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‘Like rabbit chasing lions’ — Al-Mustapha says EFCC, ICPC can’t fight corruption

  Hamza Al-Mustapha, presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), says the institutions established to tackle corruption in Nigeria a...

 


Hamza Al-Mustapha, presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), says the institutions established to tackle corruption in Nigeria are not well-equipped to handle such matters.

 

Speaking in an interview on Tuesday with Channels Television, Al-Mustapha, a former aide to the late Sani Abacha, said if elected president, he will set up structures and relevant agencies to address corrupt practices.

 

“In Nigeria, I believe institutions primarily managing security, corruption issues in Nigeria are ill-equipped. They are too small; they are not organised properly,” he said.

 

“A situation with this the way I see it, where you call a rabbit to be the chairman of arresting lions, you know it is semantics. The rabbit will be running around the animal kingdom, but the lion will be sleeping the way it wants and nothing will happen.

 

 “You don’t have national economic intelligence agency or your commission. You also do not have a national electronic agency management of your economy to determine data of corruption in terms of management or domestic activities, international trade, movement of your resources, activities in your banks, central bank, ministry of finance, ministry of national planning and in understanding what they do with your resources.

 

“How come you don’t have the seeming structures and you want to relate with the international community that you cannot drive? Who do they communicate with? So, once they come, they don’t have relevant agencies they are working with in today’s modern world. How can you manage corruption? So, you have to reset the country first.

 

“So, we have an understanding of two new agencies to come on board and it is bigger. It will go along with the economy.”

 

The presidential candidate also said he is bold enough to confront corrupt individuals, irrespective of their social or political standing.

 

“If you’re talking about boldness, God willing, I’m not boasting,” he said.

 

“Boldness in rendering service for Nigeria was, first of all, what fetched the persecution I went through yesterday because I don’t know how you can ask me to paint white [as] black and present black [as] white.

 

“Many of those who believe they hated my guts were the ones that punished me and call me names.”

 

 ‘NO PLAN FOR REVENGE’

Al-Mustapha was arrested on October 21, 1998, over the death of Moshood Abiola. He spent 14 years in prison and was later set free.

 

In the interview on Tuesday, the former military personnel said he has “forgiven” those behind his arrest and has “no plans of taking revenge” if he becomes president.

 

“Vengeance is not my own; it’s not my upbringing; it is not in my religion; it is not in my belief, love or affection,” he said.

 

 “I have been an advocate and I have been canvassing all across on the issue of peace and unity in Nigeria, even as a very little toddler. In the military, as a lieutenant, numerous associations were created or registered by me. And I brought them up in this sense.”

 

When asked if he understands what it takes to rule a democratic society, Al-Mustapha said he is versatile.

 

 “A military officer is trained to be versatile. And it all depends on the strength of that person,” he said.

 

“It is a personality evaluation issue. If you believe from the open programmes, the approach you have as a versatile person, primarily what is required, are leadership qualities in an individual.

 

“The fact that Mr A, as a civilian, comes to say, ‘I am a politician, and I’m promoting politics and I want to be in politics’, it doesn’t mean he possesses the qualities of leadership desirous of this country that can have an impact in changing the country.”

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