Nigeria Matters

One Nigeria: To Be or Not To Be? (Part 6)

The nation was shocked to hear the news of a Nigerian, Dotun Fatilewa, a murder convict, who spent 15 years in the gulag awaiting the hangman for an offence that he never committed. Mr. Dotun Fatilewa was finally set free by The Supreme Court when it became apparent that there was no shred of evidence to establish his alleged complicity in the murder of one Moshudi Atanda Arogundade on April 19, 1990. In 1992, an Abuja High Court had found Fatilewa “guilty of the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death” and accordingly sentenced him to death. He immediately lodged an appeal, which took the Court of Appeal 14 years to decide on. Eventually, it upheld the conviction passed on him by the trial court.

Determined to escape the hangman’s noose, he decided to explore his right to a final appeal. At least Mr. Faleti was lucky to have come out alive after spending 14 years of his youtful life in Nigeria‘s gulag. Only God knows how many hundreds of thousands of Fatilewas, who can’t afford a lawyer, are still rutting away in Nigerian jails or have even been sent to their early graves by the Nigerian police?

The truth is that Dimeji Bankole is a chip off the old block. As we all know, he is the son of an old generation politician who, all along has benefitted from inflated contracts and the crumbs from plates of the North. Dimeji Bankole represents the ‘old establishment or clan’ from the South, who have been conniving with the North to sell our interests. In addition, they have frustrated all our efforts to set ourselves free from the North because of their own selfish political and economic interests. Therefore, we should not be fooled with the fact that since he is a Yoruba man, he is out there to defend and fight for our right. Dimeji Bankole, Iyabo Obasanjo, Patricia Etteh and other Southern legislators are some of the wolves in sheeps’ clothings that the North will definitely use to carry out their plot. Moreover, the fact that he is a graduate of one of the leading western universities does in no way mean that he is morally upright or not corrupt. After all, many cases abound of people with big degrees from reputable western universities who used their knowledge not to uplift their people from poverty, but enrich themselves at the expense of the people they were supposed to serve. In addition, his studies were financed from the ill gotten wealth of his father.

Therefore, needless to say that if we give people like Iyabo Obasanjo, Patriciah Etteh, David Mark, Dimeji Bankole and their incompetent, corrupt, visionless and morally bankrupt colleagues from the North the privilege to enact or amend our constitution, then definitely, we have no dignity or must have lost the remaining left in us. In that case, we don’t deserve any respect from other nations. If I can be permitted to rephrase the English proverb that says, ‘Show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are,’ into ‘Show me who enacted or amended your constitution, and I will tell you what kind of country you are!” We must not debase so low!

Furthermore, it’s of utmost importance for us to understand that the CA is not even about federalism that we have been demanding for long. The North will NEVER go for federalism because the economic implication is that they will no longer have automatic free and unlimited access to the vast resources of the South. Federalism will also limit the amount of money that Northern politicians, most especially, retired, redundant and unproductive military officers can steal from the South. Federalism means that retired Northern criminal officers will not be able to dash out oil wells to themselves as they like. Federalism will make oil bunkering, which is one of the main sources of revenues of the Nigerian army and retired Northern criminal officers, much harder to carry out. Federalism will make contract inflation by retired Northern generals more difficult. Federalism means a much weaker center and president. What the hell do they need that kind of federalism for?! Since the North is very much aware of the fact that the present political structure undoubtedly gives them a an upper hand and a very big advantage in producing Nigeria’s president at least for the next 25 years, which automatically amounts to control over all the resources in the South, they will do everything possible and impossible to kill any proposal to adopt federalism in Nigeria. It will be very naive of us to expect something different from them. In fact, at the time of writing, there is already a serious clash between Northern and Southern legislators from the same and different parties as regards to which areas should be ‘no go areas’ for the CA committee. This development, undoubtedly, compels us to ask ‘If the North is really sincere and determined to correct the economic and political injustice that the whole of the south has been subjected to since independence for good, why make some areas no go areas? Isn’t this hypocrisy and insincerity on the part of the North?

