A recent development in oil-rich Nigeria has all but been overlooked in recent news coverage as the violence in Kenya continues to garner most media attention. The forced leave of absence of an anti-corruption chairman in Nigeria could lead to tensions and international implications similar to those unfolding in Kenya.
Nigeria's failure to encourage positive and widespread development is often attributed to heavy corruption within its governing bodies. Corruption is blamed for the loss of millions in oil revenues; money that is critical for the country to address issues like rampant poverty and a failing infrastructure. Nigeria has great potential to be a positive model for other African countries in the area of international trade and population management. Its success in these areas, though, are directly linked to whether or not Nigeria can curb its corruption problems.
Shock, outrage and, in some quarters, relief, greeted news that Nuhu Ribadu was being sent on a year-long training course in the midst of launching the biggest graft prosecutions ever seen in Nigeria, perhaps in Africa. Although far from universally popular, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was credited with doing the most to bring some of the country’s hitherto untouchable politicians to book.
The news has also revived questions over whether President Umaru Yar’Adua has the authority to impose his will on an elite with little interest in his pledges of “zero tolerance” for corruption, or in his broader reform agenda.
...Just as bloodshed in Kenya has muted talk in the investment community of an African economic renaissance, Mr Ribadu’s ticket to a remote training institute has raised worries abroad about the future of reforms in Nigeria. “We are concerned about the timing and motivation for this decision,” said a US diplomat.