The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, has said the anti-corruption campaign by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is “beginning to look selective”.
Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, was recently named as one of the beneficiaries of the $2.1bn meant for arms procurement, which was allegedly diverted by former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
He has, however, repeatedly denied having any contact with Dasuki since the 80s, insisting that he had no case to answer.
Asked to assess the ongoing anti-corruption campaign, he told our correspondent, “It is getting out of hand. They know that there is no charge they can bring against me, that is why smear campaign is used as a substitute so that over time people will say I am a bad man.
“I read some articles in the paper that talked about ‘the increasingly controversial anti-graft war’. It is truly becoming controversial because it is no longer reasonable; it is beginning to look selective. How could you link me with Dasuki? The person I have not seen for more than 20 years. The man I had no dealing with whatsoever.”
He explained that while it was important for the country to fight corruption, the current administration ought to consider a different approach to the campaign, adding that the current approach was similar to what happened in 1985 when Buhari was the Head of State.
He said, “There are two models to clean up a society: the sampling model and the total revolution, like the French Revolution. The one that might be suitable for our situation is for the government to take cases that are unambiguous and take such people as an example; take the money from them and send them to jail as examples to the system. Then, put that behind you and go ahead with the development of the society.
“But if you take all the time looking for every criminal to send to jail, that will be an endless journey. At the beginning, the people will hail you because they like to see big men fall, but as more and more people are destroyed, then, more and more members of the general population will be affected.
For some, their brothers or fathers or friends have lost their jobs and at the end of the day, the tide will turn and people will turn against that government.”
To avoid such a situation, he said the best thing to do was to focus on some people who had clear cases to answer and leave security operatives to take care of the rest.
“On this occasion, my advice will be those people who are the criminals in this system, whose crimes are unambiguous and documented, take them, apply the law, confiscate the loot they have taken, try them, and let them go to prison,” he said.
“Do that for a couple of months and leave the rest for the police to do their jobs in a normal way. This omnibus anti-graft campaign phase would have been over but the police would continue to monitor the system and catch thieves and criminals. Then the government would focus on the development of the society.”
Falae, who admitted that his party collected N100m from the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, of the Peoples Democratic Party,insisted that neither the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission nor any individual has asked him to refund the money.
He added that it was not the SDP’s place to investigate where the PDP got money from, saying, “It is not our duty — either legal or moral duty — to begin to find out where PDP was finding money to pursue its campaign.
“We took no money from Dasuki; the money given was for the party, not for me. It was delivered to the party and the party has acknowledged receipt in full in a press conference.”