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Buhari's Anti-graft War: A Pot Calling Kettle Black

By Ifedayo Obi
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“Freedom and justice cannot be parcelled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for group of people and deny it to others.” Coretta Scott King

With the ripples of probing hurricanes circulating in our political space, many are getting out of their patience thick blankets on when the true war will begin. While the tempo to tame the monster called corruption is being heightened by the President with support from the masses, some events that turned out in the last two weeks are causing obfuscation in the polity.

Firstly, the visit of two ex-presidents to Aso villa rolled in thoughts that could endanger the fight against corruption. It was reported that Goodluck Jonathan went to beg and Obasanjo went to affirm indictment of the former.

The second event was National Peace Committee visit's communiqué released by Bishop Mathew Hassan Kuka. It was later cleared that these respected elder statesmen were not absolutely in consonant with yearning of a common man. Their stand on Buhari to fight corruption within the ambit of law is commendable but anything short of it will be injustice and unpatriotic. However, we should not turn blind eyes to evil in the name of soft landing. So it is only a man without heart that will not want our looted collective patrimony to be recovered.

Our major concern on this war is noise making by some self sanctimonious set of people that are becoming holier than Pope.

According to Baltasar Gracian that a single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity, so releasing contradictory looted figures day and night might portend setback to this quest. Also, APC should stop acting like opposition and put on the garment of a ruling party. They should put up synergy with President' s posture on this crusade instead of creating sensational opprobrium.

In this quest, Buhari should be consistent and firm as a Chief Crusader because his words and deeds so far are parting. It could be recalled that he said during and after election campaign the following, "...if we don't kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria..."

When it was perceived that the cabals could not lend him support he turned to "...I will start the fight from day one of my government so people have nothing to fear as there won't be time to meddle into past book..." After he made this statement, the cabals joined hands with him and some heartless government officials went on looting. Buhari later reaffirmed this stand, by saying the past is prologue...

But suddenly he turned the stick and said he cannot overlook the past atrocities and that caught many unaware. When the 16 years of PDP mess was gushing out from him and his co-travellers, many political spectators put their weights behind him to see the end of endemic cankerworm that has eaten our nation deep.

Surprisingly, when it was perceived that some gods and goddesses will be affected, the tune changed to '...probing course will be for immediate past government as that is only available book at hand...'. This made some sections to cry and it was later turned to '...we are starting from immediate past regime...'. Even if many want to be hoodwinked, some of us will not. There were ready made reports to access without stress, power probe, fuel subsidy scam and so on.

Beside inconsistency, Buhari should not forget that he was the only person that took loan to purchase form in his party, 90% of others who bank rolled his campaign did that through their ill gotten wealth from national treasury. Just to mention a few, the man who purchased Jet that was used for the campaign cannot boast he got that from his sweat. While those governors who took N50b bond and $600m loan for their States last year cannot deny what they used it for. Hence, for APC to be looking for evidence to prosecute their helmsmen will remain an erroneous belief to concerned citizens. May be they are quick to forget one of their stalwarts that said "... You have stoned nobody; that is why we are stealing.........”.

According to Albert Einstein, whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. As long as Buhari's in-law remained at helms of affairs of INEC, many people will not take him serious about anti-graft crusade. Buhari should also consider his household indictment in Haliburton scandal and recover those billions squandered under his watch as PTF chairman. Another small matter where we are expecting our President to dislodge his opponents is public declaration of assets that has been misconstrued and mismanaged by his aides.

Furthermore, if not for this clime, Obasanjo has no moral stand to wear white robe on the altar of corruption. A man who fathered do or die politics, squandered $16b meant for power sector and single-handedly anchor Petroleum Ministry for 8years should not be reference for integrity. In fact, Buhari should be weary of St. Mathew Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo as he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

In same vein, photoshopping governance and media propaganda should not be allowed to derail our collective efforts in this quest if we don't want to turn to laughable stock among comity of nations. For instance, APC promised video version for Ekiti gate is yet to be released let alone present before a court.

On a final note, if we don't want to play to gallery we must consider these cardinals to marshal this war for us to win. Foremost, we should recover these loots and bring the perpetrators into book within the ambit of law irrespective of side of divides they belong to.

Secondly, we need law that will mandate all stolen fund to be returned in its fullest instead of N0.5m for N7b. Likewise our priests in the temple of justice should stop tagging stealing as money laundering. The latter gives just 2years to 14years of the former.

Also, Larmode should not be heading EFFC by now and Buhari's stand on merging of ICPC with EFFC should be made known in time.

Lastly, we should have proper planning on how to expend the recovered loots so as to avoid previous scenarios and mechanisms to block leakages should be put in place.

"The political process does not end on election day. Young people need to stay involved in the process by continuing to pay attention to the conversation and holding their leaders accountable for decisions they make.". Patrick Murphy

Ifedayo Obi
Good Governance Advocates

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ifedayo Obi and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."