I support him, but his cabinet is weak and scared - Dele Momodu fires at Buhari

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Dele Momodu

Mr Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation Magazine and former presidential candidate, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s government and described members of the presidential cabinet as timid and weak.

The media tycoon in an interview with Punch has likened Buhari's anti-corruption war to that of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying it was ineffective.

He said: “I’ve always expressed my view about fighting corruption. I think while it is very desirable and necessary, there are more ways and methodologies to deal with corruption. Firstly, we must ask ourselves, ‘Why are people generally corrupt?’

“The definition of corruption in Nigeria is faulty. People think that you have to be a minister or governor to be corrupt. But if we all agree that corruption is endemic, then we must go to the root cause.

“The root cause of corruption, in my view, begins with need before it graduates to greed. Can an average Nigerian survive on his income or salary? The answer is a big no.”

Speaking on his support for Buhari, he said: “My support has never been a blank check. I gave my support; I still give my support. I will give him a chance. I believe he can still do something if he wants to.

“As I have advised in my articles, he needs to jazz up his cabinet. I believe that his cabinet is very weak and ineffectual. That is my opinion and that of many people, including one of his biggest supporters, (Pastor)Tunde Bakare.

“He needs to do something about his cabinet. He also needs to free them a bit. I think they are a bit uptight. They are too scared and timid. They look intimidated, like they don’t have the freedom to initiate anything. It is (evident from) the body language of the president.”

He further explained the proliferation of corruption. He said: “But the moment you make it (public offices) less attractive, and an average person can survive on his daily income, all those things will change. I believe Buhari is using the same methodology that someone like (former) President Obasanjo had established in his time.

“The system is not too different from what Nuhu Ribadu was operating: arrest, investigate, prosecute; and a lot of the times, you’ve already destroyed the accused on the pages of newspapers. So, you’re not sure if the person is innocent or not.

“For me, that is not the way to do it. The best way to do it is to, first of all, have a uniform standards for all public officials so that nobody feels discriminated against."

Meanwhile, the presidency has denied rumours that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is under pressure to resign.

The position of Aso Rock was made by President Muhammadu Buhari's political adviser, Senator Babafemi Ojudu.