OPINION: Why Buhari Should Not Protect Mai Mala Buni by Yerima Bulama
Editor's note: Damataru-based public affairs commentator, Yerima Bulama, writes on the allegations that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state and caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is been shielded from facing prosecution.
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President Muhammadu Buhari won the hearts of Nigerians in 2015 on a tripod mantra that aggregated the basic challenges facing the country as three: security, economy, and corruption.
The president did not have to scream at rooftops to convince Nigerians about his ability to bring an end to the pervading insecurity in the country, his ability to turn the economy around and to tackle the worsening cases of corruption because he came with a record of previous performance in those areas.
But the area where Nigerians were excited about was in his resolve to expose corrupt public officials as well as bring those who looted the economy to book. The president got a thumbs up when shortly after he declared during the inauguration of his administration that he was for nobody and for everybody, was able to go after high profile persons alleged to have engaged in corrupt practices.
And so far, the president has stayed true to this cause by standing firm against corruption and not shielding anyone accused of corruption no matter how highly placed. It is this enviable record of the president, which stands him out among other Nigerian politicians that some few elements in government want to tarnish.
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This they're trying to do by making the president look like he is shielding the governor of Yobe state and caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, from prosecution against charges of corruption based on partisan interest.
The Yobe governor has been alleged to be involved in the anticipatory declaration of assets shortly before he became governor. This is a criminal offence under the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) law.
Despite these gaping holes and the violence, they do to the well-earned integrity and anti-corruption stance of the Buhari-led administration, nothing seems forthcoming from the presidency since the issue became public knowledge that people have begun to wonder if President is no longer fighting corruption.
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The Yobe governor seems to be taking advantage of that and is lobbying at high levels to make the president look away, but patriotic Nigerians and those who wish the president well are alarmed that a scandal of that magnitude would be swept under the carpet.
It is therefore baffling that with the glaring case against the APC caretaker chairman, that all one could hear are the hush tones to suppress the odious and putrefying scandal and no word from the presidency.
This, many find appalling as they cannot reconcile how an administration with high records of fighting corruption will appear tardy in this instance.
The president must act fast before his body language is misunderstood as shielding an alleged corrupt official due to partisan or sectional interests as that will affect the fight against corruption in future.
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