War on corruption claimed countless happy victims under President Buhari
The Presidential pardon granted to former Governors Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and Rev. Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, and their subsequent release from jail this week brings to a successful and glorious end President Muhammadu Buhari’s bitter war on corruption.
The war, as expected, consumed many political gladiators and established many unscrupulous fellows who sniffed their way into the corridors of power.
The Nigerian people will not forget Buhari for ridding the country of corrupt practices and individuals. To be very honest, history would surely be kind to him for making sure that the country did not lose 30% of its GDP to corruption as projected before he came into office.
Those who thought that the war on corruption was a joke saw for themselves on Monday the plump-looking shadows of Joshua Dariye as he stepped into his SUV and waved to the waiting supporters with broad smiles. The prison officials must have been so cruel. The prison life must have been so hard on him that he looked so well. I had tears in my eyes.
- Advertisement -
If you are still not convinced that President Buhari gave corruption a bloody nose, let me take you down memory lane and show you some victims of the anti-graft crusade who would shudder with fright at the mention of the name Buhari.
Aliyu Wammako was Governor of Sokoto State from 2007 to 2015. Within the period, he allegedly embezzled 15 billion Naira and the EFCC hounded him after he left office.
To forestall further unnecessary embarrassment from the Eagle boys, the former Governor defected to the APC immediately and worked hard for the reelection of President Buhari in Sokoto State. He got himself elected into the Senate after his tenure ended and to prove he learned his lessons from the EFCC ordeal became the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes.
- Advertisement -
Another man that paid the ultimate price for alleged corruption was former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, who was a PDP Governor between 2008 and 2012. The EFCC hounded Sylva for allegedly using proxy companies to siphon Bayelsa funds to the tune of N19.2 billion.
The EFCC asked the courts to compel Sylva to forfeit 48 houses as they were alleged to be proceeds of the stolen funds. He was also being prosecuted for another separate N6 billion fraud case. The cases against him were struck out two years later, and the houses allegedly seized from him were returned to him. The EFCC said it was part of a plea bargain deal.
Such audacity must not go unpunished and so, he defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and President Buhari made him Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
The lawyer who served as EFCC’s prosecutor and caused Sylva sleepless nights, Festus Keyamo also got rewarded as a minister of State for Labour in Buhari’s government. So, he sits at the Federal Executive Council meeting every week with Sylvia. How else would you want a man punished?
In fact, Sylva’s skills became an asset that Buhari’s government just had to put to good use. In August 2021, during the process leading to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Sylva was reported to have deployed this skill to “encourage” legislators to advance the legislation. Peoples Gazette reported that this “encouragement” cost the Nigerian taxpayers at least $10 million.
Another political gladiator who will not forget Buhari in a hurry is former Enugu Governor Sullivan Chime. The EFCC made Chime’s life miserable after he left the office for his alleged involvement in a N23 billion fraud with former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison Madueke. The agency also probed Chime’s mismanagement of Enugu’s funds from 2016, but no thanks to Buhari’s corruption war, Chime had to defect to the APC where he is now suffering with his loot, undisturbed.
Former Governor of Borno State Ali Modu Sheriff was also consumed by Buhari’s war on corruption as the EFCC hounded him into the APC following an investigation into the alleged diversion of over N300 billion of State funds by his government. Today, he is still paying the ultimate price in running affairs of the ruling party and working hard to install the next government.
The former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio also faced the heat from Buhari’s anti-corruption watchdog. The former Governor of Akwa Ibom state was arrested and quizzed in 2015 by the EFCC for mismanaging N108 billion of taxpayer money. Buhari’s government made him endure immense troubles and he ended up in the APC, where he was made to work really hard to re-elect President Buhari in 2019.
To atone for his wrongdoing, he was made to work like a mull running the affairs of the Niger Deltans as Minister. This time, he learned his lesson, not a kobo missed from the coffers of the Niger Delta Development Commission, an important agency that handled the finances of the region, leading to a televised public hearing on how he achieved such a feat.
Another former governor worth mentioning for also being consumed in Buhari’s anti-corruption inferno was Gbenga Daniel who was governor in Ogun State between 2003 and 2011.
Daniel was troubled by the EFCC for allegedly diverting state funds and for false declaration of assets to the tune of N211.3 million. He also faced trial on 38 counts of stealing and fraudulent conversion of public property. Therefore, Daniel had to join the ruling party and to pay the full price of his corrupt behaviour, he was made to meet with President Buhari.
If after all these proofs and you are still in doubt that Buhari’s war on corruption did not make intended progress, you are probably an enemy of Nigeria.
In 2015, the President was elected on the strength of his pledge to tackle the monster of corruption. Seven years after, the President has made good on his promises by decimating this monster. If you believe otherwise, the burden of proof is on you.