President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday begged lawyers to support the anti-corruption war of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
Buhari said this at the Kaduna branch of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Law Week with the theme, “The fight against corruption: the role of the Bar and the Bench,” in Kaduna.
The President was represented on the occasion by his Senior Special Adviser on Legal Matters, Prof. Adamu Usman,
He reminded the lawyers how some of their colleagues almost frustrated a similar crusade he embarked upon as the military Head of State in 1984.
He noted that his second coming should receive the necessary support from lawyers to succeed so that the country would be rid of corruption.
In his keynote address, Usman told his colleagues that history would remain unkind to them if they failed to do everything possible to rid the nation of corruption, saying that “whenever history repeats itself, it carries vengeance and calamity in its fist and teeth.”
He also urged the lawyers to play their part in ensuring that corruption was kicked out of the country, “the way the military is pushing out Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges out of the country.”
He said, “In Buhari’s first coming, the Bar in particular was not very helpful to his anti-corruption crusade. They boycotted the Special Military Tribunals for the Recovery of Public Property set up by his then government on the grounds that the tribunals were chaired by soldiers instead of judges, the lawyers’ preferred chairmen.
“Only Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory and a few other senior lawyers broke the rank with their colleagues by supporting the tribunals and participating in their trials.
“Now the same Buhari is back again on the saddle locking horns once more with the hydra-headed monster called corruption.
“When in 1984 we refused to support his anti-corruption war, we saw what corruption eventually did to the country.
“It may even do worse now if by our lack of cooperation and support, the current anti-corruption war is once more lost.
“I strongly feel we should give the current anti-corruption fight a chance of success by supporting it. History should not repeat itself because from my knowledge of history repeating itself, whenever it repeats itself, it carries vengeance and calamity in its fist and teeth.”
Meanwhile, the National Vice-Chairman (South) of the APC, Hilliard Eta, has said the President Buhari-led administration is taking tough decisions required to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s future.
He said this in Abuja, on Monday.
According to him, the party has within the last one year put in place a new template for national growth.
The party chieftain appealed to Nigerians to show greater understanding because the change the party promised was not going to happen in a day.
Eta noted that within the last one year, the APC government had succeeded in taming the Boko Haram monster and improving the nation’s security.
He said, “We all know how much this government has achieved in curbing insurgency in the North-East and even the international community has accepted the fact that this government has done so much in the area of dealing with Boko Haram insurgency in the North-Eeast and in security of the nation in general.
“In the area of corruption, except one is blind, government has been sincere not just by mouthing the war against corruption, but actually doing what is actually necessary to curb corruption. First, by living by example because the saying goes that when a fish is getting bad, it starts from the head.
“So, living by example and making sure that whoever is caught to have dip his hands into the treasury are prosecuted. On the economy which is what everybody is complaining about today because of the hardship; we campaigned for change and not a miracle. For change to take place, there has to be a gestation period while miracle is instant because it is divine.
“I know that Nigerians are impatient. Even if you want to build a beautiful edifice, you must first lay the foundation. This government has laid the foundation for the take-off of the economic boom that we must necessarily bring to Nigerians because that is what we promised.”
He stressed that the people of the South-South were at the verge of experiencing unprecedented development the type that eluded the zone in the last 16 years the Peoples Democratic Party held sway.