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Buhari And The Conquest Of Dignity. (Part One)

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By Elempe Dele, Edo.

This week, the boy that was shot dead in the eastern part of Nigeria was eventually laid to rest. Why was he shot? He slapped a policeman in retaliation. For me, it is was not his body, his lifeless soul or his remains that was buried, it was his human dignity. He refused to be humiliated even at gun point.

Elempe Dele, Edo.

Today, after recovering from the shame of what happened in court between Sowore and the DSS before the whole wide world, I settled for the word ‘Dignity.’ Why should I settle for that human element and why should dignity mean anything to me? Why is dignity part of our social documents as civilized animals (not wild dogs)? From law books, manifestoes, cultures and even political struggles…Oh, it is even in the Declaration of Universal Right!

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From history, the quest for human dignity had always been the reason for wars, civil disobedience, even human sacrifice like what the boy did in the East. No doubt, dignity is an intangible bequest even if it cannot be compared to food, housing, health, clothing…and other sustaining human needs.

As a human and a Nigerian, I feel bound by a measure of necessity to come in defence of those of us who feel deeply pained by the ceaseless tramping on our dignity. And I wish to ask again, why is Buhari taking away our dignity, without remorse?

Between the government and the people, dignity ought to be a product of their social interaction, and the government owe the people that responsibility to respect their dignity. When the government act the way it did in court with Sowore few days back, what it aim to achieve is to rob the victim of his inherent dignity. Sowore was not the one that was humiliated and taken away, to me it was only just symbolic. Something bigger than Sowore was taken away from us with that act of violation just like when Justice Onoghen was illegally removed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari

It was not Sowore that was taken away, it was not Justice Ojukwu that was humiliated and frightened with guns, it was not just a bad unheard of precedent that was set by the government…it was our collective dignity that was whisked away, like every other human mockery under Buhari.

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Opinion

Open Memo To The New EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa As He Assume Office

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa
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Open Memo To The New EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa As He Assume Office

By Abba Dukawa, Kano.

I am constrained to write you this open Memo as you assumed the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). But let you remember

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa

That On the day of judgement, you will appear before Almighty to account for all your deed before him where your sense of justice and honesty as a leader will unchain you. May Allah hold your hand to do the right and also fellow the right path in discharging your responsibilities.

Mr chairman You assumed the commission leadership when the country’s positions in the global outlook perception is not commendable.

Nevertheless, the administration came to power through a change mantra with the top three cardinal promises of Economic Development, fighting insecurity and corruption. Nigeria is still been perceived as among Africa’s corrupt countries.

Not only did the country slipped two places below from 146th position in 2019 to 149th in 2020, the country also scored 25 out of 100 points, falling by one point compared to 2019, according to 2020 Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.

The 149th position means Nigeria is just above 31 countries out of 180 countries surveyed worldwide, while Nigeria is ranked 25 out of 49 countries in the sub-region.

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Nigerians are expecting much from you to be a strong and real dodged fighter in fighting the common enemy that has frustrated our realization of the country’s economic development despite the enormous natural and human resources of Nigeria.

Other expectations of Nigerians on you, include reform of the commission in non-powerful elements outside the commission influence and most importantly, non-partisan manner will surely assist the commission to box corruption to a standstill.

To achieve a just and fair fight against corruption, there is a need for you to focus on building a strong commission that cannot be manipulated by personalities. Instil a culture of accountability, and transparency in the way the commission runs its activities would enable the agency to perform optimally.

Let you be the agent of change as you knew all former chairman of the commission were all alleged to have abused their office with some doses of corrupt practices.

Avoid battle for supremacy between your office and that of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

Fighting corruption is very weighty and greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians. Use your expertise to implement reforms and ensure a fair and balanced fight against corruption and corrupt people in Nigeria this is achievable as an official who passed through the ranks of the commission. Need to ensure synergy between the EFCC and its sister anti-graft body, such as ICPC, CCB, CCT and other law enforcement agencies as this will increase better results.

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Nigerians and the world are watching you in discharging these herculean tasks before you.

The need for doing any things possible within your reach to regaining the confidence of Nigerians in turning around the commission to achieve its objective should be your top priority. In yesteryears, the mentioned of EFCC name scare corrupt and economic saboteurs but that fright notion of if EFCC catches you, one would bear the consequence also gone.

There is a need for the commission to collaborate with the Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Chief Justice of the Federation and the National Assembly towards the establishment of a Special Anti-corruption Tribunal to facilitate speedy determination of hundreds of corruption cases before the nation’s normal courts. This Special Anti-corruption Tribunal will fast track the prosecutions of corrupt cases.

Need for the strengthening of the collective effort in citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption by engaging non-state actors, especially the media and civil society organizations, in providing information to the public in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

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Engage massive media campaigns both in three major languages in the country to enlighten the public on the damage of corruption on us. This will increase the chances of making good fight.

With your experience being among pioneer cadet staff of the commission which your records show that you have a passion for the war against graft, so you should ensure to have personnel with similar passion to work with. While those that are sheep in the wolf skin within the commission are to be sent away.

Like you said, there is a difference between fighting corruption and fighting corrupt people and you are going forward.

Let you and your staff be proactive in fighting both this will help you in fulfilling the paradigm shift in the agency’s approach to the anti-graft war.

Bear in mind the country is still languishing in extreme poverty as a result of corruption and the fight against corruption has become a mere statement.

On a final note, need you remember that you are aware that the mantle of leadership is a responsibility bestowed on you by God and as a Muslim, you will account for every deed and activity you engaged in under oath as a chairman of the commission.

