President Muhammadu Buhari fight against corrupution


The aim of this article is to commend President Muhammadu Buhari on his bold and historic fight against corruption, as well as admonish him on the need to also focus on other pertinent issues regarding our union. Before doing that, I will seek the indulgence of readers to provide our eminent senators with a very short reminder on the origin and essence of the Senate as that important chamber of our bicameral legislature. Hopefully, it would be one reminder that could redirect their thoughts from demands that are pathetically outrageous and unpatriotic in the eyes of decent and honest Nigerians.
May I, with due respect and great humility, remind our privileged compatriots that all senators are equal and none is more equal than the other(s). The philosophical essence of the Senate is to assert the equality of states, irrespective of size and population. That one is Senate President or Deputy Senate President, is nothing but a privilege conferred by colleagues.
Such a privilege does not entitle them to more fundamental rights, such as immunity from prosecution or life pension that cannot be extended to their colleagues. Lest we do not know, it is principally because senators are equal in the eyes of the constitution that the Vice President of the United States is the presiding officer in the nation’s Senate.
On the question of immunity from prosecution, one may ask if law-making has become that risky or dangerous that the Senate President needs protection? What of the colleagues who propose and vote in the bills that eventually become the laws that guide our existence? Is the Senate President in greater danger of prosecution than any of them? Or, are we saying the Senate President can bring his or her pistol into the chamber and shoot down anyone who disagrees with them and the law enforcement agencies must wait patiently until he or she leaves office?
Now, away from this avoidable distraction to my main subject of President Buhari and the important tasks ahead. Not many will disagree that Buhari diagnosed a very crippling problem that corruption is and he is fighting it with stoical determination never seen before in our polity. Prof. Niyi Osundare underscored the danger posed by corruption to our collective existence when he screamed that ‘corruption will kill Nigeria, unless Nigeria kills corruption.’
Since Buhari began his noble crusade against corruption, the daily revelations of injustice by our economic terrorists must have convinced the doubter that one main reason why Nigeria has not realised its potentials as an important African nation is because of the corruption and greed of the privileged few in our midst. The ongoing revelations that monies meant for the prosecution of the war against the Boko Haram insurgency were either diverted for electioneering purposes or embezzled by fat and ugly generals, indeed confirm Osundare’s fears that corruption can kill our nation
The fight against corruption is undoubtedly a tough and dangerous fight. It is a fight against a very tiny but powerful minority. The powerful crooks include those who, by virtue of their elevated positions, dine daily with our President. An intelligent general cannot fight all fronts at the same time, otherwise he will not live to tell the story. As Buhari makes scapegoats of those he can, the fight against corruption belongs to all of us. That era must be gone forever when we berated our politicians for not building massive mansions in our home towns no sooner than they had successfully rigged their elections; we must now learn to ask questions about any life style that is not justified by one’s earnings or known economic status. The fight against corruption is a fight for generations of Nigerians.
Of course, we must first secure the Nigeria of today before we can be assured of securing its future. The point that I am trying to make here is that Buhari must not ignore issues bordering on discontent in our inter-regional relationships generally. I do not have any problem with the amalgamation of Nigeria. In fact, I celebrate it. We would not be describing our nation as the ‘Giant of Africa’ if that amalgamation had not taken place in the first place. The United States of America, the nation many accept to be the most accomplished in the world today, is itself a product of progressive amalgamation of states. The main issue may not be about the nature of the state, but leadership and the inhabitants therein.
Buhari is advised here not to disregard suggestions, be it constitutionally or in practice, that can lead to a peaceful co-existence of Nigerians and the federating units. I do not personally agree to any suggestion that the states should be scrapped. Those professing that viewpoint may have quickly forgotten about the history of state agitation in Nigeria. However, there must be discussions on how to improve on what we already have. The findings of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Confab must not be consigned into the dustbin of history. The danger in doing that is that Buhari himself may inadvertently be endorsing and entrenching a disgusting culture that could see his own noble achievements or policies rubbished or discontinued by successors who do not belong in the same political party as him.
Finally, may I say that I do not currently live in Nigeria but the only time thoughts about Nigeria do not flash in my mind might be when I’m asleep! I know there is massive hunger in the land. As we fight corruption and set our agenda for the diversification of the economy, federal and state governments must work hard on how to make life more comfortable for Nigerians.
Workers deserve their salaries promptly and Nigerians generally want to feel the presence of their governments. Money can be borrowed from anywhere to secure the future of society but not to be shared by economic terrorists. As we seek understanding for the Buhari-led administration, the truth of the matter is that it may not be all that easy to preach patience to someone who does not know where the next meal is coming from.Something has got to be done and quickly too!
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