July 13, 2015 – Now That Buhari Has Started Probing Corrupt Leaders, Who Will Escape The Barking Dog – Ekekere
If there is any good to be talked about in this new government led by change talker president Muhammadu Buhari in the over one month of his administration, then here it is. Through the last Six years of the emeritus president Goodluck Jonathan prior to now, the EFCC had being quiet while impunity increased and grew beyond bounds. What Nigerians heard was that corrupt officials were being tried quietly and it was not being politicized or publicized.
The rich had gotten richer while the poor increasingly became poor. Those who were at the helm of affairs in this nation stole public funds at will and starched them in foreign bank accounts and underground bunkers in hidden locations. They drove in bullet proof vehicles worth hundreds of millions of Naira and bought private jets at will. The level of financial impunity was so high that even pastors were not spared the political largesse that fell off the table of the government. Sadly, no one was apprehended and no one was accused of abusing government funds. Nigerians never heard of EFCC all that time.
It was indeed a miracle that after president Buhari won the election to become president, Nigerians began to hear of the EFCC again. First, it was about the man who the new president would appoint to lead the corruption watchdog, then again we began to hear of cases which involved some persons who had joined the opposition from the then ruling PDP.
Now that the APC is in charge, the EFCC has shown rigor at carrying out her responsibilities. These days, every day, reports of one or more persons being called to report to the body or being arrested for crime charges fills newspapers and online media. Many are covering their heads in what is expected to be a long challenging battle against the corruption body.
Will Nigerians see the fall of those high and mighty that have driven this nation to emptiness? Here is the question that arises every time amongst Nigerians. Nigerians are waiting on the promises of the president Muhammadu Buhari to wage the war he has continually assured he is capable of waging.
Recently the former general had reiterated his commitment to get all the funds stolen from Nigeria by every corrupt official in the last few years. Nigerians believe he can but they expect even faster action as time is waning with each passing day.
Former governors especially of the opposition PDP, some of whom have found their way to the senate are beginning to quiver at the sheer sound of a siren around their street. Some have already being interrogated and are still being interrogated. They know this is business unusual and the game has changed against their plans. They had assumed that the system would remain the same and they could take cover under the arms of the senate. Sadly, though, senators have limited immunity clause and Buhari has proved as in the case of senator Fashanu of the APC who is now in police custody at the United Kingdom, that no one is above the law.
Sitting governors will be weary of having the dogs sniff around them so they would strive to be cautious with how they spend. Emeritus governors whose immunity expired now understand that beyond the office they had spent their last years in and developed godlike aura, they have returned to being ordinary men who will have to take responsibility for every action they had tied themselves to.
Those who have being in charge of the anti-graft body’s public relations unit must be doing a great job now than in the last six years. They don’t want to be seen as lacking bite capacity. Nigerians are aware what the body achieved under the leadership of Nuhu Ribadu who was empowered by the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo and what they can do under the leadership of a proactive anti corruption leader, the kind Nigerians want Buhari to be.
Dogs don’t bark in silence. They are often heard and it certainly portends trouble around. Nigeria is in trouble already. Many states lack funds to start up the process of running their governments, the federal government complains of empty treasury and a few persons are roaming freely with what should have being used to meet the needs of every one. They call themselves the special untouchables but we wait on the EFCC to prove how untouchable they are.
The anti-graft body is once again proving that they can rise to the challenge of redeeming this nation from the shackles of corruption if given the right backing. High profile interrogations ongoing have supported this belief. Nigerians are now waiting to hear what becomes of all our top guns who have done away with this nation’s fund.
If former president Olusegun Obasnajo understood the immense nature of the battle when he returned a certain sum to the national treasury, it portends a wakeup call to all those who have also had more than their share of the national cake that enough is enough. Its time they return their stolen money or face the law.
Now that the dogs barking again and we can very well hear them, those who are having anything to hide are already becoming weary as they know the dogs somehow may sniff around their corner soon. Nigerians are also hoping that the war though doesn’t become a party affair where the body is used to track men in the opposition. The agency must probe every government whether in the PDP or the APC. This will show their seriousness.
President Buhari must show Nigerians he can kill corruption just as he promised.
By SAMUEL UFOT EKEKERE, twitter:@naijasoars,www.facebook.com/naijasoars,www.linkedin.com/naijasoars