President Muhammadu Buhari has said that during his rule as a military head of state, he was ousted from office and detained for three years for fighting corruption.
The President stated this at the inauguration of the new corporate headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The President, who ruled from December 1983 to August 1985 before he was ousted in a coup by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), said all the corrupt persons that were arrested during his administration were released while the loot recovered from them were returned.
“This government promised to fight corruption but corruption will continue to fight back. (During) my first attempt to fight corruption, corruption fought back successfully.
I was removed as the head of state, detained for three years and people who we recovered stolen money from were given back their money and I remained in detention up until my mother had to die to save me from detention.”
However, he went on to express how he was steadfast, unmovable and committed to fight graft despite obstacles surrounding him.
The President also denied allegations that his government embarked on witch-hunts in the fight against graft.
He explained that since his inception in 2015 his Administration has been recovering embezzled money from the people that doesn’t have conscience as he described.
“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 therefore called on the legislature who are incharged of the legal framework for the anti-corruption war to put on more work in supporting the government to erase the corrupt practice in the country.
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