*says “I dealt reluctantly with him”
By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday broke his over his removal of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, citing failure to declare his assets as prescribed by the constitution as reason.
Buhari stated this while playing host to the leadership of the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, led by its Chairman, Pa Ayo Fasanmi.
The delegation included the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Buhari in his remarks outlined his administration’s achievements in his first tenure inline with campaign promises which included securing the country, repositioning the economy and fighting corruption.
On the fight against corruption, the President said his administration was recovering stolen properties as much as it could, stressing that such proceeds of corruption recovered would be sold off to safeguard the possibility of subsequent administration from returning them to the looters.
He said “now what I do is when a person cannot justify what he has or fails to declare as the constitution specifies, some of them swear to almighty God that their property doesn’t belong to them until we show them their bank accounts and their companies then we have some peace.”
He continued “I will tell you as Afenirere, that was why I had to deal,though reluctantly, with the former Chief Justice. Because there were millions of dollars, euros not to talk of Naira which were not declared. I wonder what sort of conscience some of us have. How can you sit and preside and lock people up for years and even sentence some to death and yet you are not doing what the constitution says you should do by occupying that vital institution?”
The Afenifere in a presentation made by Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye,demanded that the President increased the number of policemen and make them to be spread across the 774 local governments of the country.
The group also demanded that the President introduced free universal and compulsory education across the country; youth employment; true federalism and increased investments in power sector and agriculture.
Asked what the next level portended for Nigeria, Tinubu, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting,said” You have economic progress that we are working for as a party; we have the diversity of the economy itself; we have the various scale of thinking that the economic council will have to bring about; the infrastructural deficit; poverty, security
The APC National Leader added that the Yoruba elders were not clannish but want to build a nation where its diversity would translate into prosperity. “No matter what, we have nothing but one country and that is the only way that we can stimulate growth and understanding among various nationalities.
“it is not by division; it is not be promoting religious conflict; religious differences; nobody has control when they were born; what they will be, how they will be raised and how their fate will affect their lives and we must remove that from our political setting; set it aside, build a nation and concentrate on trust and development,” he added.