Abdulrasheed Bawa: Tinubu, the Optics Are Bad!

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It will be exactly two months on Monday, August 14, since the suspended chairman of the EFCC, Abdul-Rasheed Bawa, was arrested by a sister agency, the DSS. Bawa has not been charged with anything, arraigned or about to be released. 

Whatever anyone considers Bawa’s sins for being kept in solitary confinement is rather in the realm of guess. There is no official position yet. Of course, the commonest of the speculations is that the naira redesign policy was originally his idea. True or false, no one expects the authorities to stamp this theory. 

But shall Nigerians continue with this style of government in a democracy? What really is going to differentiate the Bola Tinubu presidency from the immediate past of General Muhammadu Buhari? Or shall the people consider this administration seemingly worse, if not one, and the same?

No doubt, only decent societies push for and embrace the principles of reward and sanction to uphold standards. But such must be done within the ambit of existential laws and in strict adherence to democratic ethos. 

However, if this terribly oppressive approach is the popularly adopted culture here by the ruling APC, then a majority of those in positions of power today should be in detention or behind bars. 

Conversely, this sort of style to uphold justice or correcting societal ills embodies very devastating repercussions, particularly as it pertains to the trajectory of the EFCC as a foremost anti-graft agency.  

From Malam Nuhu Ribadu (now NSA) to Mrs. Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde, Ibrahim Mangu (who acted for five years), and Bawa, the EFCC chairmen, have always been disgraced out of office, and mostly on account of corruption (except Ribadu). That’s a bad but constant demoninator for an agency saddled with the responsibility of fighting corruption. 

Buhari detained a former NSA, Dasuki Sambo, for four years, on different charges, and today, that has not birthed anything. Time and resources wasted on nothing. Tinubu has started on a similar note with Bawa and the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, “maliciously” detained.

The recent arraignment of Emefiele ended up a shameful outing that would later expose the alleged underpinning persecution of the man, as against the lies of corruption and supposed abuse of office, which Nigerians had eagerly looked forward to. 

Any government that is unable to talk to itself or without internal mechanisms to check its excesses might be on the path to self-destruct. The optics from the obvious abuse of security agencies is a bad one, and undermines democracy.

Much as Bawa, too, was no different under the guise of discharging his duties, it is evidently not an edifying preference to seeking a just and egalitarian society. And, lest we forget, there’s nothing irreversible about our democracy. 

Peace!

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