By Dayo Sobowale
This week the Nigerian Senate approved the appointment of a young security operative as Chairman of the EFCC. The new man himself Mr Abdurasheed Bawa was confident he can deliver on the job as he has the requisite training and experience and the Nigerian senate agreed and reportedly confirmed him in just two hours. Really, I have no problem with that as the taste of the pudding is in the eating and time will tell, as the new helmsman lives up to his billing as he has promised. What baffles me however was a statement credited to the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption PACAC Professor Itse Sagay that the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami will not allow the new Chairman of the EFCC to perform just as he had not allowed the former Chairman Magu to deliver ostensibly because both are from Kebbi State. This shows clearly that there is some serious disturbance in Nigeria’s anticorruption sector and since anticorruption was one of the factors that made Nigerians elect our president twice now, then something needs to be done urgently to assure Nigerians that the anticorruption war has not derailed altogether for the simple reason that a house divided against itself cannot stand .
I have used this Sagay outburst or alarm to show that something is rotten in the state of Nigeria and not only on corruption but on security but our attitude , politics and democracy generally and I will give good examples to illustrate this. I will also highlight an emerging trend of media connivance and silence on issues of corruption especially when such media have vested interest or is politically aligned to such media or technology provider or supplier. In addition I will also show that misinformation on issues can be deliberate, orchestrated or manipulated to favor political parties or alienate or close down opposing views decisively and intentionally. We shall look at these issues at times from a political or historical perspective but we shall be cautious in highlighting the political culture or contemporary trend that have given rise to these developments.
In Nigeria of course one can say that we run a one party state because the APC has the majority in both Houses of the National Assembly. That explains the break neck speed at which all presidential appointments are approved in the senate. Especially those of the new Service Chiefs now Ambassadors. Yet in the Nigerian media there is some restraint, quite astonishing though. A Lagos state government PRO once told me he does not read the Nation because it is for government and APC and I told him he was misinformed because there are many columns in the Nation that are highly critical of government and the APC. Indeed the APC does inadvertently its own self-censorship or restraint. I remember when it was rumoured that former Aviation Minister Femi Fani Kayode was to join the APC it was a DG of the governors forum who said or lamented that the APC should not lose its values in taking on new members . Similarly a former Governor of Osun State while commenting on the APC registration of new members lamented that the party was admitting killers into its fold, although he later explained that he had no particular person in mind but whoever the cap fits should mend his ways.
Let me use the US and UK too to show part of what I have in mind on this topic. I will use two issues namely migration in the US and the bringing down of statues as a protest against racism and colonialism in the UK. The two personalities involved are new US President Joe Biden who is opening US borders to illegal aliens that former President Donald Trump built a wall against and UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng
In the US a Republican senator who went to the Mexican border was shown gaping holes in the Trump walls that Biden Administration has refused to fill because its new policy is for open borders and pro-immigration. As this is the new US policy on immigration then it is not much different from ISIS terrorist policy of a borderless world. Indeed that seems to be the policy of the herdsmen and abductors terrorizing our porous vast borders in the North East and the marauders in Kaduna state, the NW and North Central. Indeed we have been told that the gun totting armed Fulani herdsmen are not bona fide Nigerians but aliens from neighbouring Niger and Chad who have infiltrated our borders with impunity. The import here is that if the US is opening its borders to Mexicans legally or not, we can expect no help from the Americans in policing our borders in the open assault we face from terrorists like Boko Haram who preach No to the Nigerian state or armed herdsmen who roam about without respect for our borders . That is the harsh reality on security that Nigeria must face nowadays diplomatically and militarily. It is indeed a daunting security task
In the case of the UK I watched an interview on BBC by the UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng ,whose parents came from Ghana to the UK in the sixties. He asked people in Britain not to throw away the history and lessons of colonialism but to study and understand its context as it lasted over 400 years and cannot just be wished away or brought down by pulling down historical figures all over Britain because of Black Lives Matter protests. Which to me makes sense and showed a useful and profound benefit of Colonialism in that the UK Business Secretary has been both a victim and beneficiary of colonialism and knows where the shoe pinches on both counts. His advice or admonition should also discourage those who want to turn Black Lives Matter into a racism weapon to shut up critics or those with dissenting views. As in the cancel culture where new rules and words on what is politically correct are being drawn up daily and incessantly by liberals promoting acceptability of LGBT culture by all means in the EU, the US and western civilization generally. I think the UK is lucky indeed to have someone with the pedigree of a former colonial subject as its Business Secretary , at this point in time.
Let us now round up with the rumpus or rumbling in our anti-corruption brigade here at home. The AGN and Professor Sagay must mend fences in the national interest which is to get the anti-corruption strategy working to plan, such that it does not allow corruption to fight back and defeat it and thus this government and nation. That is a task that must be done so that the new EFCC helmsman can focus on his new task with the ample fresh blood he has brought into his new assignment. We wish him well. Once again – From the fury of this pandemic, Good Lord Deliver Nigeria.