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COLUMNIST, Issues

PMB: Extend Probe Beyond Jonathan’s Administration

Posted: Aug 6, 2015 at 2:26 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The determination of president Muhammadu Buhari to fight the cankerworm of corruption which has been the bane of this country is quite commendable. Of course we cannot be telling ourselves again that the major reason behind the country’s underdevelopment is corruption. So if we are able to deal with this virus then our problem remains minor.

No doubt president Muhammadu Buhari has what it takes to fight corruption; being the reason why we overwhelming voted for him as we know him to be a man of impeccable character. And like this columnist do tell anyone who cares to listen, if Buhari cannot successfully fight corruption then it’s like all hope is lost. We should just forget about fighting corruption. We should just see corruption as an intractable disease that has come to stay with us. I say this much because I am yet to see any other person – at least at the political level – that can fight corruption.

However, much as Nigerians welcome and appreciate Buhari’s determination to rescue this country from the cobweb of corruption inside which it has for years been entangled, the position of his government to limit her planned probe to the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan alone is unwelcome and unacceptable. Unwelcome and unacceptable because probing Jonathan’s administration alone will amount to witch-hunt while it will also portray PMB as a vindictive person who is given to vendetta.

Though indisputably the country witnessed humongous corruption under the Jonathan-led PDP government; the type we haven’t seen since the return of the country to democratic path, president Buhari will be seen as a partial leader if he had to probe the Jonathan’s administration alone without extending same to the previous ones. So to fail to fight corruption holistically will be tantamount to witch-hunt on his part. After all, it wasn’t only the corruption that took place under Jonathan that singularly brought the country to this sorry pass.

The argument put forward by the government that if they had to dig into the activities of the previous governments they may not be able to do any other thing for the next for years. For me this argument cannot hold water because if Buhari could recover our stolen funds that will be a major achievement on its own. Even if that’s the only thing he is able to achieve for the next four years it won’t be a mean achievement.

And I say this much because when we look at the amount that has been frittered away from our country by successive administrations – both military and civilian – then we will give credit to any leader who can recover even just 40% of the loot. So for me since corruption didn’t start with the Jonathan administration probe also must be extended to the previous administrations that were equally guilty.

What I am saying essentially is that PMB will be putting a question mark on his sincerity about the probe he intends to carry out if he must probe one administration and leave the other/s as it will amount to a case of being double-standard. In calling people to account appertaining to the looting of our treasury there must be no sacred cow. For it’s the cumulative effect of years of looting that brought the country to this mess.

Thus in view of this all those who participated in looting our common heritage must be made to vomit our stolen funds; including the super rich civil servants who had been collaborators to our rapacious political elite. And it may be necessary to mention it here that most civil servants are even more corrupt than our so-called politicians. In fact in most cases they are the ones who teach politicians looting technics.

They (the civil servants) don’t only show politicians how to steal, they do push them to steal in most cases. And a good example here is what happened recently when PMB rejected the proposal from civil servants for them to purchase four armoured cars for Mr. President at the cost of N400m. Were Buhari to be a leader with corrupt inclination he would have, not only accepted it hook, line and sinker, he would have further told them to still jerk up the prices so he too could be taken care of.

Finally, let me conclude that this piece isn’t in any way meant to hold brief or defend former president Jonathan and his administration. Far from it! In fact, followers of my column will testify to it that I was one of the most critical of the Jonathan’s administration. But I take this position for the purpose of fairness and justice. More so because what has been stolen from the country’s treasury is too humongous than for us to limit the probe to Jonathan’s administration alone.

“All those who participated in looting our common heritage must be made to vomit our stolen funds; including the super rich civil servants who had been collaborators to our rapacious political elite”.