Buhari’s cabinet gets members with corruption records
In May 2013, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCCC arrested the former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva over alleged corruption.
Sylva was alleged to have refused the anti-corruption agency’s invitation to answer charges over allegations of fraud running into several billion Naira, eventually pegged at 19 billion naira.
He was charged to court, and 48 houses were seized by the EFCC. This was happening under President Goodluck Jonathan, whose administration was voted out in 2015 for its inability to stem corruption by public officer holders.
Then in 2017, two years after President Muhammadu was elected into office, the same EFCC returned the 48 houses to Sylva claiming it was part of a plea bargain agreement that the suspect entered in court.
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Fast-track to this week, Sylva has been nominated to serve the Nigerian people as a minister in President Buhari’s cabinet. Ironically, he will be sitting in the same Federal Executive Council with Festus Keyamo, the lawyer hired by the EFCC in 2013 to prosecute him.
Sylva is not alone. There is the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio. To escape prosecution over alleged 108-billion-naira fraud, he ran to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC party in 2018.
And voted out by his people from the senate in the 2019 parliamentary elections, he has now been nominated as minister as well by the president.
President Muhammadu Buhari is respected by many as a man of integrity. In fact, it was on that basis that many voters trusted him with their votes in 2015 to send a ruling party away after 16 years in power.
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But since assuming office, he has mingled and celebrated these opportunists who masquerade as revolutionaries – men who have not disguised their ingenuity in translating their position of power to personal gains.
Many Nigerians argue, that despite the fight against corruption being one of the cardinal agenda of his government, he had failed to establish a climate of opinion that sees corruption as a threat to society.
By appointing these set of politicians into his cabinet, he has only validated these lines of thought and got many thinking his fight against corruption has come to an undisguised end.