Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says “no apologies” for being a member of the cabal in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking in an interview with Channels TV, Lawal defended his closeness to the president.
He explained that the nature of his office required him to have “unfettered access” to Buhari.
“I am honoured to be [in the] cabal in this presidency. I have no apologies to make,” he said.
“If the president decides that he wants a secretary to the government who is going to work with him, coordinate the activities of his government, who will give him advise, obviously that man should be able to have unfettered access to the president.
“He is supposed to be able to give advice to the president because he is with the president on a daily basis in a manner that others might not have.”
Lawal has been listed as a member of an Aso Rock cabal, said to be made up of the president’s nephew, Mamman Daura, and chief of staff, Abba Kyari.
He is the first to publicly speak on the widespread belief.
Asked if he was comfortable with the fact that the current administration still blames the previous government for the nation’s woes, he said: “Could we have known for example, that somebody can walk into Central Bank, and leave with $2.2 billion raw cash?
“Could we have known that somebody will sit down and embezzle 40 billion? Look at the type of money they were dispatching. So we should keep quiet and let Nigerians think that everything is ok? That there was no looting?
“We are in the position we are in because people that came before us preferred to carry our common patrimony and put in the deposit accounts of their wives and children. What type of country are we if we decide to play the Ostrich? Nigerians must be told what we inherited, and I can assure you that majority of Nigerians are in favour of what this government is doing.
“Of course, some beneficiaries of the loot will make noise. Majority of the beneficiaries have access to newspapers, they have the Internet… It is the stolen wealth that they are using.
“But we are chasing thieves; we are chasing people who took away government money. People who impoverished us.”
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