President Muhammadu Buhari has decried the “blackmail” of some senior officials of his government.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, on Tuesday, Buhari “appealled to discerning Nigerians to ignore orchestrated attempts to sully the integrity of ministers and other senior government officials, who are being tarred with the brush of corruption without any concrete evidence”.
According to Adesina, the president was “reacting to reports, particularly by online media, that the immediate past group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who is also minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, is being investigated over crude oil swap deals and gas lifting during his tenure as GMD of the petroleum corporation”.
Buhari appealed for decent and civilised comments, particularly when it has to do with the integrity of those serving the country.
“Terrible and unfounded comments about other people’s integrity are not good. We are not going to spare anybody who soils his hands, but people should please wait till such individuals are indicted,” the president said.
Buhari reiterated his administration’s commitment to probity, accountability and integrity, promising that transparency remains a watchword, which would never be trifled with.
The president has been accused of shielding Abdulrahman Dambazau, former minister of interior and former chief of army staff between 2008 and 2010, who was not indicted in the probe of arms procurement in the armed forces between 2007 and 2015.
Buhari, however, ordered the investigation of two former army chiefs — Azubuike Ihejirika and Kenneth Minimah — for alleged procurement fraud.