With the successful conclusion of the 2015 Presidential election, we heartily congratulate the winner and President Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.), GCFR. We believe his resilience in keeping the faith, having a firm belief in his vision of leadership for our dear country, anchored on ridding the country of corruption, possibly spurred him on to contesting on several occasions for the nation’s exalted office, until your recent victory.
Nigerians voted for General Buhari (Rtd.) and his party, because of the faith and belief they have in General Buhari (Rtd.) and his party’s mantra of “change” coupled with his campaign promise, to rid the country of the cankerworm of corruption, which in our humble opinion, currently represents the greatest challenge facing our dear nation.
Corruption has resulted in the needless death of many Nigerians, especially as scarce resources that should have been used to provide qualitative healthcare services for all, particularly the vulnerable groups in our midst, good roads, qualitative education in public schools, employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed population including the youth, amongst others, have been diverted into private pockets, thus depriving majority of Nigerians the opportunity of benefitting from the nation’s God-given wealth. This even when we are not meeting our continental obligations of appropriating at least 15% on our national budget on health.
It is against this background that many Nigerians voted for General Buhari (Rtd.) and his party, in the belief, that your administration would fight strenuously to rid Nigeria of this foremost debilitating disease of Corruption, once and for all!!!
As General Buhari (Rtd.) commences putting together the core team that would work with you to achieve your vision of a new Nigeria, where things are done differently and where the issue of corruption and corrupt tendencies would be dealt with frontally, thus ensuring that it becomes a thing of the past, we urge that every member of his team, must be individual that meet the following criteria:
1. He or she must have recorded high levels of integrity both in his or her public and private life.
2. He or she must never have been convicted of corruption or implicated in any corruption cases.
3. He or she must not have any allegations of corruption or corruption charges pending against him or her. Where such exists, the nominee in question must first ensure that he or she conclusively clear himself or herself of such allegations using existing official channels before the process of his or her nomination gets on the way, including before being presented to the National Assembly for consideration.
4. He or she must also have declared he or her assets publicly as this later requirement aligns with your recent comment, affirming your commitment to ensuring that this constitutional responsibility is discharged by yourself and by everyone that would be nominated to work with his administration, must be done conscientiously and made open to public scrutiny in line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, 2011.
These requirements should not be applicable to only members of his cabinet, but also extend to each and every person that would be considered for appointment into any public office, under your administration.
We urge you to also encourage members of your party aspiring to hold leadership positions in the 8th National Assembly to as well do so.
We are also aware of the challenges the administration will face in relation to revenue as a result of the falling price of crude oil in the international market. We therefore ask your government to address all forms of corruption in the tax administration system. The abusive and arbitrary use of tax incentives, leakages in tax collection resulting in tax avoidance, evasion and illicit financial outflows would help shore up domestic revenue needed for development.
General Buhari (Rtd.) and his party would also do well to ensure, that these requirements are also made applicable to all appointments made by his party at the level of the States and Local Government Council Areas under the control of your party (the All Peoples’ Congress – APC), including the leadership of the State Houses of Assembly, amongst others.
Failure to do this would mean that the president Elect and his party would have failed the generality of Nigerians, including the many who died in the process of ensuring that your party emerges victorious at the polls, including those who died celebrating his victory.
The souls of these committed Nigerians, whose lives have been cut short on account of their un-avowed commitment and belief in the message of “Change” that both General Buhari (Rtd.) and his party preached in the run-up to the elections and those of many Nigerians who are still alive, would certainly never forgive him, if he falter or fail to keep to his “Anti-Corruption” promise!!!
We, the undersigned Civil Society Organizations and all relevant anti-corruption movement shall keep watching quite keenly and would not hesitate to call out Nigerians to the streets, if we notice any sign of weakness or failure to clearly fulfill your Anti-Corruption campaign promise, beginning in earnest with the kind of individuals who make the list of nominees for various key positions in the new government. The same applies to those proposed by your party for election into the various leadership positions in both Chambers of the National Assembly as well in the States and Local Government Councils.
1. Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
2. Say No Campaign
3. National Procurement Watch Platform (NPWP)
4. Accountability for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria (AMHiN)
5. Tax Justice & Governance Platform Nigeria
6. State of the Union Campaign (SOTU)
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) Nwagwu Ezenwa