Matters Arising: War Against Corruption Revisited

by Akintokunbo A Adejumo

That is another “Rule of Law” for you. There seems no end to these things, are there?

Senate President embroiled in N400 million Scam – There we seem to go again. His Excellency, the Senate President, seems to be heading for a crisis as he dares his opponents in the “hallowed” chambers to come out with facts to support the allegations that he – ironically similarly to his counterpart in the House of Representative, Mrs Patricia Etteh – spent another whopping sum of 400 million Naira to renovate his official residence. This is not a full blown crisis yet (Can this government afford one just on the heels of that of the Speaker?) but I will not take positions now as the alleged scam is yet to be confirmed. It might, according to Senate President David Mark, be the handiwork of his detractors, ranging from the “IBB Boys” in the Senate to just mischievous opponents, however, knowing the antecedents of the Senate President when it comes to corrupt former military officials during IBB’s days, I will not be too surprised if the allegations prove to be true and as damaging. One thing for sure, Mr David Mark is far from being incorruptible and his past records on corruption do not really instil confidence on anybody that he has changed nor does it suggest that he will ever change. Once you are corrupt, you will always be corrupt. Does the leopard ever change its spots? Even now, his victory at the last elections is being challenged at the tribunal.

Will we ever be rid of these people? I wait to see how this pans out.

The Petition against Dr (Mrs) Kema Chikwe by Sam Iheanacho – You could have missed this. I read it in Nigeria Today Online. It concerns a petition written by one Sam Iheanacho, CEO of Cato Engineering Services Ltd to the Director General of the State Security Services and copied to the EFCC, the IG of Police and Abuja Police Command. It was an allegation of, as the writer of the petition puts it “gross fraud, criminal breach of trust and absolute lack of integrity” against Dr (Mrs) Kema Chikwe, a Minister of Aviation under the Obasanjo Administration. The contents are too distressing to be recounted here anyway, but if true, the repercussions should reverberate strongly for the next few weeks. Remember, the Honourable former Minister is an Ambassadorial nominee and is said to be “very close” to former President Obasanjo. She was also very much involved with the Virgin Nigeria deal as Minister of Aviation, but she somehow managed to get away with it. It has been said also that the EFCC had made Mrs Chikwe cough out a “mere” 15 million Naira.

Some people believe this could well be a “Pull ‘em down” syndrome and that the petition smacks of mischief, but I strongly doubt it. This is borne out of my inherent belief and knowledge that most Nigerian officials are corrupt, and my inherent distrust of them and that hardly any of them over the past decades, when in any type of government, made their fortunes honestly. I am yet to be convinced of this fact. Yes, there are a few, granted, but too few to mention.

So what next? You tell me. Mrs Chikwe’s name should be removed from that Ambassadorial List until investigation into these serious allegations is complete.

This is the result, again, of putting square pegs in round holes, and satisfying political expediencies rather than by merit. This just cannot be allowed to go on. Already a lot of Nigerians have concerns about the qualities and adequacies of some of those political nominees for Ministers and Ambassadors. But, compatriots, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till they start appointing board members into various government parastatals, (or have they?) and that is when you will see octahedrons in pentagonal holes.

Ekiti State Government sends 10 monarchs to London to mark anniversary – This is really taking the Mickey, isn’t it? Rubbing salt on open wound. Is this true, that an educated man like Governor (Eng) Segun Oni will even contemplate wasting the sparse resources of Ekiti State on sending monarchs on a jamboree to London to celebrate the Independence Day anniversary of Nigeria? What have these guys been eating? Do they have any sense at all or who are their advisers? Lord have mercy. Now I am really convinced these leaders are mad. You cannot celebrate Nigeria’s Independence from Great Britain in Ado-Ekiti; it has to be in London, Great Britain. I am not sure whether indeed the 10 monarchs were in London for this purpose (I do not attend Nigeria’s Independence Day anniversaries as a rule because I always fail to see what we are celebrating about, (please correct me if I should think otherwise), but if it were so, Ekiti State is again in big trouble with its new clueless Chief Executive (or is it Execu-thief). Coming straight on the heels of ex-Governor Ayo Fayose, this promises to be another interesting times for the long-suffering people of Ekiti State. I still remember when Ayo Fayose brought all PDP House members and state party officials to London on a month long jamboree, living it up and staying away from the business of governance in Ado-Ekiti barely two years ago. I was invited to one of their outings in London, and it was all I could do not to shoot them and their then governor. I had to leave in disgust. Of course, these same legislators had to turn on their governor-benefactor after the EFCC and Obasanjo applied some strong-armed tactics on them.

I could go on and on about these “Matters Arising” but have often been too long-winded in my articles. I have also been slandered as a “tribalist”, who “attacks” people who are not from my tribe (I hate that word “tribe” because it connotes a picture of a primitive people; and the word “tribalist does not even exist in the English dictionary or vocabulary, only in Nigeria) but who am I to fight wars on several fronts?

Solutions? Well, people have often asked me for solutions for our corruption problems, and I have, albeit couched in my articles, but then again, this is not unique to me. We can offer solutions till the world ends, but if we do not change our orientation in our country, such solutions will not work and we will continue banging our collective heads against a brick wall. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of individuals and organisations working towards making Nigeria a better place to live for all of us, but the forces of regression are more powerful and seem to be winning the war.

One such organisation is Champions for Nigeria of which the author is a founding member and deeply committed to finding solutions and correcting all these wrongs by all means possible and within our power and means. The organisation cuts across all boundaries – religious, gender, tribal or political. We cannot afford to maintain the status quo. Nigerians have to take their destiny in their own hands NOW, and burying our heads in sands will not serve us well. And we have to do it as soon as possible. If we do not, we remain doomed as a people and as a nation. Nobody will do it for us.

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1 comment

NELSON October 9, 2007 - 1:34 am

I am an assidious believer in the Nigerian rennaisance thats why i want each and every one of you outside the shores of this land to join forces together to tell this corrupt dogs where they should be in the pit of hell fire.


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