#BringBackDiezani: Underwhelming or under construction?

by Alexander O. Onukwue


It is fair to say the extradition of former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke is not quite a priority of a number of Nigerians at this time.

Mrs Alison-Madueke has been in the news virtually since 2015 for her alleged financial transgressions while in charge of the Nation’s petroleum sector. Billions of naira and millions of naira, in cash, jewellery, landed properties and other assets have either been declared seized or forfeited by courts in Nigeria. But the subject of the news herself has yet to be summoned by the EFCC. She has been in London undergoing treatments for what is believed to be cancer.

After the heated protests for President Buhari’s return met with some sort of violent resistance, Charly Boy and crew had decided to take a 21-day rest before deciding on their next course of action. But as soon as the President returned on August 19, it became clear that the waiting period would become automatically extinguished if a new cause were to emerge.

With the continued seizures by the EFCC, Bringing Back Diezani made itself available.

Compared to the #ResumeorResign sit-outs organised by the same Our Mumu Don Do movement for the return of President Muhammadu Buhari, Bring Back Diezani has been like a classroom for those who have chosen French as their elective over Food and Nutrition. That’s not to say that it has no value, of course, but that probably points to the level of interest in the whole anti-corruption fight among the Nigerian populace. The leaders of the new cause, Charly Boy and Deji Adeyanju, were present but there are not as many marching young people as the move against Buhari attracted.

But there was a slight improvement in the behaviour of the officials of Government in this protest, compared with the last time. The group met with a response from an EFCC official explaining to them that the former Minister would be made to return when it is time. That should provide some encouragement to the protesters, and perhaps more motivation to turn up till she is eventually returned.

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