The Presidency has replied the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for saying President Goodluck Jonathan’s tolerance for corruption is partially responsible for insecurity in the country.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, it described Odigie-Oyegun statement as ‘unsubstantiated and frivolous.’
Punch reports that Abati, during an interview said APC’s national chairman remark only confirmed the Presidency’s position that the opposition party always plays politics with everything.
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The presidential spokesman questioned if corruption was also responsible for terrorism in other countries where insurgents were operating.
“We have always made a point that the APC is and has been playing politics with everything. He is talking about corruption being responsible for terrorism and insurgency that does not sound like an educated position. Is it corruption that is also responsible for terrorism in Syria, Afghanistan and Columbia? He is using a serious national challenge of terrorism to play politics, it is very cheap. The security forces are doing their best to put an end to terrorism and insurgency and nobody can doubt the fact that President Jonathan has shown great determination in combating the terrorists and ensuring the protection of lives and property. The APC chairman sounded in his statement as if he does not live in Nigeria, so he found it difficult to appreciate the efforts that are being put into the terrorism war,”Abati said.
He further argued that those who were swift to indict Jonathan-led administration of condoning corruption were really the most corrupt Nigerians, and pointed out that when the government wanted to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry in order to halt corruption, it was the APC chiefs who opposed the decision.
“Most of those who comment about corruption are probably the most corrupt in this country. Should we ask him to do an assessment of the states that are run by the APC because it is not enough to just talk about body language and make some kind of spurious allegations. He wants to turn the issue of corruption into a campaign issue. He wants to use it to malign the integrity of the Presidency and the government. He does not sound convincing at all because if anything, this administration has combated corruption. I always give an example that the whole idea of the deregulation of the downstream sector was to check corruption in the downstream sector. Was it not Odigie-Oyegun and his bedfellows who opposed that effort by this government to deal with that issue? He has no moral basis to talk about corruption. In fact, they were the ones championing corruption in the downstream sector by insisting that government should not clean up the downstream sector,” Abati said.
Speaking also on the Transparency International index, Abati asserted that the recent report shows an improvement in the corruption fight.
“The last Transparency International index showed an improvement in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. You may say that the quantum of the improvement is small but it has been noticed even by TI that something is being done to deal with the issue,” he said.
Abati, however, advised Odigie-Oyegun that if really his party is seeking power, they should tell Nigerians what APC can do.
Meanwhile, it was reported on Thursday that for the umpteenth time, the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC, has blamed the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration for the massive corruption in Nigeria.
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently took a swipe at the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba over the recent crisis at the National Assembly.