The Peoples Democratic Party described statements credited to the President on his anti-graft credentials as deceitful.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, said this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He was reacting to enquiries from The PUNCH over the comments made by the President while inaugurating the new office complex of the EFCC.
Ologbodiyan said, “What the President said, with all due respect, was deceitful. The President knows in his heart of heart that he is not fighting corruption. What he is doing is hounding his opponents with the aim of decimating the opposition.
“For Nigerians to take him seriously about the anti-corruption war, which in any case was fought vigorously under the PDP, we want to see people like Babachir Lawal in the dock.
“Nigerians want to see all those corrupt individuals currently taking shelter in the APC being prosecuted instead of being shielded in places like the Presidential Villa.”
Buhari hasn’t learnt from his experience —Balarabe
Also, two elder statesmen, a former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, and a Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, knocked the President, saying his administration had not done better on corruption than it did between 1983 and 1985.
Balarabe said, “I agree that it was corruption that sent him out of power in 1985. But the problem is that why is President Buhari allowing corruption to fight him back again in this present government? Why is he not adopting effective measures to tackle corruption in his present government?
“The President seemed not to put the experience from his first government into use in dealing with corruption now. In spite of the experience he gained between 1983 and 1985, you expect him to do better and not allow corruption again to lead to his removal, but we have not seen this.”
President’s claim, simplistic –Junaid Mohammed
Also, a Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said, “The President is being economical with the truth by saying corruption was the reason he was ousted in 1985. He is lying. There were so many issues in 1985 which Buhari does not want to admit, which are still germane till now.
“It is too simplistic for him to claim that corruption sent him out of power. No, I don’t agree that it was corruption. It was a coup held for many factors such as individual ambitions and the national situation.”
Buhari concerned about the past –Adebanjo
In his reaction, an Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said it seemed Buhari was concerned with the past than the present hence his penchant for blaming past leaders.
The 90-year-old statesman said Buhari could not genuinely claim to be fighting corruption as he was surrounded by persons with questionable character while at the same time refusing to obey court orders.
Adebanjo said, “What is the relevance of his claim? I don’t really care what he did in the past. I am complaining about what he is doing now. He has not done what people expect of him. The hopes he raised when he came to replace (Dr. Goodluck) Jonathan have been dashed.
“He claims to be fighting corruption with the corrupt persons surrounding him. Is he obeying the rule of law despite his claim that he is now a democrat? Why is Dasuki still in detention and the Shi’ite leader in custody despite several court orders?
Afenifere dismisses Buhari’s claims
The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, also dismissed Buhari’s claims that his government was overthrown in 1985 because he fought corruption, noting that his war against graft was selective then just as it is now.
Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, accused the President of hypocrisy and double standards, noting that he treated his corrupt kinsmen with kid gloves while hounding those from other regions.
He added, “His claim (that he was ousted for fighting corruption) is debatable because even in 1984, the corruption that was fought was as selective as it is today.