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After The ‘Clean’ Sweep

Only the uninitiated among the several appointees of former President Goodluck Jonathan would be stunned that they were kicked out of office by President Muhammadu Buhari. After the March 28 election last year they should have known that the honeymoon was over.

For those of them with the requisite insight and knowledge of the power game, nine months should be more than enough to clean the plate after eating the pudding of PDP menu of corruption.

Only the stupid ones will still be hopeful that after the rigours of the electioneering and waiting in the wing for 16 years, the APC chieftains will not want their own piece of the national cake. I heard quite a number of the replaced heads of agencies had prepared their hand-over notes ready and it would take more than a run-of-the-mill forensic auditor to detect fraud and infractions in the manner they managed their ministries, agencies and parastatals.

In most of the offices, the chief executives had stopped coming to work; some only came to pick photographs on display in their offices. They all had their back-up positions since they know of the new sheriff in town and his peculiar idiosyncrasies.

For some, they have conveniently compromised those now asked to take over and it would be impossible to audit them without implicating themselves. Some extended the sloppiness to their supervising ministers.

For the new government time is running out. It needs to re-double efforts not to transfer its lethargic operations to become a reason for discontent. As the battle for who gets what commences, the leadership of the APC must be guided not to foist its second eleven on the populace. It must avoid the bobbytrap of nepotism and cronyism that accentuated the provincialism in some of our past administrations. They should cast their net wide and dispassionately to get the nation’s brightest and best on board. Granted that APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun has assured that the party is not fixated on power sharing but to remove elements of “internal sabotage that is going on in a lot of the PDP filled positions”, it remains to be seen how critical elements of statecraft will be factored into our national growth and development process with the go-slow mentality that is patently manifest in this government. The truth and the reality is that President Buhari may be clean and incorrupt but he needs the people with ideas, vigour and vitality that can engender change in his first term. Anything short of that will not augur well for our democracy.

We will certainly see if happenings in government institutions will change with these changes soon. The question is that the cancer of corruption is too endemic and defies a piecemeal approach. It can only be cured by removing all the pathological symptoms associated with it. Changing immoral people is good but what is sustainable is to change the system. We must do a lot of positive reinforcement to make de-motivate corruption across board and not only at the topmost echelons.

Replacing a Yahaya Gusau with Tijjani Abdulahi is mere symbolism if the 2016 budget retains the systemic virus that the National Assembly will grapple with after this month. The vice endemic budget padding is not alien to the budget office and the earlier we expunge all who fuel the cantankerous practice, the easier for us to get to the promised land. Most of the people struggling to replace Jonathan’s men are as corrupt as these men of yesteryears and they stewed in the rituals of corruption in public service.

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