By Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta
President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on corruption is indisputable judging by his government’s genuine and commendable efforts to tame the vice. However, The President’s anti-corruption battle is facing its biggest test with the recent revelations linking the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, a trusted member of Buhari’s inner circle, to abuse of funds meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East.
The Senate has asked Babachir to resign on account of the allegations. This is an acid test for the President’s stance against corruption and resolve to rebuild the North-East. Should Babachir resign?
He is being accused of abuse of office, inflation of contracts and complicity in 21 bogus contracts awarded to families, friends, cronies and members of the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE).
Babachir’s resignation, if it happens, will be just a temporary solution. The best solution is the directive given by President Buhari to the AGF to commence investigation of any government official alleged to have been involved.
If Babachir is found to be a party to any breach of laid down processes and procedures, many people including Buhari will be disappointed in him. Besides, he is from the North-East and his local government area of Hong in Adamawa State is among the most affected areas by Boko Haram’s senseless war.
The anti-corruption war is a major selling point for Buhari. So, any accusation of corruption against a member of the inner circle of his government attracts public attention. However, we must bear in mind that for every corruption accusation against a Buhari lieutenant, two conclusions can be drawn: 1) Individuals currently facing corruption charges are working hard to paint every member of the government as also corrupt so as to rubbish the government’s fight against corruption. 2) Those who are used to government patronage and are no more in the ‘loop’ are also working hard to see that those getting government contracts are being portrayed as benefiting from cronyism.
Nonetheless, Babachir must come out clean, because the accusation is very weighty.
Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta, Adamawa State,firstname.lastname@example.org 08036070980.