-By Austen Akhagbeme:
One of the most corrupting things about the fight against corruption in our nation is the emergence of an unending circus of discoveries of vicious acts of corruption, and their perpetrators by every successive government, to showboat feigned intentionality to perform and be seen on the side of the unsuspecting masses as one serious set of incoming leaders, as soon as they come into power.
This is gradually becoming a strategy to draw sympathy and undue allegiance to the status quo, especially when such a government is coming in with a baggage of issues that bothers legitimacy and acceptability.
Gen Sani Abacha came up with the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, to expose and present the previous regimes as wasters of surplus public funds in the eyes of the Nigerian people, all in a bid to gain acceptability from a tired and angry populace.
The next civilian administration of Gen Obasanjo made “Abacha loots” popular as he went after every trace and track to expose the maximum ruler as being corrupt himself. He set up the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, headed by a self-motivated young police officer to chase and harass corrupt Nigerians in their homes, offices, and even in their sleep, all to create a sense of novelty in the fight against corruption.
The Abacha loot became a pseudo-source of “foreign earnings” for successive governments until the last dispensation of Baba Buhari. Yet, no government can confidently and specifically point to how such a humongous amount of “discovered” and recovered monies were put to use for the benefit of the ordinary Nigerian.
It is, therefore, nauseating to think that right in our very eyes, the same strategy of hounding corrupt officials, suspension, and discovery of purportedly stolen monies is being employed by our present drivers to gain popularity of a pleasant jump-starting of the expected redemption of our troubled polity, while we cannot account for the judicious use of the previously discovered and sometimes recovered monies by past administrations.
What happened to the Mr. Yakubu of NNPC’s recovered loot and that of Mrs. Deziani Alison- Madueke? What about that of the dramatic Prof Pondei, the then acting managing director of NDDC and the Buhari regime’s former Accountant-General who stole billions of Naira? What happened to Ibrahim Magu’s investigation and the monies swallowed by snakes and the others discovered in Ikoyi apartment?
Until and unless we stopped being carried away by the shenanigans and playful antics of succeeding administrations, our eyes will not be clear enough to see the underbelly of negativism inherent in such an assumably do-gooder administration as time goes by. This is why I kept my feeling of déjā vu all these while. It is not all that glitters that are gold.
- Austen Akhagbeme s a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online