No doubt corruption has been the bane of our socio-economic and political development as a nation since independence with over $600billion estimated to have been looted from the nation’s treasury in the past five decades.
Nigerians overwhelmingly voted not for the All Peoples Congress (APC) but a man of strong character in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari who was perceived as a man of integrity with an undeniable capacity to halt the unabating rise in the acts of corruption which got to a nauseating proportion before the 2015 general elections. However, it is now obvious that what we need as a nation are strong institutions and not strong individuals.
The trend of events that have characterized this government since assumption of office over two years ago especially as it borders on the war against corruption shows that not much has changed thereby leaving more to be desired as the zest exhibited during campaigns before the 2015 general elections seemed to have fizzled out as soon as the APC won the Presidential election.
The ongoing allegation of corruption and gross abuse of office against the GMD of NNPC in the person of Dr. Maikanti Baru by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu is one case too many and just like every other corruption cases before it such as the corruption allegation against the Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari and the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal will not be swept under the carpet thereby giving credence to the statement of Senator Shehu Sani that the President fights corruption with insecticide when it comes to others but uses deodorant when it comes to members of his executive.
While we have not entirely given up on the ability of the President to provide leadership especially in tackling this menace that has continued to constitute a clog in the wheel of our nation’s progress, the Young Progressive Party do hereby recommend in line with global governance best practices as follows:
1. The immediate suspension and investigation of the allegation and counter allegation of misappropriation and gross abuse of office against Dr. Maikanti Baru and Dr. Ibe Kachukwu in order to ascertain the level of culpability in the fraudulent award of contracts to the tune of $26billion dollars without following due process by the former and the probe of the later tenure as GMD NNPC.
2. The immediate appointment of a substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources who can effectively see to the day to day running of the Ministry and whom Nigerians can hold accountable for any breach of public trust.
3. The immediate implementation of the report submitted by the Presidential panel headed by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo set up to investigate the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the NIA, Mr. Ayo Oke.
4. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration should concentrate on building strong institutions that does not depend on any individual to fight corruption or drive good governance.
It is instructive that the above recommendations be strictly implemented in order for the present administration to gain back the confidence of majority of Nigerians who have come to see the ongoing anti-corruption war as selective and only targeted at anybody but members of the APC and the Executive.
Conclusively, we would like to congratulate the Super Eagles of Nigeria for qualifying for Russia 2018 against all odds and showing our leaders how to unite our people and that impossible is nothing if only we can shun our differences by uniting as a people in pursuit of a common goal of making Nigeria a better place not only for our generation but for generations yet unborn.