The Presidency on Sunday described a former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, as intellectually and morally bankrupt for daring to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing anti-corruption war in recent media interviews.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement in Abuja.
Shehu said the attacks on the President by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential aspirant “is a reflection of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the opposition in the country.”
He raised the alarm over what he described as a grand plan by politicians seeking the destruction of national institutions, such as the courts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and everything good that the nation stands for.
The presidential spokesman said, “It is only in Nigeria that a leader will divert money belonging to the public into his children’s account and then turn round to start pontificating on public morals, in the process subjecting the nation’s honest leadership to daily attacks based on falsehood.
“It is even worse that such a person, facing criminal prosecution, will start going round saying he wants to be President.
“Is this not one of the reasons why other countries are laughing at Nigeria? This is hooliganism. It is not opposition politics.”
He added, “The nation’s war against corruption as spearheaded by the EFCC, was incidentally formulated by the past PDP administration. It is a tragic irony that the leaders of the same party are doing their utmost to weaken or destroy it. Is that why he is seeking to lead the country?
“Time and again, President Buhari lamented that strongmen destroyed the country’s strong institutions and that it will take strong men to rebuild them.
“He deserves the support of everyone to rebuild such institutions because they serve a common good.”
Appealing to opposition politicians to give Buhari the support he needs to rebuild national institutions such as the EFCC, Shehu challenged Lamido to convince Nigerians that his trenchant attacks against the government and the judiciary were not a smokescreen to becloud the atmosphere of his criminal prosecution.
“In his diatribe published in a national newspaper (not The PUNCH) last week, it is clear that the former governor not only set out to mock the President but the judiciary and important national institutions as part of an orchestrated plot to divert public attention from his scam-related cases.
“If President Buhari’s war against corruption, as he said, is a mockery, what does one say of former governor Lamido’s sworn efforts to sabotage the country’s efforts to rid itself of the cancer of corruption?
“If accountability of public officials is the very essence of a mature democracy, it is, indeed, ironic that a politician seeking the leadership of the country is making a mockery of public institutions and the leaders seeking to entrench them.
“Nigeria settled for President Buhari as the watchman of their common wealth. The citizens are happy with that and the whole world is applauding.
“African Union just named him as the champion of the war against corruption. Opposition politicians like ex-governor Lamido need to come to terms with the fact that their act needs updating,” the presidential spokesman added.