The Presidency has issued a stern warning to political appointees, government officials and party men against influence peddling for pecuniary gains and other forms of extortion.
Backstory: Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, told State House Correspondents on Tuesday, Dec. 25 in Abuja that complaints of extortion by “self-serving name droppers and influence peddlers” is causing increasing embarrassment to the Presidency.
Shehu said, “President Buhari had made it very clear since his inauguration that he won’t tolerate any form of impropriety by his appointees, aides, and government officials who abuse and misuse their offices for illegal financial advantages.”
Shehu further explained that using one’s office or influence for private advantage or financial gains is corruption. He warned that “the President would not tolerate any conduct by anybody to use his name to extort innocent people.”
He stressed that Buhari’s commitment to fighting corruption on all fronts in his government remains unchanged, adding that “those who are not genuinely committed to this vision would be weeded out once caught and punished accordingly.”
Shehu advised Nigerians to report any government official or appointees using the President’s name or that of his aides and appointees to extort the public, adding that the current zero tolerance for corruption by the Buhari administration won’t condone the repugnant culture in government or public business.
Bottom Line: Nigerians will struggle to find an instance in four years in which the presidency has taken any decisive action against influence peddlers in the government. Some action will go a longer way.