—As monarchs beg President to pardon ex-gov Nyame
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday explained that the nation’s judicial system was responsible for the slow pace witnessed in fighting corruption and completely dismantle its fangs.
The President described fighting corruption in Nigeria as a herculean task due to the disposition of the judicial system and decried the challenges his administration was facing in the efforts to wrestle graft to a standstill.
President Buhari stated this while addressing the Taraba State traditional rulers council in continuation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential campaign in Jalingo.
The President who was received earlier on arrival along with his entourage at the Danbaba Suntai Airport by Governor Dairus Ishaku, was reacting to an appeal by the monarchs to facilitate the release of the convicted former Taraba state Governor, Rev Jolly Nyame over corruption charges.
Specifically, the Emir of Muri, Abbas Tafida who represented the Chairman of the traditional Council in Taraba state, Shekaro Angyu Masaibi had sought President Buhari’s intervention for the release of Rev Nyame on compassionate ground having demonstrated remorse while in detention.
Commending President Buhari’s leadership role which he said was characterised by selflessness and commitment to rid the nation of graft, the natural ruler said the nation was in dire need of people ready to make sacrifices for the citizens.
He called on Nigerians to consider the president as God’s gift to the country.
According to him, “As a father I want to make one plea with you and I ask you to be patient. Our former Governor, Reverend Jolly Nyame is convicted of criminal acts and is now in prison. I acknowledge and accept the action of our judiciary.
“I acknowledge and accept the need to correct this country by taking punitive measures on anybody who violates the law for his selfish purpose. But as a father, Mr President sir, I want to say I have seen him and I have known that he has regretted his actions.
“I have seen him and have accepted that he has seen a lot of corrections, and as a father I cannot hide my innate sympathy.
“I will therefore, not now, but at the right time and I say it for all to hear, come with a delegation to plead for your mercy at the right time in the right manner and in consideration of the overall national interest.
“We are not going to ask you to do anything out of the way. And we are not going to change your policy of correcting Nigeria. Nigeria must be corrected and must be corrected now and you are the right person to do it.
“But, please Mr President…we here live by law and to love one of us is not out of place.”
He said as monarchs, the traditional rulers in Taraba state will not coerce citizens to vote for any particular candidate in the forthcoming elections unlike what obtained in the past.
“We are not going to force, direct or coerce anybody into voting anybody. We are going to stand neutral; we are going to guide our people into the importance of voting and standing to support their votes.
“And we call on the political participants to understand that voting is God’s gift to all of us and nobody should do anything to abuse the programme of democracy.”
Responding, President Buhari, while noting his administration’s determination to address the issues aimed at boosting the nation’s economy and fight insecurity, said his government was poised to tackle the prevailing menace of corruption besetting the country.
He said, “I have taken note of the representation of your representative about the former Governor here who was convicted with another governor.
“I have taken note of that, but look at the time it took from looking at the books to successfully prosecute him and his other colleague from Plateau state. There are a lot others.
“This system is very slow and since it is the system we have to follow it. I came in a different system I treated it differently. But I too, I was treated differently. So, I have this experience.”