President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, revealed that he was constrained in fighting corruption, owing to the uncooperative nature of the judicial arm of government.
He accused the judiciary of dispensing justice at a snail speed making gains in the anti-graft war look minimal.
The President bared his mind in Jalingo on Thursday, while addressing traditional rulers before he proceeded to the Jolly Nyame Stadium, venue of his presidential campaign rally in Taraba state.
The President, who was received earlier on arrival along with his entourage at the Danbaba Suntai Airport by Governor Darius Ishaku, was reacting to an appeal by the monarchs to facilitate the release of the convicted former Taraba state Governor, Reverend Jolly Nyame on corruption charges.
Specifically, the Emir of Muri, Abbas Tafida who represented the Chairman of the traditional Council in Taraba state, Shekaro Angyu Masaibi had sought President Buhari’s intervention for the release of Rev Nyame on compassionate ground having demonstrated remorse while in detention.
Applauding President Buhari’s leadership role which he noted was characterised by selflessness and commitment to rid the nation of graft, the monarch said the nation was in dire need of people who are out to make sacrifices for the citizens, and called on Nigerians to consider the President as God’s gift to the country.
“As a father, I want to make one plea to you and I ask you to be patient. Our former Governor, Reverend Jolly Nyame is convicted of criminal acts and is now in prison. I acknowledge and accept the action of our judiciary.
“I acknowledge and accept the need to correct this country by taking punitive measures on anybody who violates the law for his selfish purpose.
“But as a father, Mr President sir, I want to say I have seen him and I have known that he has regretted his actions. I have seen him and have accepted that he has seen a lot of corrections, and as a father I cannot hide my innate sympathy.
“I will therefore, not now, but at the right time and I say it for all to hear, come with a delegation to plead for your mercy at the right time in the right manner and in consideration of the overall national interest.
“We are not going to ask you to do anything out of the way. And we are not going to change your policy of correcting Nigeria. Nigeria must be corrected and must be corrected now and you are the right person to do it.
“But, please Mr President…we here live by law and to love one of us is not out of place.”
He said as monarchs, the traditional rulers in Taraba state will not coerce citizens to vote for any particular candidate in the forthcoming elections unlike what obtained in the past.
“We are not going to force, direct or coerce anybody into voting anybody. We are going to stand neutral, we are going to guide our people into the importance of voting and standing to support their votes.
“And we call on the political participants to understand that voting is God’s gift to all of us and nobody should do anything to abuse the programme of democracy.”
But President Buhari, responded by noting that his administration was determined to address issues aimed at boosting the nation’s economy including fighting insecurity.
His words: “I have taken note of the representation of your representative about the former Governor here who was convicted with another governor.
“I have taken note of that, but look at the time it took from looking at the books to successfully prosecute him and his other colleague from Plateau state. There are a lot others.
“This system is very slow and since it is the system we have to follow it. I came in a different system I treated it differently. But I too, I was treated differently. So, I have this experience.”
President Buhari thereafter proceeded to the stadium, venue of the rally where thousands of the All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters had thronged to receive him along with the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustafa.
Among those who accompanied the President were former Governors of Bauchi and Borno states, Isa Yuguda, Ali Modu Sheriff as well as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.