Former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, and ex-minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has advised the newly appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa to use the opportunity of his confirmation by the Senate to chart a new course for the anti-graft agency.
This is even as the former Minister warned Bawa not to walk the path of his immediate predecessor, Ibrahim Magu, who he said, was fond of arresting suspects before searching for evidence to arraign them.
In an open letter to Bawa made available to journalists, Monday, Chidoka called for the digitization of operations of the EFCC, noting that records and data will help the new chairman to chart a new course for the anti-corruption agency.
“Do not be frightened by the plight of your predecessors. Be bold. Be guided by facts and data. Don’t make media show when you have no evidence. Strike like the MET police or the Singapore Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, not the past chairman’s unintelligent media posturing.
“Do keep a diary. You will need it. I kept a diary but was not religious in updating it to my regret. President Reagan kept a diary daily for his eight years as President, so there is no excuse. Keep a copy of all the approval you grant, and important circulars, Nigeria’s ruling and media elite are vicious. Be ready to defend yourself.
“Dimension your time to 48 months. That way, you will realize that every four months is 10 percent of your time, and you need to work to achieve your road map within your first term debarring any changes. Time is your enemy. Don’t spend time celebrating. Don’t stand still while you are waiting for the roadmap. Move on to the tactical issues confronting you.
“As a staff, you know all the murmuring of the junior and senior officers. Usually, they include the backlog of unpaid transfer allowances, late promotion, punitive postings, and exclusion of other ethnic groups from core operational functions. Deal with them. You are too young to be burdened by the fault lines of a dying order. Successful organizations are inclusive, goal-oriented, merit-driven, and anchored on fairness.
“On the job, you have a decision to make, and history will guide you. How do you want to be remembered? I think you have the advantage of age, Information and Communication Technology, ICT knowledge, global training, and on-the-job experience. I think you should embrace technology and work on digitizing the commission you promised during your Senate clearance. Purge the commission of the police analog and brute force mentality. Technology will make your investigating team productive and help in preventing corruption.
“Create opportunities to interact with staff. Invite them randomly to eat with you or travel with you so you can remain grounded. It’s lonely upstairs, especially if you are young,” the letter read in part.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP stalwart further warned Bawa to be wary of those likely to undermine him on account of his age, saying “they will try to do two things: expose you to public ridicule as an intemperate and inexperience young man by pushing you to make rash decisions.
If that does not work, they will try to show you as ineffectual, incapable of taking decisions, and always waiting for the Attorney-General to direct or run to him for cover. You can avoid both by establishing a universe of principles that guide you. Still sleep over decisions. Learn to use weekly management meetings to get free advice and guidance on issues you are not conversant with,” he added.
He further cautioned the new EFCC boss to be careful of his walk with women, lest he falls into the temptation of their “feminine wiles.”
“Create a safe place for the female staff in your organization. It is an issue. Please encourage them to speak out against abuse and gender discrimination. Remove all rules that discriminate against women and entrust them with operational roles. I believe you are disciplined don’t fall for your feminine wiles. Keep clear,” the letter further read.’