Nigerians are indeed reeling in the euphoria of success recorded by the military in finally sacking Boko haram insurgents from their stronghold, camp Zairo in Sambisa forest. It is certainly cheering news, which came at the right time. The consoling report is auspicious and apt in its timing because the final exploit and eventual victory over the dreaded insurgents came at the tail end of 2016, December 20th, precisely and President MuhammaduBuhari embellished it when he made a significant point on the conquest in his 2017 new message. He commended the gallantry of the soldiers and thanked Nigerians for their support. According to the President, “the support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country” the president said.
Elated Buhari also said that ‘’seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.
He explained that the Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency and urged state governments as well as privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal.
According to him, Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoing in handling the affairs of IDPs and assured that measures are being taking to correct the mistakes and punish the culprits. Interestingly this is another leg of the encouraging news, admitting mistakes of misconduct by government officials saddled with the welfare and upkeep of the displaced persons at the camps and reassuring of steps that will be taken to punish perpetrators. In truth this strong statements on the IDP fraud and steps to reprimand those guilty has long been expected from government when the lid blew and coming at this time from no other person than the president himself that those found wanting will be dealt with, further gives fillip to the Buhari’s administration’s seriousness in fighting corruption and prosecuting any one culpable no matter his or her position, party affiliation and closeness to the president or government of the day. Besides, it conveys the seriousness government attaches to crimes committed against these helpless Nigerians who rather than enjoy such succor at that critical time and in unconventional homes but were short changed by top officials who should not only add their support to the displaced persons but resolved to enrich themselves fraudulently. The attitude of these government officials is rather sad and calls for condemnation of any official who partook from this wrong side by thieving from vulnerable Nigerians. As it were and regrettably too, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress,APC, and ally of President Buhari has been indicted by the Senate committee that investigated the IDP’s welfare and he is currently under another probe instituted by the president himself and when he is found culpable shall be prosecuted. Perhaps there could be other accomplices that would be dealt the same blow if they are found and guilty too. This is the pointer to the president’s New Year remarks and it aptly reinforces his position that: “Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits” the president said
Expectedly even as we anticipate no less a strong statement and position like this from government, given the gravity of the offence, so far so good, Buhari’sefforts is welcomed. And going forward in the anti corruption fight of this administration, we salute the President’s courage to probe his SGF and the Acting EFFC boss. His must add up by listing others who may have been indicted by one panel or the other, whether by the states or federal bodies. Any wrong doing by any of his aides, government official, political or in the bureaucracy, should be brought forward now in the same way the Senate and DSS uncovered Babachir and Magu. In truth there are many more with excess baggage in this administration, we don’t’ need to list them again, the President knows and as a way of launching a hopeful year which he assured in his new year message, time is now to let those cats out of the bag. The corruption fight must not end or be selective with probing Magu and Babachir alone; others should equally face the music. This is the honest way to go and as a government of ‘change’, this new attitude must begin in the New Year, 2017.