Probing is a blindfold. You probe without fear or favour. If someone is guilty, then the person should get ready to be probed. On the part of laying too much emphasis on probing, in the context of Nigeria being a very corrupt country, you cannot help it. I would have wished that the probe issue was not the key highlight of government. It would have been good to have it go along with other things. I agree with you there. The president’s function is to deliver a comprehensive package, probing, fighting corruption, development, new energy sources, education, welfare to the poor and so on. Though they came into power with a very lean financial base, I think if the government is looking at targeting 25 million very frail and volatile Nigerians, they should have announced it. It would have helped. Part of the campaign pledge is N5,000 for the very vulnerable like those unemployed, elderly people. It will be good to announce that now. When I chaired the NBA
Conference that the Vice President attended, he said so. He said that the government is going to be very strong on social welfare. I like this government because it agrees with my soul.
Just like in the Christian world, there are different kinds of Christians. In the political world also, there are different kinds of politicians. This government is called the left of centre. It is a social democracy government. Former President Jonathan’s government was right of centre. His, was a corporatist government. This present government is saying they will include everybody, while the former governments were saying they would only cater for a few. The government that caters for all is likely to be popular. So, if President Buhari is able to achieve the agenda that he promised, he will be a very popular person. We are waiting to see. This is why I say it is not easy to judge him on 100 days. If he does not achieve what he promised, it will be business as usual. In Nigeria, only very few like Chief Awolowo have been able to keep to his promise.
But do you think it is right for a government to probe individuals?
I will be against probing individuals. I will be against the president probing anybody. That is not his function. The function of the president is to recognise that there is corruption. Next thing is appointing good people to fight this corruption. And not for the president to say, “Go after Olisa Agbakoba.” It is for those people that have been given the job to, without reference to the president, do what they have been appointed to do. Otherwise, it will become selective. That was the problem with Obasanjo’s anti-corruption programme because it appeared selective, i.e, it appeared as if it was being targeted at certain people. Nobody should be targeted in the anti-corruption war. It is when you erect the net, if you are corrupt, the net will catch you. But, not that you are taking the net to Olisa’s house. You erect the net for everyone and if you are not corrupt, it won’t catch you. I will personally recommend to the president not to mention anybody’s name. Buhari should set up a strong anti-corruption framework.