When the new chairman of the ICPC board, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, was sworn in, many of us who believe in a credible war against corruption were really joyful. And the reasons for the optimism are not far-fetched. In fact, he was hand-picked to go clean up the Augean stable that the agency had hitherto become and to uphold transparency and honesty in its operations.
Alas that hope is getting dashed by the day. The chairman is now hijacked, it seems, by forces bent on frustrating his modest efforts. How can the chairman watch as the agency’s official secrets are getting leaked to the press and sometimes in badly written grammar? How can a letter addressed to him suddenly find its way into a certain social media outlet in a matter of seconds? Is the place that porous or what? How can matters of internal investigation be “leaked” to the press by “inside sources”? What happened to the well- known time tested “official secrecy code”? What stood ICPC apart in the past is their disdain for drama and media trial. Sadly, it appears the agency is now adopting that method.
Conversely, its sister agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has now become more focused, more dedicated in this regards as it carries out its duty professionally and shunning politics in its assignments. Why would the ICPC chairman allow the agency to lower its well- known standards? Is he being blackmailed by some self-seeking officials of the agency or outside forces? Is he not worried that, by their desperation, some politicians would bring the respected agency into disrepute because of their narrow interest?
The chairman should therefore tread carefully in the discharge of his duties as not to give the impression that he has been compromised. Many people who know him would be heartbroken if, God forbid, some tainted characters smear his reputation. He must resist that vehemently because the entire world is watching him closely to see whether he is being influenced with pecuniary benefits. Already, such rumours are being touted and this should worry him. Finally, the chairman should strive to carry out his duties without fear or favour. He must not be bothered about social media influencers who may want to sway him with reports. Being resolute and focus will really help him achieve plenty
Kate Musa wrote in from Abuja