A Call To Duty

by Opeyemi Ajayi

Few years ago, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Obasanjo set up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the aim of fighting corruption.

The government appointed a young and dynamic Police Officer, Nuhu Ribadu as the commissions head. The man fought the battle, he arrested corrupt political office holders and at that time, the fear of EFCC became the beginning of wisdom for political office holders.

Some people, however, claim that Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC did not prosecute the friends of his boss, they claim that all those he prosecuted are those who fell out with Obasanjo but the truth is that whether friends or foes, the people he prosecuted have one thing in common, they looted our treasury.

When President Yaradua took over the mantle of leadership, Nigerians had hope in him that his administration will aim at the skies, he released a seven point agenda but fifteen months on the line nothing has been done and nothing seems to be in the offing.

His administration however took a step which Nigerians felt was wrong, Nuhu Ribadu was sent on compulsory study leave to NIPSS and appointed Farida Waziri as the EFCC chairman.

Few weeks ago, Nigerian Police authorities announced that Nuhu Ribadu and 139 Police Officers from different cadres have been demoted; the claim was that they were wrongfully promoted by the past administration.

Mr. Haz Iwendi was one of those that the Police authorities announced their demotion; he was demoted to the position of a DCP after his death. This guy died of heart attack while in active service. It was not that they were promoted through corrupt means. Promotion all over the world is to improve the psyche of people to do more while also telling others that if they can do great things, they will be promoted. Demotion in its right is an exercise to punish people, what offence has Ribadu and others committed?

The painful thing is that any one that does something great ought to be honored; Nuhu Ribadu risked his life by fighting the political big wigs. When he was at EFCC fighting the wrongs in Nigeria, where was the IGP? Where was the Police Service Commission chairman?

Since the event, quite a number of Nigerians have shown their displeasure of the action but it seems we have to take bold steps to tell the government that its actions are wrong.

It won’t be too much if we organize peaceful demonstration at the Nigerian embassies of the various countries that we reside or the FCT for those who reside in Nigeria.

In a democratic system, we should not keep mum when wrong steps are taken by government. We should start fighting against unpopular government policies, it’s high time that a few cabal will sit in Abuja and decide the fate of over 140 million people without our input.

Let’s inform Ribadu through our actions that the majority likes him even if the ruling cabal does not appreciate his good works.

If we refuse to take a stand now, and take practical steps, Ribadu will complete his studies at Kuru and join the army of Nigerians outside Nigeria. When we refuse to appreciate and honor our great men, we lose them to countries that will appreciate them, then, brain drain happens. If we refuse to reverse the ugly demotion, Ribadu for example will complete his studies and get a good investigative job outside Nigeria. It will also reduce the number of men of integrity within the Police who will be ready to risk their lives for Nigeria. Great men are honored and not demoted.

This time around, it’s a call to duty. It’s a national assignment that involves all. No matter the age, sex, location. This time around it is a choice.

God bless you!

God bless Nigeria!

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