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Information Minister Says “Corruption is Fighting Back”

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

The Federal Government (FG) has described the antipathy which has trailed the ongoing war against corruption as a fight back and therefore called on Nigerians not to be taken in by the antics of the “sponsored denunciation of the war”.

“The treasury looters, who have so much resources in their kitty, and their cohorts will throw everything but the kitchen sink at this Administration, But we have no doubt that Nigerians are discerning enough to know the truth which, in the words of President Muhammadu Buhari, is that unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria”.

These are the submissions of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed Tuesday, during his meeting in Abuja, with the Newspapers’ Abuja Chief Bureau.

Alhaji Mohammed established that the media Chiefs have big role to play in “continuously educating and informing Nigerians about the evils of corruption”, noting that the so-calledDasukigate, 2.1 billion dollars meant for the fight against Boko Haram was diverted to other uses, including over 4 billion Naira for spiritual purposes, 13 billion Naira for Maritime University land, 2.1 billion Naira for publicity and hundreds of millions of Naira for political patronage.

This, the Minister explained why the country lost many soldiers to the fight against Boko Haram, which in turn created many widows and orphans, in addition to pushing millions of Nigerians from their communities into IDP camps.

Speaking further, the FG Spokesman repeated “some have said the government is dwelling too much on the war against corruption to the detriment of other areas of governance”, but added the response to that is that, there was nothing like dwelling too much on this war.

“The situation is very grim indeed, as far as corruption is concerned. That is why we will not relent in prosecuting this war until we have decimated the monster of corruption just like we did to Boko Haram and Ebola” the Minister assured.

Mohammed said: “This Administration will neither be distracted nor intimidated by anyone into abandoning or weakening the fight against corruption, which is a war of survival for our nation. No amount of media or other attacks will stop the fight. The pseudo-analysts and hack writers will labour in vain in their quest to stop the train of this anti-corruption fight”.

Alhaji Mohammed alleged that “those who stole us dry are powerful”; they have newspapers, radio and television stations as well as online platforms, and an army of supporters to continuously deride the government’s war against corruption.

According to him, the corruption is already fighting back, and it is “fighting hard and dirty’. The Minister cited the ways the corruption has been to include sponsored articles in the newspapers and in the Social Media, while ‘Talking Heads’ have started making the rounds in the electronic media, all deriding the fight against corruption as well as this Administration.

“Not stopping there, they have been creating distractions by sponsoring articles in both local and international media to deride the Administration’s policies generally, tag the President a budding dictator and even write off his 2016 budget. We know that the sole purpose of these attacks is to distract attention from the war on corruption.

It is saddening that some otherwise credible voices have unwittingly allowed themselves to be railroaded into the bandwagon of pro-corruption orchestra. They engage sophistry to try to rally Nigerians against the anti-corruption battle. One hack writer even said the disclosure that 55 Nigerians allegedly stole 1.34 trillion Naira between 2006 and 2013 did not trigger any anger among Nigerians! A disclosure that made the front page in over a dozen Nigerian newspapers played widely in the international media and attracted the attention of the world’s most powerful country and global financial institutions cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand.

“Also, one of those who benefitted from the Dasukigate even had the temerity to deride the anti-corruption war as ‘selective’, when in saner climes, he should have been so ashamed of himself that he would have apologized to the nation and hunkered down…for good. These sponsored attacks are not about to stop. In fact, they will become more intense and more coordinated in the days ahead. But the good news is that we are winning the war. Nigerians are now talking more about corruption. Nigerians are now counting the cost of corruption to their lives” the Minister confirmed.



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