Beyond The Sack Of Babachir, Oke And Maina 2

The recent sack of some former public officers by President Mohammadu Buhari for abuse of due process and involvement in corrupt practices has continued to generate comments from the public.
The affected officers include former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal, former Director of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, and the reinstated former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
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he exit of Oke and Lawal followed the recommendations of the panel headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo that investigated the matter, while Maina was chased out following public outcry
While many applauded the decision of the president in showing the erring former officers the way out, others have described the action as a mere palliative that has fallen short of the required disciplinary move to serve as deterrent to others.
Proponents of the kudos for the president argued that the move will boost the anti-graft war of the government as well as send the right signal to all citizens that there would be no hiding place for fraudsters.
A counter-submission, on the other side of the divide, sees the action as a mere smokescreen and indeed a drop in the ocean. This school of thought holds strongly that not only was the sack overdue but it definitely was not an adequate penalty for crime perpetrated against the government and people of Nigeria.
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here is no doubt that corruption has and is still dealing lethal blows to the nation’s social, political and economic advancement of the nation generally and has dented the image of the nation in international circles, in addition to thousands of citizens suffering and, in some cases, dying as a result of the activities of corrupt persons in our midst.
In that circumstance, the war against graft by any serious government ought to be total and firm with a view to achieving meaningful results. We are firmly of the view that the current war by the Federal Government is certainly not enough as there appears to be lack of the requisite political will or some traces of favoritism in its execution.
It is crystal clear that not only is the Federal Government too slow in the fight against corruption, hardly are there sufficient conclusive evidences of cases prosecuted fully. Rather, all that people hear, more often than not, is arrest or escape of suspects from the country. This leaves much to be desired.
The recent sack of Lawal, Oke and Maina, if anything, has added to the long list of Federal Government’s kid glove approach to fighting high level corruption, a mere window dressing that definitely will not yield a result aimed at giving a frontal attack to the vice called corruption.
It shows lack of willingness by the government to properly fight corruption. If the Buhari administration wants Nigerians to believe that it is willing to decisively fight corruption, it should go beyond the sack of corrupt citizens to making them face the long arm of the law.
Mere exit from the public service is no sufficient deterrence to others. If fraudsters are made to adequately atone for their misdeeds, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant laws, the anti- corruption crusade will be seen to be yielding the expected results.
The Babachir Lawal case, among others, provides the ample opportunity for the Buhari administration to convince Nigerians that it really means business with regards to the anti-graft battle. For now, many Nigerians are yet to be convinced about the seriousness and sincerity of the government in fighting corruption.

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