Six days to the general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday raised the alarm that corrupt politicians could use their loot to undermine Saturday’s elections.

Buhari, in an op-ed he personally wrote, justified his administration’s anti-corruption war.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party said the President’s declaration was a sign that he was afraid of a looming defeat in the February 16 presidential election.

The President, however, said that corrupt people had humongous resources at their disposal to engage in vote-buying and undermine the polls.

Writing on the title, “Corruption threatens Nigeria – and its election,” he stated, “The battle against graft must be the base on which we secure the country, build our economy, provide decent infrastructure and educate the next generation.

“This is the challenge of our generation: the variable on which our success as a nation shall be determined. But the vested interests at play can make this fight difficult. By way of their looting, the corrupt have powerful resources at their disposal. And they will use them. For when you fight corruption, you can be sure it will fight back.

Buhari said as President he had tried to judiciously exercise the trust vested in him to combat corruption, insecurity and an inequitable economy.

He added, “But amongst them, one stands above the others as both are a cause and aggravator of the rest. It is, of course, corruption.

“A policy programme that does not have fighting corruption at its core is destined to fail. The battle against graft must be the base on which we secure the country, build our economy, provide decent infrastructure and educate the next generation.”

‘Our critics were against our mission to stop corruption’

Buhari argued that those who were against his administration did so because they knew his mission was to stop corruption.

He noted, “Indeed, those who have criticised my administration’s anti-corruption drive are those who oppose its mission. And though their lawyers may craft expensive alibis, they cannot escape that which binds them together: a raft of documents and barely legal (some clearly illegal) mechanisms – whether that be the Panama Papers, the US Congress reports, shell companies or offshore bank accounts.

“Corruption corrodes the trust on which the idea of community is founded, because one rule for the few and another for everyone else is unacceptable to anyone working honestly.”

On the challenges his anti-corruption war faced, he wrote, “But as we have intensified our war on corruption, so we have found that corruption innovates to resist the law. This is not the sole domain of those Nigerians, but the international corruption industry: the unsavoury fellow-traveller of globalisation.

Nonetheless, the President said he would not give up but rather build on his achievements.

the wall that “their days are over.”


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