To be very honest, i thought President Goodluck Jonathan was going to rig the 2015 Presidential elections and that thought crept in from the day, Femi Fani Kayode was made the spokesman of his Presidential campaign. FFK was a talking time bomb. Patience Jonathan’s comments on how ‘people dey born Children troway for the other side’ targeted at the north, stuck that thought to my head. Card reader was definitely a Jonathanian scheme.
I was back home in Kaduna at that time and my folks had stocked the house with just about everything from food down to movies. Jonathan was going to win against the people’s will and violence would erupt. Never under-estimate the power of prayers. The Merciful Lord urged him to fight a clean contest and he did.
It was simply unthinkable that a man shouldering the sad burden of public discontent, would appoint a man with a tongue like FFK’s as his head of publicity. A lot of Nigerians knew both weren’t the candidates they would ordinarily vote and the fears some of us had about President Buhari have been justified. Instead of engaging in a ‘your father this,your father that’ yabbing contest with Rotimi Amaechi (his counter part on the other end), FFK could have done a number of things, among them spreading the video of President Buhari urging his supporters at a campaign rally to kill anyone who prevents them from protecting their votes. The major ill in appointing the wrong spokesperson is not only that they would be incapable of managing your public image like they should, they could very much end up doing your enemies’ job for them.
Festus Keyamo was doing an impressive job so far of defending and selling Buhari to Nigerians.He believes so much in his lies they have turned truth. He sounds nothing like the man who told Akeem Nafiu of the New Telegraph newspapers on Monday 20th November 2017 that stealing was still unabated under the Buhari administration. A real hustler.
He understands if his product is inferior then he has to spend more time trying to degrade the competition but in doing so Keyamo wobbled all the way to justifying the very thing the competition was saying about them. In response to Atiku’s comments telling Buhari his anti-corruption drive wasn’t making much progress because he was slow and not the system like he claims, Keyamo issued a statement saying if the system had been working well before 2015, Atiku would be in jail. Minus the allegations he made, what Keyamo and Atiku are saying are identical. The system was bad then and is still bad. No ‘change’.
Knowing its virtually impracticable for Keyamo to market his product by illustrating in detail, how the system is slow and not the man in charge, he decided to take shots. A careful look at the allegations Keyamo threw the path of Atiku all but confirm Atiku’s assertions on corruption thriving and left unchecked under Buhari. Something Keyamo himself once said.
The limitation law may hinder any move to prosecute Atiku acquiring substantial shares in INTELS as a customs officer but the other things alleged of him are what Buhari’s ‘system’ can fix. A probe, which many justifiably expected to not even take-off, has already been ordered of Obasanjo’s $16b power spendings so nobody can tell Nigerians the system is not fast enough to prosecute Atiku and OBJ for awarding themselves licenses to operate private universities contrary to the Code of Conduct for Public officers. All that needs to be done is to secure and check the dates on the certified true copies of the licenses from the Nigerian University Commission. That more ratifies the notion that the system is ineffective and has left corruption to thrive than that it is slow.
Keyamo went on to say the EFCC had indicted and recommended Atiku for prosecution in respect of a Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) scandal when he was Vice-President.
Though the said indictment was quashed by a court of law, it in no way precludes the EFCC from charging him to court. We voted Buhari to change the way things were run and it is sad that these same people sit and bemoan what they can quite easily make right. All the EFCC has to do is file a charge in court. If they know all these and are doing nothing, then they have deliberately left room for corruption to fester.
What made Keyamo look more pathetic was his recourse to Atiku’s indictment in the US for money laundering. The Americans have never requested that Atiku be handed over to them in a matter it had prosecuted and convicted Siemens. As a matter of fact, the United States department of justice has said the US has no criminal case against Atiku Abubakar.If Buhari and Keyamo think otherwise what then is stopping them from handing over a man presumably wanted in the US for prosecution?. Or is the United States of America some village here that banishes criminals as punishment?.
Keyamo may have been doing a good job prior to his response on Atiku’s claims but he is fast towing the path of FFK. As far as Atiku’s alleged corrupt past goes, his open challenge for anyone to provide any evidence of corruption against him and also his promise to probe the Buhari administration if elected, has won him a lot of converts from those whose only problem with him were these sort of allegations people like Keyamo bandy around. If he was dirty, he wouldn’t promise to probe Buhari because this government would dig up all his wrongs and hold him accountable for them. That is the most sense anyone would make of this.
Keyamo didn’t just shoot into open space in his counter, he confirmed what the opposition was saying. The Buhari administration has allowed corruption to thrive and if he was diligent in his responsibilities, not only would Atiku be standing trial for obtaining a license to operate a university while still in office along with his former principal, he would also be handed to the US since they maintain he has a case to answer there. Either way, Buhari pulls down his main obstacle to returning for a 2nd term while doing the country some good. Except of course, he and those that speak for him are desperate liars or are incompetent to fight corruption like Atiku has suggested. The problem is not the system. It is the man in charge of the system. Keyamo only confirmed that.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano
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