Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

Any corrupt Nigerian who is holding on to what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them. All the ill-gotten material wealth and whatsoever they claimed or acquired or built at home and abroad through their lootocracy must be regained through the appropriate agencies. That is change and a promise kept.

Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Mr. Buhari is yet to announce his cabinet. This issue will not go away until the names and faces of the ministers are made known. There are many theories why the ministers have not emerged.

Not least is the flying allegation that people like Obasanjo, Tinubu and Amaechi among other politicians have their own candidates and slots for some of the ministerial positions. It is also possible that ministers have not emerged because (probably) it is hard to find people who are active in politics who are not corrupt.

So it is likely that Buhari is turning down lists and names of people with criminal records coming from all quarters. The APC is on its way to breaking the Nigerian record of running a government without ministers, a kind of pseudo-autocracy.

Other things have been happening, things that may shapen the APC mandate. If taken to the expected extent, such things will definitely shape the future of Nigeria.

There has been quite a number of arrest or interrogations in recent weeks. As a matter of fact the number of bad or corrupt people interrogated since the inception of the Buhari/APC administration is more than the number that were interrogated during the 6 wasteful years of Ebele Jonathan.

One early disappointment was the acquittal of one Femi Fani-Kayode. The EFCC should cover its head in shame for not being able to bring justice in that case. Femi Fani-Kayode will remain a criminal in the people’s court of justice.

He is not the only living Nigerian who has been part of the destruction and looting of Nigeria. The list and names are endless. One can only hope that the outcome of his trial will not be a predetermined template for all the APC politicians and godfathers that we hope to see behind the dock soon as this war on corruption rages on.

Well, it is very important that what the Buhari administration has started continues to take its course through the agencies that are set-up to do just that. If the cleansing process is aimed at PDP politicians or only those who served under the criminally-inclined Jonathan administration, then there is palaver and k-leg in the matter. That is injustice.

The recent and ongoing revelations into how the economy was destroyed under Jonathan even as Mrs. Iweala continued to dish out rubbish economics and cooked reports to Nigerians and the entire world is rather sickening.

At this point l think Mrs. Iweala needs to be sent to a reputable institution in Nigeria for psychiatric evaluation. With some high level of flawed confidence and unpatriotic arrogance, she supervised the wasting of Nigeria’s fortunes while dishing out stories of number one economy and all that.

How can an individual be so wicked and heartless? What has happened to dignity and self-respect? What happened to the family names that we were brought up to protect and maintain? What has happpened to the audacity of walking away when one’s principles are compromised? Now, everybody including Ngozi is blaming Jonathan. What nonsense! You were all partners in crime! Heartless criminals!

The APC mandate cannot unfortunately close its eyes to these obvious crimes against humanity otherwise APC and Buhari will automatically become criminals too. These crimes must be pursued by the appropriate agencies and investigations and prosecutions brought to logical conclusions. Any other approach is tantamount to the Nigerian government being at war with the citizens.

Those fools from the Niger Delta who are hinting that Jonathan may be sent to jail should please shut up their mouths. The interests of 150m Nigerians cannot be slain because Jonathan is from the Niger Delta. They should please go and sit down somewhere.

The rest of us are watching and observing the processes that we hope will consume even part of those who started it. Who told them that Buhari will not answer the call of justice when his time is over? Has anyone told them that we are not going to see Babangida and Obasanjo on trial?

They should put on their seat belts as the wave of justice takes its course. Some of us have waited all our lives to see justice and any attempt to trivialise or tribalise it is completely unacceptable. What we look forward to is sustenance of justice and to make it a way of life forever in Nigeria.

Rather than shout foul as the investigation of the Jonathan administration proceeds, they should be asking for the extension of the investigation into all the other arms and areas of governance. They should be clamouring for justice in all the states of the federation irrrespective of whether they are under the control of APC or PDP or ANPP or the Labour party.

They outght to continue to remind APC and the Buhari administration that this should not be about Jonathan-Sambo investigation but also Obasanjo-Atiku investigation for their 8 years of corruption and looting. They outght to know that Babangida is alive and hale enough for judgement and justice.

Nigeria is broke and one person that knows that so well (pending her psychiatric evaluation actually) is Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Therefore anybody in Nigeria who is holding what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them.

