A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
Arnold H. Glasow
There was recently a discussion on whether the President Muhammad Buhari government (or more specifically, the Presidency) is doing enough to fight corruption in the country..
Of course, with the sky-high expectations of people regarding the sanitation drive of the Buhari Presidency, people have not seen jails filled with political thieves.
Understandably some people are beginning to see the anti corruption drive as mere rhetorics.
A short conversation among two friends, discussing the state of the economy, with special focus on corruption, and the efforts being made to rid society of it, precipitated this post.
We made progress with dealing with the insurgency in the North East no doubt and yes that counts as progress in the area of security. Security situation in the remaining five geopolitical regions however have remain either same, or become worse (Herdsmen, kidnapping).
There are no real significant achievements in fighting corruption. As a matter of fact, new avenues for corruption have been introduced under the administration – the multiple FX markets and the open scam this has enabled is one example.
So no progress was made here.
As for the economic management, he has made things worse.
I think there are significant strides made in fighting corruption
Making it more difficult to steal is some achievement. Bringing past thieves to book is another, which is easier said than done. Recovering looted funds is yet another facet.
In terms of security, the situation is certainly far better than we had before the inception of this government. Also, let us remember that insecurity is intimately linked to a worsening economy, and government needs to be praised that things are not a lot worse now, in terms of security, than it could be.
Most times, the failure is due to “lack of diligent prosecution” by the agencies of the executive arm of Government – EFCC, ICPC or the Attorney General’s office.
You may want to look at the recent ICPC/CCB case against the Senate President and tell me how the Judiciary frustrated the case.
The EFCC I understand hardly ever prosecutes without a petition brought to it. The Presidency has tried to encourage whistle blowers by promising pecuniary rewards for those who help catch thieving thieves.
And it would be simplistic to imagine that even in cases where there is NO “lack of diligent prosecution” – the judiciary has been doing its work assiduously .
Lawyers, the best ones can easily be hired by these corrupt moguls to convince you of a difference between six and half a dozen.
Why then isolate the blame and place it squarely on the doorsteps of the Presidency?
I would want to believe the EFCC and the other prosecutorial arms are independent, despite being under the Executive.
This independence was exemplified by the DSS presenting a report damning a Presidential nominee (chairmanship of the EFCC)!
What impedance do they have in prosecuting the Fat Yam Eating Goats other than political machinations, and probably the power of raw cash?
Judges are being bought.
When perpetual and marieva injunctions, inordinate postponements / adjournments are being thrown in the spokes of the wheels of justice, how exactly is the Presidency to blame.
When thieves amass enough wealth to bribe judges at the highest level, is President Muhammad Buhari is at fault for that? The Presidency attempts to use strong arm tactics to axe those corrupt judges, and everybody screams blue murder.
Well…we have lost much more than what has been recovered in the new fraud in town – the FX market scam. We need to look at the complete picture.
And how does making every big thief get a plea bargain serve as deterrent for the future?
The blame for failure in reining in corruption and deterring subsequent ones traverses the whole gamut.. the judiciary, the larger society and their attitude to condemning graft.
I don’t believe the Presidency itself can be blamed exclusively for the slow pace in the dispensation of justice here.
Corruption is not an easy thing to wipe out overnight in Nigeria and indeed all over the world over.
Imagine yourself as President Muhammad Buhari. Before climbing the saddle, people already said, based on his antecedents, he would be dictatorial.
Now, he has allowed the separation of responsibilities between the three arms of government, he is being blamed for not interfering in what’s is strictly a juridical matter (fighting corruption).
I don’t get that logic.
What exactly do we expect?
Should the Presidency usurp the roles of the judiciary? Does the President make laws? Even if he makes proposals, the two Houses have to approve those.
For me, the fact that people who steal money now are afraid of displaying it like before is indicative of an acknowledgement of CHANGE.
Also, when the major source of government revenue is the target of arsonists and militants, you can be sure government will not have enough funds at its disposal to execute programmes, and fulfill campaign promises.
I think it is also commendable that, up till now, the President as a person has managed to stay clear of the cases of corruption. .
Clearly, he still maintains that disdain for corruption which is very important.
One could blame the President for watching the economy nosedive this much, but I think it is merely running with the crowd to pontificate that he is not doing enough to fight corruption.
Talking about deterrent, punishment wouldn’t really accomplish that here.
As long as people would welcome a James Ibori with fanfare … as long as a church service would be conducted for an Olabode George with a former President in a attendance, corruption would continue in this country.
I feel that the greatest deterrent is to know that if you steal, society would treat you like a leper, not reward you with chieftaincy titles for stealing well executed.
Getting a big man into jail is not only a legal issue, but also a political one (at least here in Nigeria)
One can easily count how many big (wo)men have been jailed for corruption in Nigeria .
This is the reality, and whoever tries to fight corruption without some ‘bending’. would soon find out he is hitting his head against a big coconut.
Even Former President Obasanjo acknowledged this during his fist civilian coming.
Why was Ribadu unceremoniously relieved of his post?
Big piranhas fighting back, and winning….