“Dear brother, just pray for Naija. General strike looms; new state governors are meeting empty treasuries; the fleeing governors are coming back one by one, including Atiku, and they are plea-bargaining with the EFCC; EFCC is a bit weak now that OBJ has gone; many ex-governors now looking for ministerial positions; OBJ not happy with the choice of Kingibe as Secretary to the Federal Government; Senators are planning to remove David Mark (new Senate President) who is accused of being very corrupt; Peter Obi is back in Anambra State government house, while Ladoja of Oyo State lost at the Supreme Court because the man had foolishly paid himself all his salary, expenses and Security Vote arrears for the eleven months whilst he was out of government; Niger Delta celebrates the release of Asari-Dokubo; Ekiti State in crisis due to equal number of legislators in the House of Assembly – 13 to PDP, 13 to AC; Akala of Oyo State cancelled local Government elections done by his predecessor, Ladoja, five days before his exit, but the case is still in court; Akala has had the indictment against him quashed by a judge from his home town, whom he reinstated as the Acting Chief Judge of the state; Adedibu set to control Oyo State treasury from his Molete fortress; political killings here and there; God dey”.
The above is the body of a very long text that I received from one of my cousins in
Dear oh dear! There we go again! Nothing seems to be going right or moving us forward. We seem to be on the path to regression and lost hope again after the Obasanjo years. Or, are we just underestimating the new President, Umar Yar’Adua? Maybe he’s just learning the ropes of governance, so we should give him time to acclimatise to his new position and responsibility of governing a country so corruption-ridden and driven that it will take a miracle from God or very drastic and unsavoury action to cleanse? I tried to remain positive and full of hope, but the more news filter out of
Oh Lord, I prayed, what is the matter with these people? Why did Obasanjo increase fuel price almost surreptitiously just days before he left Aso Rock? How could he be so insensitive? Who are the people who advised him to do this, or did he just unilaterally take this decision, knowing he was going and damn the consequences? How can he sell two of the nation’s oil refineries to two people perceived as his friends or boys without apparently going through Due Process, the same innovation that he set up to enable good governance?
After eight years of democracy, our politicians have apparently learnt nothing. They think politics is a life time career. How else can you interpret governors who have been in power for eight years, have corruptly enriched themselves to the tune of billions of Naira, now hustling to become Ministers again? Is governance their birthright? Greediness. They seem to be totally unaware that their tenure in their respective states was a disaster, and they could not offer anything new to the country as Ministers, yet they must be in government one way or the other. They have absolutely no consideration for the people of
Most, if not all of them left empty treasuries in their state. “Empty treasuries all over”, wrote Reuben Abati. In
This is why I feel so disappointed with Nuhu Ribadu and the EFCC who, before the elections and long time ago, has been threatening brimstone and fire on corrupt governors, indicting many of them and saying that come after 29 May 2007, most of them will be marched off to prison where they belong. But what do we have here? The man seems to have gone quiet all of a sudden, and those thieving ex-governors who fled are now coming back, plea-bargaining with the EFCC, even returning some of the loot (you bet your life, we can never recover all the loot) and even going further to angle for Ministerial jobs. What a shame? Unbelievable. The wicked shall no go unpunished, I know that.
Apart from the looting they rigorously effected, what about the misery, suffering, humiliation and death they visited on their people? They had nothing but disdain for the Nigerian people. They were arrogant, selfish, greedy, unrepentant and shameless. They bask in corruption like lizards bask in the sun. They are even proud of it, proud to be called “thieves”. I wonder how they sleep at night with the direct and indirect genocide of thousands of their people in their mind. Corruption surely is Nigerian.
And those of them who secured second terms through rigging and a very flawed elections? They are left to continue looting, and after their eight years, they will flee at first and then start coming back again. It is a vicious cycle. No end to the kleptomania, it seems. Nigerians are saddled with them till the end of time, it seems. They still keep insulting us and our intelligence and grinding us deeper into the dirt and mud. Our children dying everyday due to lack of provision of healthcare; our university graduates turning into cultists and armed robbers because these morons did not provide jobs for them; every part of the cities in darkness; no clean water; thousands dying on our pot-holed roads; the suffering continues unabated, while the looting continues unchecked. Nero playing the harp and wining and dining, while
Most of the new governors were imposed on us by the ex-governors, and even those who were not, are also in there for the loot.
This brings me to David Asonye Ihenacho’s article “
That was in 2004. We are now in 2007 and nothing seems to have changed. We now, again, have several unsavoury and corrupt characters occupying high and responsible positions across the land. A sacked policeman is now the governor of a state. An allegedly very corrupt ex-military officer, who, when he was a state Governor and a Minister, showed such contempt and utter disregard for his fellow Nigerians is now our Number 3 Citizen as the Senate President. Everybody in power seems to be heavily compromised. Even our Vice-President, whose wife was accused of money laundering a few months ago, and we never heard more from it, is carrying on with business as usual, blissfully unmindful of the allegations against his wife. An ex-governor accused of acquiring over 100 properties within 8 years of his tenure is taking his place as a Senator, and it seems we can’t do anything about it. Another ex-governor is said to have returned over 23 billion Naira that he looted from his state, and is even now contending to be a Federal Minister. The list continues. Boy, it is a dog’s life for true and innocent Nigerians!
So much for the EFCC. An organisation I used to have so much respect and admiration for, that I defended in so many of my articles and in debates. What a let down for me and for millions of Nigerians? You hear about one scandal or the other today, and by tomorrow, it has been buried. No more word on it and everybody goes home and live happily ever after, but the looting continues. “Ex- Governors: What is Nuhu Ribadu Doing?” asked Sonala Olumhense.
The national strike came and went. If we had a good and responsible government, sympathetic and subjected to the people, such a crippling strike could well have been averted. But no, it had to happen, because of power and muscle-flexing as well as unconcern. The strike inflicted a lot of pain, as usual, on the common Nigerian. No electricity, no water, no transport, no movement, no work, and after the strike was called off, the government started giving us the bull about losing billions of Naira. They will say that, wont they? After all, they were insulated from the agony and suffering of it all, in their government villas, with use of free cars, free electricity, free water, free food and free everything. Yet, with all these free living off the sweat of Nigerians, they still have to loot from the people of
Ekiti State in crisis due to equal number of legislators in the House of Assembly – 13 to PDP, 13 to AC. Normally, in a good, working and effective democracy, this should be good for both the polity and the people, as it means there have to be compromises between the two political parties and effective checks and balances. But not in
With the Great Godfather (or Thug-father, as some people put it) in
And to prove what I am saying, the poor protesting workers in
You see. It is not really good for
A common saying is that money is the root of all evil. I believe that for the most part, this is true. Money has the ability to change people, especially when it is equated with power. For much of our
There may be trouble ahead, but we should still be hopeful and optimistic for Yar’Adua’s new government. He should do well; let’s give him a chance and our support. He had better do well.