AS I take up my pen to address this issue, I tell you, my heart bleeds for Nigeria. Bleeds, because many don’t seem to know what is at stake in the ongoing battle against corruption, the nation’s number one nemesis. The amazing thing is that although all agree that corruption ranks the highest among the problems besetting the country, yet we have allowed primordial considerations to define our take on what the president is doing to combat the malady.
Now let me here explain what many do not seem to realize about the ongoing war against corruption. The war isn’t about the APC fighting the PDP. It might seem so on the surface but it isn’t. Actually the war is Buhari’s war, but being executed under the auspices or supervision of the APC government! Yes, it has to be under the guidance of a party because in Nigeria there is no independent candidacy. Anyone running for any elective post must be sponsored by a political party, hence Buhari and the APC.
Now looking at the APC and the PDP, no one, if we want to be objective or true to ourselves, can say that this one is corrupt and the other one is decent or clean. No, no, no. Both parties are hewn from the same old rock. So what are we talking about? This is perhaps the reason why many are wont to take the ongoing war against corruption as that of the kettle calling the pot black! Yes, that’s bound to happen when you mistake the war for an APC war. The APC and the PDP, as far as I’m concerned, are like the two sides of the coin. None of them has the moral right to call the other to question as far as corruption goes. That’s why, to avoid this mixed up, we should all stop seeing the war as an APC war. Rather, as I have said, this is purely Buhari’s war, nothing more, nothing less.
With that hopefully settled, we move to another aspect of the war, which to me is most crucial. You see, every war has its scope. When God chose Joshua, for example, at the demise of Moses, to lead the fighting men of Israel to war, He defined to him the scope of the battle. He didn’t just call Joshua and tell him to go and fight and take over the entire world. No. He defined to him the various lands he’s expected to fight, conquer and possess. The same thing happened when Buhari declared his war against corruption. He limited the scope to the era he has strength for – the Jonathan’s era. He wouldn’t want to bite off more than he could chew, as we say it in our local parlance. Anyone coming after him as president who feels he has the strength to date back his fight against corruption to the very inception of this country is quite at liberty to do so. But the scope of this one we have on our hands, Buhari has said, is limited to the six years Jonathan spent in power as president.
Another thing some people are blaming Buhari for as he battles corruption is that the war is one sided. That is, he’s fighting the crooks in the PDP alone while leaving out members of his party who are allegedly corrupt too! My answer to that is that I have never seen any president the one over subjecting members of his own party or members of his government or those who had sponsored him to power to a probe! That would be quite an aberration if not outright insanity, yet that’s what some people want Buhari to do. Arrest Senator Bola Tinubu, the APC leader, they say to him. But they forgot that OBJ was there eight years as president; he never saw eyeball to eyeball with Tinubu and yet he didn’t arrest him, if he thought he was corrupt. Jonathan too came along, six years in power as president; he never found fault with Tinubu or if he did, he never summoned him at any time for questioning. Yet they want Buhari to arrest a man who laboured so hard, harder than anyone else, to bring him to power!
Where have you seen such contradiction before, a man biting the very fingers that had fed him? They also talk about Amaechi, among other APC leaders, who, according to them, Buhari ought to bring to book for corruption! Amaechi, like Tinubu, was one of Buhari’s chief sponsors and campaigners during the elections that saw him to power, yet they say the president should probe him!
I come to my last point. Many people in Nigeria misunderstand what politics is all about. Politics is not a career for the innocent souls. A former Niger State Governor once said something which I think any decent soul thinking of seeking a career in politics should sit down and ponder over. His words:”If you cannot lie, get out of politics. Anything you are involved in has its own rule. You are in politics to win, win first and let other things follow.
“If you are talking of honesty or morals, go and become an Imam or pastor.”
Truly this is what politics is all about in Nigeria. It’s about the survival of the fittest! It’s about dog eating dog! It is about the winner take-it-all! It’s about the end justifying the means! Politics is played the way soldiers involved in a coup play their game. If they succeed in toppling the government they are hailed as comrades.
That the APC, being the ruling party, are presently rejoicing over the show of shame going on now doesn’t mean they have cleaner hands or that they are less prone to corruption than the PDP. Hell, no. Under the same condition, that is, under the Jonathan government which didn’t regard corruption as stealing but as being smart, perhaps everyone you see today in the APC carrying on as if they had never dipped their fingers in the government’s coffer, would likely not be any different, for example, from those pinned to the $2.1billion Dasukigate scandal. Behold the names of some of them, as reported in several newspapers: Ex-Rivers governor, Peter Odili (N100m)
Ex-Oyo governor, Rashidi Ladoja (N100m)
Ex-Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa (N100m)
Ex-Zamfara governor, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi (N100m)
Ex-Anambra governor, Jim Nwobodo (N500m)
Ex-PDP BoT chairman, Chief Tony Anenih (N260m)
Ex-PDP National Chairman Ahmadu Ali (N100m)
Chief Bode George (N100m/ $30,000)
Yerima Abdullahi (N100m)
Chief Olu Falae (N100m)
Tanko Yakassai (N63m)
Gen. Bello Sarkin Yaki (N200m)
Raymond Dokpesi (N2.1bn)
Iyorchia Ayu’s company (N345m)
BAM Properties (N300m)
Dalhatu Investment Limited (N1.5b)
Ex-PDP National Chairman Mohammed Bello Haliru and his son, Abba Mohammed (N300m)
Sagir Attahiru (N300m)
Former Chairman of the House of Representatives on Security and Intelligence, Bello Matawalle (N300m)
ACACIA Holdings (N600m)
Bashir Yuguda (N1,950,000)
Nduka Obaigbena (N670m).
What the ongoing probe would do for Nigeria, despite all the criticisms trailing its modus operandi, is that never again in the history of the country would there be mindless looting in government as was witnessed under the Jonathan presidency. Anyone in government henceforth has to think twice before dipping their fingers into the government’s coffer. They would think of a Muhammadu Buhari coming to power with handcuffs along with him! My appeal again to Nigeria is, let’s leave politics or other primordial sentiments aside and join hands with the president to bury this monster called corruption before we allow it to bury us. The president alone can’t do it. His failure, God forbid, would spell doom for the entire country! My opinion