“Unemployment, underdevelopment and poverty everywhere in the land. Our people are living like animals; we cannot even rear our children” – Source Unknown.
“Quite frankly, the war against Corruption is not strictly about me; it is about building a country for our children and forthcoming generations can live in peace and prosperity. All around the country, you see dilapidated infrastructure, poor healthcare, collapsed education, lack of public utilities, decayed social services, etc. These are all products of corruption because those entrusted to deliver these to the people have pocketed the money”. – President Muhammadu Buhari, 11.12.2015
I am a very simple writer; I write from the mind, untrained, unfettered, not under obligation to or paid by anybody or newspaper, and thereby free of baggage and garbage.
It is indeed very difficult (or how else can we say it?), to sympathise with former President Goodluck Jonathan, trying to absolve him of any complicity in the alleged (yes, alleged for now) unbelievable, mind-boggling, brazen, raping and looting of the country’s treasury that they said went unchecked during his six year tenure; insisting that because he relinquished power without a fuss when he lost the last Elections, then he’s an uncommon Hero; that he was a good and decent man, but all admitted that he was not good leader and President.
All these displays of sympathy are intended to appeal and convince us that Mr Jonathan should be absolved of any crime perpetrated under his now almost discredited government of mediocrity, nepotism, religious and tribal bigotry, deceit, deception and undisguised hypocrisy and deliberately hoodwinking of the Nigerian people.
How the people who allegedly participated and benefitted illegally under this ignoble regime could think they could continue to rape the country, yet conceal their crime for so long and further continuously consolidate these frauds without detection at some point in time is beyond the imagination. The crime and corruption are so massive, unfettered and unmanageable (even as a criminal concern) that there was no possible way the “shit will not hit the fan” sooner rather than later.
But due to their singular mediocre minds, suffused with greed, selfishness and idiocy, these alleged looters never ever gave a thought that their deeds will ever be revealed. This proved to me that the PDP never expected Jonathan to lose the election in March 2015. They were so confident they will still be in power, and thereby able to conceal and continue the massive looting of the country’s treasury, resources and assets. Some, however foresaw the days of Revelation, and thought that by jumping ship – from PDP to APC – they will be able to enjoy some form of immunity, or at least, protection from the revelations that will eventually burst out. Some saw the handwriting on the wall, but still decided to ignore the signs.
Even now, the person that should engage our sympathy is President Buhari. He is in deep trouble, if he does not know it. If all these revelations are true, then PMB’s government has a real problem on its hands. He has to see all these through to their logical conclusions – no sacred cows or untouchables because of political, religious and regional affiliations or loyalty. He must ensure fast, free and fair prosecutions, and if and when convicted, long jail terms for the perpetrators of such huge scams and frauds on Nigerians, depriving us of so many things, causing thousands, if not millions of unnecessary deaths directly and indirectly. It is getting more open and messier by the day, even more than the Halliburton Scandal and Independent Power Project scam of the Obasanjo days, probably because then, it was a PDP government doing themselves in. (They did not know it then, but they were setting themselves up for implosion and disgrace)
But as it is, if all these revelations prove to be true, then our main concern should be our compromised, irresponsible and very corrupt judiciary; our greedy, morally bankrupt and ignoble attorneys and our stupid democracy that favour powerful corrupt politicians and bastardise the Rule of Law, as well as the parochial and misguided partisan Nigerians that are holding hypocritical and sycophantic briefs for these corrupt, shameless, remorseless and nonchalant politicians’ misdemeanour and delinquency.
However, the problem is still very much caused by us, Nigerians. The outrage against Jonathan, Dasuki and the rest of these “exclusive sharers of our commonwealth” is our collective responsibility. Nigerians should be marching towards Aso Rock to demand full accountability and justice, and if Buhari fails to act on our demands, he should be pushed out of the way. Unfortunately, folks see it through the prism of party politics, but it’s bigger than that. Before writing this piece, I have already been accused of basing my statements on speculations thus making everything baseless. For how long shall we continue to shy away from the revelations and continue to call them speculations? Even if the level of crime is not as massive as is being revealed isn’t the fact that such crimes are committed by so few a people heinous enough to be looked at dispassionately and condemned roundly by all?
Now, it is important to delineate revelations and speculations. Over the past few weeks, it has become the norm of some sections of the society to denounce these revelations as mere unproven speculations; but I am not surprised at such incoherent pronouncement from my people; I have always said we are our own problems. Even if the scale of the revelations are not as massive as we are reading and come with touches of hyperbolic sensationalism, the fact remains that massive amount of the country’s money was distributed illegally, with impunity, total disregard for the rules of governance and with utter unaccountability amongst some chosen elite in both government, the PDP party, the media and business communities, including some who are now even in the ruling party, the President’s party, APC.
