1st July, 2012
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday denied insinuations that he has been soft in the fight against corruption.
In a press release signed by Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on media and publicity, the President said he has “noted with concern recent reports, comments and agitations aimed at creating the totally false impression that the Jonathan Administration is not doing enough to curb corruption in Nigeria”, a claim which it described as false.The President said in the statement that he clearly enunciated his Administration’s zero tolerance for corruption on his assumption of office and has since worked to strengthen the nation’s anti-corruption agencies for greater efficiency and effectiveness.He added that nothing has been done or left undone underhis watch to justify the labelling of his Administration as “soft on corruption”.
“He has appointed a tried and tested corruption investigator to head the EFCC. He declined to swear in a nominee for the chairmanship of the ICPC when questions were raised by the public about the propriety of his nomination and clearance by the Senate; and recently nominated a more acceptable replacement”, the Presidency listed as some of the actions the Presidency has taken to indicate his strong resolve to fight corruption.
While noting that the allegations that the administration is soft on corruption arise from the perception of its handling of the reports of probes that have been undertaken into the management of fuel subsidies in the country, the President re- assured Nigerians that appropriate punishment will be meted out to all those indicted over the issue.
“President Jonathan wishes to reaffirm, once again, that there will be no sacred cows in the matter and that any organization or individual found guilty of fraud or corruption will ultimately face the full weight of sanctions prescribed by the extant laws of the country. The Presidency added that the report of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidies has already been referred by the President to the EFCC through the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.
“In compliance with the President’s clear and unequivocal directives, the EFCC is currently undertaking a thorough and painstaking investigation of all indictments made by the committee with a view to establishing water-tight cases that will be taken before courts of competent jurisdiction as quickly as possible.
“The report of the Committee headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede which was set up by the Federal Government to verify fuel subsidypayments has also been received and is being expeditiously reviewed. Appropriate action will follow.
“President Jonathan urges Nigerians to be patient and assured that the guilty will definitely not go unpunished as justice will certainly be done in the matter”, ”, the Presidency added while listing other measures being the administration has taken in the fight against corruption.
“It is also noteworthy that to strengthen ongoing reforms and transformation of Nigeria’s Petroleum sector, and in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government, President Jonathan recently approved the re-composition of the executive management team of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“Furthermore, in continuation of efforts by his Administration to sanitize Nigeria’s entire petroleum sector, entrench probity, transparency and accountability, and rid the sector of fraud and corruption to ensure that ordinary Nigerians enjoy more benefits from this God-given natural resource, President Jonathan has directed that the report of the technical committee which reviewed the Petroleum Industry Bill be speedily evaluated and appraised by relevant government ministries and presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval before being returned to the National Assembly for speedy promulgation.
“President Jonathan remains fully committed to the diligent and effective implementation of his Administration’s Agenda for National Transformation and the eradication of official corruption which is evidently antithetical to the attainment of the stated goals of his administration.
“In the prosecution of the war against corruption, President Jonathan believes that the interests of national peace, stability, progress and development override all other considerations and are therefore beyond any compromise.
“The President continues to uphold this belief in all his private and official actions. “He therefore urges Nigerians to be wary of those who seek to heat up the polity by politicizing the issue of qcorruption in the pursuit of their selfish personal and sectional agenda”, the Presidency concluded in the statement.