Edikan Uko: The Naked Corruption Of The Buhari Government

Edikan Uko: The Naked Corruption Of The Buhari Government [MUST READ]

By Edikan Uko | Op-Ed Contributor on December 29, 2017
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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

There is widespread concern in Nigeria and the global community that Muhammadu Buhari’s government will destabilise Nigeria’s young democracy and set the country back to the dark military era when rule of law was suspended and replaced with a brutal dictatorship.

Since President Buhari came into power in May 2015, he has openly used strong-arm tactics to intimidate, harass, and ultimately silence those who disagree with him politically or hold a different religious beliefs. Independent minds and opposition voices are being targeted for arrest and other forms of undemocratic abuse of power by the present Nigerian government.

Buhari, who was heralded into office after an intense anti-corruption themed campaign, has now been exposed as a scam artist. The ironic part of this unveiling is that the scam has been exposed by none other than President Buhari himself.

What is particularly glaring is the incompetence and naked corruption of the Buhari government which has made a mockery of the anti-graft agency set up to fight corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The Buhari government has turned what should be an independent law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes into a tool to shield party members and the cronies while hounding and victimising Buhari’s political opponents.

In October, the news of the $25 billion contract scam in NNPC made the headlines. In a leaked letter to the president, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources complained about NNPC’s unilateral award of contracts totalling $25 billion. Buhari’s government did not follow due process in awarding these contracts, rather shady deals were made. Surely this is corruption which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, should investigate.

Initially Mr. Buhari claimed he signed the contract documents while he was on leave in London. Facing intense backlash from the Nigerian public, the president changed the story and claimed that it was his vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who signed the papers in an acting capacity. When the outcry didn’t die down, the Buhari presidency’s shifting storyline entered into a a hocus-pocus phase and suddenly, it deniesthat there wasn’t even a $25 billion contracts anywhere.

How ridiculous is this going to get before we all admit that Buhari’s government is unimaginably corrupt and is destroying Nigeria and our economy?

This is not an isolated incident either, since May 2015 it has been one corruption scandal to the next for this reprobate government. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has not investigated any of these allegations pointing in the direction of his cronies in government, rather on the order of Muhammadu Buhari, EFCC is hounding and victimising Buhari’s critics and political opponents.

Buhari is not a supreme ruler above question. Bad as his tyrannical regime is, it was elected and he needs to give an accounting to the people. He needs to provide Nigerians with a clear account of the alleged corrupt $25 billion contracts and demonstrate that these contracts were awarded following due process laid down by the Nigerian law.

If these contracts did not follow due process, they need to be revoked immediately and the contractors and benefactors of this massive corruption need to be made to refund whatever money they received.

In this face of a monumental corruption scandal that Buhari’s government is currently under, a decent leader would have honourably resigned if he took the oath of the office of the presidency seriously. It is not too much for Nigerians to ask for.

Let us also keep in mind that after General Buhari was sworn into office in May 29, 2015 , he said he would not appoint a minister of petroleum, rather he would occupy the position himself. This shocked a lot of observers, but now Buhari’s agenda is clear. He kept this position for himself so he could personally oversee oil deals. So much for his anti-corruption drive; this is a case of ‘physician heal thyself’.

As the minister of petroleum he not only needs to account for the $25 billion contract, he should be investigated and if found wanting, the National Assembly should apply the constitution and begin impeachment process against him.

The legislative arm of government should push for transparency and ensure that the Buhari government follows due process. Elected officials serve the people and no one should be above the law. It is the duty of the National Assembly to demand that there is transparency in government and to make information available.

It is also the duty of Nigerians to speak up and demand transparency and competence from the government. In the beginning as God began to create the Heavens and the Earth, He said “let there be light”. We should continue to demand for light to be shed on the Buhari government, their policies and actions.

If Nigerians fail to use their power to keep their elected official accountable, tainted officials like Buhari and his cronies, will continue to get away with corruption and atrocities.

It is now clear as day, General Muhammadu Buhari, a failed military dictator, is no anti-corruption champion, the actions of this government has shown that on the contrary, he is corrupt and he is,naturally, running a corrupt government.

God bless Nigeria!

Edikan Uko is a political activist, business strategist, and human capital management professional. She sits on the Editorial Board of The Trent. She tweets from @EdikanUko

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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