The APC mandate must ensure that all of Nigerian currencies that are stashed away in foreign countries are retrieved and returned to the government. The people at home and abroad who have laundered the funds should be brought to justice.

All the structures that are built abroad by corrupt politicians or their accomplices (in form of family, friends and other cronies) should be confiscated, sold and the funds returned to the Nigerian treasury.

All the structures, hotels, SPAs, estates, cars, and whatever objects that people have acquired using Nigeria’s stolen wealth (or other forms of ill-gotten wealth) that are located within and outside Nigerian should be occupied by appropriate security forces or government agencies and handover to the Nigerian people and government.

We know how much civil servants and politicians earned and we know that all the wealth that these criminals boast of are not achievable in their life time multiplied by a certain factor x…how did they come about all these massive wealth? It can only be through primitive accumulation, stealing and looting.

The APC mandate promised Nigerians a change and we are watching. The sudden activation of the EFCC (though we expect them to nail their cases too) is a welcome development. The independence of the EFCC must be sustained. Again, we are watching. We will keep writing!

I will not finish any article without emphasizing that while it is Nigerians who brought woes upon themselves, it is imperative that a long lasting political solution will be inclusive for the redemption of Nigeria.

Today, Nigeria is running a system of government where almost everything depends on Buhari. Earlier it was dependent on Jonathan and before him on Yar ’ Adua and Obasanjo in that order since 1999.

In the 21st century that type of government is archaic and out of fashion. It is actually a senseless system of government. Whatever changes that have been introduced since May 29 2015 in Nigeria can collapse if Buhari collapse. That is not how to run a government. That is definitely not how to run a country!

Those in the National Assembly must play their roles. We know that they are mostly chasing wealth and power as the Saraki syndrome has shown us. We are still hoping that the likes of David Mark and Dimeji Bankole will be interrogated (and possibly face prosecution) so that they can return all that they stole from Nigeria back to Nigerians.

All the houses and structures they put up or bought at home and abroad while in office must be returned. These suggestions must transform to reality before the expiration of the APC mandate so that the change that the APC promised does not become a total fraud. That was by the way.

The National Assembly is indebted to Nigerians in fashioning a long-lasting political solution that will put the Nigerian political scenario on the right path. They should read the history of Nigeria and help Nigerians to understand that regional government was more functional than the unitary system that was created by the corrupt military.

Governance must be close to the people and for Nigeria everybody’s fate cannot continue to rely on the events in Abuja. It’s like mass suicide.

It took so long to realise that Nigeria is really messed up. If the internet was not developed and if the social media was not made interactive, Nigeria will probably be another story today. Still the division among Nigerians is massive.

Therefore, no matter what the future holds, either in a unitary Nigeria or in the various regions and states of the federation, Nigerians will always need patritotism, dedication to duty, family and community. There will be no true change if everything must depend on the government.

In this changing world occupied by transient beings, the people need to know that it is a collective responsibility if greatness must be attain.

Honesty, tolerance, selflessness, kindness, awareness of nature/environment and pursuance of the common good of mankind are ingredients that must be imbibed by all and sundry.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Stop press: when l woke up on Sunday morning (19-july) to continue/finish this article l read an headline somewhere that Buhari’s ministers have not emerged because those nominated so far are deemed to be part of the corrupt Nigeria

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The Rogue Ministers of Nigeria

Adeola Aderounmu

It is no longer news that Nigeria’s Aviation Minister spent a whooping N225m on the purchase of special cars that are supposed to be used for her protection.

It is a tradition in Nigeria for government officials (starting from the presidency actually) to steal and waste public funds in Nigeria.

This is a useless tradition that has been promoted in various forms and shades and which no serious minded Minister or President is willing so back-pedal on.

In various ways and by various means Ministers and presidents (past and presidents) steal, loot and embezzle public funds.

In this particular case, Nigeria is passing through strings of air crashes and mishaps, therefore it came as a rude shock that the Minister, one Stella Oduah was carrying out inflated purchases of armored cars as planes are dropping from the skies.

Just to know that the Nigerian government is among the most corrupt in the world, no one has heard any condemnation of the purchase from the presidency. It will probably not come from the man who has bought more presidential jets than any serving or former African presidents. These Nigerian rulers are all criminals and crooks.

