At the heart of Nigeria’s major crisis lies its failure to develop an effective policing structure. If courts are considered as temple of justice, police is the route to this temple.
Unfortunately, both police and courts in Nigeria have for long acquired bad reputation of corruption, which led to crisis of confidence among the public. Whenever justice becomes a commodity being openly displayed for sale, the society will pay costly for it. Worse still, when enforcement of justice is mired in favored selectivity for the rich and powerful, what you get is the total abuse of rule of law. This simply is what Nigeria seems to have incubated and hatched over several years of independence from the British colonial rule.
Given the gloomy picture of our justice infrastructure, nobody envisaged the coming of an inspirational figure from these institutions. Like a spark, Wakili came out of the blue and changed the public perception about police. The adage “police is your friend” is literally speaking about Wakili. I remember watching him in a video shot at a polling unit in Kano, when the stake was too high and even the venue turned chaotic- Wakili mounted the top of his SUV and started addressing the voters, party agents and election officials. In his words: “if you don’t get yourselves organised to allow smooth conduct of this election, do you know what I will do to you?” The crowd shouted, “you will order for our arrest.” He replied, “No. I will just leave Kano and go back to my state Gombe.” That was the magic wand. You need to see the reaction of the crowd. They all started queuing up and order was restored. They simply could not afford to lose him to Gombe.
Wakili’s legendary status for incorruptibility, justice and fairness didn’t start with his arrival at Kano as a commissioner. I understand he had lost promotions in the service for not being a team player in the terrible game of nepotism and bootlicking that came to typify our public system. Yet the same system never forgets to refer to him when it needs a cleaner for her Augean stables. He was the ombudsman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before he was posted out as a commissioner, when Magu was appointed the Chairman of the organization.
When he arrived Kano, the state was suffocating from the full grip of political thuggery, compromised institutions and fast-declining social capacity. He quickly and assuredly breathed back life into the broken windows of Kano’s social landscape. Everybody seemed happy with him except those hitherto privileged promoters of hates and crimes in our society.
Things went so well for Wakili on his path to becoming a rock star, until he finally committed the original sin of supervising a hitch-free and fair gubernatorial election that saw an incumbent Governor Ganduje losing to a relatively unknown Abba Kabir Yusuf. As a last minute strategy to salvage this woeful failure, an incumbent Deputy Governor Gawuna stormed the election results collation center of Nasarawa local government with a willing cohort that included a serving commissioner Murtala Garo, who helped them seize a bunch of collation sheets and tore them instantly. This hugely contributed to the declaration of Kano gubernatorial election inconclusive by the apparently incumbent-patroning INEC Commissioner.
Based on President Buhari’s public instructions to the security apparatus, such grave election offence would have caused the deputy governor and his goons to be shot at sight. The guys have desecrated the honor of such offices and they have turned into peddlers of epidemics. But Wakili tampered justice with mercy by only ordering for them to be taken to custody for protection from the irate youths boiling with anger to lynch them. In a decent nation, this singular heroic act would fetch him a national honor. Instead, the powers that be conspired and hit back at Wakili a deadly blow with sole aim of emasculating him. A DIG hurriedly posted from Louis Edet House whittled Wakili’s power and relegated him to a mere spectator during the rerun election. He watched helplessly as Kano streets and polling units were completely taken over by the weapon-bearing thugs imported in droves, at eve of the election, from neighboring states and countries. Nothing could have easily killed the spirit of a man who spent years fighting thugs than seeing thugs being empowered by the state to run over the trusting law-abiding citizens for political expediency. He drowned and drained in this sadness with no psychological support. I was told he became so sick for a while. He must have been in shock; whether this was happening to him or it’s just a nightmare?
Wakili’s case is not entirely strange. Similar cases like this are part of the reasons we have failed to develop according to our projection as one of the most naturally endowed nations in the world. Our system has acquired characteristics of undertaker, constantly orphaning credibility. Even President Buhari with all his anti-corruption rhetoric could not save this one more credible ally in his fight against corruption. Wakili finally bows out an orphan with amputated spirit. It is sad; this country has no shelter for good men! However, do not be discouraged by this. You should find comfort in the saying of Almighty Allah: “But, We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. [Quran, 29: 3]
As Wakili enjoys his retirement with glow and glory, I pray that God will reward his selfless service with the best!
Mr Musa, a resident of Kano, is interested in public commentaries. He can be reached at email@example.com