Ibrahim Magu’s Saga: A Nation Starving of Morally Upright leaders


By Buhari Habibu

In the course of my discussion with some of my colleagues on upright leadership in Nigeria, I noted that there are few morally upright leaders; but the major challenge is finding their ways to positions of authority. Then, another colleague said he has lost the hope of having a morally upright leader in Nigeria; of which I objected. Then they threw a big question to me. They asked me to mention one morally upright leader currently in power. I thought for a while and fortunately for me, I remembered one. The one that gives hope to all of us craving for good leadership. On mentioning his name, everyone remained quite in acceptance; I mentioned the name of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. Had they asked me to mention another, I would have simply remained mute, for true leaders are scarce as the country is chronically starving of them.

With every leadership system, allegations of corruption will pop-up as time goes on. Thus, the Buhari administration had before now queried, investigated and sacked top serving government officials; prominent among them is the case of Mr Babachir David Lawal, the former Secretary to the federal government. Nonetheless, the Ibrahim Magu’s saga left many in immense shock and terrible disappointment. Because it involves a serving head of an important and sensitive agency like the EFCC and will to certain extent question the successes of the current administration in the fight against corruption, especially as the government was voted on an anti-corruption mantra.

Although, the allegations against Ibrahim Magu remain what it is – allegation, he is perceived to have disappointed President Buhari and all Nigerians, especially those that stood firmly behind him when he was rejected a couple of times by the 8th Senate. It may be a case of one falsehood spoiling a million truths or a situation where an aching head finds it difficult to dodge blows. Whatever is the case, it is very embarrassing to interrogate and sack a person occupying the exalted position of the watchdog of all financial institutions in our beloved country. The embracement is rather achingly, especially for the many Nigerians that strongly believed in him despite the rejection that made him serve in an acting capacity for four years.

At least, the attempt of the current government in ensuring some levels of sanitary in the system by interrogating and sometimes sacking its top officials on issues bordering on gross and monumental corruption is worthy of commendation. This is despite the allegations that sometimes it is a case of a child playing with the testicles of his father, thinking it was his mother’s breast. This may serve as deterrent to some, especially if the suspects are tried in court of law and a verdict eventually given. The fact is, not every government will be sincere enough to award such cheap points to the opposition party by publicly humiliating an allegedly corrupt government official like the boss of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission in the context of the “Nigerian type of politics”. Here, President Buhari deserves commendation for watering the thorn for the sake of the rose.

This should serve as lesson to all youths that are used to fighting their family members, friends and strangers they meet on social media or during oral conversation because of a leader they have never met or known on personal basis. For, almost every route we innocently follow our leaders through in the journey of building a great nation, leads us to mountainous disappointment. This reflects a national starvation in reputable and honest leaders and emphasise the need for the youths to make a difference. The youths must strive to be reputable and honest in all dealings; for this is the only therapeutic and prophylactic remedy for a nation starved of men of substance. We must always remember that it is not possible to find a man who has everything, but it is possible to find a man who enjoys the things he has. The system that produces upright leaders is power by incorruptible citizens contented with what is legally theirs and such citizens are sourced from families with high moral values. Citizens that are sincerely interested in having only what is godly theirs and are committed in give to the ordinary citizens and the State Treasury their true share. The loot may be huge and the bribe may be tempting, please, kindly resist and reject; save our nation from this chronic starvation.







Buhari Habibu is a young academic and can be reached through buharihabibu@rocketmail.com