The Principle Of Handshake-Handcuff In Nigeria

Filed under: National Issues |
Jeff Okoroafor

Jeff Okoroafor

I can’t remember a time when stealing was ever a felony in Nigeria, when the only word to describe corrupt government officials was imprisonment, if there was ever a time like that, i probably wasn’t born then and probably haven’t come around to read about it. Because for decades in Nigeria, stealing, corruption, impunity and many other vices that erodes the tenets of rule of law, code of conduct and financial responsibility, was locked up in a Can while public office recklessness thrived. Counting from the days of Nigeria’s democratic emergence or during the military days of autocracy, we never saw the principle of handshake and handcuff. We never saw it under late Yar’Adua and neither did we see it under Jonathan. Everyone in the government, from the president down to local government chairmen, walked on the carpet of impunity and traded on the rosy rock of corruption to the point where stealing wasn’t seen as corruption.

Am certain most of you are wondering what this principle is all about, when it should be applied or why its important we have it in our todays government. If as a contractor for example, you fail to do what you’ve been paid to to do, you get a handcuff, straight away. No one or fine can bail you out, no attorney can stand for you, and no Judge can help you out. You go in in the same fast manner for which you loot the public funds. On the other hand, if you successfully carry out your job to completion, you get a handshake. That’s exactly what the principle of “handshake and handcuff” means.

For those of you who are following the political process and leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari right now, you’d agree with me that he’s yet to fully commence operation but agencies of government, especially those that enforces laws and monitors financial crimes, are already making amends, adjusting to reality and working to make leadership all about accountability and transparency. In truth, there has been a lot of corruption in the land, in fact, it has so far been the bane of our existence as well as development. From where i stand, don’t know about you, a lot of people deserves the prison sentence, beginning from the Obasanjo’s administration down to that of Goodluck Jonathans’. When government action goes unchecked, a lot of damages happens, not just to the government or the people alone, but to the entire nation, which further puts everyone in a tight place even in the eyes of the international community. This is an error we must fix today, an error we must help or compel President Buhari to fix, something former President Goodluck Jonathan couldn’t do even though he had our unflinching support.

Folks, we can’t keep going back and forth with lawlessness and the acceptance of corruption and impunity. We can’t keep letting people get away with looting and swindling irrespective of who they are or what they represent. Friends, we can’t keep letting those who are supposed to be incharge of the people to be the extorter of the people, we must today never like before, work to achieve the change we fought and stood for. Let’s push our voice so that corrupt and impunitive people will get what they deserve -imprisonment. Most importantly, let’s introduce the handshake-handcuff principle.

God bless Nigeria!