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Open Letter to President on State  Pardon Granted To Ex Corrupt Convicts: By Abba Dukawa

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a Nation to live safely and happily, government exist for the interest of the governed and not for the governors” (Thomas Jefferson 1743 – 1826).

Dear Mr President with utmost respect to you and your office hope you are well in spite of recent backlash against your administration wrong decisions. I am sure you never forget those that died while trying to catch a glimpse of you in those years ;  old men and women who called you Baba, and who despite their old age and weak bodies spent hours under the hot sun to see their votes got to you; and we (Youths) optimistic for spending  the night celebrating your victory in the cause some less lives. As both old and youths  believe their future and that of their children was secured under you.

It is disheartening to let know you that we had a great opportunity for the country to regain its lost glory when we had a change of government in 2015 with unwavering hope that the administration would set an agenda for national rebirth and put the economy on reset. But in the past seven  years, the administration has failed to create  basis for improved economic prosperity.

In 2015 the administration  came to power through it’s change mantra with promised to fight  corruption improve economy, security, education, and health. 7 years down the line  it has underperformed in this critical areas.   

With my clear convictions before,  the administration would right the wrongs committed by the predecessor administrations  but to utmost surprise to Nigerians the country is better up under the predecessors governments. Nigerians never expected that you would be  relentless in your fight against the nation’s treasury parasites – no matter how placed and connected they might be. The fight against all forms of corruption – grand, political, and administrative – in all sectors must be won, against all odds, for the survival of the country.

When the news broken to the nation that National Council of State presided by Baba Buhari  has  endorsed the pardon of Dariye, Nyame and 157 other convicts.   The  decision of National Council of State  came at wrong timing and it seems the council not consider corruption in the country  has retarded the growth of Nigeria today.

It seems that PMB’s Government  have not  weighed the implications of the state pardon before the pronouncement as such extra-legal interferences, only encourage political thieves and other opportuned public servants to embezzle public treasury and go unpunished.

In any ideal society and a country at large, the essence of punishing people for committing crimes is to serve the criminal just desert, make restitution to the victims and deter other people from engaging in criminal activities, amongst othersNigerians are wondered why the President,  granted such  pardon despite he always said corruption is affecting Nigeria’s growth.

Corruption in Nigeria has become so cancerous which made the  electorates believes the current administration would  fight and eradicate corruption, unfortunately the administration’s anti-corruption campaign has not faired any better than its predecessors, because of lack of  political will to march the fighting with  actions.

Certainly,  President Buhari  decision  has  violated  his oaths of office and allegiance to defend the Constitution.
In  my humble view, the pardon will  nurture and elevate corruption to a fundamental objective and directive principle of State policy. It is so sad and counterproductive in addition to the Moral implications of granting pardon to ex-convicts and serving prisoners

Granting such pardon, has really tarnished his credibility and his  stance on corruption are under the court of public view because crimes are vices that should not be tolerated by any government and  it shows that  the administration  sabotaging it’s  anti-corruption fight with state pardon granted to convicted ex governors and other.

  Whatever reason for this misdemeanor decision history will not be kind to the administration and its leader for condoning corruption in spite of the fact of his  hard earning reputations of being incorruptible  and honest person had been shattered and  has  become a subject of scrutiny in the court of public opinion.

It is still fresh in the mind of Nigerians when Minister of Information and Culture, Lai  Mohammed  while dismissing Transparency International which rated Nigeria very low in it’s corruption rating by ranking out of 180 countries in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index is a drop of 149 in the 2020 index as Nigeria has dropped five places in the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) index, with it’s  current position of 154. Lai had said  President Muhammadu Buhari administration will not take the rating seriously.

Really the administration proof itself right  for not being serious in fighting this cancer by pardoning despite  courts with competent jurisdiction convicted them for the crime beyond of any reasonable doubt but pardoning them through back door. The recent  development had sparked outrage, against the administration  with human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and other concern Nigerians asking Buhari to pardon all thieves in prison.

Let Mr president recall, nine years ago, ex-President Jonathan, was under same hammer over a similar pardon granted to Diepriye Alamieyeseigha.

Back then, El-Rufai had said it typified the height of insensitivity of Jonathan’s government to the feelings of Nigerians about the war against corruption. Nigerians then  accused Jonathan of damaging Nigeria’s image over pardon.

“Nobody said you should eradicate corruption, but don’t go around pardoning convicted people that have been convicted by regular courts for corruption and then you say you are fighting corruption. You are sending the wrong signal not only to those engaging in corruption but to young people who see that there is reward in being corrupt. That is what Jonathan is doing. El-Rufai had said.

In my view  GEJ  re-integrated a person who has finished  his jail term back to the society while Baba Buhari administration  pardoned people who  are still serving jail terms despite the highest court in the country, Supreme Court in in  2021 dismissed one of the  pardoned persons  appeal.

Almighty God knows, I am part of the parcel that voted Baba Buhari for 5 times, three times as presidential candidate loser and two times as winner, implying that I am unapologetic ExBuharists.  Let the image makers of the administration hear this Hausa, saying that: DUK WANDA YA SO KA DA SAFE, AMMA DA RANA YA KI KA TO HAKIKA LAIFIN DAGA GUN KA NE (whosoever likes you in the morning but dislikes you in the afternoon, then definitely the fault is from you).

Don’t know if president  and those who care for him and  Nigerians at large know this is not best of times  in the country’s history, don’t know if cares how history will judge Baba Buhari when he vacates office next year. It seems, he shouldn’t care about that  and even those around him are in same boat.

Telling the true meaning you will be ready to bear all kind of insults from administration image makers.  It  became a normal practice for them to disparaging and impugning anybody in  defence of their principal. They must be guided by high-level moral values and ethics. Yes, they  need to defend their principal, but they should do so only on the bases of truth and honesty, and employing circumspection and empathy.

We are with Him and wish the administration to succeed even before opportunity made them what they are today. Especially Buharists, Ex Buharists and goodwill Nigerians are worry about will portray the administration and it’s leader for doing either similar or worst than what GMB accused successive administrations in the country for condoning corruption formulations   anti-masses policies.
Ours is to tell the truth to the power as Nigeria is greater than any government in power. Nigeria must never remain a limping giant.

Dukawa wrote in from Kano

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