By Razaq Olokoba
Nigeria has been having anti-graft agencies safeguarding the country’s funds and finances against being pilfered by kleptomania. But the operations, lately, of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, under its new boss, Abdur-Rasheed Bawa, have given Nigerians more confidence and assurance that a ‘Daniel has truly come to judgement.’
Apart from professionally handling that job as a trained detective, what is heart-warming about him in the eyes of the Nigerian youth is how he has been making us proud, that at least, one of our generation has been convincing all the doubting Thomases that given the chance, within a conducive environment, we the Nigerian youth can turn the country around for better.
With his superlative performance in office, since his advent, he has made it abundantly clear that the future of this country is safe and bright in the hands of the youth. Very focused, cool-headed, tactical, humble an unassuming, Bawa, in his forties, has proved to the whole world that given the chance, Nigeria could be sure of brighter future going by the abundant of highly vibrant, enviably intelligent and widely travelled educated youngsters in Nigeria, who can stand shoulder to shoulder with any leader across the globe.
Going into specifics, not a few Nigerians and foreigners alike were excited in the recent time over the huge amount of stolen public money the commission recovered under Bawa’s leadership. Well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria across the globe were amazed and impressed. Against this backdrop, I want to believe that, Bawa and the agency under his watch deserve commendation and not condemnation. Admittedly, no human is perfect. Yet, since to err is human, and since we have established the agency and it is doing well according human capability, what the agency and its boss need is constructive criticism that would bring them back to the right track in a situation where errors are suspected.
I believe it is the duty of every Nigerian, home and in the diaspora to be interested in how our institutions are faring with the mind-set of chipping in observations once in a while, with a view to correcting them where necessary, and praising them when occasions arise for such.
As far as I am concerned, all the government agencies doing yeoman’s job like the EFCC in the country should be protected collectively by all the citizens. In Nigeria, we have numerous agencies that have recorded land mark achievements and thus deserve the compliments of the people and one of such agencies is the EFCC, under the visionary workaholic detective, Bawa Abdur-Rasheed.
The establishment of the commission, one must admit, has affected positively how we do things in Nigeria and it has had positive impact on our ways of life. The public sector has become more cautious and careful in their day today activities, while mismanagement of fund is one of the misdeeds the EFCC has found out and stamping out progressively. It is against this backdrop that public officers and civil servants have become more careful and more responsible in the way they handle public funds while the private sector also has become more refined in the ways its affairs are conducted, because the fear of Abdur-Rasheed Bawa and his commission have become the beginning of wisdom for all and sundry.
We have seen the effect of the numerous good works of the commission on the affairs of the country, and that is why we took a decision at the level of the civil society organizations to mobilise as many of us as possible to rally round the EFCC to create a buffer of support for the outfit, because between now and the last five years, particularly since Abdur-Rasheed Bawa came on board as the Chairman, we have noticed tremendous improvement in what the commission is doing.
At this juncture, I want to commend the commission and urge it to continue to do the needful in the sense that carrying out its activities should not be hindered or deterred by any form of blackmail, protest, resistance or intimidation against the good work it is doing. The people of Nigeria are no doubt in support of what they are doing and also happy about the commission’s activities.
I give kudos to Bawa and the EFCC under him as one of the civilised agencies in the country and even in the world, because the agency carries out its duties with utmost level of civility and we commend Bawa for upholding the civility outlook that he has sustained so far and we want him to realise that Nigerians are comfortable and appreciative of his commission’s ways of operation. So, he should not relent in his efforts at cleansing up the country of graft, without minding whose ox is gored in the process.
As a leader of a coalition of civil society organizations, CSOs, with teeming members across the country and overseas, we will roll out more of our activities to sensitise the citizenry about the laudable activities of the EFCC and its boss, Bawa, with a view to letting them see reasons the commission should be supported, assisted and cooperated with in its onerous task of cleansing the country of economic saboteurs. The civil society groups, of which I am one of them, are always quick to condemn bad government and so, it is part of our responsibilities to also commend any agency of government that is doing well like the EFCC is doing under the leadership of the youthful Abdur-Rasheed Bawa. We also have to let him know that we, the teeming youth of this country, are very proud of him because he has actually made us proud through his outstanding performance in his current duty post.
•Comrade Olokoba, a Chartered Public Administrator, CPA; member, Nigeria Institute of Management, MNIM; and National President of Campaign for Dignity in Governance, CDG, writes from Ilorin, Kwara State.