President Muhammadu Buhari has for the umpteenth declared his desire to rid the country of corruption and punish anyone found guilty in effect.
He reiterated his resolve against corruption when he spoke with a congregation of the Aso Rock house staff on Wednesday.
Buhari’s address of the collective state house staff is the first recorded by a sitting Nigerian president.
During his address, the President said all sorts of fraud within the country must stop as he reassured his workers of his absolute dedication to Nigeria.
“I thank you for welcoming me back from my health break. You are the judges, perhaps I look healthier than I left or I came worse.”
“All fraud must stop. If they don’t believe us, they should go, try and see those we caught red handed with public funds. This exercise will continue as long as this leadership is here.”
“Whoever takes anything that does not belong to him or that he is not entitled to, it will be documented and the person will be taken to court. This is the only way I think we can bail ourselves out.”
“I am asking you to dedicate yourselves more to your country because I said more than 30 years ago, that there is no other country, but Nigeria.”
The president further enjoined everyone to behave accordingly with integrity and sincerity as well as live within the means of their earnings.
He claimed that he has never in his life condoned corruption even when he was class monitor in junior school.
“We are determined to rehabilitate our country for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. I have never in my life from class monitor to this place, twice in different forms, believed in corruption.”
“In what we are doing, if we had made mistakes along the lines, the country would have been further backward than this. But we don’t touch anybody who did not touch public funds.”
“You should behave yourself. If you don’t have houses in Abuja and the whole of Europe, you will sleep soundly. You and your family will earn respect. But if you shortchange the treasury, you will be caught and I pity your family because people will be abusing them. People will be calling you big thieves that how did you raise money to build all the houses in Abuja and Europe with your meager salary.”
“I think personal integrity is something to be encouraged. I assure you that I am absolutely dedicated to serve Nigeria. Those who behave themselves will never regret, but those who don’t behave themselves, na their problem.”
The President also said the government was looking beyond oil and gas as source of revenue.
He explained that the reason a huge part of the budget was voted on agriculture was because the government had chosen to focus on sustainable agriculture as an alternative to oil.
“What I am asking Nigerians really is that what is our alternative? Our immediate alternative is agriculture and solid minerals.”
“That was why we voted a lot of money for agriculture so that we can at least feed ourselves. And once we can feed ourselves, we can say okay let the struggle continue. At least we can eat two to three meals per day.”
“We have to quickly go back to the farm. It is too late for this year. But next year, we will make a better arrangement to make sure next year, we can feed ourselves.”