Nigeria: Fighting Corruption in Democratic Setting Difficult - Buhari

One of Mr Buhari's campaign promises in 2015 was to fight corruption in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in a democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television, which was televised on Thursday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

One of Mr Buhari's campaign promises in 2015 was to fight corruption in the country.

Mr Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s "when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out".

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited a situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds, saying "in a situation where N300 million is allocated to local government and they are given N100 million is not fair."

On activities of Bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North West and North Central zones, Mr Buhari said he had given the police and armed forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the "the language they understand".

"Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other's cattle and burning each other's villages.

"Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

"We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks' time there will be (a) difference."

"Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can't control the public.

"If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don't want to be in trouble.

"We are already in enough trouble. So we warn them, sooner than later, you'll see the difference," he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Mr Buhari dismissed the assertion that a majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the "North-East is very difficult."

NAN

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