Over 70% of the corruption in Nigeria occurs at the state and LGA tiers of government, yet the EFCC does not have the law, manpower and resources to fight corruption at those two levels. This is why I do not believe that President Buhari can fight corruption or that corruption can even be fought in Nigeria.
The EFCC is a reactive anti-corruption agency. What this means is that EFCC reacts to successful corruption cases, it is not designed to prevent corruption. EFCC can only come after you if you are stupid enough to leave a trail. For example, all the beneficiaries of Dasukigate who collected their share in cash can never be questioned by EFCC. There is no trail for EFCC to follow. I believe the looters under this present government will deal on ‘cash only’ and ‘no deposits or transfer’ as their strategy to loot. They have learnt. That is one of the limitations of the EFCC. They can only get dumb looters and not smart looters.
Also, if PMB had not won the 2015 election, we would not have known of any Dasukigate. What this simply means is that we will not know of the numerous ongoing looting under PMB’s govt until a new man from an opposition party takes over. That might never even happen for the next twenty years. This is why Nigeria cannot fight corruption. Corruption can only be fought when a govt decides to.
Now take a look at the effort so far to fight corruption by the PMB administration. We are approaching the second year and yet no serious conviction have been made on the Dasuki issue. Mind you, Dasukigate barely happened at the tail end of GEJ’s administration, yet it is taking over two years to get justice. EFCC has not even started looking at corruption in the procurement areas where contracts are bloated and where the real corruption takes place. EFCC has not started investigating big contractors like Berger and Setraco who are the expatrait brains behind corruption in public procurement. EFCC has not even looked at the past five years record of all government agencies under GEJ, especially agencies like NDDC. EFCC does not even have the manpower to look at every major contract awarded under GEJ to see and identify the real meaning of kickbacks.
Yet we are approaching the second year of an anti-corruption tenure.
The truth is that we are approaching corruption from a wrong angle. Corruption should not be fought by a reactive measure like the EFCC but by a proactive measure. The office of the NSA is still there under PMB disbursing funds today.
Technically, corruption cannot be fought in Nigeria because Nigeria itself practices a corrupt system of government. To win election you need corruption. To survive through office you need corruption. To win a second tenure you need corruption. To appease the various tribes of Nigeria you need coruption. To even maitain the peace and unity of Nigeria, you need corruption. You cannot practice a corrupt system of government and still claim to be fighting corruption.
Corruption is not only when you divert public funds. Nepotism and prebendalism which PMB has blatantly displayed and defended is even a worse kind of corrruption. Technically, PMB is corrupt, so are his officials. Just last month we heard of a case where DSS officials invaded a house in Abuja, recovered $550,000 but reported that it found only $50,000! They simply relooted $500,000 on the spot! Even EFCC is corrupt. Police, Army, Universities, Trade Unions, Civil Servants, etc., are all corrupt. Nigeria system corrrupts everything and everybody so it becomes a contradiction to use the same system to fight corruption. Even PMB who claims to be incorruptible has now been corrupted by the system.
To genuinely fight corruption, we must restructure Nigeria and entrench true federalism. True federalism has its own internal mechanism to fight corruption at least to the level that corruption no longer impedes development. We cannot continue to depend on the self-restraints of our leaders to fix Nigeria, we must impose on them some sort of administrative constraints. This can only happen under a proper federal system of government.
You cannot practice a corrupt system of federalism and still think you can fight corruption.
Nigeria is still a joke under President Buhari. The best way out is to restructure.