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Nigeria’s anti-corruption war: Is the ‘Saint’ not Tainted?

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Nigerians deserve to be told when last Buhari received cars from FG Dasuki. If the two sets of car gifts were made within 4 years, Buhari’s integrity was compromised and his image dented. 

Buhari accepted he  received 2 SUVs from Dasuki

The word corruption has remained a recurring decimal within Nigeria’s social, political and economic context. As some writers would want their readers to believe, corruption has refused to leave Nigerians. There has been hardly any era in the history of the country that corruption failed to occupy a very prominent space in its narrative.

In one of Chinua Achebe’s early novels; No longer At Ease, we read how a young Nigerian British-trained graduate, Obi, lost his bright future as a result of acceptance of a bribe. The first military coup d’état that took place in Nigeria was in reaction to glaring expensive cases of corruption and impunity that reigned at that time. When Major-General Muhammadu Buhari overthrew President Shehu Shagari’s Government on the eve of 1984, he justified his action on the basis that the government had become too corrupt to be ignored. Corruption has assumed the status of a monster in Nigeria.

A simple definition of corruption denotes immorality, depravity and dishonesty. The meaning of corruption is so explicit that no ambiguity should be associated with it. It connotes negativity. This means that nothing good or positive can come out of it. Corruption is corrosively leprous in Nigeria. 

In an Establishment, it would require the collaborative obedience of a Permanent-Secretary, Director of Finance, Internal-Auditor, Head of Department, Payroll Clerk and Cashier for a corrupt Minister or Commissioner to perfect a financial crime. Even the Messenger that would push the file from one Officer to the other and who, in the course of such mobility, might have wind of the crime about being committed, would strategically be co-opted into the crime-tube for the act to be properly sealed. This explains why corruption is corrosively leprous. 

However, it would be unfair and equally wrong to postulate that corruption has refused to leave Nigerians. To be fair to corruption, it is Nigerians that have continuously refused to leave it alone. An apt analogy here is when a driver who is intoxicated with alcohol or any drug gets into his car, drives on a very high speed, not minding how narrow and bumpy the road he is plying on is and ends up crushing his car and himself on a road-side concrete electric pole. 

Spontaneous reaction would always be casting of aspersions on Satan. Yet Satan did not ask the driver to drink to a point of intoxication. Yet Satan did not ask him to be careless and reckless in his driving. This is exactly what happens between corruption and Nigerians. 

Currently, Nigerians have been astonished with revelations of how the sum of two billion and one hundred million American dollars meant for the purchase of arms in order to address the challenges of insurgency and terrorism in the North-East of the country was allegedly diverted to other areas of expenditure other than procurement of arms and ammunition through the office of the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd). 

The crime allegation has even been given an appellation of its own, Dasukigate, and has now become a matter of grave judicial investigation. It is already making waves in Nigeria’s Administration of Criminal Justice. While many Nigerians are watching with keen interest, not a few have expressed concern and worry over the Dasukigate. The Federal Government of Nigeria makes her expenditure through her official bureaucratic establishments or channels. In the last dispensation, there were about forty-two of such establishments through which official expenditure could be made. 

What is worrisome to many Nigerians is that the Buhari anti-corruption war, though selective and parochial, has only focused on just one bureaucratic channel yet the revelations are astonishing. If a whopping sum of two billion and one hundred million American dollars could be involved only in Dasukigate, what would be the enormity of revelations when the search is extended to such other sectors as power, works, housing, aviation, education, health, ecology and agriculture?

Taking into consideration the impunity with which financial affairs are conducted in this country, it would not be a surprise if the other eight establishments mentioned above are found to be almost half at par each with what happened in the arms deal. By this calculation, it could be estimated that eight billion dollars might have found their custody in pockets other the projects they must have been accounted for.

At this point, it has to be clearly stated that it is in futility that President Buhari is being heartlessly busy killing and maiming harmless and defenceless agitators for Biafra. The Biafran agitators can never constitute a threat to the corporate existence of the Nigerian state. The greatest problem confronting the Nigerian state is corruption. 

Starting from 1960, when Nigeria obtained her political independence from the Great Britain, till date, her problem has been corruption. Except he who is on oath never to say the truth, Nigerians know that the Hausa/Fulani has been responsible for more than ninety-five percent of the total sum of money looted in this country via corruption, with more than eighty percent of it committed by the Hausa/Fulani military junta.

The Biafran agitators are only expressing their constitutional rights of self-expression, association and assembly. Besides, the African Charter, which Nigeria is a signatory to, accords them the right to self-determination. Nigeria is a democracy and no longer a military dictatorship. If a section of the polity feels badly marginalized and expresses delight in self-determination the worst the central government should do is to conduct a plebiscite, supervised by the international community to ascertain the percentage of citizens within the region that really desire to pull out of the entity.

Instructing soldiers and other security agencies to let loose their triggers at the slightest assembly of innocent and unarmed protesters for Biafra will never deter these young men and women from pursuing a cause they believe if it is not achieved their existence on earth would continue to be miserable and psychologically traumatizing. For them, Biafra is a philosophy and like Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has pointed out, no body kills an idea, not to talk of a whole philosophy, President Buhari, in his unchallenged plenitude of power, should not be oblivious of historical antecedents. 

As an officer of the Nigerian Army, he must have been privileged to read or, at least, hear that the fall of some former Empires such as Benin, Oyo, kanem-Borno, Ghana, Mali and Songhai was traceable to mishandling of internal conflicts and wrangling. He should also not forget that the strength of a chain lies in its weakest link. The high-handedness with which he is determined to handle the Biafran agitation smacks of lack of in-depth knowledge of modern global trend and dynamics. He is only being primitive and crude as opposed to maturity in leadership and diplomacy. It is hoped he would not plunge Nigeria into a dip which depth could be beyond his imagination and retrieval.

Not wishing to lose connectivity with Dasukigate, Asa people have a way of looking at a crime. According to them, if one is accused of stealing salt, the only denial that is acceptable in Asa culture is to prove that one never took even a mere pinch of salt. There is no judicial alibi that one did not take a large quantity of salt.

Since the Presidency has accepted that President Buhari collected two Sports Utility Vehicles from the former National Security Adviser as his entitlements, Nigerians deserve to be told when last Buhari received cars from the government before the ones by Dasuki. If the two sets of car gifts were made within the range of four years, it would mean Buhari’s integrity was compromised and his image dented. 

Morally speaking, he should resign as President. Should he refuse to resign, the National Assembly should follow the laid down constitutional procedure to rid him out of a highly-coveted office that should not harbor persons whose integrity have been compromised.

Scripted by Sir Don Ubani

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