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COLUMNIST

The Anti-Corruption War

Posted: May 13, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 

By Chuks Osuji

It is a common knowledge in the Nigerian environment that those who work as either road side mechanics or well qualified mechanics wear the same uniform like mad men. Mechanics, more often than not, dress in black and oil painted materials mashed with vehicle oil and grease. This is due to the fact that a mechanic is often found roughing it out with vehicle engines, crawling under the vehicle to identify where the problem of the engine or those parts under have problems, particularly when it concerns the vehicle axels or the exhaust pipe.

In view of this type of job to which an average mechanic is exposed on daily basis, he may dress neatly and sharply to his workshop. But before he begins to work on any vehicle, engine or not, he must first of all change to his work dress which is often a dark or de-coloured dress probably a blue or even purple material which has turned black and oily.

On the other hand, many street mad men, due to the exposure to all types of weather, sun shine or rain fall including sleeping in an open place, go around in a tattered clothing not minding whether such cloths are torn, rough or dirty. They do not know the difference.

Therefore, it is due to the difficulty in recognizing a mechanic from a mad man or insane person that the people coined out this phrase long time ago, particularly in the Southern part of the country saying, “mechanics don’t allow us to know who is a mechanic or a mad person.”

Understandably, since President Buhari came to power and made war against corruption one of his cardinal policies, most of the Law enforcement operatives have virtually turned the war into kind of media melodrama or even into a South African macabre dance, making it difficult for Nigerians to know which is indeed a genuine gun war, act of vendetta, revenge or avenge action or indeed going after those who genuinely stole the country’s money.

To many objective Nigerians, it appears that the way and manner the war against corruption particularly against the perceived suspects have become almost a mere media trial and judgments before the actual court proceedings begin.

In the first place, the seeming geometric process of arresting or even inviting a suspect to the EFCC office for questioning have assumed a negative outcome among many Nigerians.

For example, since Olisa Metu, the PDP Publicity Secretary was humiliated before the world on television with handcuffs, which other high profile suspect has been so disgraced? I recalled one of my articles entitled, “if Metu were another Malam.” Which other malam, real or imaginary has been so treated?

Why is it that most of the suspects are Southerners but more South-Easterners and South-Southerners to a very less degree?

Why is it that most of the persons quizzed, detained or invited are mostly PDP party men. To an alert observer, the activities of EFCC and other Agencies involved in the prosecution of war against corruption have given reasons to Nigerians to begin to see through the “thin eye of a needle,” that this anti-corruption war have over dosage of political overtone.

How could EFCC operatives begin to publicize names of those who merely collected campaign fund for election purposes to be quizzed and sometimes unjustifiably or unnecessarily detained sometimes against court order?

One may ask: “When did it become an offence to collect fund from political party for campaign?” What is an incumbency factor after all?

The most ridiculous of such invitations and questioning was that of Distinguished Senator Chris Anyanwu and Chief Mike Ahamba, who were late comers to PDP.

The one that has the potentials to put the image of EFCC on the focus is the detention of Fani Kayode, who was the Publicity Director of PDP, and who made this equivalent on the side of APC, Chief Rotimi Amaechi looked too ordinary. Perhaps, this is a way to punish Fani Kayode for “punishing APC Campaign team” with his oratory and gab of speech.

In short, EFCC and other operatives have so bastardized this anti-corruption war that it now fits into the allegory of a mechanic and a mad man. Those concerned must jettison political considerations and concentrate on the genuine fazes. After all, there are many APC persons who played worse roles during the campaign. We know them and the country knows them. We are only watching for those persons to be invited, quizzed or equally detained