Daily Trust

No corruption here check somewhere else

For a while, I read the divisive stories of the disparaging remarks that Donald Trump allegedly said about Sai Baba, after the man had signed off on lucrative deals in Washington DC. As someone close to DC, I must say that if anything at all, Trump is jealous of Sai Baba. Trump’s wishes are Sai Baba’s reality. Imagine if Trump could make the Mueller probes go away? Sai Baba’s chief anti-corruption man, Itse Sagay dismisses every allegation of corruption against anyone in government with a wave of the hand – and that settles it.

Sai Baba has spent many sleepless nights in the Villa, earning air miles on foreign junkets and in London hospitals for the preservation of his anti-corruption mantra. But his enemies keep fishing. When you fish, you could catch a hungry tilapia, a frog or a tadpole. Evidently, the ultimate ambition of the enemy is to strip Sai Baba of all the good friends who keep the machinery of government going. The enemy is jealous of this man acknowledged by all his African peers as the continental anti-corruption czar.

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Their bad belly led to the dismissal of a loyalist – Babachir Lawal. But the die-hard Buharist would never abandon his hero. He now leads the ruling party’s re-election committee in the southeast. By Allah’s grace, he will deliver unprecedented numbers in a region wracked by an insurgency long declared technically defeated. Internally displaced camps are being dismantled and hapless citizens sent back to communities left in ruins but being propped up for electoral numbers.

But enemies would not bury their binoculars in a rubbish heap; they have shifted their magnifying glasses to other people in government. They have accused Madam Cockney-accent of buying an Oluwole NYSC certificate just because Abeokuta is only a few hours drive from Lagos Island. For fear of being accused of doing nothing, NYSC says it is investigating – snail speed style. Investigations have no status of limitation. Sagay has told anyone who has ears (majority of us need to go to Buhari’s London doctors if we could afford it); that the allegations do not tantamount to corruption and that is the law!

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Sagay believes that national interest transcends legality and forgery and that there is nobody in a nation of 200 million, able to manage this economy better, not to talk of the phonetics of economics. I believe he is right – Soludo is busy, Okonjo-Iweala’s table is jammed with Twitter issues and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is now an Amr. Tell me who else qualifies to manage Naija’s economy better? As the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC anyone Sagay declares free of corruption is free indeed. I don’t know what Tafa Balogun is waiting for.

In its first official reaction to the certificate forgery scandal, government reassures its supporters that by the time its investigations are over, the minister would be found not guilty. If only Donald Trump could dismiss the Mueller investigation with such finality or get Mueller himself to say such of Scaramucci? I tell you, Trump is jealous of Sai Baba.

Abdulrasheed Maina was fighting corruption at the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms until the enemy’s field glasses found traces of corruption in him. They forgot that those who understudy the pig in its natural habitat are sometimes smeared with mud. Maina did not deny the charges brought by his traducers; he only weighed the N2million he was accused of mismanaging to the billions he claimed he saved for the country and its well-managed economy. He was forced into exile, but recently, his Hope Borno 2019 posters have flooded everywhere from Maiduguri to Abuja. In a technically defeated region, any fugitive with a few millions could hide and win elections without scruples. Omisore did it once and in Brazil, ex-president Lula is set to break Omisore’s record. Instead of acknowledging the ingenuity of their countrymen, jealous people might stop Maina’s ambition.

The enemy did not stop there. Their latest effort is to get Sai Baba to sack his chief of staff, Abba Kyari. Kyari who hates money as much as Rotimi Amaechi rejected a N200 million monthly windfall is bound to prevent the use of his name to win lucrative contracts by any relative. Yet some relatives went to a podcast station and leveled Hilux-buying allegations against him. Usually government cashes in on our bad hearing to ignore such allegations. But a mainstream newspaper (not Daily Trust) decided to weigh in on them. That ignited Maigida Garba Shehu’s PR-dynamism. In a tweet (yes, Twitter is not for Trump only), he basically declared that anyone working for government has washed in the Biblical pool of Siloam. In political terms it means that any allegation of sleaze around such people bounces off like raindrops on the back of a calabash.

No Sai Babarian would ever belief an allegation of corruption against anyone in government. If Maigaskiya is himself incorruptible, how could anyone under the spell of his turare ever magnetize the odour of sleaze?

People should concentrate on governance, checking how much tax those now collecting multi-million Naira forms for political office have paid, except that it is friends who are contributing to buy them forms; what have governors done with their allocations etc. They should stop dissipating energy looking for corruption under Buhari and have the faith of all Sai Babarians – no corruption in APC, check other parties.