The CA that the North is proposing is not about making public officers accountable to Nigerians. It’s not about Freedom of Information Bill (FOB) that the South has been demanding for all along. It’s not about making any public officer, no matter how highly placed, to be brought to book for embezzlement. It’s not about arresting and putting on trial all past Nigerian leaders, like Gowon, Buhari, Babangida, Obasanjo, who abused their offices and enriched themselves illegally, at the expense of millions of Nigerians. It’s not about forcing the president to spend a certain percentage of the reserve fund on infrastructures that will ease the sufferings of Nigerians and improve their standard of living. It’s not even about making provisions for Nigerians to have the opportunity to vote, wherever they may be outside Nigeria. It’s not about verifying the result of the disputed census that was conducted in 2007. It’s not about making it illegal for multinational companies, banks and other international companies to employ mediocre foreigners for jobs that Nigerians can do better and cheaper. It’s not about checking the brutality and massacering of armless Nigerians by the Nigerian Army. It’s about putting a stop to the unlawful arrest, molestation, detention and killing of innocent and law abiding Nigerians by the Nigerian police. It’s not about making the police to carry out its main task which is the protection of lives and properties. It’s not about making it illegal for retired criminal officers to move around the country with siren and escort, and violating traffic rules, despite the fact that they don’t hold any public or official posts. It’s not about protecting the constitutional, civil and human rights of Nigerians both inside and outside Nigeria, and ensuring that they are treated fairly by the legal system, especially those who can’t afford to hire lawyers. It’s not about fining multinational oil companies for serious environmental pollution in the Niger delta. It’s not about compelling the Federal government to review and renegotiate the lopsided oil contracts between Nigeria and the multinational oil companies that have been paying Nigeria peanuts for the privilege to drill oil in the Niger delta. It’s not about making foreign citizens to register their presence with the local authorities, as is often the practise in practically all developed countries. It’s not about making it mandatory for foreigners to get work permits before working in Nigeria as is often the case in developed countries. The CA is not about making coup detat a treason.

The CA is not even about Obasanjo’s illegal handing over of Bakassi, a territory extremely rich in oil and gas, to Cameroon without the approval of neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives. It’s not about how to solve the problems of hundreds of thousands of indigenes of Bakassi that were deceived by Obasanjo and forced to evacuate the land that their ancestors passed on to them. The Senate and the House of representatives have washed their hands off Bakassi long time ago. For them, Bakassi is a foregone conclusion and another no go area. They have better things to do with their time than deliberating on Bakassi. The CA is not about banning or preventing politicians or public officers, who have been indicted or found to be corrupt from participating in any elections or holding public posts for life. It’s not about how to prevent kingmakers like Babangida that have stolen billions of dollars of the Niger delta oil money from influencing future elections or destabilising the country’s political landscape. It’s not about arresting and charging to court all those that have taken part in military coups in the past. The CA is not about backdating crimes, especially crimes against humanity committed by past leaders. The CA is not about making Babangida answerable for the murder of Nigeria‘s foremost journalist, Dele Giwa through a parcel bomb in 1986. The CA is not about making the evil genius give the country a detailed explanation as regards to the disappearance of the $2.8billion oil wind fall. The CA is not even about banning senior government officials, especially Yaradua from going abroad for medical check ups and treatments. It’s not about prohibiting Yaradua from holding secret meetings and cutting deals with PDP politicians who are either under investigation or have been charged to court already by the EFCC. It’s not about making it mandatory for all senior public officers to declare their assets publicly. It’s not about ‘unconditional’ removal of the immunity clause so that serving governors, legislators and other senior public officers could be arrested and charged to court immediately for embezzlement, murder, impersonation and other crimes, without any hinderance whatsoever. It’s not about putting a stop to posting of corrupt, incompetent, visionless and morally bankrupt retired mililitary officers and mediocre Northern politicians abroad as Nigeria’s ambassadors. It’s not about getting rid of the unpopular and anti-development QUOTA SYSTEM for good.

