Buhari’s anti-graft war- a myth or reality?
By Morgan Omodu
In this in-depth piece, political analyst and opinion writer, Morgan Omodu examines the much-touted anti-graft war of Mr President.
The inception of President Muhammadu Buhari was with high hopes based on the electoral promises made by the APC while canvassing for votes across the country.
It was easy to win and get people’s consent to support the change in government because people were tired of the style of the former President and that of his party.
This no doubt paved way for coming of a new leader in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military leader to head the government.
While it is not yet Uhuru, the way things are going now in the country with the mind-boggling revelations of shady deals of people allegedly close to Mr. President calls for concern.
The anti-graft battle of the current government cannot be said to have been successful as we have records of some ‘untouchables’, thus making the process not convincing.
In one of my recent articles, I raised the current issue as the government doesn’t have blueprint for all it does especially the anti-corruption war as being carried out by this current government.
Just like I wrote earlier, it has become more important to do the same again to bring the process up for discussion so as to have proper understanding of the process. As the way it is now, we have recorded more policy summersault especially as it has to do with the anti-corruption fight.
The recent happenings where the Senate of the Federal Republic called for removal and immediate prosecution of Babachir Lawal the Secretary to the Government of the Federation over alleged corrupt practices wherein he used his office to get consultancy project in the IDP camps with a company he was signatory to the account, which is against civil service rule.
This they discovered during their investigative hearing on the state of our IDPs after several complaints of lack of basic amenities and good life in the camps despite the huge sums injected both from within the country and donor agencies.
It was surprising to know that with the sums available, we still have complaints and deplorable standards within the camps. This prompted the hearing.
Even though Babachir Lawal has come out to deny the allegation with strong evidence one wonders why the President needs to wait this long till when the allegation was made public by Senators.
Does it mean he doesn’t have access to the report or was not following the matter up from inception? This further shows the high level of incompetence and compromise within the system which is capable of making the entire anti-corruption fight a myth and not a reality.
Another fundamental error, which is a bad precedence is directive given by Mr. President to the Attorney General of the Federation to start an investigative process into the matter.
I daresay this is not his duty, and this makes it become more worrisome and it is as good as sweeping the matter under the carpet.
Even if they ended up with recommendation of sack for prosecution the process is faulty and should not be encouraged.
Some of his cabinet members have been alleged so far of corrupt acts without any of them steeping down to allow for investigation. Neither has Mr. President shown sign of concern by showing them way out.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander, to show the corruption fight is on course there is need to allow all of them that have been alleged to honorably resign and face prosecution.
It is by so doing that the anti-corruption toga of PMB will be more respected and not seen as been one sided.
We have had “yam eaters” whose trials are ongoing with lot of media trial.
Now we have “grasscutters’, yet to leave office or give concrete response to the weighty allegations raised against them, yet no trial, no due process in investigating the matter and no statement credited to Presidency.
If person of that caliber within the government can be involved in such grass cutting contract scam, and based on his level in government then we can say that the rest are involved.
To show that the anti-corruption fight is real, I expect the Police to be made to commence investigation on the said matter and not through presidential panel that won’t make the report public.
It is by so doing that the legislative arm of government will be further encouraged to carry out investigative hearings.
The Executive is supposed to implement these reports, which will strengthen our institutions and media trial will no longer be issue as it is presently.
There is need to show we are on a right course.
The inner cabinet members of President Muhammadu Buhari need and should be call to order as their actions are killing the process the more.
As we wind up this year, this is what one expects from Mr President- to come out of his shell and act if only it will be along the anti-corruption fight.
He needs to act now so as to put us back on track.
The fight against corruption thus must be made reality and not mythical.
A quick move he can make is to present new name to head the anti-graft agency.
The current acting boss, no matter what eventually happens already has integrity problem and moral burden. It won’t be morally right that despite the allegation made available by DSS he still stands in office. As said earlier that the President is not aware of the report until it was revealed by Senate further shows that there is crack within his team which he needs to attend to.
I pray that God will teach our leaders to do only those things that will promote the integrity of the country and put the people first in their quest for governance so that the dying economy can be revived.