President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday explained that the concerted fight against corruption by his administration is aimed at securing the future of Nigerian youths.

He said this while playing host to National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who led a solidarity march to the Presidential Villa in support for the anti-graft war in the country.

In an address to the students, President Buhari who was represented by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, promised that he would do his best to place Nigeria well on the way to becoming the nation of their dreams.

According to him, "Everything you (students) have asked for are the things that will make for a good country, and what we are after is a good country, a country where our youths can have a future and a hope.

"We are totally committed to building a country where our youths can realize their full potential.

"You can be assured that your welfare and well-being are topmost in our minds and very soon you will see the things we have promised come to fruition.
"During the campaigns, change was our slogan, but today it is no longer a mere slogan, it is now a reality and we will see it in every facet of our lives.

"The youths will feel it, the adults will feel it and old people will feel it and we will get the country of our dreams.’’

Adesina later received a document addressed to Buhari from the NANS President, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu, and he promised that the president would look into their requests.

In his remarks, Shehu said the students were united against corruption, cyber crime, prostitution, human trafficking, drug abuse and other anti-social vices.
"Nigerian students demand that our future must be secured and we strongly believe in the President’s zero tolerance for corruption,’’ he said.

Beside the students throwing their support behind President Buhari’s fight against corruption, another body,

the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) yesterday also declared support for Buhari's anti-graft war, warning that the present administration's effort in curbing the menace of corruption in the country will be futile if the anti-graft agencies are not strengthened.

The Executive Secretary of the Centre, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), stated this yesterday at its monthly media briefing in Abuja, where he also called on President Buhari to ignore those asking him to back down on the fight against corruption.

Anas commended the president's resolve to fight corruption, especially at the Federal level.

He said: "Of particular interest to the Centre is the strategic directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Federal Government to start using Treasury Single Account (TSA).”

The Executive Secretary acknowledged that the introduction of TSA was a step in the right direction which it said was capable of ending leakages of revenues meant for the federation account.

“The culture of impunity and non-compliance with due process needs to be checked, especially considering that the international oil market with prices diving as low as about $40 per barrel, perhaps the lowest since 1986."

He noted that, "our national institutions especially the anti-graft agencies need to be strengthened to perform their statutory functions in the country".

He also canvassed that "states and local governments should also key into the fight against corruption in order to put an end to the wanton impunity of leaving behind billions of naira in debts as witnessed in various state governments to their successors".

Anas however warned that due process must be followed in the fight against corruption in order to ensure that no one eludes the justice system.

Meanwhile, Senators from the North-east geo-political zone yesterday dismissed allegations of ethnic bias in the appointments made so far by President Buhari which gave the North about 75 per cent of such appointments.

The senior lawmakers maintained that the action of the president in the said appointments is in order.

Besides the previous appointments made by the president, five of the six appointments he made last week went to the North and specifically, the North-east, culminating in the allegation of ethnic bias against the president who is also from the same region.

But in swift defence of Buhari's action, members of the North-east caucus in the National Assembly said the president had done nothing wrong by concentrating such appointments in the North.

Leading other members of the caucus to a press briefing, Senator Danjuma Goje ( APC Gombe Central), argued that competence, integrity and trust were the motivating factors behind the appointments as against allegations of ethnic, religious and regional sentiments by critics.

He however did not say such virtues of competence, integrity and trust are the exclusive preserve of people from the northern part of the country.

He cited recent appointments by President Barrack Obama of United States of America and David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, to buttress his claim. He also recalled that the previous administration appointed members of its kitchen cabinet from the South without any clamour.

"Fellow Nigerians, it is high time we got it right. It is not about where a man comes from but about what he can deliver especially in the interest of his people. President Barack Obama started with over 20 of his Harvard classmates and David Cameron of Britain started with most of his schoolmates. This has in no way made the news in those countries because they had their eyes set on bigger national picture.

"Back home here in Nigeria, we recall that most key appointments in the last administration especially that of the Chief of Staff to the President, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation , Special Adviser on Media, Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters and other key appointments were from the Southern region and nobody made a huge cry about it.

"Thus, we appeal to Nigerians that this administration is just about hundred days old and there are thousands of other appointments to be made by Mr President, where the needed balance will be effected as the President is not out to marginalise any section of the country.

" If we must move forward, we need to make a choice, either we decide on an ethnic free future and move on to greater heights or we continue to hold on to ethnic sentiments, state-ism and zoning and remain backward.

"This is why we the National Assembly members from the North- east of Nigeria are throwing our weight behind Mr. President in the light of these recent events and enjoin fellow Nigerians to do same in the interest of peace and democracy in Nigeria," the caucus said.