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Buhari, Travel Ban And The Nigerian Project



One of the issues that  have dominated the political space in the past few weeks is the travel ban on 50 Nigerians by the federal government.

This is a fallout of the Executive Order 6 signed by President Buhari recently as part of instruments to tighten the noose on looters of our commonwealth who virtually brought Nigeria to her knees by massively looting her resources.

Naturally, there has been a lot of noise about the propriety or otherwise of the ban on this group of people who have been most uncomfortable with the policies and programmes of this administraton. Curiously, the said list has been a matter of conjecture as the federal government has not made the list public. What it did was to hand it over to the appropriate agencies of government for implementation.

On such a sensitive matter, it is unsurprising that Nigerians are divided, depending on who is speaking about the development.

For some of our elite, especially those who had one thing or the other to do with the corridors of power recently, it is absurd. And for ordinary Nigerians who have had to bear the brunt of corruption, maladministration and bad leadership, the travel ban is in order.

It was therefore unsurprising that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) again kicked against the travel ban almost as soon as the policy was made public, apparently against the backdrop of the backlash that greeted the release of the looters list some months ago.

The position of the party is that the ban was targeted mainly at its members. For the PDP, such a funny position is not unexpected given its antecedents on opposition that has always kicked against every move made by this administration to tackle corruption.

But, how do we place some of our elite who naturally should be partners against corruption, but kick against every attempt to battle the menace?

Curiously, these are the same set of people who either collaborated to bring us to the level we are or watched as our commonwealth was been stolen before their very eyes under the PDP administration, which many today refer to as the years of the locust.

For the PDP, it is natural that they are the wailing wailers because there is no way the sword of Damocles of the anti-corruption fight will not hit them as President Buhari has always blamed the PDP severally for mismanaging the nation’s resources.

Would it not have been crazy to overlook sixteen years of massive corruption that the party was in power, at a time we made so much from oil?

Didn’t PDP members own up to more than half of the humongous money both in naira and other foreign currencies retrieved from them by this administration?

The good thing about it all is that the Buhari administration is doing well in the fight to recover stolen wealth, one of the promises it made to Nigerians in 2015.

Critics may condemn some of the strategies employed by this administration, but the message to all is that this administration remains committed to that which is promised.

It is even commendable that the court of law has validated what the opposition cried against, which is a pointer that this government is on track.

Those who feel aggrieved by the E06, nay travel ban, have also been given a window of opportunity to approach the court if they feel their rights have been trampled upon.

Thankfully, some members of the opposition some time ago approached the court over the publication of their names on the looters’ list.

The position of the court on the matter has even vindicated this government of any wrong doing.

In our recent history, the war against corruption has never been fought this way it’s been done by the present administration because there is no doubt that the PDP serially raid Nigeria for close to two decades.

It is therefore an uncommon battle that this administration is fighting in view of the fact that corruption remains our greatest enemy today.

It is also not an accident that all manner of innuendoes are been thrown at the Buhari government for facing the battle with so much energy.

This is quite so when considered the quantum of resources in the hands of those whose are been targeted by the government for prosecution.

Such people will go to any length and use all means to thwart whatever means government is using, not minding the cost involved to keep what they stole from our collective patrimony.

What is however gratifying is that the Buhari administration has not slowed down a bit despite our closeness to the next elections.

In the recent past, the anti-corruption agencies are always quick to apply the brakes whenever election is approaching for fear of losing election.

This was a major feature of the feeble efforts put into fighting corruption, if any, in the sixteen years of the PDP, not so for President Buhari.

That he has demonstrated that the fight against corruption must go on despite his second term bid is legendary and has shown he is a leader for now and the future.

This is what separates him from his adversaries who have or would want to rule Nigeria, but would not want to discuss corruption which we either kill or left to kill us and the unborn generation.

The Buhari we know has taken up the anti-corruption gauntlet and would not drop it for anything, as he has shown since he came on board as President in 2015.

Thankfully, Nigerians will not allow themselves to be articulated back to the era when stealing is not corruption. Never, again.

–Umohinyang, a lawyer lives in Lagos.





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