By Lukman Olabiyi, SunNews
THE Federal Government, yesterday, got more knocks over its decision to clear the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on his acquisition of properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
The National Conscience Party (NCP) described the action of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as a ridicule to his anti-corruption campaign.
Speaking to Daily Sun on the clean bill of health handed the army chief, National General Secretary of the party, Comrade Ayodele Akele noted that it was a double standard, which has shown clear the ambivalent stand of government on anti-corruption war.
He said President Buhari’s administration was not sincere about its so-called anti-corruption campaign.
“The allegation against Buratai is a grievous offence which the government should have used to serve as deterrent to other civil servants.
“Apart from the allegation, human rights abuse in Buratai’s tenure is something that must be looked into; this government need not to be prompted before it ‘handcuffs’ Buratai.
“Buratai’s clearance is a big shame and a dent on the war against corruption being fought by President Buhari. It also shows that the corruption war is a witch-hunt and selective,” he said.
Also, the national deputy chairman of Joint Action Front (JAF), Achike Chide, condemned the action in clear terms.
He stated tha the clearance has vindicated oppositions who were crying of witch-hunting.
“This government does not mean business on anti-corruption war. I believe it has exposed the hypocrisy of the Buhari administration as not fighting the war against corruption on a clean slate.
“Since inception of this campaign, we are yet to see anyone from the ruling party being prosecuted and they want us to believe that they are fighting corruption?”
He said there was no reason Buratai should not face prosecution over such weighty allegation of mismanaging public fund when the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh was standing trial over allegation of mismanagement of public fund.
He said: “I just don’t know the kind of country that we operate. Tukur Buratai is a serving officer. There are some serving military officers that the government is also trying on allegations of corruption. How much was Buratai’s salary as at the time he invested in the property. We are not bothered by the fact that government has said the property does not belong to him; it is immaterial whether the property belongs to him or not.
“The fact is where did he get that kind of money to invest in such a property, whether jointly or solely, as a public office holder? That is the issue. He can be the best soldier that the Nigerian army has but when it comes to the issue of fighting corruption, we should be seen to be above board.
“If the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh is being tried for acquiring property with public fund, why would Buratai’s case be different? What the Nigerian army has done with the Buratai case is to say that some animal are more equal than the others. So, because he is serving in the government now, he can do no wrong and so he is quickly and hurriedly investigated and cleared? Only God knows if they even investigated him at all. What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. If you are truly fighting corruption, you should be above board.”
He said Buratai should step aside to allow proper investigation into the allegation by the anti-graft agencies.
“I have also expected Buratai to step aside just as I had expected Bukola Saraki to do. The moment an allegation like this is brought against you as a public office holder, you step aside and allow civil authority to investigate the matter. Why is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not investigating it? Why is it that the FG hurriedly came out to clear him? It is a dent on the anti-corruption war that is already dented anyway,” he submitted.