The greatest incitement to crime is the hope of escaping punishment – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Corruption as an institution and a hydra- headed vampiric monster glories in the gory of its recidivistic propensities. Whosoever declares war against this metastatic malady must be prepared for death, martyrdom or outright consignment to the dunghill of history, because corruption will fight back with tyrannosaurus viciousness.
The outlandishly weird responses we are getting from the vast majority of Nigerians- Labour Unions, Politicians, the Academia, the Press, the Judiciary, Traditional Rulers, Financial and Educational institutions, Traders, Market Unions, Civil Servants, Students etc, glaringly shows that Nigerians are not yet ready to join Buhari in this once in a life time fight to salvage the soul of a Nation from the horrendous labyrinth of prebendalistic graft.
Indeed, it beggars belief that corruption and its psychotic practitioners are now hiding under the canopy of the rule of law, democracy, human rights and freedom to avoid authentic justice, thereby strangulating and asphyxiating the jugular of the fight against corruption. In the words of Augustus Caesar “In times of war the laws are silent” (inter arma silent leges). We cannot fight corruption and deracinate it hook, line and sinker from Nigeria with all these legal acrobatics and Machiavellian manipulations.
Agreed, democracy thrives under the rule of law, freedom, rights, liberty and constitutional niceties etc. But, the Doctrine of Necessity must be discretionarily invoked to enable us move forward in this sanguinarily woeful fight against corruption.
In his prophecy just before the French revolution ST Joust posited that “soon, enlightened nations will put on trial those who had hitherto ruled over them, kings shall flee into the deserts, into the company of the wild beasts whom they resemble and nature shall resume her rights”
Some well meaning Nigerians have advised President Buhari to adopt the Parento’s Principles in governance, which stipulates that 20% of governance time is dedicated to the past. That is, 20% of its resources to going after looters, while 80% should be given to creating an enabling environment for Nigerians. Some have suggested the stoppage of the fight against corruption, while some have said we should go back to 1960 to enable us do a complete overhaul etc.
We are all entitled to our opinions, but I think the situation is so drastically desperate that it calls for a much more drastically desperate solution. The kernel does not bring out oil unless it is subjected to intensive heat. I believe that Buhari should dedicate 100% of this administration’s time to fighting the monster of corruption and by doing so the gains of fighting corruption will yield dividends in terms of all- embracing developmental strides for the vast majority of Nigerians. To go back to 1960 or whatever time frame is not relevant because as evidences begin to come out or evince themselves the suspects will be called upon to answer question or say what they know about the charges, notwithstanding the parenthetical placidity of time. Therefore, the time frame of 1999 or only the Jonathan’s Administration is wrong. Let investigations, probes and researches on corruption etc in Nigeria be on-going as an open- ended omnibus. It must transcend the totality of the Nigerian system. It should not be seen as a Buhari/ APC, PDP, APGA or a Political Affair of witch hunting. The fights against corruption must cut- across and traverse the totality of the Nation; it is a moral and ethical war which must involve every Nigerian and all our institutions.
It is said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat their mistakes. We remember the admonitions of Chukwuma Kaduna Nzogwu in his speech during the 1966 coup, he said “our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10%; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as Ministers or VIP’s at least, the tribalist, nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds”. We must make sacrifices by joining the bandwagon against corruption in Nigeria.
Buhari, must humbly call for laws, jurisdictional canons and amendments to the constitution etc to empower him, EFFC, ICPC and such-like bodies to be vested with special powers to fight corruption. Nigerians must make sacrifices and the laws must be silent in certain respect to enable us fight this corruption magus and lamia to a standstill. Buhari must be given the benefit of the doubt because when you fight corruption, corruption fights back with Neanderthal bellicosity. Those who fight corruption also have to fight the aggressiveness and the impunity of the corrupt. Their weapons include manipulation of the judicial system, shameless deployment of primordial regional, ethnic and religious sentiments, as well as trying to reduce the issue of corruption and economic sabotage through splendiferous political dramaturge to a superfluity of political nothingness.
The essayist Herbert Spencer said “every unpunished delinquency has a family of delinquencies” buttressed by Publillus Syrus that “you yourself are guilty of a crime when you do not punish crime” and substantiated by Napoleon Bonaparte that “the contagion of crime is like that of the plague”.
Finally, in his inaugural address delivered on Jan 20, 1961 the American President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet every hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the survival and the success of liberty” But in Nigeria’s case, Buhari and the totality of Nigerians must assert most vociferously their patriotic and unwavering commitment to stamping out corruption from Nigeria. We must note the words of John Adams (1735-1826) that “the die was now cast, I had passed the Rubicon. Swim or sink, live or die, survive or perish with my country was my unalterable determination”. God Bless Nigeria.
. The writer, Gbinije is of Mandate Against Poverty, MAP, Warri