The Christian Association of Nigeria has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the All Progressives Congress was becoming a safe haven for corrupt politicians.
The body stated this through its National President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, during a visit to Buhari on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ayokunle, who also spoke on the 2019 general election and the continued stay of Leah Sharibu in the captivity of the Boko Haram Terrorists, said: “Like we categorically noted here during our last visit, the wish of the people is for the war against corruption to be total and without discrimination.
“Not a few believe that the ruling party is becoming a safe haven to some corrupt politicians in their bid to escape the trap of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
Ayokunle therefore advised President Buhari to make the war against corruption total and clear the negative impression it was was targeted at non-APC members.
He added: “CAN commends your boldness and courage in implementing the BVN and the Treasury Single Account system.
“There is no doubt that the two policies have greatly helped in sanitising the system.”
On the 2019 polls, Ayorinde asked Buhari to improve on the credibility of the 2015 polls that brought him into power by ensuring that next year’s general elections are free and fair.
He said: “A Presidential Order to the Police and other security agencies to be non-partisan, neutral and apolitical in the coming general elections, with a view to securing international respect and honour for our country in the comity of nations.
“The degree of desperation we saw in the politicians during the intra-party elections that took place recently do not give many people hope concerning 2019 unless serious steps are taken to let decency prevail.
“We appeal to you to make sure that the law enforcement agents and the election umpire do their work professionally without intimidation of voters, manipulation and any trace of violence throughout the period of elections.
“We believe that the survival and peace of Nigeria are greater than the ambition of any politician.
“We again request that your administration conducts free and fair election that will add to the accolades the country received from the conduct of the 2015 elections that brought you to power.”
Ayokunle called for the efforts at releasing Sharibu to be upped, while also seeking for justice for detained former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd), and the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Responding, Buhari said fighting corruption takes longer time, especially with the need to adhere to the rule of law.
He said: “It is on record that some cases initiated by the anti-graft bodies since 2003 are yet to be concluded.
“We will, however, not be discouraged.
“Where monies have been recovered, such monies will not find their way back to the looters as I have directed EFCC to account for every money it has recovered and put them in a dedicated account.”
Responding to the request of CAN for an overhaul of the intelligence gathering system, President Buhari said the burden involves everyone, especially district heads, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and religious leaders that are very close to the grassroots.
He added that bandits who are operating in various communities live among the people and enjoined leaders of thought in various communities to avail security agencies of information about the criminals.
President Buhari also told the visitors that he had assurances from the Independent National Electoral Commission that the 2019 elections will be free and fair as he has been a victim of fraudulent elections and beneficiary of free and fair election in the past.
He said: “When I decided to put on this Agbada to see what the people are seeing in it, I tried three times, 2003, 2007 and 2011, but the fourth time, in 2015, I succeeded.
“We thank God and technology in the form of permanent voters card and card reader, because what they used to do was to look at constituencies, award the votes and then they will say whoever didn’t agree should go to court.
“When people are looking for what to eat, where do they have the money to go to court to pay the SANs?”
On farmers and herders clashes, President Buhari told the visitors that government was working towards finding a lasting solution to it.”