Grimot Nane Zine

Is APC the House of Refuge for the Corrupt?

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is the political party which the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari leads. President Buhari was elected by a popular vote of the electorate to eradicate (or to the initiated, significantly minimise) corruption in Nigeria. Therefore APC is the party of eradicating corruption. Sorry to disappoint you but such thinking is both fallacious and senseless on the ground in Nigeria.

The APC at the moment is not in any way looking like the party to eradicate corruption in Nigeria other than the fact that President Buhari promised such before he came to power and insists he is committed to achieving his election promise. We continue to give him the benefit of the doubt but did other APC politicians make the same election promise? The APC states hitherto the 2015 general elections are stinking with corruption like the PDP states but the likelihood of prosecution appears, I repeat, appears lesser in the former than the latter. Why?

Unfortunately, the APC is already in the eyes of millions of Nigerians looking like the “House of Refuge for the Corrupt”. Former APC governors particularly from Lagos and River State are looking like they will enjoy unshakable impunity because they were key “financiers” of the APC. The only threat to their impunity appears to be only coming from recently elected governors who do not want to carry the rapacious burden of their predecessors on their shoulders. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) politicians are watching brain-made videos. The softer the corruption prosecutions will be for APC politicians the even softer it will be for PDP. Make no mistake whatsoever about it.

It has been widely reported that former APC governors have been well-counselled to go and beg President Buhari for their obvious or easy-to-prove acts of grand and lesser corruption. What are these governors going to say to Buhari? “Baba Buhari I know say I thief my state money bad bad but forgive me O! I beg you in the name of God, forgive me and no probe me! I beg O! (Tears streaming profusely). After all, na inside that money I take finance your successful presidential campaign”. Many would expect Buhari to say “But I do not know you”. He probably will!

“Kneel down” and “Lie down” democracy is still very evident in Nigerian politics today i.e. for the great thieves and the very wicked.

Furthermore, many well-known grand thieves of public funds from some of the most lucrative government agencies in Nigeria are joining politics by entering APC directly or cross-carpeting to APC and spending vast fortunes in the process as “impunity security money”. Yes, they believe that by giving millions or billions of naira to APC their previous recent financial crimes and corruption will be forgiven. Even those who earned large fortunes money from decent real sector business but dirtied their hands government money thefts are now claiming to join politics for all sorts of make-believe reasons and yes their bus stop is APC!

If APC is the “House of Refuge for the Corrupt” then it is a “House of Thieves”. If President Buhari wants to retain his credibility as an anti-corruption president he has to change the image of the APC which he leads and we are not talking mere branding or public relations. If President Buhari want his presidency to retain credibility he needs to “change” Nigeria he should start prosecuting those who are using APC as the “House of Refuge for the Corrupt” swiftly and energetically. Those who want to join APC should be relatively clean-handed men and women. What an achievement that will be for Nigerian politics.

The ball is in Buhari’s court but I must confess it shall not be an easy game. If Buhari is a true leader, he will win soon.

Grimot Nane

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