The world and the people of Nigeria will never know what was inside Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd), the Executive Head of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), that pushed him to do what was right, as he did not want to undermine the public’s trust in his agency, something that is fully nil in the Nigeria police force (NPF).
In many ways, the Nigeria police force and its leadership are now a threat to Nigerian democracy because of a series of problematic institutional behaviors and actions.
From an apparent distant psychological lens, as I do not know Marwa, but he stands out uniquely.
As a psychologist who observes and narrates African institutional issues and peculiarities, especially in Nigeria, Marwa, refused to be a part of a leadership mentality that pushes fabricated versions of occurrences to be true.
Marwa, an American and global thinker, correctly applied his education and training at home and abroad when it came to the matter of the suspended deputy commissioner of police Abba Kyari.
Marwa refused to behave like what I call Nigerian type leaders who dismiss any crime by Kyari as slight and irrelevant, even when such crimes have major legal ramifications; Kyari has many of them.
Marwa must have shocked the Nigeria type of leadership known for shielding each other and their loyalties when the NDLEA went public by releasing video evidence of Kyari’s drug trafficking.
Marwa, along with his official team, knew that Kyari had many pending issues, including being wanted in America for fraud, but Kyari’s matter is being deliberately delayed by powerful forces, as they knew in many ways, once Kyari opens his mount, it will show active and retired senior officers that are directly involved in all kinds of criminalities.
Marwa, along with his team, as well as the NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, with the constitution and law on their side, did everything possible not to allow strategic delay, useless technicalities, and false accusations by Nigerian-type police leaders stop their constitutional work, by exposing and having Kyari encircled.
Marwa around this time last year, while receiving the US ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, in his office, said he and his agency would be hard on drug traffickers, exporters and importers operating in the nation.
Marwa, a USA trained military scientist who has served globally, including in the United Nations, knows the benefit of NDLEA being in partnership with the US departments and agencies in the fight against the drug menace, and acknowledged that the US has assisted NDLEA in the areas of training, operational equipment, and logistics.
Marwa and his team, and Nigerians of today, are likely aware that the current President Muhammadu Buhari, in his past days as military head of state, imprisoned and executed drug traffickers by firing squad.
Marwa, along with his agency, now have the FBI-indicted Kyari, who as seen in the video is involved in a cocaine smuggling case. This makes it easier and faster for the Buhari government to allow the suspended Kyari to be extradited to the United States to face fraud allegations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Marwa, along with his team, in a way, have revealed how a dwelling like the Nigeria police force and its leadership empowers and uplifts rogues to prominence, shields criminality, breeds ineptitude and, most disturbingly, a man who is suspended was still commanding some active officers to deal in drug trafficking. This is happening after Kyari was replaced as head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Marwa and the NDLEA, as well as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, are presently and continuously improving and strengthening the capacity of the Nigerian criminal justice system, as evidenced by their cooperation with the US officials via the Ambassador to Nigeria. As such, the Buhari government should not allow Nigeria’s criminal justice system to be continuously soiled by one agency – the Nigeria police force.
Marwa, as part of his unique leadership, is creating for the criminal justice system an environment that can be run according to the terms of the law, equity, and justice as well as a professional law enforcement body.
From the angle of positive policing, this is not the time to simply fire or ask Baba to resign and replace him and his top deputies with another set, as the whole policing leadership system is the problem due to enduring turbulence. For far too long, poor leadership continues to damage the police institution. It is time to take an aggressive approach and the best path forward for the police is to bring in someone from the outside—Marwa. He is used to multitasking. He can handle NDLEA and NPF simultaneously and very well given his educational, leadership, and global experiential backgrounds.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. Currently, a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Founder of Psychoafricalytic Psychology. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]