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Buhahahari turning “change” into a joke

The man ran for president on the platform of “change” and anti-corruption. Many of his supporters are expecting the dawn of a new era in Nigeria from 29 May.

But Buhahari is staying true to what some of us suspected from the onset.

You only have to look at who he has put in charge of his “Transition Committee”. None other than Ahmed Joda. Joda is what is known as “AGIP” (Any Government In Power) in Nigeria. It means he is among the select few that benefit from any regime.

Return of the Joda
Return of the Joda

Joda is in his 80s (very unlikely to “change”!) and has a long history of enrichment from public office, serving in the northern regional government before becoming Permanent Secretary at the federal ministry of industries. It was here that he was part of the crew that launched the money-spinning (for them) shambles that was Ajaokuta Steel.

Joda then got further opportunities to mess things up for Nigeria and make loads of money for himself and cronies as chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Nigerian Communications Council, Flour Mills Nigeria and the Liquefied Natural Gas project.

But the most worrying aspect of his long career was the time spent as chairman of Chagoury and Chagoury Construction. Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian of Lebanese descent, was dictator Sani Abacha’s middleman. Then Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss Nuhu Ribadu said when he was in pursuit of Chagoury that “you couldn’t investigate corruption without looking at Chagoury”. Ribadu claimed that Chagoury made it possible for Abacha to steal billions of dollars and lined his own pockets in the process.

Gilbert Chagoury, back with the shady dealing
Gilbert Chagoury, back with the shady dealing

Bobo Chicago Bola Tinubu, the major financial backer of Buhahari’s APC, recently took the Chagoury brothers, Gilbert and Ronald, to a “closed-door” meeting with Buhahari. Perhaps one outcome of the meeting was the appointment of Joda to head the Transition Committee.

When you consider that Buhahari once claimed that Abacha was not corrupt, you have to conclude that Buhahari’s anti-corruption pose is nothing but a bad joke on Nigerians.

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