IT’S A WITCH-HUNT!
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This is the popular refrain of treasury looters, beneficiaries of corruption, their friends and agents whenever the anti-corruption agencies shine light in their direction. Usually and very unfortunately, a sizeable section of the populace, victims of their malfeasance under the influence of ruinous sentiments pick up the deceptive cry. They ask such vacuous questions as, “is he/she the only one that stole; what about so and so persons?” As an invigorated EFCC beams light on the deeds of the last administration, the same old subterfuge is being deployed. Well, it is quite expected, and this piece would have been needless if not for the participation of seemingly sensible persons in the show of vacuity.
I see friends and persons that I assume should know better rail endlessly on the ‘injustice’ of not having APC chieftains they accuse of being corrupt picked up by the EFCC. They ask why those under investigation for corruption are mostly officials of the last administration and PDP members. Hence, they declare the ongoing anti-corruption effort insincere and a witch-hunt. Note that the grouse is not about whether those under interrogation have questions to answer but that some others they deem corrupt are not also being grilled. On the surface this may seem a legitimate concern but then, which should be more important to a forward-looking citizen –that corrupt persons are being interrogated or that few others he considers equally corrupt are not among? Can every corrupt citizen be tried at the same time? Are the anti-corruption agencies bound to follow the individual’s sequence in prosecuting corrupt persons? Must the entire effort be rubbished because few persons are currently not included? Would that not amount to throwing the baby away with the bath water? I think persons who repetitiously make the argument about non-inclusion of especially Rotimi Amechi and Raji Fashola in the list of people under trial are actually driven by same unhealthy and shameful sentiments that have been a major problem for the country but only strive to hide it behind the noble ideal of fairness.
Let’s even face reality, who in his right senses would start an anti-corruption war in a deeply corrupt society like ours still lacking strong institutions with his close allies? Is it not strategic to deal with the external threats before embarking on a house cleaning? If I were President Buhari, I certainly will not start such momentous fight against my close supporters. As long as they do not soil their hands while in my government I’ll leave them to be investigated and taken care of much later by the strong institutions I would have built. So, away with the sophistry; the non-inclusion of the allegedly corrupt APC chieftains among those facing trial does not invalidate the anti-corruption effort. I will not be quick to label it selective. But then, selective fight against corruption is still better than none at all; I really don’t mind a witch-hunt as long as the subject of the hunt is a witch.
NB:The opinion here expressed, is solely the writer’s.
7th September 2016