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OPINION

Magu: Travails Of An Unsong Hero

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To be our very best, we must undertake in life, especially in the pursuit of our professional careers, to hold true to lofty principles, and remain of strong moral character. Principles, which often prove transcendental, help with navigating tough choices which ordinarily should baffle our unseasoned logic. They remain an indispensable component in the arsenal of the long term strategist, helping him plan in terms of epochs, not years. Character for it’s part, roots our feet in reality, though our hearts reach for the Stars. It proves of inestimable worth in guiding our steps along the appropriate trajectory, helping unfurl the lattice of entanglements that the drudgery of life enfolds. He that would see great things must this twin gems embrace; the one to keep destiny in sight, no matter how misty, the other to ensure we never stray too far from the appointed course. No matter the challenge, we court great peril if we think to jettison either or both of these twin barometers, the professed enormity of the alleged gain from compromise notwithstanding. Fixed, immovable must they remain as locks on our hearts, while the unseen hand of Providence conveys our potential to the realms of greatest expression and fulfillment.

Dark, turbulent, painful is this world where life deploys her champions. They must prove their mettle against exceeding odds. Only the stout hearted finish strong. Like they say, the most massive characters are scarred with pain. This describes the world of the warrior king: he rules his domain with every regard to the public good, while exerting every predatory skill against the felon. He is the Arch nemesis of all they whose Craft, methods and motives run against the general good. He swims against the current and remains unpopular with all but the truly discerning. The vicissitudes of the crown he wears are never allowed to blunt the edge of that sword of Justice he wields. Many love truth but few, very few are prepared to follow truth to the dark caves it leads. Are you of the requisite caliber? A consummate example of such a stoic, one that Fate has elected to fashion in one of life’s hottest ovens, is the American professor of law, Alan Dershowitz. Apart from enduring the rigors of attaining such eminence in his career, now having ‘made it’, he is confronted with the prospect of Socio-economic ostracism, as against been celebrated as an achiever. He recently disclosed that his adherence to principle had not only lost him a wide swathe of friends and associates, but also earned him strong animosity from members of his family
How much must a man pay for being good and doing right! Imagine going up against a cold front in the family meeting, your only crime being that you argued a case on its merit rather than following the less confrontational path of political correctness. Of a fact, strait the path, and narrow the gate that leads to heaven, and indeed, few there be that find it.
President Donald Trump is another unsung hero that comes to mind. Surrounded on all sides by enemies, yet relentlessly executing the agenda he swore to implement. Forsworn to the fidelity only the truly great understand, he has inadvertently pledged his all as a surety to keeping every promise he made.
Having highlighted the genius of these two individuals from arguably the greatest country on the planet, it gives me much pride as a Nigerian to mention our own professor Dora Akinyuli of NAFDAC as a noteworthy study in incorruptibility

I choose to ignore her political failings, which to my mind, leave her reputation as a great achiever unassailable. All you need to do is juxtapose these with the huge risks she took, the hard ground she broke, and you will see the scales tilt in her favor. She lived and died an accomplished Amazon. Imagine the fake drugs barons she bankrupted and imprisoned; the’ black markets’ she shut down. Enemies so abounded in her life, all deadly, that all her visitors, both official and personal, had to be screened. Her tragic foray into politics reminds us that being foible is almost intrinsic to the human soul. The void she left behind constitutes a sober reminder that Temporal joys and rewards are no measure whatever of our true worth in this Vale of tears.
Despite this huge national loss, I take solace in the emergence of another crusader cast in a similar mould. Vilified, under rated, and so often misunderstood, I never cease to be awed by the mystique of Magu, the EFCC chairman.  Frankly I don’t know how that man sleeps; every good day in the office means a fresh addition to the ever growing list of enemies: the next file requiring his attention might be of a friend he’s known forever.; the next indictment secured might mean his children can’t go for their cousin’s birthday: uncle has been caught looting. And the list goes on and on.  His job description, in case you have not noticed, mimics the parameters of this long, arduous journey with no inns, and only corrupted watering holes, strung far apart.
A social pariah he must remain, if he must succeed at his task. Venomous coteries of malefactors glare from the wings, their common cause? To extirpate all that his scruples stand for. Little wonder he has not been confirmed! The push back is from the expected quarters!.

Here again, the human factor must be pleaded on his behalf; mistakes, oversights, errors of judgment, the like must occur; that’s why the appellate courts exist even in the mainstream judiciary. Appeal courts exist mostly to address miscarriages of Justice, our esteemed judges being as human as any one of us: incrementally, the decays to our penal system are repaired while an increasing store of legal knowledge supplies the defects. If the legal system with it’s deep rooted antiquity is still evolving, much more should we encourage adaptation from the nascent EFCC, with the attendant over and under compensations. Despite the foibles, I believe the larger match of accountability and transparency proceed unhindered: every usurper of public rights, all diverters of designated funds, have been forced to admit that there is a new sheriff in town and he has no qualms whatever about inflicting sanctions against the guilty, friend or foe. A favourite quip of his pays an uncomplimentary but honest homage to deceased corrupt public officials ‘after they die, people will be saying rest in peace: they cannot rest in any peace’! Talk about taking the fight against graft to the very shores of Eternity!. That’s my idea of a crusader! As a newspaper editor must accept all blame for every word published, so is Magu obligated to take responsibility for the conduct of his men. These men are not saints, but their ubiquity we must concede, brings home the notion of culpability to every potential felon. Additionally, we must remember that he is only a tree, not a forest: let’s be careful to malign the sacrifice of this Spartan public servant that probably boasts the largest concentration of private and official enemies on the African continent

Our understanding, patience and cooperation will go a long way in mitigating the pressure and yield the nation better results. They say bad men are made insufferable by overwhelming flatteries: true, but God alone knows how many good men are lost each day because there’s not one to cheer them on with a hearty ‘ well done’. I have made it a personal commitment to believe in the man, and hope that someday we will better as a people, appreciate the ideals Magu espouses: and I trust that that day reposes, not in the distant future, but close, when the chairman of the EFCC, like Dora Akinyuli of NAFDAC, will address the British house of Commons, and that the FBI, MI5 will adopt models from the EFCC, proving once again that Nigerians are capable of not just doing it well, but doing it BEST.

–Abubakar wrote from Abuja





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