Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption War Tainted By Politics, Says Shehu Sani

Shehu-SaniHuman rights activist and Senator representing Kaduna Central District in the Senate, Shehu Sani, on Tuesday challenged the Code of Conduct Bureau to look into the assets’ declarations of former governors who were in office at about the same time when the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki was a governor.

The senator spoke at the 8th Forum of the laureates of Nigerian National Order of Merit in Abuja, where he lamented that Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign is largely driven by political considerations.

According to Sani, after insurgency, no issue should be in the front burner of national discourse more than corruption, warning that political considerations could scuttle the anti-graft war.

The rights activist-turned politician noted that corruption had consequences, referring to the ongoing investigation into arms deal supervised by the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

“Corruption has consequences as seen in the arrest of those in charge of security in the last administration”, Mr. Sani said.

“Insurgency is for some, [an] industry, business enterprise and means of making money.

“Even Governors would say they allocate hundreds of millions to security but when you go there you won’t find anything.

“They say because of allocation to security they can’t build schools. So it is for all of us to see why we have not won the war against insurgency and why people are killed because of corruption”, he said.

“Politics mixed with corruption will take us nowhere”, Sen. Sani declared.

He noted that “It is only in Nigeria that one says because somebody has contributed to the success of the ruling party, corruption charges should be withdrawn against him. But if he falls out of favour tomorrow, then, EFCC will bring up the remaining charges”.

Sani queried why the Federal Government would arraign Mr. Saraki for alleged false declaration of assets when he was Governor of Kwara State, without causing same action against others who were equally governors at the time when the Senate President was.

“If Saraki is tried for falsely declaring his assets since 2003, CCB should do same to all others who served in that era.

“Many issues that have to do with laws are stained by politics and they lose their credibility”, he said.

Speaking further, Sen. Sani challenged public office holders to publicly declare their assets.

He said, “After President Muhammadu Buhari declared his assets, I followed him and did same. But only about three of us have done so out of all public officials in the country.

“Some people will say they are like Buhari in everything. When he says change, they also say change. But on the issue of asset declaration, they failed to be like President Buhari”.

He also reiterated the support of the National Assembly for President Buhari and assured that the Senate is ready to get and utilize inputs from the public.

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