•EFCC secured 486 convictions in 28 months –Magu
James Ojo; Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari opened up on circumstances that forced him out of power on August 27, 1985, yesterday, when he inaugurated the new Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters in Abuja, yesterday,
The president said his resolve to fight corruption forced him out as military Head of State.
Now, as civilian president, Buhari declared before Nigerians and the international community that although corruption will continue to fight back, he will not be deterred.
This was just as the EFCC said it has secured 486 convictions in two and half years.
In the same vein, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, admitted that although Buhari is globally acclaimed to corruption-free, he is not the only one free of corruption in Nigeria.
Dogara added that there are millions of Nigerians who are also not corruptand added; “there are millions of Nigerians that have not bowed their knees to the god of corruption and that fact must be emphasised.”
Earlier, Buhari, who spoke off-the-cuff at first, said: “My last time to fight corruption, corruption fought back successfully, I was removed and detained for three years.
“I was in detention when my mother died. I was only released when she died but that did not deter me. In spite of that, my objective of fighting corruption remains steadfast.”
He added: “Throughout my journey in national service and, since 2015, I have made a very conscious decision to pursue a vigorous fight against corruption in public life.
“Since 2015, we have made significant progress in the fight against corruption. Everyone now knows that corrupt officials will be held to account, no matter how long it takes. We have recovered and are still recovering trillions of naira that were stolen in the past few years by people without conscience. We are pursuing recoveries everywhere and are making sure that anyone who has been found culpable is made to answer for his or her crime under the law.
“It is my hope and expectation that the Judiciary, which is a critical stakeholder and partner in the war against corruption, would continue to collaborate with the Executive to bring corrupt people to book.”
Buhari also called on the Legislature, which provides the legal framework for the anti-corruption war “to add more verve to government’s determination to rid our nation of the brazen corruption witnessed in recent years, through reviewing archaic provisions in our laws and proactive passage of new legislation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, an American author and philanthropist, Anthony Robbins once said: ‘The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.’ He said, in other words, that if you are determined, no obstacle will be big enough to stand in your way.
“What I see here is not only a structure of concrete and metal, I see in this edifice, the resolve of Nigerians to fight corruption.”