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ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s pontifications on corruption. Two other talking points




Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari distanced himself from any form or trace of corruption.

Two other key stories also made the rounds at the presidency within the week under review.

1.Buhari’s pontifications on corruption

On January 10, President Buhari asserted that he could not be accused of illegal enrichment or acquisition of unexplainable wealth while in office.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying at a state banquet in Damaturu, Yobe State, that nobody can blackmail him of corruption. “I do not have one square-inch outside Nigeria,” he said.

Buhari’s pontifications on corruption date back, and would be remembered as one of his cardinal promises enroute the presidency.

While it may be argued that his claims to personal integrity could still hold, critics are not in a hurry to pardon the several lapses in his management of the anti-graft war.

Of particular concern is the lack of political will to strengthen the various institutions engaged in the anti-corruption battle.

Indeed, many would remember him as one who did more to project the strongman concept rather than build institutions for sustainable development.

Two other talking points

2.Frowning against coups in Africa

On January 11, President Buhari reaffirmed his disapproval over coups in some African states.

“I thought we had finally put that behind us,” Buhari said while decrying the coups which had taken place in Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, according to a statement by Adesina.

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: Buhari’s advisory note on 2023 polls. Two other talking points

Buhari’s commentary on coups in some African states speaks to the growing push back against democracy in the continent.

What he may have failed to acknowledge is that the return of coupists in the continent is a signpost to how bad incumbent administrations have performed in deepening the tenets of democracy and preying on the weaknesses of their states.

It must be said that in most parts of Africa, ethnicity, religion have continuously been manipulated by leaders, giving rise to resentments that eventually lead to unmanageable upheavals.

3.Buhari on Nigeria’s sovereignty

President Buhari, on January 12, urged foreign diplomats against interfering in next month’s elections.

Buhari issued the caution while receiving letters of credence from some ambassadors at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

“I urge you to be guided by diplomatic practice to ensure that your activities remain within the limits of your profession as you monitor the build-up to the elections and the conduct of the general election itself,” the President said, according to aide, Femi Adesina.

Buhari’s caution is a routine diplomatic exercise that also calls attention to the need for introspections.

Just as the President has cautioned against external interference in the forthcoming polls, he must be reminded of the internal or local challenges. Here, the key concern is whether he would he truly stay neutral and supervise a transparent elections without attempting to give the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) an edge?

It may be hasty to draw conclusions in the immediate but his conduct in the days ahead would sure speak volume.

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