Is there a shortage of good men and women? - By: . . | Dailytrust

Is there a shortage of good men and women?

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerians have become used to wrangling within the Presidential Villa, and often for the brawls to lead on to the street making quite a spectacle.

Hard as you try, your feelings form a lump in your throat because you truly care for the country, and wish its leader well.

This is your country.

The only one you have got, and no other one else to run to and thus must take steps to stay here and salvage it.

The man whose famous quote I have ended up paraphrasing in my monologue is President Muhammadu Buhari.

He does not need the ongoing squabbles, he being President.

The nation does not need them, especially when the squabbles go on endlessly.

Sadly, the buck stops at his table, and it is he to deal with it.

Nigeria’s Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, immaculately dressed as usual according to reports, was stopped in front of his Wuse II office by officers of the Department of State Security, the DSS and dramatically diverted from his route and taken to the Presidential Villa to face a supposed enquiry into allegations against him.

This is a serious abnormality operational only in Stalinist Russia or even Hitler with his gestapo.

Sections of the press reported that Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC Chairman had been arrested by men of the Department of State Security.

Although the DSS denied it, the damage had been done. In quick succession, the DSS doubled down on the arrest story saying Magu had only been invited to address a panel of enquiry in the Presidential Villa.

The EFCC itself through its spokesman disabused public minds from the arrest story, offering its own, that he was only invited.

Meanwhile Monday morning, Professor Femi Odekunle, speaking as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) revealed that in deed Ibrahim Magu was invited to appear before a panel set up not long ago concerning some “alleged malfeasance by Magu, along with nominations for his replacement…just that those sent to invite him for whatever reasons best known to them invited some press along and made it look like an arrest.

That mischief has been confirmed by some apparent afterthought denial by the DSS that it was not an arrest.” Professor Odekunle pointed out, introducing a new dimension, by adding a third institution in the feud.

Mid June, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami had demanded for the sack of acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu for “insubordination and many other infractions”.

This letter found its way to the press. I had noted when the Malami letter was published that it would be interesting to see Magu’s reaction.

Would he also write the president, especially not to defend himself but instead to also allege from the EFCC’s perspective, “other infractions and misdeeds” against Justice Minister Malami also?

This would have been the Nigerian normal. But I wrote here that Malami “drove a knife through the administration’s underbelly when he was reported to have written President Buhari leveling serious accusation against EFCC Executive Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, alleging a squandering of funds recovered in the anti corruption fight”.

I say again, that the Malami letter was abnormal to corporate governance.

But while Magu kept a studied silence to await the president’s action on Malami’s letter, Professor Odekunle reacting to the “arrest” of Magu, stated, “for, to the best of PACAC’s knowledge and observations, Malami has not manifested any genuine commitment to the anti-corruption fight.

Samplers: the nolle- prosequi entered in a case of corruption against Orubebe in relation to alleged malfeasance while minister of Niger Delta; secret meeting with fugitive Maina in Dubai under whatever guise/excuse; his involvement in the surreptitious reinjection of the same Maina into the Civil Service; his supervision of Obono-Oblas’ kangaroo Asset Recovery outfit, which Obla subsequently ran out of the country (sic) when exposed by some ICPC investigation; his non-due attention, by design or default, to the P&ID matter since 2015 until it was blown open by humongous financial damage to the country; etc.

This is in open angst, earlier expected of Magu was a baffling statement coming from Odekunle on behalf of PCAC.

The PCAC through Professor Odekunle went on to deduce that “the alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current “arrest “ seems an outcome of power-play by power blocs in the corridors of power in which Malami appears to be an arrow-head or major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight”.

It all points to one fact.

As the novelist put it in ‘Things fall apart’, it appears the centre can not hold, and the discordant notes in the Buhari administration are only getting louder.

Three weeks ago, it was a feud between the Service Chiefs and the National Security Adviser, with the latter noting that the best of the Service Chiefs was not good enough.

Whereas internal security is the reason Nigerians voted President Buhari overwhelmingly and today say without speaking, that his best is not good enough.

Alas, if EFCC Chairman and the Attorney General are up against each other in this clear clash of power blocks, it means also that the fight against corruption, a Buhari cardinal objective is not quite on track.

DSS vs Magu

We must be careful not to downplay the serious nature of the whole implication of this.

From the onset, it was obvious that there was conflict between the DSS and Ibrahim Magu, when the DSS submitted an uncomplimentary report on Magu to form the basis of his rejection by the Senate.

It was imperative for President Buhari to have availed himself of all the necessary information to clear Magu or replace him.

Sadly as in many other issues, no decision was taken.

As it is now, President Buhari is surrounded by failed institutions, ran by his appointees at war with themselves and in turn hindering his government from scoring resounding success on core goals.

With all due deference to the investigations going on, a complete overhaul of the government is called for and needed urgently, against the all too visible engine fatigue – unless the nation is imperiled by the shortage of good men and women, which it is not.

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