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Bawa and death threats


Shocking news! Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa was reported saying he has been receiving death threats because of his work, specifically his agency’s fight against corruption.

He was quoted as saying on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television: “Last week, I was in New York, as all Nigerians are aware of. A very senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.

“What he (the caller) said to him on phone is that; he is going to kill the EFCC chairman, the young man. He said, ‘I am going to kill him. I am going to kill him.’ This is to tell you how bad it is. It is actually real. Corruption can fight back.”

It is unclear what Bawa is doing about the threat or even whether he is doing anything about it. It is a serious matter, particularly because of the mention of murder.

This death threat raises several questions. Who is the “very senior citizen” in the narrative? Who is the caller that threatened to kill Bawa? Why did the caller issue such a threat? Is he a possible person of interest to the EFCC? Is he afraid that the agency would eventually focus on him? Did he expect that Bawa would get to know about his threat? What did he think Bawa might do, or not do, about the threat? Why did the caller sound so desperate? There are other possible questions.

The EFCC boss had introduced the narrative to show that “corruption can fight back.” It is no news that corruption can hit back. Indeed, it is expected that corruption would try to hit back.

The point is: What is to be done when there are signs that corruption is planning to fight back, or is fighting back? Passivity shouldn’t be the response in such circumstances.

A death threat, such as the one issued by the caller in the narrative, should be met with prompt and decisive action. Has the EFCC boss told law enforcement authorities about it?

Bawa shouldn’t just talk about death threats; he should do something about them. He shouldn’t just tell the public about death threats he received; he should say what he has done about them, or what he plans to do. Or does he think such threats are unserious? He should take them seriously.


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