As many Nigerians yet to unravel the main reason why President Muhammadu Buhari reneged his earlier promise to name the looters of the nation's treasury on May 29th as he marked his one year in office, fact has emerged that the President forced to drop the decision former President Olusegun Obasanjo and some cabals in political class, News Punch has learnt
President Muhammadu Buhari in a move to convince skeptical Nigerians that his government is fighting corruption, had some weeks ago hinted he was going to name those who had looted the nation’s treasury on Democracy day.
However, the day came and went by, but Nigerians were not told the identity of those stealing away their common patrimony.
It was gathered that President 11th hour decision not to name the looters due to political exigencies involved, apart from the legal exigencies earlier given by the government, Ripples Nigeria reports
According to the report, some political heavyweights led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, waded in to analyse the collateral risks of such venture to the President. They argued that naming the looters might set the nation on fire.
A source in the presidency said: “You know these looters have hangers-on and beneficiaries that are willing to die for them.
“The truth is that corruption is the biggest industry in this country. Now, if you name the looters, you are fighting an entrenched cabal and this government can do without such battle for now.”
He also noted that the mood of the nation is not disposed to naming looters, with many Nigerians complaining of cash crunch.
“You are aware some people have started saying we should bring back Jonathan and corruption because of hunger in the land.
“Nigerians don’t care about looting as long as some crumbs get to them. So, realising this, we had to tell the President he will set the nation ablaze by such gigantic move.”
Buhari, it was learnt, also received advice from Obasanjo to jettison the idea so as not to trigger off a mob action that government cannot handle.
“If you name looters, Nigerians will go after them and we might not be able to handle the mob action,” Obasanjo reportedly told the President.
It was further gathered that the anti-corruption agencies also advised against the move, opting instead that the figures of recovered loots should be released.
The EFCC and ICPC reportedly told the Presidency it was better to secretly recover loots from affected former government officials who are cooperative than name looters and risk serious resistance.