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Merely Sacking Babachir, Oke, Not Enough, Nigerians Want Duo Handed over to EFCC



President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sack his embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and the Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Babachir Lawal, and Ayo Oke, on Monday afternoon, is not enough to get the president off the hook, if reactions by Nigerians are still worth anything to the government.

Following the announcement by Buhari’s adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, with the appointment of Boss Mustapha as the new SGF, Nigerians have taken to social media and radio phone-in programs to voice their displeasure and commendations for the president.

Civil Society Organisations have not been left out from the clamour, as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has joined the call for the duo to be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“Without effective prosecution of high-ranking public officials charged with corruption, this government’s fight against corruption may sadly turn out to be all motion and no movement, and this will eventually undermine the legitimacy of the anti-corruption efforts,” the group said.

  Also, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been more critical of the sack of both officials, saying the mere sack is a slap on the face of Nigerians.

“The statement on the sack of Alhaji Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ayo Oke, the former Director General of Nigerian Intelligent Agency (NIA) is a slap on the face of Nigerians. It is an insult to the collective intelligence of our people who have waited patiently for the President’s reaction to the humongous act of corruption by two of his principal aides and this is totally unacceptable,” a statement by the party said in part.

Some Nigerians speaking on the matter on Twitter said the absence of a directive for antigraft bodies to swoop in on the duo is a bad call by Buhari.

On radio phone-in programs, some Nigerians said the manner in which the issue was first handled by the government, made it important that Lawal and Oke are handed over to security agencies.

One caller who identified himself as Fred calling from Gwagwalada in Abuja, said the difference in how the government handled cases of corruption against members of the past administration, and members of his cabinet, are very obvious.

“Maybe Buhari is showing that he does belong to some people, not everybody.

“So far, his government has treated his own thieves with dignity, and I think that is clear for all to see.” he said.

It is worthy of note that the cloud of secrecy surrounding the fugitive Maina still hangs over the presidency, and Lawal and Oke’s sack, is currently being seen as a distraction from this case.

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