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Senator Waku’s Challenge | TheNation


THE outspoken Joseph Waku, a former senate committee chairman, seems to derive pleasure in his often provocative and daring statements. The 70-year-old All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain who is active in the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a northern pressure group, was a one-term senator representing Benue North West constituency. Since leaving the senate in 2003, Senator Waku has remained vocal, opinionated and fearless. He is sometimes very wrong in his political postulations, but he has never been afraid to air his views.

In assessing President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war, he has suggested that ongoing probe of past administrations should be extended to the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency in order to make the war complete and credible. No one will listen to him, not because he is wrong, as he sometimes unnervingly is, but because not even President Buhari will dare. The only man who could do it, former military head of state Sani Abacha, an army general, is dead.

There is of course much to probe in the Obasanjo years. Though elected, he ruled as a dictator who somewhat allowed free speech. In fact, he brooked no dissent from nearly all his party men, many of whom had skeletons in their cupboards with which he confronted them whenever they whispered revolt. He was also his own Petroleum minister, a labyrinthine ministry he ran autocratically without regard for niceties, not to talk of procedures. And as the botched Hon. Ndudi Elumelu House of Representatives probe panel on power contracts showed, the former president was also not so methodical about power contracts designed to tackle the electricity generation problem.

Really, there is much to probe everywhere, and the Buhari presidency and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have both shown they are not fazed by overwork or bureaucracy. They are also not afraid to follow trails as far back as they might lead. More crucially, the Buhari presidency is eager to turn the entire country into a canvass of probes to investigate assassinations, political murders, and such like. But of the Obasanjo presidency, not a word will come from them, in the same way nothing or little will be heard of previously mismanaged ethno-religious crises.

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