President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that the fight against corruption was the most difficult task of the Federal Government’s agenda.
Buhari, who made the remark at an interactive session with community leaders in Kano, said the federal government would remain resolute in the fight against corruption in the country.
“The fight against corruption is the most difficult task of the present administration’s agenda since its inception over two year ago,” he said.
Buhari, who spoke at length on his experiences on the fight against corruption when he was Military Head of State, said the federal government had directed for the sale of assets confiscated from corruption officials with a view to putting the proceeds into the government’s coffers.
“We are Planning to sell all confiscated properties so as to put the proceeds into government coffers.
“This is because I learnt a lesson when I was military head of state. The assets confiscated from corrupt officials were returned to their owners after we were removed.
He said he would continue to pursue the All Progressives Congress (APC) agenda to ensure justice and fairness to all for the development of the country.
Buhari urged Nigerians to continue to exercise patience and support the federal government in its determination to tackle the various challenges in the country.
He said his administration would continue to give priority to education and urged state governments to also focus on sector for socio-economic development of the people of their respective states.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the interactive session was attended by the Minister of Interior, retired Lt-Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau and members of the State and National Assembly from the state.
Also in attendance include representatives of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Civil society organisations and business community, among others.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with those who import, distribute and sell illicit drugs in the country.
Speaking at an interactive meeting with religious leaders in Kano on Thursday, the President expressed concern on the growing problem of drugs abuse in the country.
According to him, his administration is determined to do something urgent to deal with the narcotics challenge facing the country.
“The Customs is already doing a good job and I am happy that I got someone who is efficient, strong and trusted to lead it in the person of Hameed Ali, a former governor of Kaduna State.
“I have charged them and other law enforcement agencies to go after those trafficking in illicit drugs that are causing much harm especially among young people,’’ he said.
President Buhari also assured the religious leaders that the war against corruption would be prosecuted with the highest regards to due process and respect for human rights.
He asked Nigerians to be patient on this issue, saying that as an elected President, he was bound to follow the constitution.
“When I came in uniform as military Head of State, we locked every suspect in Kirikiri prisons until they proved that they were not guilty.
“Under the constitution, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That is the constitution and we will abide by it,” he stressed.
While reaffirming his strong support for the proposed anti-corruption courts, the President said to strengthen judicial integrity and the rule of law, such courts must be manned by ‘‘incorruptible judges.’’
Buhari used the occasion to counsel leaders to rise to the challenge of the country’s growing youth population.
“Leaders at every level must pay attention to this. We must give everything we have including education, vocational skills and training for our large youth population so that they can grow to be responsible citizens.’’
On the provision of infrastructure, the President restated that his administration will ensure increased investment in infrastructure across the country to stimulate the economy and job creation.
He praised the Chinese government for proving the funds for some ongoing projects in the country including railways, roads and the Mambilla hydro-power project.
The President welcomed the suggestion from some of the religious leaders for the setting up of a religious advisory committee made up of Muslim and Christian leaders to meet periodically to advise the government.
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