Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN), a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has warned president-elect Muhammadu Buhari against letting the fight against corruption prevent him from focusing on the basic needs of the people of the country.
“I think I agree with Buhari on the need for killing corruption before it kills us but doing so should not hinder him from doing the main things that he is expected to do to make life better for Nigerians,” Ajibola said in an interview with Vanguard.
Explaining further, the former attorney general, who had vice president-elect Yemi Osinbajo as a Special Assistant when he was in office, added “You do not invest all your time battling only that corruption. If you do not take care of other necessities, the problems there will continue to breed corruption. For corruption to stop or be reduced you need to provide sound education, health, security, good roads, water and everything that will make life better. Those are things he should make his priorities including agriculture. That is the purpose of governance.
“You cannot come and tell us after four years that all you have done is your commissions of inquiry. We will thank you for it and we will now say, “And what else did you do?””
Ajibola noted that although setting up a commission of inquiry is good, but it is not the best at this time. “We want to see something coming out of your government: good governance, providing the wherewithal for the benefit of everybody in the interest of the entire nation. That is exactly what he should do at the moment.
“Before, if you were able to come to judgment on the issue of those who had corruptly enriched themselves to the detriment of the nation, that in itself will be medicine after death. That in itself will only show us those who stole our money and when the money was stolen but the whereabouts of the money will be the question.
“What was stolen 17 years ago had just been arranged for return. Is that all we should wait for, another 17 years before getting back what had been stolen?
“We are not saying you (Buhari) should not set up commission of inquiry but don’t make that your priority. Your priority now is to give us the wherewithal to have a better life in this society because, at the end of the day, you will be judged by your performance in providing needs and not probes. Yes a lot of people corruptly enriched themselves, but they have spent the money. They have foolishly, recklessly spent the money and it is nowhere to be found. Some of this money has been siphoned away to Europe. Where do we go from here? Do you think APC will still be there in another 17 years when we will possibly be recovering stolen money?”
Ajibola advised Buhari and Osinbajo to work together to ensure the success of their administration. He expressed confidence in Buhari’s ability to deliver and also to handle people around him, who might want to undermine his work for selfish interests.