The president who also vowed to break the vicious cycle of corruption, unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria, stated that his administration would not only ensure that stolen monies stashed in foreign bank accounts were returned but that the looters must be put on trial.
Speaking with members of the National Peace Committee led by the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari declared that he was gathering documents which would serve as evidence against suspected culprits in the anti-corruption war.
“Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress,” the President said.
The President who regretted the sorry state of affairs in the country’s financial life, also told the Committee that as part of its actions to address the national problems it inherited was the reorganization of Nigeria’s revenue generating institutions.
He explained that a single treasury account had been established for all Federal revenue to ensure greater probity, transparency and accountability in the collection, disbursement and utilisation of national funds.
“We have really degenerated as a country. Our national institutions, including the military, which did wonderfully on foreign missions in the past, have been compromised. But we are doing something about it. The military is now retraining and morale has been resuscitated.
“As Petroleum Minister under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1970s, I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants.
“That is why security-wise and economically, we’re in trouble,” President Buhari told his guests, adding that those who have stolen the national wealth “will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them.”
The peace committee which metamorphosed into National Peace Council (NPC) by the order of the president however urged the Federal Government to be guided by the rule of law in its fight against corruption.
Other members of the National Peace Council on the visit were Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
Others were Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Prof Ameze Guobadia, Vanguard Newspaper Publisher Sam Amuka, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Yunusa Tanko and Dr Arthur-Martin Aginam.