The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, on Tuesday accused the Federal Government of failing to show the required immediate response after the armed robbery attacks about some banks in Offa in the Offa Local Government Area of the state.
Ahmad, a close ally of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also said President Muhammadu Buhari had bungled the anti-corruption war.
The robbery led to the loss of many lives, money and other valuables.
He said the robbery lent credence to the doubt expressed by some citizens about Buhari’s ability to take actions that would unite and secure the country.
He said, “That one (inaction) is reflected in Offa when the incident happened. We were all saddened and grieving, looking for fatherly words to placate our grief. Those words never came until three days after.
“The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, even cut short his journey to come; but the Federal Government that is in control of security apparatus, which lost policemen, if civilians are not worth anything to them, did not act on time.
“I will score the APC or whoever that is at the Federal Government very low. I am in Kwara and if this thing happened and the person that is in control of security did not do anything until 72 hours later, it is an after-thought. I am disappointed. And if you ask me to go with whoever that is, I will think twice.”
He also accused Buhari of failing in his avowed anti-corruption campaign, arguing
that it was wrong for Buhari to have made anti-graft war the priority of his government’s programme considering the slow dispensation of justice in Nigeria.
Ahmad, who expressed his views during an interview with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said, “The best person that Nigeria has ever had to fight corruption since independence is Buhari but he bungled it. He did! And I cannot see him correcting this.
“I delivered a lecture at the Nigeria Union of Journalists event in Ibadan when this government was less than six months. I told them, you cannot fight corruption in Nigeria the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the Federal Government was fighting it. From day one, you know that our court system is slow; the Administration of Criminal Justice has reduced it by 40 or 50 per cent but it is still slow.
“You have only four years, how can you place your number one priority on a platform that you know is beyond your control, the judiciary? You cannot fight corruption with the judiciary alone, you cannot.”
He noted that there were many anti-graft strategies that should have been adopted, adding that the court should have been the last resort.
He urged the Federal Government to make Nigerians embrace the anti-graft war by exposing corrupt people and strengthening anti-graft institutions.
He said, “We have told him (Buhari) that he should strengthen the state and federal lawmakers. Get the buy-in of Nigerians, which is zero at the moment. Nobody believes you are fighting corruption; when you place that priority on the door of the judiciary and after three years, you tell me that the judiciary is the stumbling block; we warned you that you cannot fight corruption in four years through the judiciary, you cannot.”
The speaker also said it was prejudicial for the Federal Government to mention the names of the people being prosecuted in court for allegedly looting the treasury.
Ahmad said, “Whoever is preparing that list is taking Nigerians for a ride. If you tell them that it (the list) is one-sided, they will mention some APC members that are on the list but if you look critically, you will see that those APC members are those that are not in agreement with them. So, it does not still answer the question that you are putting only the opposition in the list.”