Despite awarding state pardons to convicted looters Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, the president’s image manager, Femi Adesina, asserts that no Nigerians despise corruption more than President Muhammadu Buhari.
Former governors of Plateau and Taraba states, Messrs Dariye and Nyame, had been serving time in prison for multimillion-naira fraud before being granted pardon at the previous Council of State meeting, along with roughly 150 other Nigerians.
The development has sparked controversy, with many detractors accusing Buhari of turning around and condoning corruption after riding to the office on anti-corruption rhetoric.
Adesina was asked about Dariye-Nyame during an appearance on Channels TV on Friday.
When asked if it was morally correct for Buhari, who campaigned on a promise to eradicate corruption, to pardon the former governors, Mr Adesina said his boss showed “greater morals” by doing so.
“Nobody abhors corruption than the President (Mr Buhari),” Mr Adesina said. “So for him to have even concurred to the recommendation of that prerogative of mercy committee is a higher morality.”
Speaking further, Adesina said “I have not seen how that pardon vitiates the war against corruption in any way. I have not seen it because the war continues.”
Buhari’s association with and endorsement of corrupt politicians inside his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC has previously been exposed.
Buhari openly endorsed Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in 2019, despite Ganduje being exposed in a video in which he was caught stashing kickbacks in dollars into his flowing robe by Daily Nigerian.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) delivered approximately N800 million in public cash to Isa Funtua, according to the Gazette.