They are not even going to discuss about the food crises that warranted Yaradua to release $80 million for the importation of rice. They are not going to waste their time discussing the mysterious and unresolved murder of Chief Bola Ige, who was murdered in cold blood right in his house while still serving the country in the capacity of the Attorney General of the Federation under Obasanjo. They are not going to pass a resolution that will compel the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, to reopen Bola Ige’s case and find the perpetuators of this heinous crime at any cost. To the legislators, all the above are not important. They would rather spend their time on more profitable things than all the above.

So what is the CA about then? It’s mainly about the creation of new states! They are planning to create new states so that when some of them like Dimeji Bankole are bored with being Senators or members of House of Representatives, they can go and relax as the governors of the newly created states, and of course, steal more money! In addition, as the governors of the newly created states, they will definitely give their former colleagues state contracts to implement at highly inflated prices, which as usual will never be carried out. This bunch of corrupt, incompetent, visionless and morally bankrupt self-imposed legislators believe that the only problem of the South is the creation of new states. Nothing more.

They are convinced that by creating new states for us, all our problems in the South will be solved automatically. Therefore, they didn’t even bother wasting their precious time by enquiring from us what we would have wanted them to do for us. Why should they? After all, they know better than us. They are convinced that by creating more states for us in the South there will be light and water immediately and automatically in our houses. They are convinced that by creating more states, well equipped hospitals will appear automatically from no where. They are convinced that if they create more states for us health care services will be affordable automatically and immediately. They also believe that creation of new states in the South will automatically make Yaradua to stop squandering millions of naira from the oil revenues on endless trips to Germany in order to see his ‘trusted’ German doctors. To them, creation of new states for us in the South will automatically and immediately put a stop to the death of Nigerians from curable diseases. They believe that creation of new states for Southerners will not make us die automatically and immediately in thousands every day from road accidents due to dilapidated federal government roads. They are convinced that by creating more states for us, Southerners, instead of trooping out of the country to escape poverty, will start trooping back to Nigeria automatically and immediately in search of better life. They are convinced that the creation more states will make corruption disappear immediately and automatically. They are convinced that additional states in the South will automatically and immediately compel multinational oil companies to stop polluting the Niger delta. They also believe that the creation of new states will automatically and immediately force the multinational oil companies to stop paying Nigeria peanuts for the privilege to drill oil in the Niger delta. The legislators believe that more states in the South will automatically and immediately make multinational oil companies to stop employing mediocre foreigners for jobs that Nigerians can do better and cheaper. They equally believe that by creating more states for us in the South, the Nigerian army will immediately and automatically stop oppressing, suppressing, intimidating and murdering armless and law abiding Nigerians. They believe that more states in the South means that the police will stop throwing innocent Nigerians into jails. They believe that by creating new states, Yaradua will not allocate more millions of dollars to the importation of rice from Thailand. The legislators strongly believe that creation of new states in the South will automatically and immediately lead to the emergence of an indigenous airline.

They believe that creation of new states in the South will finally prevent Babangida from influencing future presidential elections and destabilizing the country with his ill gotten wealth. They believe that more states in the South will definitely end rigging of elections in Nigeria. They believe that more states in the South will automatically and immediately guarantee that future census results will not be falsified. They are very much convinced that by creating new states for us in the South retired, redundant and unproductive Northern military officers will automatically and immediately stop oil bunkering in the Niger delta. They are very sure that new states in the South will automatically and immediately make retired Northern criminal officers give up their oil blocks/wells that they acquired illegally. They are sure that creation of new states in the South will definitely make the killers of Chief Bola Ige to turn up at the door step of Mike Okiro’s office immediately.

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