Abuja (Nigeria) – The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it will neither be distracted nor intimidated into abandoning or weakening the fight against corruption, which it called ‘a war of survival for the nation’. It added also that no amount of media attack will stop the fight.
Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a meeting with bureau chiefs of some national dailies on Tuesday in Abuja.
Statement by the minister’s special adviser, Segun Adeyemi further noted that, pseudo-analysts and hack writers will labour in vain while trying to stop the train of the anti-corruption fight.
According to the statement, ”When I met with the News and Political Editors in Lagos on Sunday, I said, among other things, that the government is aware that in fighting corruption, corruption will also fight back. I also said that those who stole us dry are powerful. They have newspapers, radio and television stations as well as online platforms, and an army of supporters to continuously deride the government’s war against corruption.
”Well, I can tell you today that corruption is already fighting back, and it is fighting hard and dirty. Sponsored articles have started appearing in the newspapers and in the Social Media, while ‘Talking Heads’ have started making the rounds in the electronic media, all deriding the fight against corruption as well as this Administration.
”Not stopping there, they have been creating distractions by sponsoring articles in both local and international media to deride the Administration’s policies generally, tag the President a budding dictator and even write off his 2016 budget. We know that the sole purpose of these attacks is to distract attention from the war on corruption,” it stated.
The statement further noted that, ”it is saddening that some otherwise credible voices have unwittingly allowed themselves to be railroaded into the bandwagon of pro-corruption orchestra.”
”One hack writer even said the disclosure that 55 Nigerians allegedly stole 1.34 trillion Naira between 2006 and 2013 did not trigger any anger among Nigerian! A disclosure that made the front page in over a dozen Nigerian newspapers, played widely in the international media and attracted the attention of the world’s most powerful country and global financial institutions cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand.”
While calling on Nigerians not to be sway by the antics of the sponsored denunciation of anti craft war, he said the sponsored attacks are not about to stop soon but will become more intense and more coordinated in the days ahead. ”But the good news is that we are winning the war. Nigerians are now talking more about corruption. Nigerians are now counting the cost of corruption to their lives.
The treasury looters, who have so much resources in their kitty, and their cohorts will throw everything but the kitchen sink at this Administration. But we have no doubt that Nigerians are discerning enough to know the truth which, in the words of President Muhammadu Buhari, is that unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”
He however urged the media to continuously educate and inform Nigerians about the evils of corruption, especially the cost of corruption to the lives of the citizens.