Saturday, 04 November 2017 02:27

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Corruption Fight Quo Vadis?

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President Buhari will like his administration to be remembered as the administration that finally stopped corruption in Nigeria. He is deep into the third year of his government and where is his much publicized corruption war? Is he winning or losing this fight?

Mr. Obafemi Awolowo, the former minister of finance under President Gowon was quoted as saying that if two trees fall in the forest, one on top of the other; that the one on top needed to be cut up and removed before getting to the one below. Mr. Awolowo was speaking of the fight against corruption in the 70’s when the military was supposed to correct the civilian government’s corruption while military corruption was raging. Of course nobody paid attention to the sage. In the end neither the former civilian corruption, nor the then recent military corruption was put to an end. Perhaps because the military was trying to remove the tree below before getting to the one on top.

Another finance minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun either heard of the sage’s advice or dreamed it up herself and said, that fighting corruption before fixing the system would come to nothing. Let’s see how PMB’s corruption fight is going.

So far we have been told that billions of dollars of corrupt money has been recovered. Nobody knows exactly how much. Nobody knows from whom the recovery was made. Nobody knows what the recovered money has been used for or where it is banked. One can only conclude that either no money was recovered or that the money recovered from Peter has been looted by Paul. The system was not/and is not being fixed. I pity Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. If Awo with all his charisma and stature was ignored those of us who thought that Kemi was up to something had/have exaggerated expectations.

Meanwhile corruption under PMB is raging much more furiously than even under GEJ or OBJ. We have the $21 billion case that seems to have been successfully hidden; NNPC contracts; Dambazzau scandal, we have Maina scandal that would soon be contained and many, many others such as millions of money in all strong currencies discovered in an empty house and untraceable.

PMB’s corruption war: quo vadis?

The short answer is nowhere. It is all smoke and no fire. No “big man” is in jail after trial; no “big woman’s” name has been soiled because a large loot was recovered from her. What we have so far is wild accusations and trial in the media which go on for a couple of weeks and then dies. Then as PMB’s administration tried to do in Maina’s case the accused surfaces in a new and bigger role to continue where he had stopped.

One way for corrupt officials to avoid prosecution is to declare membership in All Progressive Alliance (APC). All the suspected hoodlums in PDP are now leaders in APC and have received ministerial appointments, chairmanships of parastatal, or board memberships in large corporations with unlimited financial allowances. Smarter ones have been rewarded with oil blocks. The tree on top has been left alone and efforts are being made to remove the one below. Awo is nowhere to try to offer his counsel anymore. And the weak Mrs. Adeosun belongs, like Mrs. Buhari, in the kitchen and in the bedroom where she provides food and comfort to her husband. She is not in this administration where she is the token woman.

What to do?

  1. If anybody has the voice, let him/her draw the attention of PMB to the sage’s advice. It is still valid after 50 or so years. He could still serve from the grave, let’s call him up.
  2. Mrs. Adeosun should risk her job by insisting on systems reformation before continuing with the war on corruption.
  3. Abandon the war; declare victory; and move to agriculture, education, health care. If the people are well fed, and can rely on good health care system, they would forgive everything.
  4. Stop trying to reach the tree below and concentrate all efforts on looting done in this regime.
  5. Free PDP converts to APC and remove their shields.
  6. Or at least stop talking about corruption. We are tired of all talk and no action.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

November 3, 2017

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Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.