President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that no corrupt leader, whether past or current, would go unpunished no matter how highly placed.
He said anyone found to have illegally obtained monies meant for the good of Nigerians would not be spared as the anti-corruption agencies has been repositioned to undertake the legal battle against them.
Mr President who stated this at the “Summit on security and development agenda for Northern Nigeria” organised by Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, yesterday, in Kaduna added that era of stealing public wealth without fear was over.
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau, said that there was no going back on the anti-corruption fight of his administration.
He said the challenges confronting the nation included the reality of terrorism, the rise of proto-national ethnic agitations, the scandalising effect of rampant corruption in a period of great want among others.
According to him, “terrorism and insecurity in the North-East particularly has been brought to the barest minimum and what remains is the social programmes, already on-going, to guarantee a lasting peace.
“Political engagement at various levels have been carried out to ensure that all segments of our polity are carried along in decision making as it relates to development of our country even as a line has been drawn against actions that threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria on which there can be no negotiation.
“The herders-sedentary farmers’ conflict is very rife with us, even though it also has a regional dimension. This is one serious matter that affects most concerned persons in this forum, next to the collateral kidnapping for ransom and problems associated to it.
“As you are all aware, the security forces, including the intelligence outfits, have been mandated to combine their efforts to rid our people of the violent levels it has escalated in recent times, leading to regrettable loss of lives and property, at a national scale,” he said.
In his remark, Borno State Governor and Chairman Northern State Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said it was time the North shunned all forms of discrimination. He admonished the region’s majority to learn to cherish the minority.
He said Muslims in Borno or Kano states should accept and support Christians from Benue or Kogi states, embrace them as eminently representing all Northerners.
“And this should be vice-versa so we can collectively move the region from where we are to where we ought to be,” he said.
According to him, coexistence is easily entrenched when the majority display magnanimity to the minority.
“The north has majority Muslims and the majority must make deliberate efforts to earn the trust of the minority. In our respective states, a governor of a majority Muslim state must make deliberate efforts to be fair and to show love and empathy to the minority Christian population.
“In the same vein, a governor in a majority Christian population must make conscious effort to demonstrate love and empathy for the minority Muslim population. This is the kind of chapter that is currently being written by Governor Lalong in Plateau State. Ethno-religious harmony is fast being rebuilt in Plateau State because of the leadership credentials of Lalong.
“The fairness, justness or otherwise of any leader, can unite or divide any society. When a segment perceives a leader as being unjust, a sense of marginalization builds up and breeds hatred amongst the mass, kith and kin.
“Naturally, neighbours begin to live in hate, each side waiting for the slightest opportunity to prove extent of hatred. The majority must always be large at heart and the minority must always be fair in acknowledging the realities of numbers. We must be truthful to ourselves,” he said.