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Buhari: Stop influence peddling, let the system work for all Nigerians


President Muhammadu Buhari has again warned political appointees and other government officials against using their positions to bestow undue advantage on anyone seeking government jobs and other favours.

He said this is antithetical to the character of his administration.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that Buhari’s repeated warning followed persistent reports of fraudsters using the business cards and purported referral letters from presidential aides and other government officials to solicit employment, contract and other favours.

The Minister said Ministries, Departments, and Agencies should disregard any purported request from government officials aiming to confer undue advantage on anyone seeking such favours.

He said the Administration has put in place a systematic and disciplined approach to ensure that the government runs smoothly for all Nigerians, whether in the area of employment or contract procurement.

”This system should be allowed to work for all Nigerians without interference,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

A most recent case of influence peddling was the attempt on Tuesday by the Joint Committee of Labour, trying to hijack the 774,000 temporary jobs promised by Buhari from October.

After failing to browbeat the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, the committee then suspended the processing committees set up nationwide.

Keyamo shot back that the committee lacks the power it arrogated to itself and asked members of the selection committees nationwide to ignore the stop-work directive.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Keyamo explained his encounter with the committee members:

“There was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

“However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.

“At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme”.