In an exclusive interview with SaharaTV correspondent, Adeola Fayehun, Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, discussed a host of issues ranging from Radio Biafra to Boko Haram. In the interview Mr. Shehu said that President Buhari has vowed to the bring back funds stolen by government officials in the past.
When asked about whether former Minister of Commerce Onyaku went to the Presidential Villa to beg President Buhari not to probe members of President Jonathan’s cabinet, Shehu denied that Onyaku asked Buhari to not probe Jonathan.
Mr. Shehu admitted that he is not at liberty to say whether or not Jonathan’s ministers would be probed, he reaffirmed that Buhari administration is commitment to recovering stolen money.
“Whoever has taken money from Nigeria that does not belong to them, Buhari’s word is to bring it back,” Shehu stated.
Fayehun also asked Mr. Shehu about issues concerning the Nigerian military’s fight against Boko Haram. Amongst them was the recent replacement of the nation’s military Chiefs and whether the Hausa tribe was overrepresented in Buhari’s selections.
Shehu responded that “merit was the yardstick that was used to generate these appointments. I don’t think it will be helpful for us to be counting the number of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo appointments. That’s why the country is in the position where it is today.
“[President Buhari] has over 6,000 appointments to make. Now why would anyone use less than 10 appointments to judge a President on this matter? Again, it balls down to the lack of patience,” Shehu added.
Concerning the recent reemergence of Biafra Radio Mr. Shehu made it a point to say that it was a fringe effort to ineffectively dissolve the country.
”The issue of the oneness of the country had been settled by the civil government, and Nigerians have moved on. I don’t think people should take this fringe group seriously because they do not represent the majority of the country.”
Responding to the rumors that the U.S. will try to push President Buhari a reverse Nigerian anti-gay law and during his visit to Washington D.C. next week he emphasized the importance of the opinion of the country as a whole.
“The president of Nigeria will address the question when it is raised. Even if President Buhari holds a contrary opinion, he is one person, and he cannot ignore the domestic opinion of the country.”