President Muhammadu Buhari is currently facing backlash for imposing a travel ban on fifty Nigerian leaders who have allegedly been involved in corrupt practice.
Protests against the travel ban claim that the act is partisan and undemocratic. Yoruba youths have openly criticised Buhari for excluding two APC party members that had previously been charged with corruption.
In addition to that, many questions whether the ban is constitutional, a reminder of how the military imposed restrictions on movement of their political opponents.Some have even gone as far as to claim that Buhari has no right to impose such restrictions, claiming that only the courts and anti-corruption agencies could impose restrictions on individuals in the country.
But what do we do when the courts and the anti-corruption agencies themselves have been placed under scrutiny for corruption? We hardly can stop the President from taking full control of the war on corruption in a nation like Nigeria.
What’s more, Executive Order number sixonly applies to acts involving “funds or assets in the sum or value in excess of fifty million Naira”.In order to be subjected to the restrictive order, one has to steal more money than the average Nigerian will ever see in their lifetime!
In addition to that, one hundred and fifty-fivecases are affected by the order. This means that the travel ban only affects about a third of individuals suspected of corruption. The travel ban and watch-list is an effective way of making sure that corrupt politicians are unable to flee the country and escape justice.
This is not to say that all politicians affected by the travel ban and the Executive Order are guilty. The simple fact is that those who are innocent can be revealed as such within due time if they remain in the country for the duration of their trial.
In light of this, Buhari’s travel ban is much needed, however, extreme it seems, as a first step in eradicating corruption in Nigeria for good. We must resort to drastic measures in order to eradicate the corruption that affects our country.
Funmilayo Adetokunbo A-A, a political and International Affairs Analyst, writes from Somerset, England, United Kingdom.