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Friday, December 2, 2022

Daniel Amah’s Uncommon Nigerianess

THE badge of global notoriety of Nigerians for corruption and moral deficiency got positively challenged, once again, by the uncommon transparent disposition of SP Daniel Amah, a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Bompai, Kano, who was recently conferred with a 2022 Public Service Integrity Award for rejecting the sum of $200, 000 (about 14 million naira) from one Ali Zaki to get him to drop a robbery case, but rather followed up the investigations and ensured that the culprit was prosecuted.

THIS distinctive record was another watershed, given the negative characterizations of Nigerians, both at home and abroad, for nefarious reasons of corruption, internet frauds, drug peddling, and other crimes. It is more so as the Nigerian police force that Amah belongs to is synonymous with corruption and all-round misdemeanors.

WE consider the action of Amah as noteworthy, considering the amount of money involved, particularly at a time when desperation has swayed so many Nigerians to cut corners, as a way out of the acute economic challenges confronting the nation. The Hope is of the opinion that Amah’s unique transparency, once again, portends that not all Nigerians have bowed to the ‘gods of corruption’ and greed, and this represents a fillip of hope for the nation.      

WE commend SP Amah for his high sense of transparency and integrity, and for choosing to be positively different in a nation where angels fear to tread. As most unlikely, he should not be discouraged by the gloating of criminally-minded individuals who would taunt him for choosing the path of personal sacrifice and national rebirth. We like to encourage all other police personnel and all Nigerians to imbibe the positive attitude of SP Amah.

IT is instructive to note that some Nigerians had similarly exhibited the Amah’s kind of uncommon integrity in the past. For instance, in 2015, Josephine Agwu, an airport cleaner, refunded to the owner $28, 000 and other foreign currencies totaling about N12m. At another time in 2018, Achi Daniel, a junior security guard returned a bag containing dollars, jewelries, wristwatches and other documents at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. He and his supervisor, Francis Emepueaku, were acknowledged for this commendable feat.We are also aware that in 2019, Olayinka Adeniyi, a cab operator, returned $2, 400 and an international passport forgotten in his car by a passenger. Similarly in 2019, an Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Abubakar, rejected $412, 000 bribe offered him by drug traffickers to import 40 containers laden with illicit drug, Tramadol. It is heartwarming that all these noble Nigerians were dully honoured by the government, as part of the initiatives to mitigate corruption and encourage virtues in the citizens.

IT remains a great paradox that less-privileged Nigerians would stand above board when their integrity is put to test, while the privileged ones who have access to the commonwealth would plunder it recklessly. The ongoing revelations made about illegal connections into crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta, explaining the highly voiced oil thefts in Nigeria, clearly show the endemic nature of corruption in the country. This is not to decry the involvement of non-state actors in the surveillance of oil pipelines, which is an indication of the total failure of accredited security agencies that have the constitutional roles to protect citizens and other national interests.

IN the face of the contradicting tunes of corruption and integrity, we are nonetheless relieved that Daniel Amah and others are signposts of a new Nigeria that could be birthed, when a functional creative leader is in the saddle. While we await the emergence of a better Nigeria, we must remind ourselves that sincerity of purpose, integrity of character, as well as transparency and accountability are some of the intentional attributes needed to drive a nation, particularly in an endemically morally bankrupt nation like Nigeria.  

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