The fight against corruption is one of the major objectives of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and it is the responsibility of the government and the general populace to work hand in hand in this daunting task as corruption is a cancer that has eaten deeply into the fibre of our society at all levels.
A ‘public officer’, in the true sense of the word, is expected to serve the interest of the office that he holds, rather than his own personal interests and gains. This is why it is most disconcerting that a person that only sets out to serve his own personal interest and agenda alone was in office as a public officer in one of the foremost apex government institutions in the country as Chief Finance Officer.
Wherever he served as a public officer, his personal interests always override his public duties. In recent times and most especially during the time of this administration that has positioned itself to wage war against corruption and all forms of corrupt practices, whether latent or open, the actions of this individual in the performance of his duties are usually against those very tenets and ideals that this administration is strenuously seeking to entrench in governance. His actions and inactions in the performance of his public duties make complete mockery of this administration’s war against corruption.
A great man once said “l will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”. In a similar vein, the government owes it a duty to the people to prevent the vesting of the affairs of crucial aspects of our economy in the hands of men who use public offices for deceit and corruption. Indeed, the government cannot at all at times see through the nooks and crannies of the minds of public officers it engages to carry out government’s business, neither can it see through the dark confines of the offices and activities of persons entrusted into public offices. But once the necessary triggers are pulled in form of valuable information provided, either before, during or after the person has left office by those within or outside the officer’s working environment, it behoves on government to ‘stop’ ‘listen’ and ‘take necessary action’ in the ultimate national interest.
The individual in question is Mr. Isiaka Abdulrasaq. Contrary to any recent positive report in the media about Mr. Isiaka Abdulrasaq, the erstwhile Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of the NNPC, the truth must be known about this man to assist the government in not falling into the trap of appointing him into any public office for now or anytime in the future. Keeping mute over this matter by those in the know about his antics will most certainly continue to send negative signals to the anti-corruption crusade of this administration and a great disservice to this nation.
Mr. Abdulrasaq is an indigene of Kwara State. He previously worked with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Debt Management Office in the Presidency, Northern Nigeria Development Corporation and Coopers and Lybrand, Chartered Accountants. He was also a member of the Board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
This profile notwithstanding, it is damning that Mr. Abdulrasaq’s activities while at the various public offices that he held at different times belies the characteristics expected of a person with his qualifications and experience. It is therefore the duty of every public spirited Nigerian to raise the necessary alarm to assist the government in the fight against corruption. To this end, thorough investigations at the several public offices and positions that he held may throw up more useful revelations about Mr. Abdulrasaq. Mr. Abdulrasaq allegedly used his position to oppress, intimidate, extort, and vilify those who came into contact with him in the performance of his public duties.
Investigation may reveal that he is a man who might have used his position not for the good of the public or for the interest of the government but only for his personal and selfish benefits.
The reprehensible activities of Mr. Abdulrasaq are well known. He is also alleged to be ruthless and implacable in his quest for self-enrichment through the abuse of office as well as extorted money from companies and individuals with threats and in shady manners. Mr. Abdulrasaq was also suspected to have taken undue advantage of his self-avowed closeness to the corridors of power in pursuit of his insatiable quest to extort money from anyone. That is why a thorough investigation is the only way to find out.
Furthermore, investigation should also focus on the suspicion that in spite of being a public officer, Mr. Abdulrasaq was the promoter of a major private business in contravention of the Code of Conduct for public officers and the Constitution. Notably, he was purported to be the promoter of a restaurant and catering company called “Drumstix” which has seven branches in the FCT, Abuja. It will indeed be helpful to see the extent to which he used his positions at the various public offices to promote the interest of this particular enterprise in conflict with his public duties. There may yet be other businesses which Mr. Abdulrasaq may have been involved with in contravention with the code of conduct for public officers which only thorough investigations can reveal.
Since his untimely disengagement from his last public office as Chief Finance Officer at NNPC (as his scheduled retirement date would have been 7th January, 2023), Mr. Abdulrasaq, true to his character has been wandering around the seat of government at the presidential villa in search of another lucrative opportunity to attain public office through his false and double-faced achievement as a renown public officer. This mundane desire must be prevented at all cost in the interest of the public and the success of the anti-corruption crusade of this administration.
The truth of the matter is that the presidency must be very vigilant at this point in time and keep people like Isiaka Abdulrasaq very far away from government’s business to avoid the escalation of any growing cynicism inimical to the interest of the anticorruption crusade of this administration and rather allow full proof integrity to be the order of the day.
In the words of Delia Ferreira, chair of Transparency International, people’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow. Therefore, the government should resist any attempt by this Isiaka Abdulrasaq from being entrusted with any public responsibility and investigate his activities in all the public offices which he has held.
“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism”.