By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja
About forthright ago, pictures emerged of how the member representing Guevara/Suleja/Tafa federal constituency of Niger State, Abubakar Lado Abdulahi Suleja displayed raw cash while distributing cash gift to his loyalists. I have waited long enough to observe whether or not the lawmaker will refute the claims or disown the pictures, probably as photoshopped images. But no, Lado called the bluff of wailing Nigerians and cared less about his public image beyond his Suleja cocoon.
Aside from the fact that the naked display of cash was abusive to our collective sensibilities as Nigerians, there is an element of criminality, which can only be established upon investigation.
While the largesse could mean that Lado, as usual, impacted positively on the life of his constituents and his constituency, the style he adopted this last time is, to say the least abysmal.
Although there have been commendable testimonies about Lado’s personality as a politician, for instance, some of his constituents held the view that Lado was instrumental to the provision of basic infrastructure, the unanimous view is that he has surpassed the expectations of the people. This feat earned the nickname Mutum mai Jamal or Man of the masses. He was also said to have been instrumental provision of boreholes, streetcar lights, potable water, as well as giving cash donations to widows, among other people–oriented programmes. He reportedly empowered youth in the constituency with the donation of tricycles, bicycles, and other valuable materials that could guarantee their financial independence.
Nevertheless, displaying cash in the name of empowerment is nothing but a backward-thinking initiative. The generous lawmaker could have opted for other means of payment and still create the needed impact.
It is surprising that security agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is yet to commence an investigation. For an administration that promises zero tolerance for corruption, by now, the source of Lado’s N50 million in cash should have been unraveled and Nigerians deserve an explanation as to why the lawmaker should not be prosecuted.
For instance, the anti-money laundering prohibition law permits an individual to make cash withdrawal not money than N5 million per day and N10 million for a corporate organisation. Lado should come forward and prove his innocence by explaining to all Nigerians how he withdrew N50 million in peace meal and kept it in his house to share during the bazaar. Lado Suleja is still a very young man with a promising political future, he should come clean by presenting his statement of account to security agencies to prove his innocence, a good leader is he who leads by example.