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CORRUPTION FIGHT; TURN ON ALL THE HEADLAMPS

 

I remember an article penned by Femi Adesina, the special adviser, media and publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari to mark Mr President’s first 100 days in office. The article was titled “A new sheriff in town.” In that article, Mr Femi Adesina wrote thus “When a new sheriff comes into town, disorder gives way to order. Chaos flees. Impunity is swept away. Laxity gives way to diligence and people change their old, unedifying ways. When you have a Wild, Wild West situation prevailing, the new sheriff comes, and stamps his authority. Old things then pass away, behold, everything becomes new.” There is no need to ask who the sheriff he referred to was because it is obvious he wrote this for Mr President.

However, it is important we understand who a sheriff is and what he stands for. From my understanding, a sheriff is an elected or top-ranking official who enforces laws and order. He/she goes about his/her duty with the sole aim of ensuring laws are not broken and if broken, offenders (No matter who) are brought to book. A sheriff presides over the affairs of the county where he/she is elected and thuscarries out his/her duties to the benefit of all. Sheriffs are not expected to be controversial and cannot afford to be seen as compromised or partial in the discharge of their duties, this is why it is important for sheriff to see every citizen in the same way and not be caught bending the law to favour one or to penalize another.

The judgement of a sheriff cannot afford to be influenced by the gains he/she has made (If any) or can be made from corrupt officials and/or citizens.Lastly, a sheriff is a symbol of rightfulness and orderliness. It has been seven months since we had a new sheriff, seven good months. If disorderliness has given way to orderliness; chaos has fled; impunity has been swept away, I prefer you search for the answer and keep it to yourself.

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It important we establish the truth that a president ceases to be the presidential candidate of a political party the moment he wins an election. Upon winning an election, he/she automatically becomes the President (New sheriff) of all citizens and not just his/her party. As drama unfolds in the political sphere, day in, day out, in relation with Mr President’s promise to fight corruption, nothing stops one from looking on without asking questions.

Nothing compels one to ask about the intent of the fight against corruption and what it intends to achieve.Notwithstanding, we must ask to what direction the fight against corruption is heading.Conflicting reports and stories are being reported on corruption and the names of people indicted in corruption scandals flood the news like a running tap. Unfortunately, nothing really interest some bloggers cum activists (read cashvist) than to hear the name of political figures who never patronized them being mentioned.

Even if this was false and without an iota of truth, spreading such rumours give them joy. It comes at no price! But there is an unusual calm when the one accused for corruption has an influence over social media. It hardly makes the news if an official accused for corruption is on the same side of “the divide.” The logic is “You cannot call my thief, thief because no law court indicted mine. But I can call your thief, thief even if no law court indicted them.” It is appalling!

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Let us understand that no well-meaning Nigerian would frown at the new sheriff’s hunger to get rid of corruption in Nigeria because corruption is a hindrance to any Nation’s development. However, people who mean well for Nigeria would call on the new sheriff to turn on his entire searchlight in fighting corruption. It is of national interest only if corruption is clamped down from all corners by investigating all corrupt officials and not just some perceived to be an opposition. In fighting corruption, it is imperative that the entire searchlights are turned on to ensure all direction are seen and well cleared.

Corruption is a threat to any country’s long-term survival and development; therefore should not be treated with levity and unfairness. Fighting corruption should be a long term plan with the aim to kill corruption and not the opposition. In killing corruption the past and present should be taken into consideration. You cannot tell Nigerians you are fighting corruption when it seems “If anyone be in APC, old things have passed away.” Nope! We cannot say PDP ruined Nigeria and still shield a lot of the politicians in APC which were once members of PDP from facing EFCC.

Except, someone is yet to tell Nigerians that all the PDP members who decamped to APC were the corrupt-free ones! The broom that is sweeping corruption should know no brother or sister and importantly, the broom should be held by incorrupt hands. Elections campaigns are not run on water, they are funded by money. People spend money during campaigns. APC campaigned the same way PDP campaigned; therefore, all such spending whether by the PDP or APC should be properly looked into irrespective of whose party or what level! In a bid to sincerely stamp corruption out of Nigeria, the sheriff’s corruption fight should be total and not selective. All and not some irrespective of party affiliation who exploited the country and deprived citizens from quality standard of living whether at the state or federal levelshould simply answer for their actions! All campaign funding should be investigated.

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Mr Sheriff, please turn on all the headlamps as the road is too dark to drive with few headlamps. Nigerians are not asking for much, but are asking for two things. That all accused, APC or PDP be investigated and that the fight against corruption shouldn’t stop governance. Except it is what someone on my timeline called it “Vengeance of the sheriff.” The onus is on you.

I tweet from the handle @ItzGreatPet

 

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