Lawless Money Mongers

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigerians are divided by the hocus-pocus Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola-led
bribery episode the two-of-a-kind are playing without any show of shame.
This was also how the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) nearly tore the audacious
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) into shreds when the Finance Minister, Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, reportedly in an interview with The Wall Street
Journal, said in Ethiopia on May 11 that the fund would begin
operation in June, not

minding the state governments’ pending case at Supreme Court challenging
the legitimacy of the Excess Crude Account and the middle government’s
transfer of $1bn from the account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund. The NGF was
of the view that the law setting up the SWF was substandard to the
establishment. The NGF’s argument was that all money ensuing to the
federation must be shared. It was a public awareness that 28 states went to
the Supreme Court to challenge the FG for maneuvering the excessive crude
fund and non-diminution of money due to the account.

The players of the bribery episode perhaps were out for something: To
mislead Nigerians not to remember the many dramas they were watching
without any form of entertainment before the Lawan-Otedola duet came to
public notice. Mr. President must be confused by now and also newspaper
columnists tremendously confused of what to say or write weekly because
Nigeria is breaking the world record of news with smelly news that oozes
out per second. The country was not done with the Oteh-Hembe bribery
scandal, the truth behind the fuel subsidy removal, insurgencies etc. than
the Lawan-Otedola music of bribery without rhythm broke the record of
bribery allegations ever heard of in Nigeria. Who expected it this soon
that bribery would go scientific in Nigeria where bribe-takers and
bribe-givers would be recorded and telecasted for students of criminology
to review in the future. Azi gba kwa!

When the news of the direction the SWF was heading to became public
knowledge some governors and Nigerians characterized what Okonjo-Iweala had
announced as Executive Lawlessness with inconsistent with the rule of law
and yet to convince Nigerians. They bemoaned that why must the FG act
unilaterally on an issue before the highest court in the land. The state
therefore demanded that the FG should pay to the local government councils
and states all dues to them without any deduction. But the NGF divided over
the setting up of the SWF by the FG against the former’s hard stance of
states governed by opposition parties. The impersonation of the fund was
politicized and some of the governors especially of the opposition
political parties passionately kicked against it. Yet, that episode was
kept on suspense and everyone wants to know the next step that the FG and
the NGF would take. But here Nigerians are watching the Lawan-Otedola
sordid bribery drama which will soon be kept on suspense too, like other
embarrassing dramas the Nigerian leaders were playing before it.

The catching of Lawan with pants down in the bribery mess, who was once
regarded as Mr. Clean, because of the role he has played in the Integrity
Group five years ago in the House of Representatives, it is difficult to
believe any public office holders again saying that he or she will not
support what will undermine the commonwealth of Nigerians in general. Even
when the masses object, just as the governors took the case of SWF to court
and the Federal Government was insisting on going ahead with the
implementation of fund. The governors are not in support of the SWF, but
the malevolence-minded persons would always do their biddings.

What these lawless money mongers do is just to be sharers of the
commonwealth of Nigerians in general without being resourceful enough to be
creators of wealth and job for the common Nigerians. They just share their
national cake, Nigerians nature-given cake. They talk about Reforms and
Restructuring, without the unsuspecting Nigerians knowing that what they
mean is everything should go to them as national cake to be shared. They do
not see their submission here to be wrong and misleading, inasmuch as it
concerns money sharing. They maroon Nigerians to palpable
misrepresentations in many forms. They embezzle the money from crude oil
from the Niger Delta, and leave the people of that region to only health
hazards they encounter on daily basis because their region is polluted by
flaring of gas and crude oil exploration.

When it comes to sharing of money in Nigeria is when most of the public
offices come out and pretend to be working. They flex muscles as if the
interest of the masses is paramount to them, but they are just myopic
financially. Hardly is the government and its agents talking about the need
for more investment. Even when they do, their appetite for such is as much
greased as looting the money earmarked for such investment immediately. It
is then such name as the Sovereign Wealth Fund will be given a proper
definition, but its purpose carpeted, and how it works will be the
masterplan of Abuja.

Nigerians have never had a balanced story of how their money goes in the
hands of these oligarchs and kleptomaniacs masquerading as leaders. They
are just leeches. They only leave Nigerians with the impression that they
are working when there is nothing to show for their media-bloated works.
They are masters in politicizing everything. They even show that they know
the law more than the jurists; hence they don’t wait for the court to
interpret the law. This is the level lawlessness is growing everyday in
Nigeria because there is unquestionable money to share at interval.

These lawless money mongers would criticize Nigerians to any level of
wanting everything to go for free in the country’s service and would do
anything to harass innocent citizens should they revolt, because they knew
that they have only succeeded in sacrificing innovative solutions to the
country’s economic survival on the platter of fraud. Instead of one
national economy for Nigeria the lawless money mongers would want 36 or 774

Their demonstration is always unfavorable to the National economic rebirth.
And this is their biggest strategies of their continued efforts to malign
the ordinary Nigerian. They would want to amend the Constitution or sign
into law a lifetime Pension Bill. Supercilious as they and their ideas are,
they aptly lack investment policy but claim that they are the policymakers
of the economy. They spend any of the economy’s proceeds on white elephant
projects. A mismanager is their other name. They would make every anxious
effort to retrieve the country’s economy by setting up a body or the other,
like the Excess Crude Account, purposely to carp up the nation’s foreign
reserve, pay-off her foreign debt, as well as fund some capital projects,
amongst other benefits, but their character towards that is just as the
country and its economy they want to salvage. Their ideas are always
awe-inspiring but later they bring their iniquitous behaviours to the
gallery for people to frown. They don’t care that the nation is lacking in
basic infrastructure, but they will rather mount legal suits on issues they
even know that the Constitution of Nigeria does not allow, just to make the
policy to suffer a set-back.

But how long shall Nigeria continue this way? Forcing the government to
rescind policies has become the game plan in many quarters, for the single
purpose of sharing of money among the tiers of government, leaving
mismanagement of the unplanned funds in the hands of the lawless money
mongers – the beneficiaries

. They engage in distasteful personal
fortification to the detriment of Nigerians. Straight away, there should be
a re-birth in the thinking and leadership of these lawless leaders. They
always fight over their loot without anything serious on ground to show for
their stewardship. They cry blue murder when questioned, forgetting the
fate of Nigerians they have subjected towards untold hardship. They don’t
care about the nagging fear that Nigeria has been taken for a ride by no
other people but the lawless money mongers. This brings to bear that the
NGF’s case against the FG over the issue of the SWF. This case is not for
the common good of Nigerians but for the rapacious governors’ own
egotistical curiosity; and the Lawan-Otedola futile exposition is the
politics of the leaders to always change the direction of common Nigerians
not to understand the economic-politics that go on in Abuja.

Therefore, the economy’s windfall should stop being seen as a fat bonus to
loot by the leaders. Somehow, it was because of this loot in the psych of
the leaders that made none of the governors came out openly to condemn the
petrol subsidy removal in January. Let the leaders broaden their knowledge
on the theory, practice and the ruses behind this all significant economic
apparatus. This is what is needed in Nigeria to make her a reimbursement
house of ideas. The leaders should showcase intellectualism, and stop
posting disgusting bribery films in the already defrauded mentality of an
average Nigerian.

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