Kukah: Buhari’s anti-corruption war lacks proper understanding of the enemy

Matthew Kukah, Catholic bishop of Sokoto diocese, says the anti-corruption efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration lacks a clear strategy and “proper understanding of the enemy”.

The cleric says the President is still stuck with a mindset of his military days.

Kukah said this in an interview with Punch when he was asked if he still had doubts about the government’s anti-corruption war.

The Catholic bishop said he is against the metaphor of “war” as a strategy to fight corruption.

He expressed sadness that even with the metaphor that has been adopted by the government to tackle corruption, the desired results have not been achieved.

Kukah said it did not speak well of the government’s anti-corruption efforts when the national assembly and the executive could not agree on a pick for Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman.

“It is not enough to say we will fight the corrupt, especially when the President is still stuck in a mindset of his military days, which sees corruption as something that wicked and unpatriotic politicians and office holders are doing. Still, we believe that corruption is what the political class has done,” he said.

“I was, and still am, against the lack of vision, clarity, diagnosis, strategy and intellectual depth of what we call a fight against corruption. Conceptually, I was and am against the idea of the metaphor of war as a strategy because once we saw it as a war, the government believed it only needed to rally its army and then go to the war front.

“Sadly, even if we took that metaphor, we were unlikely to get the desired results because this was a war without timelines, without a proper understanding of the enemy, his strength and his landscape.

“Every day, the predicament of the government is a more visible and palpable illustration that we were right all along: an assembly led by the ruling party and the President cannot agree on the choice of the chairman (of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the leader of this fight. What does this tell you?”

He said the EFCC should be “less preoccupied by the politics of the moment.”

“All these monies that our sensibilities are being assaulted with, what do they do to us? Are we supposed to salivate or what? We have been showing armed robbers on television for years. Has it reduced armed robbery?” he asked.