The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has revealed that he gave a loan of N300million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from privatisation proceeds to commence activities when the anti-graft agency was set up.
The Presidential PDP candidate stressed that one of the ways to tackle corruption is to reduce the personal relationship between individuals in the public and private sectors.
Speaking on how he hopes to fight corruption, Abubakar noted that he would embrace prevention measures as well as punitive measures.
His words: “There is need for us to go by the adage of the English saying, which states ‘Prevention is better than cure’. We can keep it going side by side — punitive measures and prevention measures — and my point is that we should be able to introduce technology in our public service and even in the private sector, so the relationship with the members of the public and private is not personal.
“I made an example of the United Arab Emirates, whose citizens are not as educated as Nigerians, and hereby introduced technology amongst the public sector. They have virtually eliminated corruption. I want to automate the public sector and make sure the contact that brings about corruption is eliminated. When you eliminated that, you would have reduced corruption to the barest minimum,” the PDP Presidential candidate said.
On the activities of the anti-graft agency as well as ensuring that corrupt public officials are not shielded from being prosecuted, even if they were his friends, he continued: “My quarrel with the judicial system is that there is too much delay, if we can shuttle the delay so that justice is being set out immediately, the better for us.
“Looking at the legislature and the procedure in dealing with the judiciary, you know that the cases we initiated during our administration are still in court. Where is the justice there? We set up the EFCC. I, in particular, brought the piece of drafting regulation from Brazil, and it was based on that draft, legislation was crafted. When it was eventually passed by the National Assembly, the EFCC did not even have the money in the budget to start the operation. I borrowed them N300million from the privatisation proceeds and I said ‘you better get to work’.
“The following year when there was budgetary allocation; they repaid the money. So I believe the period that it takes, most of the convictions that you are hearing today were cases from our administration,” he added.
This online news platform recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo appeared on the show January 16 while the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore and his running mate, Dr Rabiu Rufai, appeared on The Candidates January 23.
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