September 28, 2015

Selective probe or not, let the music play on

I WILL go straight to the point  without any preamble. Allegations abound against President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB] that he is selective in his war against corruption. It is being alleged that his war to “kill” corruption is targeted against members of the People Democratic Party [PDP] alone and that he is not lifting a finger against members of the All Progressive Party [APC]. Beyond the selective attack on the opposition party members and every member of the previous government under President Jonathan, Buhari’s accusers also detest his type of Gestapo system of arrest and investigation.

These are two different types of allegation. I shall only treat the first allegation, albeit selective probing as there are not sufficient evidences on ground for now to justify the existing of the second allegation – Gestapo policing.

In my candid opinion anyway, l cannot see anything bad if eighty to ninety per cent of those being questioned presently on allegations that border on the Nigerian economy are members of the immediate past government; a government the PDP anchored. In law of prosecution facts and facts only, are needed to secure convictions in courts of law.

In addition, it is another fact of life that if you are buying any property, be it house, land or even machineries, it is the owner, the seller or representative of either of them, conducting you round the property or the machineries that must answer your questions concerning the true state of the items being purchased. This is because the seller or its representative is under legal obligation to answer all questions emanating from the buyer because the former stands as the last person manning the exit point of the property or machinery in question.

The PDP took political custodian [mantle] of Nigeria from the military administration in 1999 and remained in power, un-broken for sixteen years, till 2015 when it was sacked by the APC government. Though l must admit here, just for the purpose of emphasising a point, that l am at loss to know who, between the APC and PMB, really sacked the PDP in the last general election.

This little dilemma of mine is as result of “latest epistles” written and published by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media Affairs; Mallam Garba Shehu, where he claimed that what Buhari promised Nigerians during the pre-election aggressive campaigns and what APC said are two different things. What the Senior Media Assistant is now saying is that Nigerians should not expect Buhari to fulfil any promise made by APC; the political party that offered him [Buhari] the platform with which he ran and secured the presidency.

The interpretation of Garba Shehu in addition to many other interpretations, emanating from “latter day self-appointed spokesmen” of Buhari and APC, in the likes of Comrade Adams Oshiomole; governor of Edo State, a former human rights defender, Barrister Festus Keyamo, is becoming my predicament as to the real identity of who sacked PDP during the April 2015 general election. Is it PMB or APC? Let us press on with today’s discuss as answer to above knotty question may come for discussion on another day.

PDP was the last occupier and controller of the Estate called Nigeria and for this reason; it is compulsory and necessary that the party with its operators in these past sixteen years give account of its stewardship while its occupation of the estate lasted. It is a normal logic for the PDP to do so willingly and happily. Or else, how will PMB leave behind Goodluck Jonathan and his PDP team that handed over briefs about the state of the nation to him and start asking others [outside the PDP] questions.

Buhari shall be standing wisdom head down if he fails to ask the last runners of the Nigerian economy some salient questions. It is the opinion of wisdom, which l tend to agree with, that the probe of the Nigerian economy is starting from the right place – PDP, and to regard this as selective probing will be conclusion in absurdity.

There are too many other reasons why we should not jump into conclusion on allegation of “selective probing”. One, it is an established fact that corruption has “killed” Nigeria. The only thing that remains for corruption to do is to give Nigeria “a befitting national and international burial”.

That itself was on its way if a “Buhari” of any type did not come on time. Two, it is a proven historical fact that every successive government in Nigeria has “bettered” its predecessor in terms of corruption. Name them one by one, from the first Republic to the present, they are all the same. This is inclusive of the military regimes that supposedly “came to correct and remove corruption” in the words of a one-time Chief of Army Staff; Major General David Akpode Ejoor.

If we are lucky enough to see a Muhammadu Buhari with an APC that is ready to cure us of this age-long corruption-headache, let us swallow it without minding where the drug [APC] manufacturer started from. While agreeing for the time being to start the battle anyhow, either selectively or electively, we should be looking out for the “engagement and disengagement treatment rule” that shall be meted to the personae dramatis involved in the act.

If we shine our eyes well enough we may be able to catch PMB hands down here,   because the Muhammadu Buhari l have studied closely for the past thirty two years; from being General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos to becoming Military Head of State [1983 – 1985] through operating the special Petroleum Trust Fund in the era of late General Sani Abacha, can be demystified and very easily too.

Muhammadu Buhari is capable of pursuing a progressive and stubborn probe agenda and he is equally capable of sending all those found guilty to prison, if convicted by the courts. The problem for PMB shall be his inability to commit all those governors plus other big wigs that decamped from PDP to form the APC at the twilight of the day to the same process of aggressive battle of “jailing all corrupt Nigerian politicians”. This is where the man may unwittingly allow the revolution he started to swallow him up. He shall get there and the allegation then shall grow beyond “selective probing.”

Mr.  Godwin Etakibuebu, a commentator on public affairs, wrote from Lagos.