The European Union (EU) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his second term to re-unite the country, in line with the spirit of the 2019 Abuja Peace Accord. Recall that the United States of America, USA, said that it is highly disappointed with the events that took place during the just concluded 2019 general elections, in Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The EU, while congratulating President Buhari on his re-election, expressed willingness to work with his government. In a letter dated March 22, 2019 and jointly signed by Donald Tusk for the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker for the European Commission, the Union said:
“On behalf of the European Union, we would like to congratulate you on your re-election as the President of Nigeria. We look forward to your leadership in strengthening democracy and uniting the country in line with the principles and spirit of the 2019 Abuja Peace Accord, and the EU is willing to work with your government to follow up on the recommendations of our Election Observation Mission.”
The European Union also reiterated Nigeria’s important position in world affairs and the Union especially. “What happens in Nigeria matters to the rest of the world, including Europe. Your commitment to an inclusive government offers an opportunity to take Nigeria forward in a way that meets your objectives of strengthening the economy, fighting corruption and improving security. The European Union has always partnered with Nigeria and its people. We look forward to continued and increased cooperation on bilateral and international matters,” the statement said.
Recall that the USA listed some of the events to include: low voter turnout, credible reports of voter intimidation, vote-buying, interference by Security Forces, and violence in some locations. This was contained in a statement the US Embassy, issued on Thursday, in Abuja, adding that, it would continue to follow closely the ongoing supplementary elections.
“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or Candidate. As noted by many Observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout, as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote-buying, interference by Security Forces, and violence in some locations.”
“We are saddened by those acts of violence, and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Security Services.” It also admonished all Stakeholders, to work towards a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful process, especially for those who would participate in Saturday’s supplementary polls, across many States. The Mission further expressed support for a democratic process, “where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results.”
Barely hours later, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, immediately said that the recent report released by the United States of America, USA, on Nigeria’s anti-corruption war, is false and misleading. Recall that the United States Department of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, on March 17, 2019, published a report titled: “Nigeria: Massive, Pervasive Corruption At All Levels of Govt.”.
It was the Bureau Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018. The US Report had claimed that Nigeria’s anti-corruption Agencies are not doing enough to stop corruption. The report added that the Agencies are driven by a climate of impunity and selective prosecution.
The EFCC however, while dismissing the report, said that it has done so well in the fight against corruption, that other nations of the world were highly appreciative of its effort in curtailing corruption. The EFCC in a strongly worded statement made available to Reporters listed the areas in which it claimed it made tremendous progress.
The Agency pointed out that it made remarkable progress in the areas of convictions, recovery of looted assets, and the forfeiture of cash and property to the government. The statement added: “Indeed, the US Report’s portrayal of the work of the EFCC, which is replete with inaccurate information, is worrisome, considering the close working relationship between the Commission and some US entities.”
“Agencies of the US Government, especially the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, US Securities and Exchange Commission, Post and Telecommunications Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN, have very strong collaboration with the EFCC, in the delicate task of tracing and seizing stolen assets, but stashed abroad by rogue Nigerian Officials. These US Agencies are familiar with the determination and passion, with which the Commission is going about the fight against corruption.”
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the report authored by the American Agency, has done a great disservice to the work of the EFCC in particular, and the fight against corruption under the leadership of President Buhari, an administration that is globally acknowledged for the enormous political will it has brought to the fight against corruption in Nigeria. We are conscious of our past, when previous government Officials were involved in corrupt practices with impunity, but that history is being re-written by this government and the Commission.”
“The rest of Africa appreciates the administration’s work in terms of fighting corruption in Nigeria, which was the impetus behind the designation of President Buhari as the Anti-Corruption Champion, early last year, by the African Union, AU. In that capacity, President Buhari is saddled with the responsibility of leading the rest of Africa out of the corruption quagmire.”
“At the level of the EFCC, the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, attained the Leadership of the Heads of Anti- Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa, HACACA, in May 2018. This was based on his antecedents and acknowledged track records in the fight against corruption. There can be no greater validation of the profound impact of the fight against corruption in Nigeria, in the last four years, than these milestone achievements. But for those who cannot see any good in what Nigeria is doing, it is better to leave the country alone, than distract it with bogus reports”, the EFCC said.
Source: Native Reporters/Daily Post
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