Stella Oduah is not alone. It is just her time to be roasted. The phenomenon-of stealing or buying armored cars is a Nigerian thing. These people want to protect themselves from the people! Yes, they think that they are under threat and that their lives are at risk.

But who created the risk?

Stella may probably survive the press and other real and fake anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria. The reasons why she may survive are not far fetched. Crime in governance is an acceptable part of life in Nigeria. Most people who have plans to be part of government in Nigeria will do the same as Stella. People just think that their reason for joining government is to steal.

Many Nigerians are waiting for similar opportunities. This is the tragedy of present day Nigeria where crimes are exalted and criminals elevated.

If the current “organised-noise” around Stella results to her deployment or removal, she will probably not face criminal charges. She may even be contesting as the next vice-president in the “old” PDP in 2015. The more you steal, the more juicy you next appointment.

In the end other criminals who they call president, governors, lawmakers, legislators and Ministers will continue to steal until the next random bubble. Nigeria is no ordinary country. Truth is dead. Trust was murdered many years ago.

Nigeria’s EFCC, Toothless Bulldog Just Fooling Around..!

By Adeola Aderounmu

It does not matter..!

EFCC is not about Ribadu who Obasanjo messed up with the third term wahala. It is not even about Waziri who like her boss Yar Adua wasted both space and time. And who is the new, old guy in the hermaphrodite commission.

Let’s get it straight. We have a system that needs to be overhauled. This means that 99.9% of the people ruling Nigeria today need to be swept aside and sent to kirikiri or mental homes for their incurable lootocracies!

All these stories about change of EFCC bosses every now and then are meant to create distractions and media entertainments. Imagine the parties and ceremonies that would have been thrown by those whose candidate is now the head.

In a country where the police are efficient the likes of the people ruling Nigeria today will be cooling off, marking time. They won’t even be there to change the redundant and figure head anti-corruption bosses.

We know that no country is free of corruption but when the thieves are known and walking free, even oppressing us, it is too shameful and over scandalous!

When the Jonathans were still in Bayelsa Mrs. Jonathan was twice accused of stealing. The tragedy is that the two cases were inconclusive. What would have been the true stories if all the corruption cases in Nigeria are allowed to run conclusively?

Who knows where the Bankole story will end.

Many things trouble me, even the thoughts of David Mark and his presence in the looting business since the days of Babangida or before. Incomprehensible it is..!

The euphoria of the change of baton will soon simmer and looting as usual will continue. As the years go by, the loot increases and the poverty level in Nigeria gets bigger and more devastating. This is the greatest pain ever in my heart, to see a people suffer in the midst of plenty and doing nothing about it.

Nigerians are not too serious. They are not demanding. Else the 12 billion from the gulf war will surface tomorrow morning because Babangida who stole or took or kept them is still alive.

If that new, old guy at EFCC wants me to take him seriously he should open the case and put Babangida on his toes, not just for the 12 billon dollars oil windfall but for all the looted funds that covers 8 wasteful years.

When he is done with that, then he can proceed to the next big deal which is the open files that Obasanjo and Atiku made available to the press during the third term roforofo fight. Everyday in the newspapers we saw original copies of looted funds by Obasanjo and Atiku. It was a fight to finish but we let them off the hooks, just like that!

So if EFCC has no work, they should at least open those files and bring these thieves to judgement.
After that he can even arrest or press Ribadu so that he can release all the files about all the corrupt governors that he promised to prosecute when the immunity shield was over in 2007.

What I am trying to say is that the EFCC is a toothless bulldog and has no real function or meaning compare to the scale of corruption, looting and impunity in Nigeria.

The EFCC will never be able to deviate from his selective prosecution process. Somehow some people are mildly punished like Bode George and Tafa Balogun and Igbinedion. They get to keep most of the loots after plea bargaining or 6 months to 2 luxurious years behind bars.

EFCC cannot deviate from selective prosecution because of the way Nigeria’s primitive politics is operated. The system is completely jagajaga. Sanity is an aberration in the Nigeria’s corridor of power.

There is no genuine anticorruption war that the EFCC will start that will not consume all the past and present governors, past and present Ministers, past and present legislators-federal and state, past and present commissioners, past and present local government chairpersons. Even personal assistant and media spokespersons will be consumed, they are all corrupt o jare !

