Lai Mohammed Minister says Nigerians must take possession of anti-corruption war

Mohammed said the government successfully stopped the payment of phantom subsidy of between N800 billion and N1.3 trillion.

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Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed

(NAN)
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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Tuesday called on Nigerians to take possession of the anti-corruption war to ensure its success.

The minister made the call in Abuja at the inauguration of the Anti-Corruption Situation Room (ACSR), which includes Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), media groups, government agencies and other stakeholders.

He reiterated that Nigerians must not see the anti-corruption fight as President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight or the All Progressives Congress’ fight.

“Once Nigerians take possession of the war, there will be no more hiding place for the corrupt.

“Those accusing the administration of engaging in a selective anti-corruption fight will be exposed for who they are: apologists for treasury looters!’’ he said.

The minister challenged the CSOs to work with the media and other stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians never forget the damage done to the country by treasury looters.

“Those who turned our treasury to their piggy bank are once again presenting themselves as the saviours of the nation.

“They say the best time for Nigeria was when the proceeds of their corruption subsidised many and gave the illusion of economic boom.

“They are so emboldened as to say Nigerians are earnestly yearning for them. No contrition.

“No apologies, no shame, just sheer bravado, unbridled arrogance and revisionism.

“The CSOs, the media and indeed all stakeholders owe it a duty not to allow Nigerians to forget to say ‘Never Again’ to those who view Nigeria as nothing but a cash cow to be milked to death,’’ he said.

The minister said that the formation of the ACSR came at a better time that the Buhari administration’s fight against corruption was gaining momentum and the government winning the war.

He listed some of the gains of the anti-corruption fight as raising the country’s foreign reserves from 23 billion dollars to 38 billion dollars.

Mohammed said the government successfully stopped the payment of phantom subsidy of between N800 billion and N1.3 trillion.

He said 43 million dollars and 56 houses were recovered from just one official of the immediate past administration.

The minister commended those behind the formation of the ACSR, a platform to build synergy in fighting corruption.

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Earlier in his opening remarks, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, the Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) said the ACSR was the initiative of his group in partnership with other anti-corruption CSOs.

He said they were also partnering with the labour movement, the law enforcement agencies, the Parliament and the Judiciary.

Suraju said the ACSR was formed to ensure that Nigerians take ownership of the fight against corruption.

The chairman of the event, Prof. Abdullahi Shehu said “corruption is the greatest challenge to the nation’s development’’.

He said the fight against corruption must not be seen as government fight alone.

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