The Real And True Enemies Of Nigeria And The Nigerian People

by Akintokunbo A Adejumo

Kleptomania and kleptomaniacs! Squander-mania and squander-maniacs! You see even the lawmakers lining their pockets, forgetting their election promises? I have tried to understand the rationale, the reasons and the psychology behind such unbelievable greed, and I can’t for the world of me come up with a single credible answer. I have tried to put myself in their position and see things from their point of view, yet, I come up short everytime. It cannot be justified. Was it insecurity as a human being living in a Third World country? Was it as a result of a moral breakdown in our societal fabric? Why must you deny other people certain things in life just because you want to be comfortable? Why would some human beings want to deprive their fellowmen and women their rights to justice, equality, good standards of living and to a general good life, when there’s enough to go round everybody? Why do we want to hurt each other because of money and power? Why do we find it difficult to do the right thing, when we know that doing the right thing is the right thing to do? And why is it that the hiding place for the loot must be in overseas countries? What have Nigerians done to these leaders to deserve such inhumane treatment from their leaders? These days, it is not enough to steal millions, it must be billions.

I wish a psychology student can do a research on this extraordinary phenomenon of the greed of the Nigerian leaders. Or perhaps, it is a job for a psychiatrist, because I can only ascribe this monumental greed to some mental aberration. Yes, these are not sane and rational people we are dealing with here. These are people usually prepared to kill to preserve their corrupt lifestyle and activities. They are criminals that is established, but also mad criminals. They are also religiously evil human beings. Like the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti sang, they are “Vagabonds In Power”, and they have been ripping us off for decades. And look back to decades since Fela said this.

Back to the travails of the ex-Governors. True and sincere Nigerians should have no sympathy for these rogues. And please don’t talk to me about the “Rule of Law” here. As I have mentioned in a previous article, this matter of the corrupt ex-Governors should not be settled under the rule of law. Where was the rule of law when they rigged their way into power? Where was the rule of law when they were lording it over everybody and causing death and misery with their actions or inactions? Should their only punishment be to refund or return all the money they have stolen from us, and then we say “Thank you, ex-governor, for returning our money” and then let them off? No, these rogues should be made to serve long jail terms, and no plea bargaining. This will serve as punishment and as a deterrent to others waiting in the wings to commit such financial crimes. The enemies of Nigeria must not be allowed to continue to take us for granted.

I wrote then (Democracy, Corruption and the Rule of Law In Nigeria) that “why should the rule of law apply to people who had flouted the rule of law in the first place to get where they are today? Ninety percent (and this is my own guesstimates) of people holding political positions today in Nigeria got there by committing electoral fraud or corruption. They therefore do not have the moral right to shout that the rule of law is being flouted when they see things not going their way. People seem to forget this fact………….. Again, at the risk of being labelled an anarchist, I submit that as far as Nigeria is concerned, taking into consideration how deep the hydra-headed monster, that malignant tumour called corruption, has eaten deep into the Nigerian psyche and polity, the rule of law cannot effectively tackle it, unless we are not serious about this war. To people shouting rule of law, I don’t think they realise that Nigeria is not what one will call a “normal” country for now. As I have said in previous articles, Nigeria is an Aegean stable. It will take a Hercules to cleanse it. A bad disease requires a bad medicine; that is what our elders used to say. This is applicable to getting rid of corruption in Nigeria for the next 10 or 20 years. Believe me. There has to be a time when we call a spade a spade, but people who are benefiting from this corrupt system, who are now finding it really hard to contemplate alternative means of income are shouting wolf and scare-mongering and professing to know about rule of law.”

Corruption, in all its ramifications, is the one single factor that has been holding our country back for decades; that has not let Nigeria and Nigerians fulfil their God-given potentials; that has not let our enormous wealth and resources work for or benefit all of us, but a few rapacious, evil clique. Corruption it is that has contributed to our underdevelopment, lack of progress and underachievement, poverty, high infant and adult mortality rates, etc. Corruption is the reason why we do not have good leaders (and even worse ones are battling to replace them), good roads and transportation systems, good water, good medical and health care, good food, good education system, good foreign policies, excellent sports facilities and great sportsmen, a fair judiciary and efficient police and security systems and good governance in general. Corruption also breeds tribalism, nepotism, favouritism, injustice, mismanagement, neglect, etc. It is the reason why millions of Nigerians are living in abject poverty or dying by the hundreds everyday and why more millions of Nigerians are living outside Nigeria today. And these are caused by the real enemies of Nigeria – our leaders.

My problem with Nigeria is not the “Rule of Law”; it is with corruption and corrupt leaders and what they have done to our lives, our environment, our society. That is why the leaders who perpetrate and perpetuate corruption in Nigeria must be tackled not by the rule of law, but by the most heavy-handed, maximum-possible “force of law”.

When Jerry Rawlings (God bless him) took the bull by the horn and decided to make away with four corrupt former Ghanaian heads of state in the seventies, there was world outcry, there was indignation and he was almost made a pariah. Decades later, the world has forgotten that he executed many corrupt people in Ghana, and Ghana today is a much better country than Nigeria in very many ways. That is the result of a leader who wanted the best for his country and people. In fact he himself said it on his most recent journey to Nigeria in July 2007 that corruption is the one great barrier to Nigeria’s development, progress and greatness.

