The opponents of President Buhari are so desperate to tar him with corruption that their attempts are risible.
The plan is to apply to Buhari every single label that got Jonathan kicked out of power. Fortunately they know that only one man will ever wear THE INEFFECTUAL BUFFON crown and that is the only accidental hero of democracy – Ex President Goodluck Egbere Jonathan.
The following definition of corruption should do for the purpose of this article:
“Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery”
Some similar words are: dishonesty, deceit, fraud, double-dealing, misconduct, law breaking, crime, wrong doing etc.
If you look at the definition of corruption and the associated words above, you will see that many of us private citizens are guilty of these. Paying money to get priority in a queue, preferred admission places into educational programs, get a job, gain promotion etc. As private citizens, we are not in power so that is not a focus of this article.
I am more interested in behavior by people in power. The policeman. The soldier. The public servant. I doubt there is anybody in Nigeria who will deny corruption is still prevalent amongst those who have power. Policeman still demand and obtain bribe. The leadership of the Police appears to be trying to do something about it but it will be a long hard slug.
Soldiers still abuse members of the public for whatever reasons. Wearing camouflage clothing or maybe even overtaking their Oga’s convoy. This too is corruption in addition to plain old criminal conduct and human right abuse.
All of these have been with us Nigerians since time immemorial. If you research well enough you will find examples dating back to pre – colonial era Nigeria. However things have worsened with increased population and also as a sign of the world we live in today.
What about government corruption? The outright stealing of government money through one scheme / scam or the other. That has always been with us and will always be. I am however 100% convinced that the scale of stealing government money has reduced significantly under the Buhari administration.
Before I continue, please be aware there is corruption everywhere. USA, UK, Western Europe, Russia, China, India. The media is filled with one story of corruption or the other. As humans, there will always be corruption but what ensures that the scale is lower in Western democracies are as follows:
– Leaders who fundamentally have a desire to serve and are not out for the material gains of office
– Systems of check and balances – competitive tenders, transparency, price benchmarking, qualitative checks, auditing, recourse, appropriate criminal or civil sanctions
– Citizenry willing to ask questions and demand answers
– Media willing to take powerful people to tasks without fear of physical harm
Despite all of these, corruption still exists in Western Democracies.
The absence of any of the above and many more enablers of reduced corruption is a big issue in Africa and Nigeria. This is why it will take time for corruption in Nigeria to reduce to Western Europe / America levels. This is why Rotimi Amaechi made that recent comment about Buhari’s administration not totally corruption free.
However corruption in Nigeria has reduced significantly because of Buhari and his government. It is not a coincidence that Buhari has a reputation for integrity. He is aesthetic for one and with probably the exception of Alhaji Shehu Shagari & General Gowon; Buhari is the poorest ex President of Nigeria. Compare Buhari’s assets with that of lily white OBJ, Saint IBB, Peacemaker Abdusalami & sHero Jonathan and you will see the measure of the man. It is a matter of public record that Jonathan’s wife is richer than many states in Nigeria and that’s only the money we know about.
Buhari’s appointment to lead the anti Corruption effort of the African Union is not a coincidence. 50+ of his contemporaries see the good work he is doing on corruption irrespective of what Corruption International says.
As an individual, if you want to be convinced about Buhari’s anti corruption effort, just reflect on the following:
– Record remittances from several government agencies. It even appears snakes will start vomiting the money they swallowed. Fire will start to un – burn the money it destroyed.
– We are seeing Pensions & PTAD work for the common man. There is no Rasheed Maina disappearing with hundreds of billions. We are seeing historical pension obligations paid.
– We are seeing record expenditure on capital projects. The Lagos Ibadan expressway was an eyesore under Jonathan. OBJ himself acknowledged this as a Buhari achievement. Now work is ongoing and it will complete early in 2019. Even the road to Otuoke, Jonathan’s village has been tarred by the Buhari administration.
– We are seeing over one million school children getting a free meal per day at significant costs to the common purse.
– We are seeing hundreds of thousands of Nigerians benefiting from the N Power programs. They didn’t have to know anybody in government or have a godfather. They have all been selected on merit. They are earning something and have a sense of self worth.
– We are seeing the unprecedented growth in Nigeria’s reserves daily. Those who are quick to claim this is due to increase in oil price are quiet when you ask them why the reserves wasn’t increasing when oil price was above $100 during the bad luck years of Jonathan.
– We can see the bitter cry of many elites. The country is dry is the underlying claim. The Buhari administration has stopped feeding their ATMs. These ones will do anything to protect their access to the common wealth. They have killed before and they will kill again. So be prepared to look beyond the herdsmen / famer issue and the abduction of schoolgirls. Don’t forget that a planeload of future military leaders has miraculously crashed in Nigeria before. There is no limit to the K Leg society.
Just to help you understand how much corruption has reduced in Buhari’s administration, read the below article (Punch Newspaper article reproduced by Sahara Reporters) which was published a year into GEJ’s government
USD31 Billion! A year into his administration! Wow. The rest is history. Trucks driving into Central Bank of Nigeria to withdraw billions in dollars, pounds sterling and euros.
Hundreds of millions doled to Area Fathers of politics and marabouts. Thousands of youths turned into online soldiers for a pittance.
Immediately after Diezani’s resumption of office as Minister of Petroleum, we already knew of the sweetheart boardroom and bedroom deals that made Kola Aluko & Jide Omokore multi billionaires.
We are almost 3 years into Buhari’s administration. Where are Buhari’s Diezani, Kola Aluko, Jide Omokore and Sambo Dasuki?
Yes people are quick to point out Babachir Lawal who is alleged to have diverted N200m. People are talking about the NHIS Executive and one story here and the other there. While these are large sums on their own, they pale into insignificance when compared with what Jonathan and Diezani and their cronies vanished from Nigeria’s common wealth. And what the PDP, their family and acolytes pilfered in 16 years.
So yes, there are reported cases of misdemeanors here and there but Jonathan’s government had a PhD in corruption while Buhari is still attempting School Certificate.
The gulf is huge.
Baba Grumpy works in financial services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy