IBRAHIM MAGU NEW EFCC BOSS
It’s an indisputable fact that corruption is a social malaise that has impeded the growth and development of the Nigerian state in a manner that cannot be quantified for years immemorial and it was the realization of this debilitating fact on national psyche that motivated the mass of the electorate to entrust their political destiny with a man of impeccable character, integrity and an avowed anti corruption crusader in President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2015 general elections.
True to his pedigree, Mr. President has lived up to his reputation and promise by vigorously pursuing the war against corruption, which was one of his cardinal manifesto during the Presidential campaigns and this has led to a breath of new life in the activities of the anti corruption agencies, notably the EFCC which has suddenly woken up from its politically induced slumber, that it was subjected to in the last four years of the immediate past administration.
Corruption has not only stunted the growth of this most populous black country on earth, despite its enormous potentials, but has also subjected the country to international opprobrium because of its perception and ranking by international anti corruption agencies as one of the leading corrupt countries in the world and thus, a pariah nation for investors willing to come and do genuine business.
However, in obedience to this clarion call to national duty of teaming up with the government in waging the war against corruption, we must be mindful of the fact, that just like it is stated in the Holy book, that Jesus Christ appointed twelve disciples to propagate the gospel, but there was a Judas, so also must we expect that some Nigerians will not be on the same page for reasons other than the collective interest either by commission or omission.
Thus as expected in line with our values and Biblical admonition that “Truth exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people”, a vast majority of Nigerians quickly keyed into the anti corruption war of the present administration with the aim of reclaiming their country and restoring the lost image of this Giant in the Sun among the comity of civilized people, though also as expected, some people have attempted futilely to politicize and trivialize the war against corruption by blackmailing it as selective, persecution, vindictiveness, an attempt to decimate the opposition, etc.
In the same vein, one is not disappointed or shocked by a statement credited to President Buhari not too long ago that the judiciary was his greatest headache in prosecuting the war against corruption. Toeing the same line, the acting chairman of the EFCC, which must be commended for the renewed vigour with which it has been carrying out its constitutional mandate, has also lamented that some journalists and lawyers are undermining the war against corruption. This is not unexpected, after all, it’s a known fact and in consonance with the sayings of our people, that we cannot all sleep and think in one direction because variety is the spice of life.
Unfortunately, one was jolted and sad over the recent incident involving the EFCC and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) which resulted in the polarization of the bar and has the tendency to undermine public confidence in the temple of justice. The development whether we want to admit or not, was a sad commentary on our sensibilities, an embarrassment and could have been better managed rather than being allowed to degenerate to personality assault.
In view of the enormity of the national assignment of rallying every force behind the war against corruption, it is important for the government to realize that the war must be waged using every available tool of national mobilization, persuasion, engagement and patriotism, thus the bench, bar and the media should not be singled out for mention or scapegoatism, but rather, the society as a whole is culpable because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
With one’s sight solely concerned about the long term future of the war against corruption, one thinks, it is important for the EFCC and the government to constructively engage all stakeholders notwithstanding, in order to particularly gain the confidence of the bench and the bar which are crucial and indispensable elements to the successful execution of the war for our collective good.
The war against corruption is a national assignment in which every patriot must become consciously focused to joining hands with the government by playing their part in order to heal our land and restore the country’s lost glory, so that we can make progress and take our rightful place in the comity of civilized people.