I could not agree more with former Secretary-General of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Chief Frank Kokori, who said that political office holders have been taking Nigerians for granted because of their failure to fight for their rights. He further said that for the country to move forward, Nigerians must be ready to resist any anti-people moves of their leaders. This again proves my assertion that our leaders hate us. They are anti-people. However, they have forgotten that power is derived from God and the people you govern. If your people don’t give you power voluntarily and back you, you do not have power. That is why military governments do not last. And that is why corrupt governments will not last either.

After eight years in power, what else? But we see governors who have ruled for eight years and made ill-gotten billions of Naira still struggling to be Senators and Ministers, and when this failed, they become godfathers. There is no end to this greed. They have decided to make corruption a life-time career. There are 150 million other Nigerians to be considered, but No, it must be only them. Now you see the reason why I said these people are not normal human beings? Greed has consumed them and turned them into rapacious unthinking beasts. Such greed-crazed beasts must be killed or else they infect others with their sickness and insanity.

Governors who are greedily acquisitive, who deduct over half of their state’s allocations immediately they are paid and put this into their personal bank accounts or transfer it abroad, these are the enemies of Nigeria. Ministers who are supposed to provide and implement good roads, good medical care and facilities, food and water and fail to do so because of personal greed are enemies of Nigeria. Senators and Representatives who collude with other government officials to loot the country and squander our wealth are enemies of Nigeria. Local Government bosses who fail to provide the services they are supposed to provide at the grassroots are enemies of the people of Nigeria. Board Chairmen and women who are just in there for the ride and the money they will make are enemies of the Nigerian people. Civil servants who are colluding with politicians to ensure that services are not provided and are also stuffing their pockets with our money are enemies of Nigeria.

We know them. We have to fight them to the finish; otherwise there is no real hope for us and our children and future generation. It must stop. True Nigerians must engage these enemies on their own ground. If your enemy wants to exterminate you, you must either take evasive or precautionary action or take the fight to your enemy. You cannot stand back and watch while your enemy kills you slowly, and this is what these shameless, evil people are doing to us. Personally, I no longer have faith in our leaders delivering to us the dividends of democracy and ensuring equitable distribution of our God-given wealth. All they are doing is pulling the wool over our eyes and pocketing such dividends and wealth, and in doing so, killing us. We must no longer tolerate these crimes.

Democracy, despite all its shortcomings, has provided us with a chance to deal with these enemies. The people of Nigeria have a chance. Do not elect people you know are not going to serve you, and even if you do unknowingly, there are rules we can follow to reverse this. We can recall state legislators, Senators and Federal Representatives, state and federal, by recalling them. We can force legislators to impeach errant Governors and their deputies. We can also petition various law enforcement agencies like ICPC and EFCC to investigate them. Labour unions can also fight them by civil disobedience and strikes and make the country and states ungovernable for them. We need political reforms and re-orientation of our people. Governance and politics should be made unattractive for people whose sole intent is to come in and make money. When we start electing honest, sincere, committed, knowledgeable and sympathetic people who genuinely have their peoples’ interest in mind and with minimum distraction from sycophants and hangers-on, we have a chance of a great nationhood. If these do not work, we can lynch them.

It is welcoming to note that President Yar’Adua has dissociated himself from protecting these evil men, but more needs to be done. He should discourage all these visits by indicted ex-Governors to Aso Rock. It is also welcoming that the new Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, who is now overseeing the EFCC, has given EFCC a free hand, at least for now to continue with investigating these people. The searchlight must not be beamed only on ex-Governors, but also on ex-Ministers like Anenih, Ogunlewe (they must be made to explain what happened to the trillions they said they spent on federal roads) and others, Local Government chiefs, Senators like the Senate President David Mark (he has already started distributing money among his colleagues-in-corruption) and other legislators, as well as senior civil servants. So also ex-Board chairmen like Bode George and party chiefs.

These are the real and true enemies of Nigeria and the Nigerian people. Let’s take our country, our wealth, our life, our future and our survival back from them. We must not trust them to change anything. They can’t do it, they won’t do it, and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it. We will always tell the truth and expose the lies of the real and true enemies of Nigeria.

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Adejumo August 14, 2007 - 4:09 pm

As the author of this article, I do not really like joining issues with commentators to my articles, but I relly feel i must reply to this unkindness and accusations levied by Mr Paul Odu, that I was defending Obasanjo because Obasanjo is a Yoruba man like me. Far from it, Sir. First of all, I never exonerated OBJ from all these crimes against Nigerians. If I had to mention all the names of those who I refer to as enemies of Nigeria, the article wil be too long. Secondly, my article was not designed to specifically attack OBJ. Thirdly, I have attacked OBJ in previoven during his administration. Fourth, in the same breadth that Mr Odu called me a tribalist because Obasanjo and I are from the same tribe, I could also accuse him of being a tribalist because Obasanjo and Mr Odu are not from the same tribe. You see, we can all interprete issues and views anyway we want, afterall we are humans and as such, susceptible to our own prejudices.