Abba Dukawa, a public commentator and writer from Kano State

Abba Dukawa, a public commentator and writer from Kano State

Dukawa writes from Kano and can be reached at atabbahydukawa@gmail.com

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Nasarawa Speaker; Your Tireless Efforts Have Rendered Us Hope For The Future – Musa Jameel Toto

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Rt. Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe
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Nasarawa State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Honourable Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe should be commended for his immense contribution to the development of the State.

A clear definition of a Leader is he that harbour’s good and reliable initiatives that truly clears the part for a more successful Reformation and development’s, your zealous act and persistence towards actualizing a fruitful and progressive environment for the betterment of every heart has demonstrated your innermost quality and pure passion as a leader to lead.

In trying times as a capable head, you have stood firm and focus without fear of falling apart, you as a character have champion a just course of survival for everyone and everyone in your constituents to leave with.

Rt. Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe

Rt. Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe

Rt Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe (WALIN OF OPANDA), has been diligently and tirelessly of service to humanity in the past couple of years of his existence. At 58 years old, he is still doggedly committed to serving the people to the glory of God.

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It is on record that Walin Of Opanda served as speaker NSHA for two consecutive terms.

Yet his political frontiers is transcending his constituency and Nasarawa state as he has become a force to reckon with virtually within the State. His belief in democratic tenets is unequalled, and his democratic credentials is something for the books.

History of Nasarawa state present democratic dispensation will not forget in a hurry the name of Speaker Rt Hon Abdullahi Ibrahim Balarabe Walin of Opanda. He has become a phenomenon in the State Assembly’s politics, and that his school of politics has surprised so many coming as a second time at the State Assembly, he has become a factor both within his constituents, in his constituency and at the Assembly.

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His electrifying presence on the political scene tied to his uncommon philanthropic tendencies made him a personality any serious politician in Toto LG and Nasarawa state crave to associate with.

the love he has for the downtrodden succeeded in blending politics with philanthropy, advancing the course of humanity and societal development thus putting himself in a position of rendering service to the people and developing his environment.

He is today a spring of hope to many and a huge blessing to his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress in Toto LG and the state at large.

I make bold to say that Mr Speaker style of politics will in no distant time become a subject of intense research among political scholars. For the fact he is unique in so many ways. There is hardly a politician that has had the bashing of Rt Hon Ibrahim Balarabe and still have the kind of loyalty and support of the people around him.

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I pray God Almighty to continue to grant him good health, peace of mind, and more wisdom, zeal and ability to continue the good works.

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Opinion

Trouble Fighting Corruption In Nigeria

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The corrupt man is everywhere, the man on the street, the man next door, the man in the church or mosque, the man in the market or the departmental store, the policeman on beat patrol and the soldier at the check point (Okadigbo, 1987)

THE present administration came to power through the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari with his top three cardinal promises of “economic development, fighting insecurity and corruption”. But the country is still languishing in extreme poverty as result of corruption and the fight against corruption has become a mere political statement.

Nigerians are alienated, angry and fed up with the way the fighting corruption is being handled with the slow pace of the fight against corruption since the administration came to power,

Regrettably, it is under the watch of this present administration that Nigeria’s corruption perception index published by Transparency International has nosedived. With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau being the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region. The country scored 26 out of 100 points, a drop from the 27 points that it has maintained since 2017. In the 2018 index, Nigeria rose by four places on the index from 148 to 144 and also dropped two places in 2019, ranking 146 out of the 180 countries.

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Since 2015, Transparency International reports indicated that the administration’s war against corruption could not be said to be effective in the light of the poor performance of the EFCC in several high-profile corruption cases like defencegate,PDP Campagn funds and the most publicised case of a former petroleum minister.

But the trouble with the anti-corruption agency in Nigeria is clearly lack of political will from leaders of the agencies assigned with the responsibility of fighting corruption in the country as corruption cases have been on the increase. The anti-corruption agencies have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that there are not able to translate their anti–corruption “crusade” into action.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act (2004) empowered the commission to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and it is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes.

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But 17 years after the establishment of the agency, strangely, all former chairmen of the commission were allegedly removed for undisclosed abuse of office.

There is no doubt that the new chairman of the EFCC will be facing a herculean task and may not like to go the way of his predecessors. He has the urgent challenge of regaining the confidence of Nigerians by turning around the commission to achieve its objectives.

Many Nigerians are expecting much from the new chairman as he takes over the mantle of leadership because corruption cases have been on the increase despite the anti–corruption campaigns. The new chairman is expected to be an agent of change in fighting the common enemy that has frustrated the realization of country’s economic development despite the enormous natural and human resources of the Nigeria.

Perhaps, the new chairman should strengthen the collective effort in citizens’ participation in the fight against corruption as this will increase the chances of engaging non-state actors, especially the media and civil society organizations, in providing information to the public in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

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Some other expectations of Nigerians include reform of the commission and ensuring a fair and balanced fight against corruption in the country as an official who passed through the ranks of the commission. He should ensure that there is synergy between the EFCC and other sister anti-graft agencies like the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies in order to produce the needed results in the fight against corruption.

It will be recalled that the slow pace of court cases and financial settlements made by wealthy individuals and entities outside of the courtroom have impeded successful prosecution of cases. The convictions of two former governors, Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, have failed to convince the public of the sincerity and effectiveness of the war against corruption.

Need for the establishment of a special anti-corruption tribunal by the National Assembly to facilitate speedy determination of hundreds of corruption cases before the nation’s courts will aid the war against corruption.

DUKAWA write in from Kano and can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

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