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11 Nov 2016
Nigerians react to APC leaders’ visit to Fani-Kayode, Obanikoro, others
The visit is an indication that there is an emerging political trend. Some politicians seem to be disinterested with the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party. The fact that they showed solidarity means that something is in the offing. They are either thinking of forming a new political party or there are new forms of alliances and solidarity.
It is also an indictment on the anti-corruption war embarked upon by the Federal Government. It seems people are not happy and it seems the anti-corruption war is not holistic. It shows people are beginning to be disenchanted with the anti-corruption war.
Prof. Dauda Saleh (Lecturer, Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja)
For us to get this anti-corruption war right, no stone must be left unturned. Our character and attitude must be corruption-free. Whether the APC, the PDP, civil society or civil service, we have to be thorough. There must not be sentiments. Or else we won’t achieve anything.Visiting these people in custody by the APC leaders portrays a kind of collusion. These people have been indicted; they (the visitors) should steer clear of them. It means they are not practising the anti-corruption tenet they are preaching. Visiting the suspects in EFCC custody means encouraging them, either psychologically or morally. So, it is a very wrong thing. As a matter of fact, the EFCC needs to investigate the visitors as well.
Agatha Osieke (An activist)
The visit of the APC leaders to those in the EFCC custody is not wrong. They may want to ascertain the facilities in the EFCC. Journalists or members of the civil society can also visit facilities such as prisons or rehabilitation centres. Right groups visit cells to ascertain their conditions. But I hope they (APC leaders) don’t have any ulterior motive for this visit.
All those who are visiting the custody should be put under watch in order to monitor the objectives of their visit. But there is nothing bad in visiting inmates.
Politicians are partisan. There is no way a partisan person will not have a partisan interest. We are in a democracy. So, if there are partisan interests, we may not bother ourselves. But partisan activities must be monitored to see if they conform with the rule of law which we are all agitating for.
Idris Miliki (Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution)
It is quite unfortunate this is happening. People, who support the visit to the ‘celebrities’ in custody, will pontificate that they have the freedom to visit anyone they desire anywhere. I think it is against the spirit of our nation at this time to so do. What message exactly are they passing – that those in custody are victims of circumstances or that they are in the opposition?
They are being held in custody because they allegedly squandered funds meant for the procurement of arms to fight terrorism, which has resulted in the loss of civilians’ lives and loss of our soldiers. For the sake of the current poor condition of our country, people should allow them to face their cases. When they go to the courts and the courts discharge and acquit them, we can then celebrate them. There is too much impunity in this country.
Oladiran Ajetumobi (A civil servant)
People are looking at the anti-corruption campaign from two angles. One angle is that it is meant to cut the enemy of the government, and the other angle is to that it is being used to cut former office holders who looted our treasury.Very soon, the APC will not exist again as a political party. The party, from the look of things, lack direction and any individual or group that lacks direction will collapse. You cannot give what you don’t have. In an attempt for them to pretend as being holier-than-thou, they are messing themselves up. What is happening in Nigeria today is that the anti-corruption struggle has been lost long ago by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the next general election, there would be a realignment of forces. The process of the realignment is what we are seeing now in terms of the visit. We need to caution ourselves, and the President needs to direct the EFCC to tell Nigerians what has been realised from looters. Don’t be surprised if those presently on trial become leaders of political parties that would soon be formed. The APC is the same as the PDP. It is the same wine, the bottle was just changed. We are yet to get there. I don’t see Buhari taking us to the Promised Land. He is preparing the ground for a new Nigeria.
Amitolu Shittu (National Coordinator, Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People)
They must have a reason for the visit. There are different kinds of plea bargaining going on. They might want to discuss with them to see how they could vomit whatever they have allegedly eaten. I don’t think it is antithetical to anti-corruption for such a meeting to be held. It might be for a different reason. I think as time goes on, there will be more information as to why they met with them.
But the most fundamental thing to the members of the public is how the moves would improve the welfare and security of the people.
The 1999 Constitution says that the welfare and security of the people shall be the primary aim of the government. So, even if one million people are arrested, as long as it does not translate to the welfare of the people, then it is a waste of time.
As long as inflation continues the way it is, as long as the naira is on a free fall against the dollar, as long as we remain a consuming nation without any impetus for creativity, productivity and manufacturing, as long as the leadership does not explain to the masses what the state of affairs is, as long as people do not know the direction in which the government is taking the nation, whatever effort is being made will remain a distraction to the hope and aspiration of people, who believe that the essence of governance is their welfare.
Taiwo Akinlami (A lawyer)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been reduced to an instrument to cow perceived enemies of the government. Once an opposition party member agrees to be loyal and join the government of the day, his sins would automatically be forgiven. So, we know the hidden motive of the visit and we are waiting for the expected results.The visit shows that the APC’s fight against corruption is not different from what we saw during the PDP era, and that the two parties are one and the same in character, content, ideology, strategy and principle. It means that it is just their names that differentiate them.