The Presidency, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari will limit his probe to the immediate past government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari had vowed, Wednesday, to arrest and prosecute former ministers and government officials who looted funds and stole Nigeria’s crude oil.
Buhari, who said the suspected officials stashed the funds in foreign bank accounts, spoke during his three-day visit to the United States.
The Presidency which said yesterday that there were trails of monumental fraud everywhere that would be too difficult to ignore, however, explained that it will be a distraction to exceed Jonathan’s regime.
Before leaving office, former president Jonathan had said any probe by the new government would be seen as a “witch-hunt” if it fails to go beyond his administration. The Presidency, however, argued that it was not a witch-hunt.
Speaking in an exclusive telephone chat, yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the probe was the proper thing to do.
His words: “It is a simple thing. Before he was inaugurated, the President said that it will be a distraction for him to start digging deep into past governments. He said so. I don’t see anything new. But it will be irresponsible of any government to leave things of the immediate past that are glaring and evident and not do anything about it.
“It is not a witch-hunt. You have evidence and they are glaring. A responsible government should do something about it. It is not about the former president. It is about how they acquitted themselves in the responsibility they were given. When you are given a public responsibility, you are responsible to the people.
“You must account. When you bury a corpse and the legs are sticking out, have you buried the corpse? No. Once there are trails of money, in dollars everywhere, a responsible government should investigate. It is not as if they are witch-hunting anybody”, he said.
We are not against it— PDP
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it was not against President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to single out the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan for probe.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, who stated this yesterday in Lokoja during the conduct of the state’s delegates congress of the party, said the probe is in line with the party (PDP)’s stand against corruption.
Metuh said: “Corruption is not only a crime against President Muhammed Buhari, nor is it a crime against the All Progressive Congress. Corruption is against the interest of mankind and it’s against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If President Buhari singled out the past administration and PDP members for probe, so be it. We are not against it. If one is not guilty he has nothing to be afraid of if he or she is singled out; at the end, it will amount to vindication for such persons. Only the guilty will be afraid.
“We (PDP) are not against the selective probe of our members because we, as a party, are against corruption, and this will show that we abhor it. We only urge that the probing is done with ‘clean’ mind and not out to villify the past administration”.
Metuh had during the week accused the Federal Government of treating the PDP as ‘prisoners of war’ in view of the way the party members were being treated.