The presidency on Monday declared that the poor corruption rating of Nigeria by Transparency International (TI) is not a reflection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s personality but a reflection of the behaviour of Nigerians.
The president’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu made the submission when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
Naija News recalls Transparency International (TI) last week in its 2020 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), ranked Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa.
The report also rates only 12 countries as more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa with Nigeria occupying 149th position out of 180 countries of the world analyzed in the report.
According to the TI report, with 25 out of 100 points, Nigeria also dropped two places compared to the 2019 report where it scored 26 points and ranked 146th out of 180 nations and Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
However, Mallam Shehu on Monday said the rating is not about Buhari, or his administration but about Nigerians.
“I’ll tell you that this one by TI is not a judgment on Buhari or his administration or its war against corruption, I will tell you that this one is judgement on Nigerians because if you look at the indices they used at arriving at these conclusions, they used eight indices, six of which showed Nigeria as being more or less Nigeria in the same position,” Shehu said.
“The two that they dwelled on, that caused this backslide, are essentially Nigerian problems. They’re talking about the political culture of this country, vote-buying, thuggery. Is it Buhari that is a thug? We’re not doing thuggery.
“And when they talk about the justice sector, they are talking about perceived corruption in the judiciary. These perceptions are essentially not correct. Yes, there are issues in that sector but so many changes are going on in that sector wouldn’t it have been nice if they acknowledged it so that you encourage those judicial officers that are upright and then the system gets getting better.”
Previously, the presidency last week Thursday in its first reaction to the story had said the data used by Transparency International (TI) in its latest corruption rating for Nigeria might not have accurately reported the facts.
The presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu added that it is analyzing the data used by the organization is arriving at its latest Corruption Index ranking for Nigeria under the Buhari administration.
The presidential media aide noted that the Buhari administration has been actively fighting corruption and the source of the organization’s data will be investigated since it said it doesn’t gather its own data.
The presidency also disclosed it is aware that some anti-Buhari elements are within the Transparency International organization.
Similarly, in a statement to newsmen on Sunday, the Minister of Culture and Information, Lai Mohammed, said that the progress made against corruption in the past two years was not included in the assessment of the country by Transparency International.