By Talatu Bala
The Presidency on Tuesday issued a stern warning to political appointees, government officials and party men against influence peddling for corrupt pecuniary gains and other forms of extortion.
A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, told State House Correspondents in Abuja that complaints of extortions of innocent people by what he called “self-serving name droppers and influence peddlers” was causing increasing embarrassment to the Presidency.
He said: “President Buhari had made it very clear since his inauguration that he won’t tolerate any form of impropriety by his appointees, aides, and government officials who abuse and misuse their offices for illegal financial advantages.’’
Garba Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, explained that using one’s office or influence for private advantage or financial gains is corruption.
He, therefore, warned that the president would not tolerate any conduct by anybody to use his name to extort innocent people.
The media aide stressed that President Buhari’s commitment to fight corruption at all fronts in his government remained unchanged.
He added that “those who are not genuinely committed to this vision would be weeded out once caught and punished accordingly”.
He advised Nigerians to report any government official or appointees using the president’s name or that of his aides and appointees to extort the public.
Garba Shehu added that the current zero tolerance for corruption by the Buhari administration would not condone this repugnant culture in government or public business.