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The hunter becomes the hunted

By Charles O. Ebun-Amu…

Scanning through today’s Nigerian Newspaper Headlines, I was not surprised to read about the EFCC and Senate ‘Katakata’. This time it is the HUNTER (EFCC) that is being hunted…or should I say ‘haunted’!!! Nawa o. We cannot seem to learn our lessons from history. The Senate is now to Probe the EFCC Chairman for ‘alleged diversion of N1trillion, purportedly recovered from the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha/Tafa Balogun cases’. Lamorde, the EFCC Boss is now under fire himself!!! Is this a joke? Please wake me up from my dream!!!
The problem with Nigeria is that we have the tendency to look the other way (siddon look), even when we know things are desperately going wrong. And as for those who care to do the ‘talking’, they are labelled as basket-mouth and troublesome. The irony of it all is that, even those who KNOW and TALK are forced to now sit back and begin to wonder if there is nobody else out there rational enough to see what they glaringly see. It is either you are going mad, or everyone around you has gone bunkers (excuse my French). It is indeed mind-burgling. A very serious cultural deficit we hope our present mood of ‘Buharism’ will gradually address.
Sometime in March, 2012, I circulated an article to Media Houses, including NVS, titled THE PROBLEM WITH EFCC. I wrote it in the wake of the Waziri exit from the Chairmanship mantle. Mind you, I did not expect the authorities to make much sense of it (judging by their ‘mongoloid’ antecedent). But one thing I was convinced about was the fact that it simply made common sense, and that COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON in any case. As the old adage goes in Yoruba…Oro agba ti ko se lowuro, ope titi, aa se lowo ale. Meaning… If the words of the elders don’t make sense in the morning, you can bet your life they will come true by night-time.
Please decide for yourself, after reading the following:
THE PROBLEM WITH EFCC….(written March, 2012)
The exit of Farida Waziri has raised a few dusts. It is often said that ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. It goes without saying that any person in position of responsibility in today’s Nigeria must be prepared to be rubbished, at his or her own peril. You must be prepared to accept the assets as much as the liabilities that come with any public office. Unfortunately (like her predecessor), Mrs. Waziri must brace up for the torrent of criticisms that will trail her tenure in office, despite any obvious achievements. If you ask me, I would say Waziri should desist from reading any national dailies for now. That’s the history of public office anywhere in the world. You can never win. You can only try.
These days ‘image’ is everything, and your type of leadership makes all the difference. The problem with EFCC is nothing, but a leadership one. I say this with utmost responsibility and without, in any way, attempting to cast aspersions on any one Chairman of the much criticized Agency. More so as I have had the onerous opportunity of working alongside its maiden Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, in my days as O/C Interpol at the Force CID HQ, Alagbon, in the late 90s.

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Viewed critically, it would seem that we are still missing the mark in waging war against corruption. Corruption is endemic in our system, and no doubt it needs to be approached as pragmatically as possible. It is general knowledge, whether we like it or not, that our police are labelled as corrupt in Nigeria. Some say ‘once a policeman, always a policeman’. In view of the above, I’ve often found it difficult to understand why our government would place the apex duty of fighting corruption in the hands of a policeman (whether serving or retired).
To my mind, we are going round in circles. We must start to separate the ‘leadership’ of that sensitive Agency from its ‘enforcement’ capabilities. The former should decide on its policies, while the latter carries out the necessary arrests and operational duties. In other words we DO NOT need a policeman or soldier to head the EFCC for us to get desired results. The EFCC can be ably led by a fearless, tested, and incorruptible anti-corruption crusader from the civil populace, while being supported by a well-trained operative/enforcement team who do not necessarily have to be police officers. The earlier the EFCC can embark on its own internal capacity building, by training and grooming its own enforcement team, the better. And I believe plans should be on in that direction. They do not need to rely on the police. The NDLEA is an example of a security outfit that relies solely on its own operatives in carrying out enforcement duties.
I don’t know about you. But I find it absurd that having adorned our police with a detestable toga of corruption, we still deem them fit and proper to handle the paramount responsibility of fighting corruption in our very society. Without mincing words, we need to go back to the drawing board and reassess our approach to fighting corruption. Who knows? That may just be the ace we have been looking for.
Charles Ebun-Amu
(Criminologist/Security Analyst, UK).

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