Nigerians have expressed doubt over claim by President Muhammadu Buhari that many of those who looted the public treasury in the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan hadstarted returning the stolen funds to the government, demanding full disclosure on such recovered and returned loot.
The Nigerians also tasked Buhari on accountability, stressing that non-dislosure of those returning “looted funds” and how much that have been returned does not show accountability and respect for the judicial process.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, who fired the first salvo, said Buhari’s claim that many people were returning the stolen funds to his government was diversionary.
Challenging the president to tell Nigerians how much was returned and the looters who returned the stolen funds, Fayose said, “Since the purported looted funds belong to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it ought to have been paid into the Federation Account and shared by the Federal, State and Local Government.”
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said the governor wants to advise President Buhari to tackle the collapsed economy of the country headlong instead of going from one country to another, casting aspersion on Nigerians with his sing-song of fighting corruption.”
He said the President’s attitude was yet to change from that of 1984 when he was military Head of State, adding that; “Buhari’s statement in Tehran, Iran that it was easier for him as a military Head of State in 1984 to arrest corrupt individuals and put them in protective custody was a pointer to the fact that he has not changed from the dictator that he was then.
“The truth is that Buhari did not fight corruption in 1984. Rather, he persecuted great Nigerians, especially the likes Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ambrose Ali, Chief Bisi Onabanjo, Alhaji Lateef Jakandeand Chief Bola Ige, who served the people meritoriously.
“Is Buhari justifying the imprisonment of Dr Alex Ekwueme, who wasonly the Vice President or All Progressives Congress (APC) leader like Chief Bisi Akande, who only served as a Deputy Governor?”
Speaking on the prevailing fuel scarcity, he said; “As at today, Nigerians are faced with serious hardship occasioned by prolonged fuel scarcity that the Federal Government does not have any solution to. Multi-national companies are laying-off thousands of workers while contractors working for the Federal Government have left their sites. Yet, what we get to hear from the President is noise in foreign lands about non-existing fight against corruption.
“Honestly, this President should get to work and stop lying to Nigerians and the international community.”
Similarly, Bar. Austine Ejike charged Buhari to demonstrate good faith by disclosing the loot recoveries, explaining that not naming those who have allegedly returned some stolen fund was a dangerous signal that could undermine quality.