Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari is bent on recovering all government property still in the possession of former officials of the West African country, the presidency said Monday.
A spokesman of the Nigerian president Garba Shehu told reporters a committee laden with the responsibility of recovering the public assets from former political appointees will soon swing into action.
The president’s decision, according to Shehu, is coming ahead of the target to recover all stolen resources of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and the broader campaign against corruption.
“The property belong to the Nigerian people. We are not trying to humiliate anyone by asking them to return their cars or houses,” the presidential spokesman said.
However, Buhari’s anti-graft campaign and decision to drastically reduce corruption in Nigeria is likely to face big obstacles as some people may perceive it as “political witch-hunting” rather than a noble cause.
Yinka Fayomade, a local political analyst, said the president’s anti-graft campaign is perceived in some quarters as being lopsided and all-out to pull down major opponents.
“With this, no matter how genuine the intentions of Buhari may be, some people, especially the opposition party will continue to find faults. And this will create a big stumbling block on the path the Nigerian president will thread to rid the country of corruption,” Fayomade opined.
Already, the Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress party (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are bickering over the war against corruption. On Sunday, the two political groups, in separate press statements, disagreed over the direction at which the anti-graft campaign was heading.
The opposition party accused the governing party of playing to the gallery, saying the APC-led government should get serious with the fight against corruption by investigating and prosecuting corrupt persons, while moving on with the demands of governance, especially in fulfilling their campaign promises for which they were voted into office.
In its own statement, the governing party described as spine-chilling and mind-boggling the massive looting of Nigeria’s treasury by public officials, saying nothing but total recovery of the funds and property will be acceptable to all patriotic citizens of the African nation.
Fayomade said: “in a situation like this, when there is no unified force to fight corruption, trouble looms, and this might threaten democracy.” Enditem