‘Nigerians sharply divided over anti-corruption war’
By Makinde Ayotunde and Olanrewaju Oyedeji
In a typical demonstration of the state of alienation in which the Nigerian people have been held over the years, alongside the gross divisions that remain in the polity, a poll conducted across the country last week by The Difference has revealed very sharp divisions in Nigerians’ perception of the ongoing war on corruption and its prosecution.
Of the total of 209 respondents polled, 73 representing 34. 9 percent affirmed that they not only want the war continued and taken to its logical conclusion, they also expressed their confidence in the incumbent president’s ability to prosecute and win the war, hinging their optimism chiefly on the fact that ‘he is disciplined and has a military background.’
However, 71 respondents representing 34.0 percent of those polled stated that they were not interested in whether the Muhammadu Buhari administration prosecutes and wins the ongoing war against corruption in the country or not on account of their disillusionment with the overall Nigerian political system..
Another 45 respondents, representing 21.1 percent of all respondents affirmed most emphatically that in their view there was no way President Buhari could win the war no matter how hard he fought it and they adduced their reasons for this. While some volunteered that their conclusion was on account of their perception that the war was presently being prosecuted in a selective and jaundiced manner, others questioned the moral basis of President Buhari undertaking the campaign in the first place given their view that he had himself been helped to power ‘by corrupt people!’
For the final 20 respondents representing 9.6 percent of all that were polled, they preferred to remain in the middle affirming that Buhari may yet be able to win the war if all the variables were right.
The poll was conducted last week within the South West zone of the country and it was administered through face-to-face and social media interviews .
Meanwhile, the thought-provoking results of the poll is coming even as there is increasing concern over the increasing numbers of aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan who are presently pleading ill-health as an excuse for continuing to evade interrogation and possible prosecution over alleged acts of omission and commission they had reportedly been involved in during the lifespan of the immediate past administration.
And in a country that has long been enmeshed in a crisis of integrity, the fear is that going forward and as the Buhari administration ramps up the pressure in the ongoing war against corruption, many more hospital alibis would show up on the table.
Among those who have allegedly pleaded ill-health at this time is the former ‘Super minister’ of Petroleum Affairs, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke who is reportedly undergoing medical care in a United Kingdom hospital.
There is also Gordon Obua who is in an Abuja hospital and Kingsley Kuku, an immediate past Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan and Coordinator of the Niger Delta amnesty office in the same Jonathan era.
In recent times, a gale of dismissals and resignations has visited major agencies and parastatals in the country. These include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Nigerian Maritime Safety and Administration Authority, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and that of the Office of the National Security Adviser.