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Nigerians are very forgetful – President Buhari .Replies Nigerians who claim he is soft on bandits and insurgents but hard on other criminal elements

President Buhari has said that Nigerians are very forgetful as they allow people who have been accused of corruption win elections.

The President said this during his exclusive interview with NTA that was aired on June 11.

While accessing his administration’s fight against corruption, the President said

“When I was a bit younger, in uniform, when I came, I arrested president, vice-president, governors, ministers, commissioners, and put them under restriction or detention, and told them they are guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Now, this is opposite – democratic system, as people would like to believe,” he said

We put investigation panels, virtually based on the present geopolitical zones. For those who held positions and because it was a law for people to declare their assets when they become governors or ministers or commissioners or head of security agencies, they were investigated. Those that cannot explain the extra resources they have in terms of assets and in the banks were asked to surrender. Eventually, I was arrested and detained, and they were given back their loot. So, this is Nigeria.

Nigerians, I think, are very forgetful. I’m very pleased that the majority of Nigerians think that this administration, under the circumstances, is doing its best. But people who misappropriated funds, a lot of them were elected members whether at the state or federal level. And their base still values them.

You can accuse them or even try to prove that when they were elected or in ministries, that they had only one house, but now they have several in Abuja or Lagos. Really, if you try to work out their legitimate salaries, vis-à-vis their expenditure, you will be embarrassed.”the President said.

Meanwhile, President Buhari quizzed on some very important national issues. When asked to expatiate on his recent statement saying those attacking security personnel and institutions would be treated in the language they understand, President Buhari said

”What I mean…How can you go to police station, kill the policemen there, loot the armoury and burn the place. What do you want to achieve? To go and open the prison and allow criminals that have been tried through the legal system to set them loose on the society.

How can government sit and allow this confusion to be perpetrated? All they need is confusion and no government can allow confusion.

Look at the EndSARS incident in Lagos. The previous governor of Lagos state bought two hundred buses to compliment the transportaion in Lagos and he built a complex. They went and burnt them. The present governor made me an album and came to see me. I took the album, put it in my archives and I told him to tell the Lagosians to walk because we do not have the money. After an administration bought 200 buses, only for some people to come and burn it. I told him, let them walk.”

When asked if he means to deal with the criminals with the ”fire for fire approach”, the President said

”More than that. We will arrest them.  What I hope is to arrest them, try them, give them very bad publicity and then jail them so that peple will know that if you misbehave, they will not get away with it.” 

Reacting to claims that he is being soft on bandits and kidnappers terrorizing the North while planning to attack criminal elements in the South with an iron fist, the President said

”They are being unfair. They should go and ask the governors of Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina and find out how we have deployed police and the military to deal with the bandits. We are not sparing anybody.” 

The President mentioned that the poor state of security in the country will in the long term have an adverse effect on Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investments. He said he hopes that he leaves a better security architecture across the country.

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