Dear President Buhari, Don’t Blame The Nigerian System For Your Failure – Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku Abubakar & President Buhari.

My attention has been drawn to a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of a Christmas homage paid on him by members of the Federal Capital Territory Community in which he blamed his inability to fight corruption on the Nigerian system.


According to the President, his administration is slow in fighting corruption because the system is slow.

My immediate response to this is to commend President Buhari for admitting that he has failed in fighting corruption. The President has just corroborated Transparency International, whose latest Corruption Perception Index shows that Nigeria is more corrupt today than it was under the previous administration, having moved 12 places backwards in the CPI, from 136 in 2014 to 148 this year.

But my point of departure from the President is in blaming his failure on the system. I disagree. The system has challenges, yes, but where there is political will, the system can make progress.

I was Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 and we used that same system to speedily convict no less a personality than an Inspector General of Police, and several others including cabinet ministers and other high officials.

Mr. President, the problem with your anti-corruption war is not the system. You are the problem!

The system allows you to arrest, try and convict your former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was fingered in a major corruption case, but you chose to let him go Scot free and you demonstrated your tolerance for his corruption by giving him a prominent role in your re-election campaign and recently welcoming him to the Presidential Villa with open arms.

The system allowed you to arrest, try and convict Abdulrasheed Maina, the biggest ever alleged thief in our civil service history, who is suspected of looting the pensions of millions of aged Nigerians. Yet you chose not to go that route, preferring instead to recall him, reinstate and double promote him while giving him armed guards to move about.

The system allows you to probe the $25 billion NNPC contracts awarded without due process, but you chose to bury the matter under the carpet, hoping the Nigerian people will forget about that grand scale alleged looting exposed by a leaked memo from a member of your cabinet.