Buhari’s Letter On Babachir Has Raised More Questions Than Answers – Ismael Ahmed

Channels Television  
Updated January 27, 2017

Ismael Ahmed APC member on Lawal BabchirA member of the All Progressives Congress’ Board of Trustees, Ismael Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest letters to the Senate have whipped up more questions than answers.

The letters were for the confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and another written in response to a request that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Lawal Babachir.

Mr Ahmed was particular about the letter focusing on the SGF, which critics said was a defense for the SGF by the President, but on the renomination of Mr Magu, he said: “The president is within his right to renominate the rejected acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr Magu.

“Some of the concerns that were raised as impediments for not going ahead with the confirmation by the Senate initially, have been taken care of and it is left for the Senate to begin the legislative process, get to the confirmation hearing and determine whether the EFCC acting chairman is fit to be confirmed or not”.

On the issue of the SGF, he pointed out that “the issue of corruption is a very sensitive issue to Nigerians and incredibly so for this government because it is an anchor upon which we were elected into office.

“The President, I think in his own wisdom, thought it was necessary to write back a response on the reasons he could not carry out some of the things that they (the Senators) decided that he should. He felt that that was necessary, but as a politician, I will tell you that I do not think that the Senate were expecting a response from the President.

“I thought the letter would have raised more questions than answers, from the side that the president was trying hard to protect some of his appointees.

“I wouldn’t have written the letter,” he emphasised.

The member of Board of Trustees of the APC, however, pointed out that the letter was not a defense for the SGF, but written to give the Senate a leeway to continue with its investigation.

Babachir Lawal
There are allegations that border on conflict of interest against Mr Lawal Babachir

A lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, who doubted that the letter was from Mr Buhari, had described the letter as a funeral for the anti-corruption crusade of the President.

Critics have also said that the letter did not show the moral standard of the current government that had in the pinnacle of its campaign manifesto, a glaring desire to fight corruption.

Conflict Of Interest

Mr Ahmed, however, said that it was too early to judge that the apc-led administration had lowered the moral standard of fighting corruption, but insisted that writing such a letter comes with such a political implication.

“The moral standard is high for the administration to deal with anyone involved in corrupt practices.

“I am sure that if we were in the stock market, our shares would have fallen since that letter was written,” he said.

The APC member insisted that the Mr Babachir’s being in office will not affect investigations into allegations that he awarded contracts to a company that he had a stake in.

Highlighting the All Progressives Congress’ commitment to fighting corruption, he emphasised that awarding a contract to a company he had a stake in was inimical to the office he occupies and tantamount to conflict of interest.

He also insisted that if investigations showed the SGF was culpable, he should be sacked and prosecuted.