up to look into the allegations and that it was proper to put the two reports side by side to know the veracity of the allegations.
According to him: “When President Buhari assumed office, he said he was not going to spare anybody. But today, it appears the corruption fight has been eroded. He should do more to restore the confidence that he is really fighting corruption.”