May 31, 2016

Buhari and the Sacred Cows

Since the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari took over Aso Rock people have watched keenly the anticorruption fight. There are Nigerians who feel that the fight is biased and targets certain individuals, mostly from the opposition, and the fight is bogus as a result. 

Buhari’s critics feel that somebody like Rotimi Amaechi, the former Governor of Rivers State and Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos, are persons deemed to have been highly corrupt during their stints as governors, but whose issues the Buhari administration have chosen not to look into, for the mare fact that they helped his journey to the Presidency.  Generally, former governors who are major agents of corruption in Nigeria, are seen not remain untouched by the administration. 

Buhari did say, during his electoral campaign, that he will draw a line, and will not look into cases of corruption behind that line. Instead he will look only ahead of the line. This is because the filth behind is so overwhelming that taking time to clean all of it would end up consuming his time such that he will have little or no time for the other activities of nation building. But it could be true that President Buhari is been selective and overlooking glaring cases that should attract his attention. However, it said that governance is a process and not an event. This means that Nigerians succeeding Buhari as the President can always look into cases he failed to look into, either by omission of commission. The administration could also investigate the President, if it is deemed that his own administration was equally corrupt.

This column is personally of the view that the fight is a good start. Corruption is not a piece of furniture that one could just pick and toss away, especially in Nigeria where corruption has grown deep tap roots. If we consider corruption to be a hill that has to be pulled down, and someone comes around and takes off 60% of it, then we are making progress. This is because another person would come, and as long as he is committed to getting rid of that hill, he could bring his contribution towards its totally removal.

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