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EFCC Controversy: “We The People” Are To Blame!!!

First published July 7, 2007

Greetings!

Here we go again! We are doing it again, people! We are allowing ourselves to be played, once again, for big fools by a handful of criminals called politicians who are stealing us blind. They are manipulating us again to shield them from the law, and, as usual, we are swallowing it, hook, line and sinker. They are once again parading that ugly phrase called Witch-Hunt as their only defense against allegations of massive looting of our treasury.

As always, I am not worried about their mischief. I can understand that they have to do something to save their skins once their evil deeds are exposed. As always, my problem is with the rest of us who buy their bullshit. I am worried that we allow the crooks to divert our attention from their crimes with the Witch-Hunt defense.

I am speaking of the dust currently being raised about the list of corrupt politicians recently released by the EFCC. Expectedly, the affected individuals have employed their good old Witch-Hunt allegation again because it always works for them. They know that we always play right into their hands whenever they whip up that sentiment. I addressed this issue in my article titled “Witch-Hunt My Foot” in the Daily Independent of December 5, 2006. I maintained that we subscribe to the witch-hunt scam of the looters only because we do recognize that President Obasanjo is a blackmailing dictator. This is why we are always ready to run to the aid of anybody that accuses him of witch-hunting. We are in effect saying: our enemy’s enemy is our friend.

But I also strongly argued in that article, and still do argue now, that we have a better way to address baba’s wrongdoings. It is not by supporting the other wrongdoers in our land to loot us dry and destroy our nascent democracy. The way to go is to punish the looters, as well as call baba to order. I have no sympathy for anybody who compromises his integrity, and then turns around and cries foul when he is caught. And I don’t care who caught a thief; he is still a thief. If a thief catches another thief for us, we should rejoice that another thief has been caught. We don’t go defending or supporting a thief just for the stupid reason that the man who caught him is also a thief.  I say it once again, the only antidote to witch-hunting, is to stay clean, period! Obasanjo would have nothing with which to witch-hunt a clean man, would he? We must stop protecting the mega thieves in our land over one silly sentiment or the other each time they are caught. They either claim to be witch-hunted, or they whip up other sentiments. Some run to religion for cover, and others use ethnic sentiments. Nobody ever comes up with any constructive defense, because they never have any to offer.

Now, let’s embellish my claim that we all are to blame for the selective application of EFCC’s mandate. Certainly, EFCC is not perfect because human beings run it, and nothing human is perfect. However, generally speaking, I would say we never had it so good. If you ask me, I say that the EFCC is the best thing that ever happened in Nigeria since after Jesus Christ and Mohammed. The golden boy, Ribadu, is doing a damn good job in many ways, in spite of his shortcomings. I’d say lets give the boy a hand! We all know what his handicap is—President Obasanjo, of course! And Obasanjo does not hide it anyway. The man actually goes on national television and boasts to the world that he is using the EFCC to hound political opponents. He recently chided, and then threatened Governor Mimiko with EFCC for decamping to another party.

Indeed, Ribadu’s handicap is not really baba, “We The People” are his real handicap. I will explain: “We The People” described by our constitution as the owners of Nigeria’s Sovereignty have in our embarrassing passivity relinquished it to Olusegun Obasanjo and his PDP. We have allowed our so-called representatives in the House of Assembly to sell out on us. They do very little to protect our national interest as required by our constitution. Most of them are only interested in their insatiable quest for money, which compromises many of them to be baba’s yes-boys. Otherwise, and this is a very big otherwise, they would have freed Ribadu’s Commission from Baba Iyabo’s control soon after it was inaugurated. They are also responsible for baba’s control of INEC. Hence, they are the reason that our April elections may be rigged for PDP by INEC, and we the people have to blame ourselves for relinquishing our sovereignty to them. Now we, including the so-called lawmakers are all blaming the poor guys at the helm of INEC and EFCC as they act out baba’s rigging and intimidation script. The lawmakers should hide their faces in shame, rather than blame their Ghana-must-go-induced inaction on Ribadu and Professor Iwu.

We hear them talk about calling baba to order only when their own personal interests are threatened. Look out for their predictable action now that Ribadu has dared to include their names on the controversial EFCC list. I bet that they will vote to scrap EFCC immediately. When baba denied some of them the tickets to return to the National Assembly in May, they suddenly realized that he has committed thousands of impeachable offences. And they so shamelessly and irresponsibly made public their deplorable selfish reason for the so-called impeachment move. Even with that, nothing came of the impeachment threat. Ghana-must-go bags must have exchanged hands, as usual. Either that, or the master blackmailer has shown the masterminds of the plot their dossiers, with his usual unambiguous threat to send EFCC after them. This is the sad, sorry story of the so-called custodians of our sovereignty in the National Assembly.

And, typically, “We The People” are quick to throw our baby away with the dirty water after a bath because we are so damn poor at solving problems constructively. Everybody is busy complaining about the witch-hunting tendencies of EFCC, and we all know that it is not really the making of Ribadu. It is obvious that the young man is passionate about ridding Nigeria of all criminal politicians. It is not his fault that baba forces him to be selective; the fault is ours. Rather than do the right thing and empower him properly, we prefer to play right into the hands of the looters that want the EFCC completely scraped so that it will be business as usual for them.

We are not talking about forcing our highly compromised National Assembly to impeach baba for all his illegalities. We are not talking about forcing them to enact laws to institutionalize INEC and the EFCC, and take their control away from baba. Obviously, the Army General is too tough for us to call to order, so we pick on the weaker Ribadu and Iwu. We all know that they are forced by baba to commit every illegality that they do. We know that they will continue with the illegalities unless “We The People” invoke our constitutional rights and free them from baba’s grip, but we are not talking about that, are we? No sir! We are too busy expending our energy blaming the wrong guys.

I am not much bothered about baba’s self-confessed antics with the EFCC. He is only following a natural animal law of self-preservation. He has a great need to install his stooges in the right places to ensure that nobody probes him when he leaves office. I am only worried about what “We The People” are doing, or not doing about it. If we claim that our democracy is fashioned after the American model, then let’s start acting like it. President Bush would not dare to unduly control the American FBI in the audacious manner that baba controls EFCC. There are laws against such dictatorial tendencies, and Americans insist on those laws. No one man is powerful enough in America, or any other sane democracy for that matter, to thwart the law of the land so brazenly.

We are telling EFCC to leave the looters of our treasury and destroyers of our economy alone. We are supporting the looters to stay in the corridors of power forever, as though we have nothing better to offer. We do all this simply because we know that baba is selective in the anti-corruption war, and that is where I seriously disagree. If baba is selective and we all know it, then let us all insist that the controversial EFCC list contains the name of every looter, favored or not favored by baba. But please don’t tell me that the best that we can do is to lend support to the looters already listed. EFCC works with petitions, so let’s all expend all this energy in bombarding Ribadu with lots of petitions against all the big bad guys in this country, and then insist that he acts on them. That’s the way to go without bullshitting!

Harry Agina writes from USA

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