My advice to Mr Odu is as follows: "So many problem could be solved or avoided if more people would make the simple effort to understand and appreciate the perspective of other. So many opportunities and possibilities would be greatly enhanced if those involved would seek to better understanding each other.

Empathy and a depth of understanding are not just nice thing to do. They are powerful strategic tools that will enhance your effectiveness. The better you know and understand the other person's perspective, the more successful you'll be at dealing with that person.

Fortunes have been built because someone understood what people truly wanted. Fortunes have been lost by those who didn't understand.

In our hurry-up world, too many people don't even take notice of the other people around them, much less acknowledge or seek to understand them. That is unfortunate and ultimately take a costly toll.

Take the time to notice, to consider, to understand and appreciate the people around you. It is one of the most powerful ways to enhance your own life. You don’t have to agree with the other person, just seek to understand. It can make a major positive difference for everyone concern"

It is food for thought. Dont make judgements based only on what you perceive or read (everybody reads between the lines, but different interpretation), know the person, and if you cant, dont be hasty in your judgement until you know more about him. I do not support Obasanjo, I am not a tribalist, and I write as objectively as I can, without fear or bias. My concern is for all my Nigerian people, not a particular tribe. I remain standing among people who know me. Thanks

Paul Odu (USA) August 13, 2007 - 8:52 pm

I was really enjoying your write-ups until I came to the paragraph where you seemed to be shielding the ex-president , Obasanjo from corruption. If you're in any doubt that Obasanjo was the ring leader in the corruption business in Nigeria, you need to read the many reports made by the Chairman of the RMAFC on the fraudulent activites that had ravaged the NNPC since Obasanjo became the president and the Minister of Petroleum from 1999 to 2007. Also, if you're a sincere follower of the various reports on the role that Mr. Obasanjo had played in the mis-management of the country's funds, such as his role in the PTDF saga; the establishment of his private University; ownership of a Library, the billions of Naira and dollards that had disappeared from the Excess Crude oil Account (to mentioned just a few), you will agree with me that Obasanjo has been a thief as well as a very corrupt person. I will advise you to read the report published by the RMAFC chairman on Monday, August 13, 2007 titled: How NNPC fleeced Nigeria of N555 billion in three years, you will get better understand of how such huge amount disappeared under the watchful eyes of Obasanjo who was the then Minister of Petroleum. You may want to also read about the disappearance of N502 billion (fruads) that accured in NNPC as a result of the country's excess crude oil sale from the OPEC crude oil allocation to Nigeria under the management of Obasanjo. These are just few embezzlements/corruption that took place while your brother Obasanjo was the President and the minister of Petroleum. Having read all these reports, I am sure that you will no longer be protecting Obasanjo from his fraudulent activites while in office as the president/ Petroleum Minister. He is a BIG THIEF and the EFCC should go after him as soon as possible to recover all the billions that he had stolen from Nigeria. Recently, one of his party member told the world that Obasanjo is worth over N180 billion in assets. If one may ask you sir, where did he get that amount of money from? and what kind of job did he do within 8 years to acquire that amount of money? This is a man that was worth a mere N20,000 in 1998 after he came out from prison. If your brother Obasanjo feels that he is innocent of all these activities or frauds that took place in Nigeria while he was the president, he should be honest enough to come out and defend himself or else, the new government will have no option than to send him to prison a second time for corruption. You do not have to defend a criminal and a thief who is worse than all the ex-governors put together just because he is a Yoruba man from your tribe. Enough of this tribal nonesense in Nigeria.

Anonymous August 13, 2007 - 11:04 am

Great piece!!!

I am going to take up some sniper courses soon, and I think all Nigerians should take the courses and arm themselves.

The day one walks into a "big-man's" office and he asks you for a bribe, and you blow his head off, that is the day these idiots would start to fear God.

We need to fight back, we need to start cutting off these thieves, we need to be bold, we need to educate those that are shouting baba ke! We need to educate the police officers giving these thieves security. We need to call a thief a thief and deal with them accordingly. Enough of the prayers, enough of the wait and see attitude, we need to go postal on these thieves, right now, not later!

oscar August 12, 2007 - 5:15 pm

It's a shame that these traitors never face justice. Even when they do they get a slap on the wrist and continue from where they left off!

Julius August 11, 2007 - 1:51 pm

Your piece sound to me like someone just waking up to the reality of what is happening in Nigeria. When I left the country some years ago I informed my family members that, I love this country but I fear for the future of this land. You see what is happening now, the thievery, the complete disintegration of infrastructures in Nigeria started in the 60s', so imagine what will be happening 10 yrs from now. I don't want war in Nigeria but I think death needs to pay our leaders visit. I don't want anyone of them to go to jail, they deserve nothing short of beheading and hanging. This is the only way these imbeciles will learn.

Toyin August 11, 2007 - 12:32 pm

Mr. Adejumo let me congratulate you once again for this excellent piece. Once again thank you for your article which I personally rate as excellent even as you exhibited some form of annoyance


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