I state boldly and categorically that there is no genuine anti-corruption war that the EFCC will start that will not consume the past presidents and the serving president in the person of Goodluck Jonathan.

Why are we fooling ourselves?

In Nigeria corruption is a way of life.

Nigeria’s needs to be straightened up and this must start from the top. If the head of the fish is rotten the entire body is bad, smelly and cannot be eaten.

Nigerians should do all they can to replace their “heads”. The heads should be cut off or replace every time it goes bad so that the body is not infected or contaminated.

Nigerians are the ones who need the power, not the EFCC. It is sad though because Nigerians don’t know how to utilize people power which is a function of numbers.

Until Nigerians learn to use their numerical strengths to change the order of things, 90% of the population or more will seep deeply into poverty level. They may never recover!

So the debate is not about EFCC but what the people can do to save the regions or the country itself and make it habitable for the unborn generations.

Have a good life Mrs Farida Waziri. Enjoy all the money you stole or recovered loots that have no traces. It is not different from Abacha’s loot that Obasanjo and our imported finance Minister did abracadabra with.

Enjoy all the gifts and all that.

What a country..!

Nigerian Judiciary, A citadel of Corrupt Minds

Adeola Aderounmu

When I was a little boy I was told that lawyers are liars. It was a joke but it stuck. I was determined never to become a lawyer but I do admire them.

Almost everything institution in Nigeria is corrupt and upside down. All our democratic institutions that should be protecting the rights of citizens and promoting justice and fairness are all corrupt. Nigeria is a peculiar country.

The thing is, when something fundamental goes wrong, you cannot just point at the person concerned. You have to look at the institution that he or she belongs to and give a summative judgement.

That is why I have the title covering the Nigerian Judiciary. I tried to trust this institution but over the years it has contributed to the destruction of the democratic pillars that it ought to be building. The best way to describe the Nigerian Judiciary is lukewarm. It is very inconsistent and highly fallible.

This week one of Nigeria’s most notorious politicians James Ibori was cleared of 170 charges of corruption – involving the laundering of millions of dollars. The trial judge Justice Marcel Awokulehin was reportedly appointed by Ibori himself! You see, this is why I’ve always said that Nigeria is the most corrupt country in the world and I will stand by this any day any time, UNTIL I see changes.

No matter how corrupt other countries are, you will never hear of an accused person appointing his own judge! This can only happen in Nigeria. To me the most corrupt people in this world are living in Nigeria..! I mean the outcome of this case became predictable several weeks ago.

So the Nigerian Judiciary has dragged itself into disrepute-stinking, useless institution that should never be trusted. The EFCC-Nigerian anticorruption agency said it will appeal the judgement. Where were they when that hungry judge Awokulehin was hand-picked by Ibori? How much money did Ibori give to this shameless judge? Why did they ignore all the warning signals issued by bloggers and online reporters until the case went as predicted. Yes bloggers and online reporters because the Nigerian media is totally enveloped in fear of “what to report or not”.

It is an open secret that Ibori sponsored Yar Adua’s illegitimate presidency. So it is easy to see that the Nigerian government is in support of this judgement. The AG of Nigeria Michael Aondoakaa has travelled to London several times to defend Mr. Ibori. I cannot believe just how stupid we appear as a country.

The Attorney General of Nigeria went to London to defend a criminal. That makes both of them criminals and the fake president also an accessory to crime. Is this a country? I cannot shout..!

And you don’t even see the end of corruption in sight. It’s just getting deeper and deeper by the day. Ibori stole Delta State to dryness and he is walking free because he gave substantial part of the money to Yar Adua for his campaign. The Nigerian people are suffering no doubt and it is such a helpless situation when you are trapped between the devil and a deep ocean. The only way out is to fight back. When Nigerians do this by protest or revolution, freedom will be earned.

To expect that freedom will be earned by passivity or endless prayers will only add to our burdens. Our lives are in our hands.

A letter from Dublin to Sanusi Lamido

Written By Akeem Adebayo (Published in the Nigerian Guardian 26th August 2009)

SIR: There was no crisis in the Nigerian banking industry before Friday, August 14, 2009, as none of the banks had failed to meet its obligations to its depositors. This crisis was imposed on it.

