When President Muhammadu Buhari declared his assets some weeks ago, some Nigerians were of the view that the country’s number one man might have declared ‘fake’ assets, but, some others had argued that the president might have been truthful in his asset declaration.
The high point of the declaration was the fact that Buhari said he has N30 million in his private account. To a lot of people, how on earth would a man who ruled over a vastly blessed country like Nigeria declare a meagre N30 million and some herds of cattle in his bosom. To cap it all up, the former military ruler said he had a mud house in Daura and scantily placed properties in Abuja. All these really confused a lot of Nigerians who are flabbergasted that a former president of the country could be so poor to that level.
At the recently held Gani Fawehinmi memorial lecture, prominent Nigerians including Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Professor Femi Aborisade faulted the asset declaration of President Buhari. Musa, the national chairman of Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) said that what the president told Nigerians during the campaign, was that he would publicly declare his assets. However, he faulted his failure to do so until the opposition mounted pressure on him.
Musa said it was regrettable that a president like Buhari could not be trusted for his words and this shows his insincerity in the fight against corruption. The guest lecturer at the event, Femi Aborisade, recalled that the president told Nigerians that he had to borrow money to purchase his nomination form at the last election. He then wondered how three months after he could have N30 million in his bank account.
Aborisade maintained that the asset declaration, especially of the president still leaves much to be desired if the fight against corruption in Nigeria by the All Progressives Congress (APC) can be seen to be honestly prosecuted. According to him: “The use or misuse of power for selfish interest defines corruption.” He noted also that state governors who cannot pay their workers’ salaries, as enshrined in the constitution, should admit incompetence and resign rather than using the public law to maltreat the public.
Also, a Lagos-based lawyer Kayode Ajulo said the asset declaration was calculated to hoodwink Nigerians but to further use same to cover serial violations of their covenant with Nigerians was regretable. Ajulo insisted that asset declaration must be done in prescribed form with particulars to ensure clarity and certainty. What is declared is vague, in bad faith and totally unacceptable. “Particulars and full descriptions of the asset have to be given for proper identification and verification. It is also incomplete, as the spouses of the two politicians did not declare theirs.
These prominent Nigerians buttressed the peoples’ thoughts as far as the asset declaration of the president and his deputy is concerned