Corruption War Takes Off

Corruption War Takes OffThere are clear indications that the war on corruption has started in earnest in the country. Two major factors that point to this development are the induction of a panel on war on corruption and the announcement Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari that his administration has started collating facts leading to the identification of officials of past government who appropriated national resources in the course of their tour of duty. Buhari raised a panel headed by Itse Sagay, respected professor of Law , with members including criminologists and other lawyers. The composition of the panel was an indication that the war on corruption was going to be fought differently this time. There were also concerns that the panel had no representative from the judiciary. Could it be an indication that the bench cannot be trusted? That question was left hanging last week. But what was clear is that the current government is showing as much political will as is needed to fight the scourge of corruption. Buhari would not have disappointed anybody in this case, because people had that confidence in him that he would fight corruption.
The president told the peace committee led by Abdusalami Abubakar, former head of state that his administration will not only recover the stolen funds, but will also put the offending officials on trial. He said, “Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress.” According to him, many things were done without due process, and he said that was why the country suffered economically and security wise.
For instance, Buhari said, “ As Petroleum Minister under Gen Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1970s , I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants.” However, the president probably did not ask his former boss how it was done during his tenure as civilian head of government. Would trips abroad be considered an act of corruption because it was not approved by the FEC or because it violates latent regulations and economic policies of government.
What is clear, however, is that notwithstanding complaints about the speed of the current administration, the war against corruption has started, and this may come with surprises.

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