Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Over the past few weeks, I have been accused, often times in jest-layered seriousness (but with that tinge of seriousness all the same) both on and off this blog of liking Yar'adua too much. Of collecting bribe (as if!) and other such.
Of course, I have no apologies. I have spent the last eeight years having the most pungent hatred against my President, and it is a refreshing, nay empowering change to be able to feel the exact opposite emotion for another occupier of that office. I like Yar'adua. And I like him fiercely.
But as with those I love, I do with my eyes wide open. Tough love is always the best. Which is why I am not certain how exactly to feel about the whole AG-EFCC wahala.
On the one hand, who wants a leader who feels that he is so wise that he can neither be wrong nor corrected (people lost their jobs and referrals for that under the Emperor!), yet on the other hand, it is a bit disconcerting to witness something eerily close to hastily made decisions being reversed hastily.
Nor is an ability to at least defend your stand that attractive. While we are on that subject, I still cannot get over the fact that he could not represent Bode Augusto as a Ministerial Nominee - a man who was easily the more brilliant of the pack of nominees. Under Obasanjo, people were disgusted when he presented people like Borishade more than thrice after rejection but only because there was no exceptional circumstance for such insistence, here Nigeria NEEDED Augusto's brilliance as sorely as an oasis in the sahara.
But Yar'adua let it go. Just like that. And then this - yet another decision that came from sound reasoning; yet he just beat a hasty retreat like an orphan.
Or would my confusion be because I supported the move to reign in the EFCC? Anyone who knows me well would know that the excesses bordering of destructive self-righteousness as well as transparent double-standards of the EFCC in the past 4 years were perhaps my greatest pet peeves. And by the time Obasanjo left with his moral baggage, he took with him a huge chunk of the respect I had built for Mallam Ribadu. For me, the rule of law is more sacrosanct than any quixotic anti-corruption saliva-spray, so Yar'adua deciding to bring that organ strictly in line with constitutional and other statutory safeguards for fair hearing and equality before the law won my heart.
Then the usual suspects like Gani Fawehinmi and Femi Falana didnt even take a day's break to look closely at the decision and began to cry their cliched fouls - then Segun Adeniyi and the Attorney-General began to speak from both sides of the mouth - and effectively the policy was withdrawn.
Knee-jerk responses are hardly the hallmark of enduring leadership. But yet again, if he had been slow to react, perhaps the cynics would go back to calling him 'baba go slow'?
It's really confusing.
I think it was easier when I just distrusted and consequently disrespected the former president - at least then it was easier to put it all up to bad faith. But with someone who shows such good faith as Yar'adua, what does one think?