Well-meaning Nigerians were taken aback as they watch on their TV set the large entourage of Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the senate president, which comprised mainly of the nation’s ‘honourable’ law-makers from both the higher and lower chambers.
These national law-makers and supposed representatives of the Nigerian people, reportedly accompanied Mrs. Saraki, who had been invited by the anti-corruption agency to come and answer to an allegation of corrupt practice, in a show of solidarity with the accused.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL is particularly disturbed and miffed at what it terms not only a show of shame and gross irresponsibility but a clear anti-thesis of what their primary constitutional duty is.
One cannot but wonder how far President Buhari would be able to go in his avowed war against corruption in this country, if the very law-makers who are expected to give him the needed support through the provision of enabling legal frame-work with which to successfully prosecute the war, are openly, though tacitly, fraternizing with corruption by turning themselves into bodyguards of a suspected corruption criminal”.
Press reports have it that a total of twenty-five legislators abandoned their statutory duties to follow Mrs. Saraki to the office of the EFCC and most of who waited for over the six hours that the exercise lasted. “They are doing the jobs Nigerians didn’t elect them to do.
Although they have the right to presume that she is not guilty until convicted but do not have the right to portray her innocent of the allegations made against her, even before being interrogated.
The lawmakers’ conduct presupposed that they are determined to intimidate the EFCC in its task of tackling corruption. It’s sad that they choose to abandon their statutory role of law-making while playing the meddlesome interloper, thereby diminishing the exalted chambers they represent.
Their case could be likened the incident to that witnessed during Obasanjo’s days, when Bode George was being accompanied by shameless praise-singers who had to roll out drums, clad in ‘Aso Ebi’ and danced in and around the court premises in solidarity with the accused each time he appeared in court to answer to corruption charges.
CACOL observes that, this singular act by these legislators, is a clear indication that certain members of this very important arm of government, if not called to order, are out to make the job of eradicating corruption or at least, stemming it to the barest minimum, by Buhari’s administration, more complex and difficult than ever envisaged.
The Coalition of anti-corruption organisations therefore calls on Nigerians to get ready and be set to confront anybody, group or institution, that is out to frustrate President Buhari’s efforts at wrestling to submission this gargantuan, seemingly untameable monster, called corruption and save Nigeria from its destructive tendencies. We should share President Buhari’s assertion that “if we fail to kill corruption, corruption will kill us”. It must be seen as a collective responsibility; Buhari can’t do it alone.
We are asking Nigerians not to spare corrupt characters, whoever they may be, but adopt CACOL’s slogan to “name, nail, shame and shun corrupt leaders, anywhere, everywhere”.