Col Sambo Dasuki has sent a strong warning to President Muhammad Buhari; and the encoded message is “back off! or we both will share the same prison cell”. The recent disclosure that President Buhari was given two jeeps and $300,000 by former National Security Adviser, Dasuki, as a gift from the presidency in the aftermath of the assassination attempt made on his life may be the tip of a ‘sweetened iceberg’. Dasuki may have a lot to reveal about President Buhari and members of his fellow APC if he is forced to but this revelation is a warning. Perhaps, the truth will have to be held hostage and anti-corruption shall become a ‘miss road’ matter. Or they all go down.
Once a corruption scandal breaks millions will believe it. Denials do not mean very much in the arenas of corruption and anti-corruption because perceptions of corruption are often irrational and not constructed on concrete evidence. The only person who denial seems to work for in Nigeria, enviably, is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; all the power and none of the responsibility. The claim that President Buhari received two jeeps and $300,000 will be ferociously believed by PDP members and his denial of receiving the cash will be believed even in the face of death by APC supporters. Yet, neither PDP nor APC supporters can prove their biases and beliefs to be true. Alas, Buhari’s denial is not worth the sound he made it with when it comes to integrity. Ibabo!
When I wrote, “A petition of a missing official jeep can end up uncovering misappropriated billions,” in my piece titled Show Us a Frivolous Petition! (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-ri) I was not guessing. There is no frivolity in corruption petitions or, that which is deemed frivolous and dismissible may simply be windows to a great act(s) of corruption. Speculations on the corruption of President Buhari and other APC members close to him have been whispered continuously by certain PDP politicians and neutral persons before and since Buhari won the elections. My first reaction to them was disbelief, they had to be the mutterings of sore election losers. Now confirmations will soon be coming through as the pressure on Dasuki and other interrogated / prosecuted persons increase.
Every major politician and client in Nigeria is scared about revelations but why? They are scared of the uncertainties the anti-corruption drive will create for them and those they have to rely on for the furtherance of their political careers. Politicians fear the uncertainties of the “Guilty Accuser Syndrome”. The ‘guilty accuser syndrome’ occurs when most or all politicians that get into office, by election or appointment, are sufficiently guilty of previous corruption and as such any politician who seeks to prosecute another will have his own corruption exposed. This is where a strong judiciary is invaluable. However, when the accusations start to stand up it is hard to control what will be revealed. Compromising sex photos / clips, DNA paternity failures, evidence of perjury, evidence of past crimes, anything thing to pull him / her down will be brought into the fray. Who wants that? This is one of the major reasons for the persistence of corruption in Nigeria; clean men and women cannot be trusted with office.
There is also the “Hostage Cost” in which even if a corrupt or clean public servant cannot be prosecuted directly his close colleagues, godfather, patron or protégé are brought down or convicted for corruption to exact a heavy cost. An acquaintances described the conviction of his godfather thus, “the man has raised me from an unemployed PhD holder to a man of substance… when he was convicted and fallen from grace, for me life became like a man flying first class from London to Heathrow only parachuted onto the Libyan Desert to find his way home through the desert if he can.” Such is a representative experience of those whose key political allies get convicted. Buhari has shown abundantly that he is ready to protect “his own” regardless of their previous corruption and that would further entail not prosecuting most others; the ‘Hostage Cost’ can see his government collapse.
In a fine article titled “Dasukigate Buhari’s Dilemma” (see http://thenationonlineng.net/dasukigate-and-buharis-dilemma/) published in The Nation, we see another part of the anti-corruption mission undertaken by the present GON; the back-breaking dilemma. Prosecuting PDP official’s corruption under President Goodluck Jonathan would be desirable to many. How about prosecuting the PDP under Olusegun Obasanjo? Most importantly, the prosecution of major thieving former PDP and non-PDP that now staff Buhari’s government would not be desirable the President himself. The Dilemma is dispunkious and having analysed it from a game theory approach “no action” on the part President will be his most secure approach but that would be a colossal and enduring disappointment to Nigerians and democracy, yet another dilemma.
There are also those disaffected APC politicians who did not get anything for the considerable efforts they made to bring Buhari to power and are ready to pounce on him. They feel angry, betrayed and are predictably potential ‘Trojan horses’ to the ruling APC. They too have the evidences of corruption against their own APC leadership.
Many may wonder what I am trying to get at. Good and successful anti-corruption is the best thing any leader can do for Nigeria. Nevertheless, in the arena of anti-corruption the motto that works best and incomparably is “Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness”; ‘godliness’ meaning ‘ruling effectively with clear morally upright conscience’. Anti-corruption as a thoroughly enforceable and non-selective policy requires a clean morally upright individual as leader surrounded by numerous other clean morally upright individuals for consistent support. But this is not the case with President Buhari; there are too many “dirty boogies” in his camp which is good news for the embattled Dasuki and other that will be prosecuted. Dasuki can even dare to warn.
Someday we shall know if Col Sambo Dasuki’s encoded warning to President Buhari will save the skin of PDP or skin APC alive. Or both PDP and APC go largely unprosecuted. The unenviable choice is Buhari’s.