In Nigeria, the war against corruption seems to be a one-sided show. If you are part of the leading party and government, you are not corrupt, but once you are in the opposition, you are reassured of a visit from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The actions of the EFCC clearly suggest that you are guilty until proven otherwise if you are not part of the leading party. In the words of the Chairman of the commission, once you’re being investigated and then invited, “you will not come out clean.”
In the recent report of General Tukur Buratai Dubai properties, EFCC has largely remained silent, but he’s not lacking in support from strong bases of the current administration. The military has come out in strong defense of the General as they claim the foreign properties were acquired through legitimate means. The military said it is not corruption, but that the General saved, saved and saved to buy properties in Dubai.
The Minister of Defense, Brig-General Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali also defended General Buratai and posited that he was transparent. According to Dan Ali, “disgruntled elements” are out to bring the General down.
“It is on record that Lt-Gen. Buratai has declared his assets as Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force and as Chief of Army Staff to the Code of Conduct Bureau,” he said.
The Minister claims that the report is intended to embarrass General Buratai and to distract the work of the Nigerian Armed Forces. “The Ministry of Defence has observed with dismay the online media report of involvement of the Chief of Army Staff and his family over ownership of property in Dubai.
“It is noteworthy that there has been series of concerted efforts in the past by the same medium and its cohorts to tarnish the image of the person of Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai for the reason best known to them, which failed to achieve their desired ulterior motives.
“The Ministry of Defence views this as an attempt by some unpatriotic and disgruntled elements to distract the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces from the successes of the war against terror particularly in the North East,” he stressed.
These facts are verifiable with the Bureau and so discerning Nigerians have to ask, how many property (ies) is (are) in question? What is (are) the cost of these property (ies)? How much is General Buratai’s salary? How long did it take him to save the said sum? What is the evidence from the transaction from his Nigerian bankers to his Dubai bankers? Without providing answers to these begging questions, it will be difficult to believe Buratai’s hands are clean. We have heard these stories severally of our politicians, including military leaders and public servants claiming it is from their savings. To kill corruption as claimed by his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, the president should as the Commander in Chief immediately order General Buratai to respond to these pertinent question in the public fora.