Nevertheless, as I wrote in two previous articles, “A People Beyond Redemption” and “A Peoples’ Aversion to the Truth is their Undoing”, the African mind is so politically primordial that it always blind people from fairness and truth. And this has summed up the kind of mixed horde we have in Nigeria. For a person, schooled and educated to a degree level, to call the unfolding revelation, confession, and admission by the looters themselves to be “speculations” just confirms my suspicions about our people’s attitude to corruption, and understanding of it from a moral viewpoint. But then, didn’t our former President himself say stealing of public funds is not corruption? Does it mean if a person is from my clan, or he is of the same faith with me, or we belong to the same political party, as far as these sets of people are concerned, that person can never do wrong? The pitiable thing is that majority of these unsolicited “pocket lawyers” and devil’s advocates suffered greatly as a result of action and inaction of the same person they are defending.
Unfortunately some (and again, repetitively, these are the educated and supposedly enlightened and sophisticated members of the society) of us are blind, guided by political, tribal, self-seeking and religious nonsense, who enthusiastically allow themselves to be used as injudicious missiles. One would think that every sane and sensible Nigerian will fall behind the present government in its anti-corruption campaign. But you just check out social media and the number of Nigerians carrying brief for the thieves and criminals being prosecuted is just unreal. What one cannot understand is the glee with which these set of Nigerians embrace every setback or hindrance that comes the way of the current regime in cleansing the corrupt system. That to me is unpardonable and is the sign of sick minds. Can you imagine a man jumping for joy and clapping enthusiastically every time that fireman trying to put out his burning house, with his family trapped inside, and are struggling to control the flame?
Well that is exactly the behaviour of those Nigerians that do not wish the current government well in its bid to stem the rot of the past years”.
What is even more shocking and disturbing should be the revelation that national budget is being shared like groundnuts in the market under the guise of funding to disengage insurgency and terrorism and the head of the same government claimed ignorance of approving the release of the funds. All the beneficiaries of the bonanza of doling out the funds were ex-President Jonathan’s allies; and one would like to know how that was accounted for in the nation’s books, or maybe we do not have books anymore? Where are the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution, the statutes books, legislations, rules and regulations, etc.? Where are the Auditor and Accountant Generals? Yet, these individuals, educated, widely-travelled and men/women of the world are worshipped as heroes nationally by Nigerians.
What kind of criminal racket are we operating here in this country, Nigeria, that we call government?
The political class in Nigeria has sought office not because of the desire to change the economic situation through dedicated, sincere and committed service but it has been mainly for their personal development. Their primary path to financial success has been through primitive and rapacious accumulation of wealth through stealing of public funds. It is so deep that the fight over fiscal federalism is nothing but for personal aggrandisement. Yet the fight is so strong and intensive one that we may think that is for the good of the commonwealth. No, it is not, as we ae all seeing and experiencing in our daily lives as the unfortunate victims of these criminals, or as the late great Fela Anikulapo-Kuti dubbed them several decades ago, Vagabonds in Power (VIP).
The scale of this primitive acquisition of wealth can only be comprehended from the littering of the national landscape with failed projects, moribund development, a collapsed and prostrate economy as evidenced in dilapidated and decayed infrastructure, poor healthcare, collapsed education, lack of public utilities, decayed social services, chaotic way of life, insecurity of lives and properties, uncertainly of daily bread, etc. These are all products of the prevalent and virulent corruption that has enveloped and strangled the country and its people because those entrusted to deliver these to the people have betrayed our trust and have pocketed the money.
Of more concern should be the human effects – poverty, distress, hopelessness, sufferings, diseases, hunger and deaths that we see and experience every day; yet some people still hang on to the belief that the current government is lying about the looting of this country over the past sisteen, and even more, years; or that the exercise to flush out looters is based on vindictiveness and witch-hunting and slanted towards members of the last government and party.
Well…? Do they care? Until several lots of them are handed long jail sentences (or maybe even executed) this spectacle will continue. The hydra-headed corruption is not a beast to be tackled with soft gloves; let some high profile corrupt politicians, ex-governors, legislators, and their parasitic sycophantic rich tag-along businessmen (AGIP) who derive their wealth by preying on government contracts and largess to flaunt their ill-gotten gains in the face of their fellowmen and fellow women go to thirty years at Agodi or Kuje prisons, with the hardest of labour, and observe the effect and change on Nigerians.
So, dear compatriots, please look around you and perceive the chaos, the despondency, the desperation, the poverty and hopelessness on the faces of our people and tell the man in Aba, Maiduguri, Asaba, Ugep, Ado-Ekiti, Ilorin, Makurdi, Owerri, Ede, etc. that NOBODY is responsible, nobody can be held culpable for their unfortunate plight in a rich country like ours; that the people, rulers that forced or rig their way into power, are elected, selected, appointed and entrusted with managing their wealth and welfare for the past sixteen, thirty or fifty years cannot or should not be probed and jailed for their roles in the looting and raping of their country.
A word of caution to the current administration: Buhari must not be distracted from his anti-corruption stance and bout, however he must also not allow himself and his government to be swamped and grounded in the mire of the corruption fight. Corruption will always fight back a hundred times more viciously than the ones after it, and will do everything to stay ahead of the game. He should concentrate of governance and put reliable, sincere, seasoned and equally vicious anti-corruption people in place to engage in this fight for him and Nigeria.
‘Tis indeed the Season of Revelation of the Damned!!!!