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Opinions of Friday, 5 March 2021

Columnist: Ada Garba

Bawa, hope you have a helmet?

Without doubt, corruption is one of the notorious ills bedevilling Nigeria economically, socially and politically.

For one to fight corruption in Nigeria, one must be economically, socially and politically oriented; the versatility of corruption in Nigeria make it to be well known by every Nigerian and in all sectors of the nation. Corruption is in the local, state and federal governments and by extension to the private sector.

So, corruption is everywhere. I will like to start by telling the new Economic and Financial Crimes Commission boss, Abdurrashid Bawa, that there is a very gigantic task ahead of him. I am not discouraging him in any way but to ginger him so as to quickly eliminate corruption in Nigeria now that he has the responsibility of fighting and making Nigeria a corrupt-free nation, is bestowed upon his shoulder.

Though Bawa got recommendations of various kinds for being intelligent, smart and hard working, he needs to understand the nature and character of Nigerians towards corruption which I am very sure doing so will help him in discharging a smooth exercise.

I hope Bawa has a helmet! It will surely protect him from stress and pressure he may find himself in while discharging his duty. Check very well from all sides, there are saboteurs.

Their aim is, Nigeria shouldn’t be a corrupt- free nation so that they can keep looting and embezzling the nation’s wealth for personal gains. Here, Bawa must be smarter, more analytical, and a very good observer of the situations because there are more corruption cases or issues, if I may say, than his calculation.

A helmet can seriously help, I emphasise and I use the word helmet ironically, I wish he will understand.

Nigeria, as you know, is a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-interested countrt. So, this is where the spider is spinning. I was so glad when I heard the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), charged him to deal with every single corruption case seriously without discrimination.

Awesome! At least, if Bawa will be very mindful and stand on the President’s advice, it will yield positive results in the fight against corruption. Failure to do so, corruption will indeed kill Nigeria. That’s instead of Bawa to fight corruption, corruption will fight him back.

I repeat myself, Bawa should consider corruption cases, big or small, seriously irrespective of ethnicity or religious coloration; considering the nation’s plight, corruption is the cause of all, politically, economically and socially.

All the insecurity problems in the country arose as a result of corruption and selfish interest of some unscrupulous elements among Nigerians; kidnapping, banditry, and Boko Haram insurgents are all elements of corruption. So, Bawa must be careful and put off his helmet so well and fight the notorious disease corruption.

However, in case Bawa isn’t aware, the issues like political thuggery and communal clashes are all corruption-related cases; so deal with them decisively.

I want to draw the attention of the Nigeria Police to the need to, at least, play a role in fighting corruption not bribery only. People sometimes blame and accuse the police of being the most corrupt paramilitary agency, which I think isn’t so. Nevertheless, the way some police officers display to the public dents the agency’s image. The police are closer to the people than any other security agency, so if changes will occur in the discharge of their responsibility, at least, the agency will restore its lost image.

With Bawa on the mantle as the EFCC boss, so intelligent, smart and hardworking as recommended, he needs to show Nigerians his capacity by exploring ideas that will be useful in the fight against corruption and also beg those in authority to put all hands on deck to put an end to corruption in Nigeria.

I wish Abdurrashid Bawa and every Nigerian public servant well in their endeavours. God bless Nigeria.

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