Again, it means that crime is crime here depending on who commits it. Otherwise, life goes on
The admission, by Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, that his boss, the president, accepted the replacement of his bombed SUV, from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), headed then by Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), is no different from confessing to same crime for which some Nigerians are now in soup. That admission says that behind the integrity façade lays the true colour.
In summary, it means that Buhari’s inquest into the ONSA, and operation of security vote of the office, is driven by something else other than the desire to clean up a dirty stable. It proves those who allege that he is on a vengeance drive right.
For it is morally wrong to eat pork with peers but turn around to call them pork eaters. Simply put, by accepting the deliveries from ONSA, Buhari acquiesced and played ball. He turned his eyes away from the norm and it did not matter to him that due process, which is the baseline of integrity, was not followed in the purchase and delivery of the SUVs to him.
A presidency source who knows, informed me that though the SUVs are statutory for all ex-presidents, elected and non-elected, coup plotter or not, it however ought to be handled by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. That ought to be the right regime. In other words, it means that ONSA has no business offering to “replace” damaged armoured SUV of the then presidential aspirant.
However, having so been offered, and the recipient accepted same without question, even when it came from an administration Adesina described as “discredited”, shows that we operate in a society where wrong is right depending on the beneficiary. In this case, the subversion of due process by a “discredited” administration was right because Buhari was beneficiary.
That is the logic the presidency preaches. If that be the acceptable logic, then, Dasuki and those named in the inquest, should, by now, know that perhaps, their crime was not exactly because their fingers were found on the till, but, probably because they got more than mere SUVs, one of which was armoured –the same armoured thing for which Stella Oduah was abused, insulted, harassed and vilified.
Again, it means that crime is crime here depending on who commits it. Otherwise, life goes on. Adesina also wrote: “It is preposterous to think that the President will allow his acclaimed reputation of honesty and incorruptibility to be tarnished by accepting a questionable monetary compensation from a discredited regime”.
Without saying it, he makes the President look like a moron, admitting on one hand that he accepted the gift of two SUVs even when his need for another, statutorily, was not rife and at the same time arguing that the regime that dropped off the SUVs to him was a “discredited regime”.
In effect, what the incumbent administration aims to achieve, is not a cleaning of the Augean stable, nor the enthronement of due process in government business, but to discredit the past administration. No surprise it has spent the past seven months on this task. Unfortunately, the ‘discredited’ is part of the incumbent administration as the only major difference between the past and the present is basically, Yemi Osinbajo.
All others have been part of the play. This is where the irony comes in. At his senate clearance session, Babatunde Fashola, who is Buhari’s fulcrum in delivering on his power, works and housing promises, if any, spoke glowingly about government as a continuum. He also argued that no government totally solves society’s problems.
At his first ministerial briefing, same Fashola spoke very well about efforts of the “discredited” administration to add value to infrastructure development. Also, during his maiden visit to the Nigeria Railways in Lagos, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi rode in one of the train coaches provided by the “discredited” regime. The minister had also ordered commencement of the Port Harcourt- Aba train service using train coaches provided by the “discredited” administration.
Interestingly, these are two officials of state whose integrity profiles were punctuated by allegations of corrupt mismanagement of state resources through the use of N78m state fun to upgrade a website by Fashola; and alleged misappropriation of over N70b in Rivers state by Amaechi.
There is no doubt that Buhari is austere in his lifestyle as Adesina says. But that is the presentation that some people see. What happens behind doors may be different. And the acceptance of the SUVs says a lot about them. So, it is a mark of self deception to say that one does not eat ponmo but uses his teeth to cut same for children.
Even the children will laugh. It serves Buhari no positives to continually brand others as crooks while admitting to having shared in the broth. Detail of management of security votes by the ONSA is messy. Acceptance of SUVs from Buhari off due process and outside his due date, adds to the mess.
However, it brings us to the reality of the existence and management of security votes. A local government chairman once told me that his security vote was N1m monthly.
I asked how he dispensed it he said he gave N50 each to the DPO, head of Immigration, Civil Defence, and Customs in his council area and pockets the rest.
Wouldn’t it be better therefore, to cause a more detailed expose on the reality of security votes and get the governor, his deputy, assembly speaker, deputy speaker, chief Judge of the state and all in the hierarchy of security vote collection, to disclose how much they take from their various states monthly as security vote? Let us also get them to give detailed account of the expenditure profile of their security votes.
The details will amaze you. In the end, we may find that Buhari’s protestation, while searching for those to be appointed as ministers, to the effect that almost everyone has had a hand in the broth, could after all, be admission that indeed, all have sinned.
– ACHILLEUS-CHUD UCHEGBU e-mail: email@example.com