President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday decided to weird the big stick by sacking Babachir Lawal, the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
This came several months after his suspension and the submission of the committee set up to investigate the matter.Of course the incident had made several Nigerians doubt the sincerity of the present administration in fighting corruption as claimed.
Reacting to the sack of Lawal and Ayodele Oke, NIIA Director, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) noted, “The statement on the sack of Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ayo Oke, the former Director General of Nigerian Intelligent Agency (NIA) is a slap on the face of Nigerians.
It is an insult on the collective intelligence of our people, who have waited patiently for the President’s reaction on the humongous act of corruption by two of his principal aides and this is totally unacceptable”.
On its part, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), in a statement hailed the decision to sack the top government officials commending the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, for doing a thorough and painstaking job.
“We hereby reiterate our call that henceforth, any law enforcement agent, lawyer or judge that assists corrupt officials to evade justice should be treated as an accomplice. The charade in handling corruption cases must stop forthwith”!
Lawal’s political relationship with President Buhari started over a decade ago when he joined the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), in 2002.
The aim then was to work for Buhari’s emergence as the president of the country, where he served as deputy coordinator of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in Adamawa State between 2002-2005.
When Buhari left the ANPP for Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Lawal was with him and served as member of CPC Contact and Mobilisation Committee. He also served as merger committee in 2013.
He was the National Vice-Chairman, North-East zone of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.
He ended up as member of APC Presidential Campaign Committee in 2015 before he was appointed the SGF in May after President Buhari’s inauguration.
It has been observed that the decision of President Buhari to wait for a long time before taking a final decision and on Lawal could be traced to the long political relationship he had with the Adamawa born politician.