The question has always arisen whether “good people”, to put it in that simple way, should serve under “bad governments”. The latest of such occasions in Nigeria is the appointment of Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the founding Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and a Presidential candidate under the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria, as the head of Petroleum Revenue Special Taskforce (PRST). The body was recently constituted by the federal government to ensure transparency in the stinkingly corrupt Nigerian Petroleum industry. A giant tank, given the interests at stake and the powerful people behind it.
Quite a good number of Nigerians, particularly among his political associates and personal friends, have objected to the appointment on different grounds. Some believe that ethically, the good should shun the bad, irrespective of the situation. Such people believe that this government is corrupt and it is merely looking for a means to launder its image which was terribly battered by election rigging, incompetence and, recently, the removal of fuel subsidy. They argue that it is bringing in Ribadu not to allow him perform but to give the public a semblance of response to its agitation for probity in the industry. “The appointments”, the government confessed in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, “were consistent with the policies and promises of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and underpinned by yearnings of the people for transparency in the petroleum industry.”
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