By Kayode Sesan
Contrary to media reports flying around, the delay of President Muhammadu Buhari in appointing ministers into his cabinet is not connected to rumors that 33 out of 36 of the ministerial nominees failed a corruption test, BREAKING TIMES gathered on Sunday.
The Nigerian media has been awash with reports on Sunday, which indicate that most of the names originally penciled down as probable ministers were found to have one corruption case or the other linked to them.
The Tribune newspaper reported on Sunday that background investigation conducted on the nominees shows that only 3 out the 36 names were found to be free of all forms of corruption.
However, investigations by BREAKING TIMES revealed that the “corruption test” is a sponsored narrative by the Buhari administration to take the focus of Nigerians away from his inability to form a government over 50 days after his inauguration as President.
According to a top Government source who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on condition of anonymity, Buhari’s delay in appointing Ministers has nothing to do with corruption. “It is a sponsored narrative. If anyone is telling you that 33 out of 36 failed the corruption test, it is a lie. The truth is that Buhari is more comfortable running the Government as a Sole Administrator. He is consolidating power to himself and he is buying time. You cannot tell us that corruption is the reason it has taken you over 50 days to appoint an SGF. You don’t need the Senate for that; you don’t need to go too far to get a competent and credible Nigerian to hire as SGF to keep the Government running. What about the few appointments he has made? The woman in INEC, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Director of SSS, the new NSA, the Service Chiefs, all of these ones passed his corruption test but Ministers, no? Please disregard that story”, the source said.
Buhari’s newly appointed National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno, according to media reports was responsible for the systemic rot that crippled Nigeria’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) while serving as Director of the Agency.
Also, President Buhari’s newly appointed Acting Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari was announced within hours of the former Chairman, Attahiru Jega’s disengagement from office. It is not certain if Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari went through any security or corruption test. The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has sharply criticised her appoitment claiming she was instrumental in rigging elections for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded general elections. The party also cited concerns that the new INEC boss is President Buhari’s ‘daughter.’
The Tribune had reported on Sunday that President Buhari was dumbfounded as to the mind-boggling amount of money quantified in several transactions cutting across several sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, finance, power, governance and infrastructural commitments, where 33 of his ministerial nominees were involved “but failed the nation, thus contributing to its current decadence.”
The Tribune report also claimed that the names of the 36 ministerial nominees submitted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) hierarchy were sent to the DSS, EFCC, ICPC, CBN, the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), and the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) for forensic screening and only 3 passed the corruption test.
But another informed source who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on Sunday dismissed the report as a cock and bull story. “This is how you will know that the story has no head or tail. Initially, they said Buhari was going to select his Ministers outside the APC structure. Now, they are telling us the list he has includes names sent by his party. Then they said 33 of the nominees have misappropriated government funds. That means all the nominees have been previously in government? How is that even sensible? So all his 36 nominees are previous government appointees? Under which government did they serve? I don’t understand the yardstick for the so-called corruption test. Did Buhari subject himself to the same test, because it is doubtful if he himself will pass it” the source declared.