By Kurtis Adigba

This is How the War Against Corruption is Fought in Nigeria

Posted on: July 13, 2020

The war on corruption is a zero-sum game, where some people celebrate every gain by the government as a win for them, and others mourn as a loss to them.

Those who see the gains in the war against corruption as losses are doing everything to muddy clean waters on the war on corruption. They say the war on corruption is a hoax.

But corruption is real!

It is an existential threat to the development of the country. And until we confront and subdue it to the barest minimum, we will continue to swim in the ocean of wishes, pains, and lamentations.

The level of corruption in the country is simply unacceptable. The fact that some people are happy to say: “corruption is highest under this government” in spite of the concerted efforts by the government to confront and combat it, should be troubling and sobering in equal dose.

Yes, we have corruption in the country. Those who don’t believe, that corruption is a huge problem in the country have their heads in the stand; live in the moon, or in a bubble insulated.

They see every fight against corruption as political persecution. They cast doubts on the recovery of looted funds and assets, but turn around to accuse the government of “re-looting” the same funds and assets.

They interpret every acquittal by the courts or remission of cases on technical or procedural grounds by the highest court to the lower courts, as a victory for their position that there is no corruption.

How can anyone reasonably conclude that there is no corruption in the country given our stunted growth and the poor quality of life of the people given our huge resources?

How does anyone explain the deficits in infrastructure given the yearly allocations for the same infrastructures? Why are the hospitals not equipped with modern and latest equipment? It is because of corruption- looting and stealing of public funds for private purposes and consumption.

On the other side are those who believe that we have corruption and that it is a huge drawback. They support the government in the war, but they are opposed to anyone expressing doubts about the fairness and wholesomeness of the war.

They interpret every and any action or complaint on the methods and substance of the war on corruption, as “corruption fighting back“. To them, those leading the war on corruption are perfect and above board, and cannot be questioned or examined by the person who appointed them, even in the face of deeply troubling allegations.

It is in the light of this that disappointments expressed by some people by the suspension and probe of Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of EFCC, should be viewed.

To these folks, the suspension and probe of Mr Magu, is a victory for corruption.

President Buhari, they whined must have been bitten by the corruption bug.

They asked:

How can the president be so deceived by the corrupt elements to move against Magu his chief warrior in the war against corruption”?

But they forget that President Buhari is the same man who, been standing with Magu against all odds. They ignored the fact that the president has the power to sack Magu outrightly without explanation and process. That he chose to give him the chance and opportunity to answer to the allegations against him, is clear evidence that he is firm and fair. He deserved praise not condemnation.

Friends, the human nature is fickle.

A clean man today can become dirty tomorrow, and Vice versa.

The reputation for honesty and integrity can become the parachute for flying away money.

Magu’s reputation for honesty and probity is being fittingly tested, it is our prayers that he passes in flying colours. If he failed, it will be devastating, but not unexpected.

The president must move beyond relying on ‘good’ people to prosecute the war on corruption if he wants to fight corruption beyond his term in office.

The war must be institutionalized. The War Against Indiscipline he introduced in 1984 fizzled out after he was overthrown because those who succeeded him did not see corruption as a problem.

Corruption is real and must be fought by only those who are truly clean and free from the alluring and seductive power of corruption.

What do you think the government should do to Ibrahim Magu?

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Kurtis Adigba

Kurtis Udenyi Adigba is an Attorney at law and a political consultant. His greatest passion is to see Nigeria make real progress and to take her rightful place in the world. He is keen on improving and enhancing the processes of democracy. He believes that politics is the greatest force for doing the greatest good and is not a blood sport as many people think.
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