President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told journalists in Accra, Ghana, that he had declared his assets four times since 1975 and challenged the newsmen to investigate the details of his possession.
Buhari asked journalists to use the required law to dig up the records of his four separate asset declarations.
He said, “I recall that in 1975 when late Murtala Mohammed became the Head of State, we were lined up in the corridor – governors, ministers, members of the Supreme Military Council – and officials of the Ministry of Justice were brought and every individual was made to declare his assets.
“So right now, all heads of state and government, governors, ministers, permanent secretaries will have to declare their assets because it is a constitutional requirement.”
The President said it was a constitutional requirement that public officers declare their assets.
He said, “In Nigeria, it is a constitutional issue and that is why I am blaming you gentlemen of the press. If you really want to do investigative journalism, you don’t have to worry me at this stage; I have declared my assets four times.
“When I was governor in 1975, I declared. After being Minister of Petroleum and as a member of Supreme Military Council, I declared. When I was Head of State and now as a President, I also declared.
“I have declared my assets and all that I have four times, and you (the media) have the right to go and demand for my declaration. Instead, I am being harassed.”
Also at a joint press conference with the Ghanian President John Mahama in Accra, Buhari said that he would name his cabinet before the end of this month.
The Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, quoted his principal as saying, “After I was sworn-in, I said I will have my cabinet in September. I expect that Nigerians should ask me questions after the 30th of September if I do not do so,”
The President was responding to a question on the appointment of ministers.
He spoke amid concern that he might not name his cabinet this month because the National Assembly would resume from its recess at the end of the month.
The President also said that the Nigerian military, in collaboration with the Multi-National Joint Task Force, had recorded remarkable progress in the fight against Boko Haram since he assumed office.
He stated, “The first thing I did after I came into office was to reorganise the military and clear orders were given to them in terms of retraining, re-equipping and redeployment of troops.
“In the North-East, the military is gaining ground and Boko Haram has been limited to the Sambisa Forest.
“Internally Displaced Persons are gradually moving back home and they are being reintegrated into their respective communities.”
Mahama had said both leaders had fruitful discussions on how to enhance bilateral relations and improve regional security.
He said that Nigeria and Ghana would soon begin the process of reviving their joint commission for cooperation.
The Ghanaian President added that both leaders also agreed to encourage closer cooperation between the intelligence and anti-graft agencies of both countries.
He thanked President Buhari for his visit and assured him of Ghana’s support and cooperation with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism