The acting chairman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Ango Abdullahi, says President Muhammadu Buhari is not serious about fighting corruption.
Abdullahi spoke in an interview with journalists in Kaduna shortly after the opening ceremony of a public lecture on education, on Tuesday.
He said the prisons would have been filled with corrupt politicians if the current administration is serious about its anti-corruption war.
The elder statesman said many corrupt politicians have been going about freely because the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) “has forgiven their sins”.
“We have now seen corruption on a massive scale and nobody is doing anything about it” he said.
“The president said he is fighting corruption, but I don’t believe him because, in the sense, if he is fighting corruption, our courts and prisons should be full by now. This is because corruption is everywhere.
“You don’t just pick one case and make it a universal example of fighting corruption. We have just seen the conviction of Orji Uzor Kalu and it is becoming something that the world should know when there are so many people with seventy-something billion (naira) with them.
“Those people should be in the same prison with Uzor Kalu. And in any case, if you want to say that Uzor Kalu had committed an offence, but here is a national chairman of a party, the president’s party who pronounced that ‘don’t worry how much you have stolen somewhere else, as long as you come and say you are a member of APC, you are forgiven’.
“A good example of that is former governor Danjuma Goje. It was the attorney general of the federation himself that went to court to say they were withdrawing the case from the court.
“And his offences are not different from Orji Uzor Kalu’s and many others that were reported.”
Also commenting on the agitation for restructuring, Abdullahi said the presidential system of government must be abandoned if the country is to be restructured.
“If we are going to restructure Nigeria, we must abandon the presidential system of government,” he said.
“If you want Nigeria to function as it used to function in 1960 at the point of independence, we should go and reconsider retention of the presidential system of government because it is inefficient, it is corrupt and there is no accountability.
“Under the parliamentary system of government, you cannot be a minister until you are elected from your village.
“So, you are already accountable to your electorate and then, the leader of your party who happens to be president or prime minister would make a nomination, which means other members must approve. If you are not a good man, from there you have failed.”