Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu will, tomorrow, deliver the Nnamdi Azikiwe University convocation lecture at the institution’s 11th convocation ceremony. The lecture, titled Leadership and the challenges of national unity in Nigeria holds at the university auditorium by 1:00pm. Ribadu was the pioneer EFCC chairman, the government…
There has been so much unnecessary buzz since Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), failed to scale the confirmation hurdle at the Senate last week.
Okay, it would not be fair to say he failed. It’s more appropriate to say he did not even qualify to sit for the exam, more like asking someone who did not pass Common Entrance exam to go obtain JAMB form. But that’s just by the way.
Meanwhile, all those who had been blindly sold on the alleged anti-corruption war of the present administration have since gone to town with one song: corruption is fighting back.
But is corruption really fighting back? I beg to disagree! My reason: there was never really a genuine fight against corruption, even if President Muhammadu Buhari had set out to wage such a war, and actually believes he is indeed prosecuting such a war.
Painfully, Buhari is turning out to be the proverbial Chichidodo bird of Ayi Kwei Amah’s “The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born.” That bird that abhors human faeces but feeds on the worms that breed in it.
PMB hates corruption and all that comes with it, but he is, unfortunately, bounded on all sides by corruption. So, fighting corruption the way he would want to would be nothing short of committing suicide (not just political suicide).
I won’t name names, because I’m too much of a coward to do that. But I dare say that what we have on ground is a new order that has sired a new class of thieves who are now hounding the thieves of yesterday. And we’re all clapping for them. Of course, that would still have been okay, if the new sheriffs had the brains to do a tidy job of it.
Unfortunately, even PMB has been conned into believing the anti-graft war is actually on course. However, what is now being unearthed from every corner indicates that corruption merely changed colour (and face too).
So, corruption is not fighting back. Corruption simply never lost power. What we’d been doing all this while was merely using corruption to fight corruption, and, curiously, believing we were making progress. Those spearheading our charge against graft stink to high heavens in graft themselves.
Now, the plot behind the grand deceit is unraveling before our very eyes. But, as has become characteristic with the new order, many people still prefer to live in denial.
In fact, one hitherto respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who I’m yet to place a finger on what he has been smoking lately, has been telling anyone who cares to listen that Magu would be confirmed, whether we like it or not, or whether senators clear him or not. Another has even asked PMB to keep presenting Magu until the rotten senators bend.
Painfully, these otherwise brilliant legal minds do not seem to have the full picture. It has not occurred to them that it is the same Presidency (through the DSS), which collaborated with the EFCC on the controversial sting operation on judges, that has now (through the same DSS) delivered the sucker punch on EFCC’s Magu.
Put differently, it was the same people who submitted Magu’s name for clearance that supplied the material with which he was snookered. Is there a better definition for corruption?
But our do-good advisers/analysts are still hooked on the tired theory that Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, want to get even with Magu and Buhari over their continued trial on corruption charges.
That ship has since sailed, dear not-too-learned SANs. Apart from the $30 billion loan request, which papers were shoddily put together, there is nothing PMB has requested from Saraki’s Senate that he has not got. And, if my guess is right, that loan request may yet scale through, when the Presidency does the needful, mind you, doing the needful is not always about ‘settling.’
As for Magu, let’s wait for the Attorney-General’s panel. All I can say for now is that there seemed to have been some desperation about the way he went about the fight against alleged looters, as if someone was either desperate to rewrite history or change a preconceived notion about himself. Of course, PMB is impressed, but I suspect this goes beyond PMB. Sometimes, it’s not even the duty of the President to think for himself, if it was, Americans would not have manipulated their own system to foist Donald Trump on themselves.
Sometimes, what a President does (or thinks) is a summation of what those who cordon him off from the rest of us tell him. For instance, if they tell him that the last four elections, in Kogi, Edo, Ondo and Rivers states, were the best Nigeria has ever held, he would not believe anything was rigged. If the voodoo economists around him tell him the current foreign exchange regime is the best ever conceptualised by earthly beings, then he would have no qualms believing that Lamido Sanusi and Chukwuma Soludo are PDP agents high on glue, or something cheaper. But the truth only comes to light when PMB suddenly realises he still has no money to spend, despite all the recovered billions. Or that the foreign investors are still not coming. Or that people are daily being thrown out of job. Or that Nigerians are now opening domiciliary accounts in Ghana, Cotonou, Togo and other neighboring countries to warehouse their hard-earned forex.
But is Buhari aware of or these, or involved in these shenanigans? My answer is a resounding NO!
So, everybody who loves this country must do everything possible to reach the President’s other ear, and whisper into it thus: “Corruption is not fighting back, rather, many of those you charged with the responsibility of the anti-graft war have just been telling you what you want to hear, while bigger sleaze goes on.”
And it would not also be a bad idea to tell the President that, while this is going on, those same wolves in sheep clothing around him have adopted a diversionary tactic, by harassing all those whom the President always suspected were corrupt. They want to deliver the heads of these people to the President on a platter, as trophies from the anti-graft war. Of course, it does not matter if they have to achieve this by breaking a few rules of due process. That is why many perceived political opponents of the President, including those whose loyalty they can’t readily place, have been dubiously pushed into the anti-graft crucible.
Clearly, Mr. President, some people are taking you for a ride!
Dear readers, I hope my ink today has been “well spended”? Of course, I’m not making reference to any minister, even though I feel some ministers should not just be fired: they should be shot.
First, it was that we could win Olympic medals without training, because our paralympians, who did not undertake any special training and camping went to Rio and made a haul of medals. The same Rio where we only got a bronze medal, courtesy of the Mikel Obi-led football Dream Team, because our athletes had little or no preparations for the games. The minister and his government made sure that the Olympic team got no funds. Even the kits, which were paraded before Buhari in Abuja, ended up never getting to our athletes in Brazil.
Meanwhile, the minister did not miss his own flight to Brazil. He did not, like some athletes, have to fund his way to Rio, or take to the social media to beg for money for his upkeep there. And, don’t forget, the first photo of the minister’s activities in Rio that we got to see was that of him queuing for food. Well, we accepted our fate.
But the minister was not through with us yet. The next thing we heard from him was that we (and other African countries) have no business going to the World Cup in Russia 2018, because we can’t win. Next in line was his claim that we could not pay the Falcons (our all-conquering national women’s football team) their meagre stipends because nobody expected them to win. Haba! And he’s still at the job!
If he has language limitations in conveying his thoughts in English, why not say it in his mother tongue? Why say something one moment and the next moment claim that was not what you meant?
Well, now, he claims all the money he “spended” was well “spended.” Hmmm.
A comedian once said when you send your unintelligent child to a private school, he disgraces you privately, but when you send him to a public school, he disgraces you publicly. If Buhari and APC had left this man (whose name I can’t mention) in his Plateau State village, he wouldn’t have had the chance to be publicly disgracing the party and its government.
I hope I have “spoke” (sorry, “spark”) well?