Senator representing Plateau South, Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni, (retd.), has said that he expects a tougher posture from President Muhammadu Buhari in prosecuting the war against corruption.
Useni, who spoke to newsmen in Jos, asked Nigerians to pray for the success of the Buhari administration, especially in the war against corruption.
The senator, who was a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory during the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, said, “Those who say Buhari is tough, I don’t know what they actually mean, but in my own opinion, Buhari should be tougher. We heard one individual returned about N3bn. I think that person should be dealt with severely. So, Buhari has been too kind for allowing those kinds of people to be roaming the streets; it shouldn’t happen at all. We should pray for this man, for God to give him tougher mind, not softer one. We have been doing so many silly things for years and we can’t continue like that.”
Useni, who supported the idea of people returning money secretly, also advocated for their trial, stressing that he expects the President to extend the searchlight on previous regimes.
He said, “I think they (people who returned money secretly) will be tried, though they have not been tried yet. I think what the government is trying to do is to say if you know you have stolen money or if you are given a contract that is paid for and the contract is not executed, return the money before we investigate you. Some of them have returned it. Some complete amount, maybe the level of the charge will be different. However, if after investigating the whole thing the government finds out that what you have returned is not up to half of what you have collected, then it is going to be a more serious case. So, those who have returned money shouldn’t think that everything is over yet.”
The retired general frowned on those who said that the administration was slow. He said, “Too slow, in what? Too slow in not executing people? You see, when you are talking about so many problems, it takes time to try and put it right, especially in Nigeria, when you are trying to put things right, new ones are coming up. Awolowo once said, as a commissioner under Gowon, that there was going to be a probe.
“New logs have fallen on top of old ones. To get to the old ones, you have to remove the new ones first. So, the new ones are Jonathan’s people.”