NIGERIAN Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has described the allegations in some quarters that the anti-corruption war of the present administration is selective as absurd.
He said such allegations were without foundation or basis.
According to a statement on Tuesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke with journalists after taking part in the 27th Ordinary Session of the African Union which ended in Kigali, Rwanda on Monday.
Citing an example of the arms scandal, Osinbajo said those responsible for the scam were those holding public offices at the time.
He said it was clear that members of the ruling All Progressives Congress were not in office at the time.
Osinbajo said, “I think it (the allegation) is entirely absurd. I think that view is absurd and without foundation or basis whatsoever.
“We look at corruption from all possible facets. If you look at, for example, corruption in the military, from military procurement, obviously the only individuals responsible for that could be persons who had held office within the period in question and that has been done and clearly the opposition was not in the office at that time.
“Those who were in the office were not necessarily opposition individuals. These were service chiefs and other personnel who had served for a while.
“The other issues for example is the fraud and the corruption that is associated with large sums of money given out by the past National Security Adviser which went to several political figures and again these were huge sums of money, over $2bn and the sheer size and the enormity of what we are talking about, must not be diminished in any way or trivialised in anyway by any suggestion that it is partisan. How? In what way?
“I think those who make that suggestion obviously want to trivialise a very important programme of the government, a very important fight against corruption and also the strong effort to recover huge sums of money that have been stolen from Nigeria.”
Osinbajo also said there was appreciation from other African leaders regarding the N500bn Social Intervention Programme of the present administration which focuses primarily on women, including the one million market women, traders and artisans who will get macro-credit loans.
On issues of peace and security, the Vice-President said the summit was also useful, and Nigeria had received “tremendous support from everywhere.”
“Everyone is in full support of the efforts that have been made against Boko Haram and other various insurgents and various problems in the whole of Africa,” he said.
The summit also resolved to hold new elections for new officials of the AU Commission as the voting process on Monday could not produce election results that met the required majority according to the AU rules.
The AUC is the secretariat of the African Union and led by a Chairperson, and supported by a deputy chairperson and eight commissioners.
Osinbajo described the process as fair and based on the rules of the elections.
“I am pleased with the process. I think the process went very well, the rules were followed and the wishes of the member states were well reflected.
“The outcome l think is a fair conclusion and it is very clear that the member states will like to see fresh elections, would like to see possibly fresh set of candidates or at least additional candidates to those who have already been nominated. I think it’s a fair process. It went very well,” he said.
The Vice-President added that Nigeria has previously suggested that the elections be postponed until January, which is now about when they would be held again.
Explaining the outcome of the summit regarding the AUC elections further, Osinbajo said, “the extension of the election is clearly the product of the rules and the way the rules were interpreted.
“Why the elections ended the way they did was because many members obviously felt (the need for) …a fresh look at candidature and possibly have a few others.”