The Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, on Friday expressed its support for the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to limit his probe to the immediate past government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The rights organisation hinged its support for the action against the past government on four points:
1. Since President Buhari has just taken over directly from Jonathan, all facts, be it documented, oral or circumstantial, could be more easily accessible than having to begin to dissipate energy into digging into the far past which would no doubt be so time-consuming that little or no time at all would be left for actual governance, all through his tenure.
2. There is certainly the possibility that many of the sources of probe may have either been deliberately altered or obliterated outright to cover the tracks of perpetrators of many corrupt acts in time past.
3. Indisputably, a good number of the very relevant actors in corrupt cases and whose evidences would prove to be vital to the exercise may have died thus truncating its progression in the process.
4. And worse-still, such process, obviously, would prove to be so complex and cumbersome that, at a point, members of the public, quite naturally, would begin to lose interest and consequently render the entire exercise unpopular.
“President Buhari, we must recall, has been consistent in his declaration to limit his probe of activities of past government to that of his immediate predecessor.
“Even before being sworn into power, President Buhari had maintained that, he would not waste his administration’s precious time on probing every past administration before his as doing so would only amount to sheer distraction which, at the end of the day, would have left the very core of governance unattended to.
“Former President Jonathan, on the eve of his leaving office had once stated that limiting such probe to his administration would be a witch-hunting exercise; a position his party, the PDP, has also taken.
“The PDP, through its spokesman, Olisa Metuh, though expressed its support for the anti-corruption stance of the president, has urged him not to limit the probe to only the immediate past president but to all others before his,” CACOL stressed in a statement by signed by its leader, Debo Adeniran.
Adeniran said the organisation sees the stance of those calling for the extension of the probe to other past administrations as “self-defeatist, self-condemning and an obvious product of a guilty conscience.”
According to him, “these people seem to now being haunted by their past and it’s like the case of a drowning man looking for others to drag along.
For those who want the extension, he asked where they wanted Buhari to begin.
“From where and how does he (Buhari) begin? From Balewa’s government or that of Shagari’s?” He asked
Adeniran implored President Buhari to disregard distractions from people and concentrate on pursuing his anti-corruption crusade with all his vigour and ensure that “the thieves of our common wealth are exposed and punished. Nigerians expect no less from him.”
He expressed his confidence that Nigerians would their unalloyed support in every way they can to the President in the task of sanitising the polity through the crusade against corruption.
“He just must deliver; no excuse will be good enough,” Adeniran said.