The ‘toppled’ PDP government is fast unravelling. Since ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) stepped down by leaving Aso Rock Villa on May 29 this year the Buhari administration has been having a very hard time trying to trace and recover the billions of dollars stolen gracelessly by some high-profile members of his administration. Among the big thieves, we shall concentrate our attention on just two (a bad man, Dasuki and a bad woman, Diezani) in this intervention. In a country where everyone is looking for ways to ‘cut’ their portion of the so-called national cake, the scramble for money is strangulating the nation to her untimely demise.
While one recognises that Nigeria has had it so bad since independence in 1960 especially as it concerns leadership the GEJ era represented about the worst in fiscal discipline and economic management. Whereas the PDP in general is a rotten political organization that had sought to dominate the Nigerian political space for sixty years (having distinction in rigging elections at the local, state and federal levels) the sixteen they got they messed up everything starting with ‘Baba’ himself in 1999. They ruined our institutions and corrupted good manners. They fleeced the nation and ripped us off! It was a case of national despoliation and by the time we are through cutting through the messy past the larger picture would emerge giving indubitable credence to some organized crime, one bordering on leadership fraud in a staggering scale beyond belief.
Goodluck Jonathan presided over a nation under serious security and fiscal assault with the latter comparable only to Babangida’s “settlement syndrome” or Abacha’s bare-faced kleptocracy. A leadership characterised by a crisis of hierarchy that Olusegun Obasanjo, the then godfather, had to intervene forcefully by declaring that Nigeria was being run aground by five competing presidential forces including Diezani Allison-Madueke and Patience Jonathan. The kind of underhand dealings that went uncontrolled and unchallenged for years under GEJ is befuddling to say the least. Nigeria under GEJ could be likened to a Titanic-like ship whose captain was drunk and consequently napped away while the ship was adrift in an inclement weather!
When the former President Umaru Yar’Adua suddenly passed away some years ago (peace to his soul!) the then Vice President was constitutionally ‘promoted’ to the presidency to fill the gap since power abhors a vaccum. Jonathan thus rose to national prominence perched at the pinnacle of state power — much after certain controversy owing to his ethnicity and manifest appalling lack of power base and experience in politics Nigeriana. His ascendancy to the zenith of power from the deputy governorship of his state of Bayelsa to the presidency led to critics and admirers alike likening it to a “Nigerian miracle” and others to his ‘goodluck’ of a name! But his humble background coupled with his dour demeanour and dearth of intellectual depth meant that lots of forces were pulling him around, outsmarting him and indeed using him to foster interests other than those of the nation.
Today merely seven months on the picture is getting clearer and clearer of one heist or another perpetrated by one henchman or another mistress during his giddy years in power. By the time the eggs are finally counted (since we are still in the very early stages) with the tabulation of facts and figures we may very well discover why Nigeria is the richest country in Africa but poorest in terms of citizen empowerment and provision of basic amenities of life. A country richly endowed but cursed by leadership crisis.
The former National Security Adviser under the Jonathan presidency Mohammed Sambo Dasuki is winning ‘awards’ as the most corrupt ‘animal’ in the GEJ administration. He came into the job with the sole objective of exploiting the weaknesses in the system for personal aggrandizement. Jonathan was a ‘mugu’ in security and economic matters so every Dick and Harry manipulated the system to enrich themselves while he watched helplessly. It reminded one of the Shagari era and the Umaru Dikko phenomenon! Yet the PDP people are still making some noise in the press pretending to be opposing the Buhari regime by constantly vomitting gaffes and half-truths.
Sambo Dasuki is presently on trial for embezzling billions of dollars meant to buy military armoury to fight Boko Haram. He remains the most celebrated ‘criminal’ in the GEJ government! Stories are breaking every day of how Dasuki was desperate to indirectly mount a ‘democratic coup d’etat’ against Muhammadu Buhari after the successful one led by Ibrahim Babangida in 1985. Dasuki never wanted Buhari to come near Aso Rock as President so he threw everything into the PDP politicking machinery to scuttle the presidential poll and sabotage the democratic system if only to serve his egoistical interest. Funds were disbursed recklessly to cronies and stooges to prevent Jonathan from ever losing the election. It was an elaborate scheme whose execution gulped billions of Naira and millions of dollars. But in the end the ‘bas product’ was unmarketable no matter the amount of money desperately spent to propel it!
Every vital element was co-opted into the sinister plan including media moguls like Raymond Dokpesi and Nduka Obaigbena. They were paid monies to rubbish Buhari and make his victory in the polls an impossibility. Even marabouts were involved as one ex-Governor from northern Nigeria confessed receiving millions of dollars for some “spiritual services” rendered. Pray, when did a former governor become a ‘spiritualist’ or better still a fetish priest to the extent of providing some quality services to the NSA? From the details we are learning about how Dasuki was distributing cash and other largesse to political figures including Anthony Anenih, Bode George, Peter Odili and other goons. As someone with limitless bag of cash, a God-knows how much war-budget was delivered without any compromise, Dasuki soon found himself as a super-human, a king-maker and a treasured material worth retaining despite his glaring failure in curtailling the Boko Haram insurgency.
Another glorified ‘criminal’ is the one being ravaged reportedly by breast cancer in London, the former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke. While Diezani, reputed to be the crude-oil iron-lady, a special Minister whose controlling influence over Jonathan went beyond just a normal relationship between a good minister and his boss and traversed the frontier of ordinary human comprehension. Rumours had it that there was a romantic angle to the whole matter culminating in a connubial presidency in which the supposed boss became somehow subservient to the special ’employee’! The fear of Diezani then was the beginning of wisdom for all petroleum marketers and dealers in everything concerning oil and gas! A super Minister whose position was assured in good and bad times like cabinet reshuffling the woman became a ‘goddess’ under whose feet men wept and women prostrated! Likening her to Delilah in the Bible, the cunning woman who demystified for a fee the mystic power of Samson may not be good enough. And comparing her to Jezebel in the same Bible may not be that apt. She ruled and sought more power under her man mesmerising GEJ with imaginary facts and figures while tantalizing him, romantically ‘feeding’ him with her mammary glands and providing ready comfort a la Monika Lewinsky — sometimes outside our shores in paradisiac hotels and presidential suites!
Between Dasuki and Diezani a clear case of subversion of the national interest is hereby established. Diezani looted the patrimony mindlessly while Dasuki abused his brief and threw away billions to the ‘dogs’! Nigerians now know better who these people are and why we are still stuck after many decades struggling to stand firm on our feet as the African giant. Every stolen kobo must be recovered with justice served if only to serve as a lesson of how best to fight corruption. Jonathan stands as much guilty as these aforementioned big thieves in Abuja and London. His culpability, however, ought to be determined and proven in a competent court of law.