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Saraki Versus Buhari: Fighting Corruption With Corruption

sarakiIf anyone still harboured any doubts that the APC is a party of shameless hypocrites, that doubt

should be dispelled by now. When in January 2014 Senator Bukola Saraki decamped to the APC, the trumpeters, drummers and dancers came out in their droves to celebrate his arrival in their party, there was great pomp and pageantry, it didn’t matter that Saraki decamped from the PDP because EFCC commenced his corruption trial, neither did it matter that Kwara state under his watch was a beehive of corruption, nor that Societe Generale bank was liquidated because it was looted by the Saraki’s. The code of conduct bureau (CCB) also never noticed the inconsistencies in his assets declaration as long ago as 2003. As long as he has decamped to the APC, Saraki was now a saint as the only corrupt Nigerians are found in the PDP. And so it went until APC won the elections and Saraki in demonstration of the same lack of principles and selfish ambition that made him decamp from the PDP went against his party’s nomination for the senate presidency, outsmarted them and emerged the senate president on a lawful technicality. 

Since then, all hell has been let loose, the hypocritical APC suddenly remembered that Saraki is corrupt, that he looted Kwara state, Societe Generale bank and to cap it all, the code of conduct bureau has suddenly removed the cataract that blinded their eyes from the alleged inconsistencies in his assets declaration in 2003; some 12 years ago and long before he became senate president, not minding that subsequent assets declarations were made in 2007, 2011 and 2015 which largely reconciles whatever he declared before, all of which the CCB itself  don’t seem to have any problem with. Characteristically, APC “vuvuzelas” (noise makers) have rented loudspeakers deafening our ears with tales of Saraki’s corruption and how the code of conduct bureau trial is part of Buhari’s war on corruption. But how true?  How come Buhari and the APC only discovered Saraki is corrupt          in spite of the obvious only after he went against the party’s nomination and thus the vested interests in the party? Would Saraki have been prosecuted for anything at all if he had toed the party’s line? The answer is obvious. Had Saraki toed the party line he would obviously have remained a saint with no sin as all the criminals who joined the APC were christened. 

While I have no problem with prosecuting Saraki for whatever wrongs he may be guilty of, as should ordinarily be the case for everyone without fear or favour, I do have a problem with witch-hunting and the enthronement of selectivity, inequality, double standards and impunity in the guise of fighting corruption when in reality it’s all about persecuting opponents and those who refuse to toe Buhari’s line. A situation where Buhari and his enablers shield and protect their evidently corrupt supporters while going after their opponents or those who refuse to toe their line is an abuse of the rule of law, an act of grave injustice and an act of corruption in itself. It’s not an accident that Chibuike Amaechi remains free and the EFCC has never deemed it fit to invite him for interrogation In spite of well documented reports of the massive looting of River state under his watch, neither is it an accident that Fashola struts the land in all freedom, even after the Lagos state government’s official gazette published details of his using a whopping N78 million of Lagos state money to fund his personal website. These amongst others lend credence to Buhari’s selective corruption war that targets only his enemies and opponents while shielding his corrupt supporters. 

Curiously, the hypocritical APC vuvuzela media that raised so much dust over the  purchase of bullet proof cars for N250 million by the erstwhile minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, lost their voice when  Fashola’s mind boggling N78 million splash on a mere (personal) website, N139 million on two boreholes and N300 million on relocation of NEPA cables broke. They went dumb because Fashola remains loyal to Buhari and therefore can do no wrong no matter how much wrong he actually does.  This is the kind of injustice, impunity and corrupt double standard that defines Buhari’s so called corruption war. As earlier said, shielding corrupt supporters while harassing your opponents is in itself an act of corruption, Buhari is therefore fighting corruption with corruption. Yet, it must be noted that no nation has succeeded in taming corruption with such crooked methods. Abacha and Obasanjo tried fighting corruption with such tainted methods; they shielded and facilitated their corrupt supporters while going after their opponents, it ended up making corruption worse in Nigeria. If Buhari is serious about fighting corruption, he should set about establishing independent institutions that functions without fear or favour and that can investigate/prosecute even the president, it is only then that everyone will be held in check and corruption can be substantially reined in. Anything other than that is tantamount to fighting corruption with corruption and is bound to fail.

 

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu

Email: lawrencenwobu@gmail.com

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