Seyi Oduyela, in “Owners of
The above was a quote from Seyi Oduyela’s lengthy but very informative treatise written in 2004. He had called our political and military leaders “owners of
All these decades we have been laying the blame for all our problems on the door of the British colonial masters and those we call American and Western imperialists. We adduced that it was because of our oil that they need to keep us under-developed so that they can have access to the oil and mineral wealth of our land. In as much as I would like to believe this, the fact remains that it is our own people, our political and military leaders who have been deceiving us and grandstanding us. They are the ones who have deliberately kept us in the dark ages, killing us slowly for their own selfish reasons. In order to achieve this, they need to be corrupt, and to be corrupt, they need to be greedy.
“London court freezes Ibori’s assets• It was a restraining order, says Ibori” (Please note that Mr Ibori did not deny owning these frozen assets)
“EFCC may arraign Makarfi •Senate, NLC back trial of ex-govs, others”
“I was not quizzed by EFCC, says Egwu”
“EFCC investigates Ibori”
“Turaki, ex-Gov of
“Chimaroke Nnamani has 178 houses in one town in 8 years”
“Dariye charged for money-laundering”
“Orji Kalu indicted – many foreign accounts and businesses in Gambia, etc”
“Rev Nyame regrets looting treasury”
“Kalu, Ibori, Odili meet Yar’Adua at Aso Villa”
“ICPC to probe 31 ex-Governors”
These are just a few of the news headlines that assail Nigerians on a daily basis since President Yar’Adua came into power and the EFCC suddenly finds renewed energy in carrying out its duties. There is no respite from these continuous scandals, if you can call them scandals. And it seems that Nigerians are so much used to hearing such that we have sort of developed some immunity to the shock of the scandals.
I don’t blame the people. During the eight profligate years of Obasanjo’s administration, and despite the so much publicised fight against corruption (I will commend OBJ that this was at least the first such initiative in the history of Nigeria), it had always been business as usual in our number one industry and pastime; that of corrupt enrichment. Governors, ministers, senators, federal representatives, house of assembly members, local government chiefs and officials, civil servants, etc, all of them were in on the act. And the Nigerian people stood passively by and watched their enemies take them apart bit by bit, complacent, and praying to God in mosques and churches, for deliverance. Heaven, they say, help those who help themselves. We are not helping ourselves.
I am not so much shocked at the fact that corruption is alive and well as the sheer and unbelievable greediness of these political leaders. Military rule definitely brought corruption on a large scale to the fore in
I had always thought Shagari’s administration was the worst when it comes to corruption, but with the sheer incredulous and massive amount of money that Governors during our last eight years of democracy have stolen, I need to re-examine these statistics. Some school of thought are even now saying that what was stole during Abacha’s days was nothing compared to during the second coming of Obasanjo. I am indeed inclined to believe that.
I have always argued that Obasanjo himself will never dip his hands into the treasury. I still believe this is the case, but he has gotten himself so compromised by those that he surrounded himself with and by those he considered his “boys” – many PDP governors and other sycophants and hangers-on, that he, as the President and initiator of anti-corruption drive in
As Babs Ajayi opened in his article, National Leaders as Looters,” Looting has never been banished from
Yes, our leaders have always been looters. They are utterly unsympathetic, selfish, greedy, diabolical and morally bankrupt. I have written in previous articles that our leaders hate us. Here is the proof, yet again. What does a man and his family wants to do with 50 billion Naira or 178 houses in one town? This is the epitome of greed and selfishness, hard-heartedness, coupled with lack of concern for the common man they swore to serve. This is recklessness, criminal negligence, and mismanagement at best. It is wickedness, immorality and great sin in the eyes of God and disregard for God. They cannot claim to be good Christians or faithful Moslems. But there we have it, they go to church, sing Alleluia and mosques to pray five times a day, and when they come out, they visit suffering, poverty, death and disease on their people. One of them is even a Reverend of the Church. Yes, I am worried sick about this, because I do not believe that despite their recent exposition, the ones in there now would have learnt their lessons and adopt good governance to alleviate the plight of their people. No! It will always be business as usual, and at the end of four years, we will be again inundated with scandals. It will be a vicious cycle, never ending.
Please do not let us leave out the Ministers, Senators, Representatives, Local Government Chairmen, State legislators and councillors, Board chairmen and members, Special Assistants, Special Advisers, top civil servants etc. They are all in it up to their rotten and corrupt necks. None of them is doing Nigerians a favour. Most of them are common thieves and robbers. For example, our Constitution stipulates that a State Governor cannot spend a single kobo of State money without the approval of the House of Assembly. If such checks and balances are there, how are these Governors able to steal? The simple answer is that the Governors can only steal in connivance with the “Honourable” legislators. In most cases, the “execu-thief” Governors have the assembly members in their pockets. One good example was when ex-Governor Fayose of Ekiti State took all the PDP legislators and party top-shots to London and the United States on a shopping jamboree for over one month, (can you imagine how much that would cost and how was the state being governed for one month?) under the pretence of coming to study the Parliamentary system of the United Kingdom and that of the United States. We all now know what they actually learnt, don’t we? Even the State’s Party Chairman was there, all kowtowing to a younger Fayose and trying to outdo each other in their flattery and praises of him. I was there to observe them in
Also culpable of these crimes against the Nigerian people are the many unpatriotic Nigerians who front for these thieves. There are many of such front-men and women, living in and outside of
Hear Babs Ajayi again, “Today, it is the Ghana-must-Go lifestyle at the Presidency and the National Assembly that is troubling many. Looting is always the name of the game and cash-and-carry is what elective office is all about in
Just about a month ago, Senators and members of that dishonourable House of Representatives collected nearly eight million Naira each to procure a car each. A total of N1.6 billion was paid to these men and women who knew next to nothing about serving the people. But now the same National Assembly plan to spend about N1 billion to buy 200 vehicles for the various committees of the two Houses. Where are those promises to serve and the desire to be responsible with the funds of the nation? The oil money looks so much but placed against the big problems and areas of needs facing the nation, the so-called oil wealth is nothing. Nearly all teaching hospitals are empty and lack facilities, our universities are just glorified primary schools lacking books, equipments, laboratories and basic needs. Senator Effiong Bob who is the Chairman of the Senate Services Committee is from a senatorial district and state where poverty is endemic and lack of basic necessities of life a daily problem to grapple with. But here he is championing the misuse of public funds and reckless spending. The obvious question is: where were the committee cars from the last session of the National Assembly? Will someone account for those cars and give us an update on the matter? For how long shall we continue to do this rigmarole and watch electricity degenerate to weeks without and months in darkness while the self-appointed leaders feast on the national cake with both hands and legs dipped in? This is frustrating and unacceptable, they are not interested in the plights of the masses that are jobless, hopeless, have no access to medical service and suffer in poverty and diseases. I learnt from very reliable sources that a visit to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi and the Lagos University Hospital in Idi-Araba will mean paying for your own cotton wool, needle, injection, gloves for the nurse, etc. if you need to get an injection! You have to pay for everything and some people sit on high thrones in Aso Rock and preside over the looting of the treasury” (Please compatriots, read Bab Ajayi’s article for more nauseating news from our lawmakers)