What we are witnessing is a campaign of propaganda by the Central Bank with the intention to forcefully change the ownership structure of Nigerian banks.

Please note the following points:

Why hurry to wield the axe, when the audit has not been conducted in all Nigerian banks to enable Sanusi gain a comprehensive picture of the situation in the industry? The weakest bank in Nigeria, Unity Bank, has not even been audited. Soludo’s CBN granted N70 billion to Unity last year without sacking its CEO or management.

The debtors’ list has proved to be sheer propaganda as the loans are mostly actually performing.

Why did Sanusi not publish debts owed by government ministries, agencies and parastatals? They are actually the biggest and most notorious debtors – either directly or through contractors who handle public project. For example, Transcorp is owing Union Bank N41 billion, but the government is yet to refund the purchase price of NITEL to the company after the Federal Government reversed the privatisation of the telecom company this year. Another important group of bank debtors are the importers of petroleum products. They say the government is owing them nearly N100 billion in subsidy reimbursement. So, this means that if the government that wants to rescue the banks fulfills its responsibility to those it is owing, the problems of the banks will be much lighter.

Why did Sanusi not invite the boards of the audited banks to show them the results of the so-called audit and them how they think they could solve the identified problems; for example, giving them a deadline to recapitalise? The practice all over the world is to fist demand that the existing shareholders meet the capital adequacy requirement. It is only where they are not able to raise the required capital that forced intervention by the regulators takes place.

Imagine that Sanusi is already saying he would like to sell the banks! After only one week of taking them over? That would be a world record in Central Bank intervention.
I advise Nigerians to learn a thing or two about Mr. Lamido Sanusi by reading the articles he wrote in the recent past. Please check. Then you will know where this man is coming from.

The CBN’s powers of intervention are to enable the government protect depositors and creditors of banks. The laws are not meant to enable the government do what it is presently doing: confiscating the legitimate properties of citizens. The schemers at play want to confiscate these banks from their rightful owners and award them to members of their ethnic group, the Fulani. Curiously, the EFCC is now going after the banks’ chiefs. This is a strategy to intimidate them into submission. What has the EFCC got to do with bank loans? Loan default is not a criminal offence in any legal system. This is all propaganda.

1960-2008: Nigeria has wasted 2 generations and 48 years

By Adeola Aderounmu.

Not everyone will agree that 2008 was another wasted year but in actual fact, it was wasted. To those who have managed to climb up and away from the poverty zone, it is a year of accomplishment. To those who have succeeded through hardwork and a little bit of luck, it is a wonderful year.

However, more than 90m Nigerians are still below the poverty level. Many of them living desperately on less than 2 USD per day. To be sure, there are some people in Nigeria who do not have any money or material comfort. These people are neither covered by any form of social security nor consoled by the any type of social amenity. They lack the basic things of life: water, food and good accommodation. In general, their standard of living is below acceptable human conditions.

Several millions of Nigerians will start 2009 just the way they started 2008-poor and facing extreme hopelessness. They will start a new year without electricity in their homes. Nigeria is currently generating less than 3000 MW of electricity! Power supply in the last quarter of 2008 is one of the worst in the history of Nigeria. There are many days of absolute power cut and (sometimes) intermittent supply of about 30min in 2 days. Is Nigeria really a country?

Yet Nigerians are addressing Yar Adua as president. What has he successfully presided over since he was illegally bundled into power by Obasanjo and Iwu? Nigerians know that they are being held as captives but they don’t know how to release themselves from the bondage.

No one can deny that the Nigerian masses are being held as captives by a clique of tropical gangsters who have “bought” the country and turned it to their paradise and our hell. It is so unbelievable that these monsters have held swayed for most part of the 48 years of Nigerian independence. It is also remarkable how they re-group and recruit new accomplices in order to ensure that evil and terror are perpetually unleashed on the common man.

For instance Yar Adua’s fake government is oiled by corruption just like the others before it. How long shall we repeat this? Everytime I hear Yar Adua condemning corruption, I get stomach pains. How can you condemn something that you are enmeshed in, something you are doing almost nothing about in the interest of the public even though you have the transient or stolen power to do so?

Can Yar Adua tell Nigerians why Ibori is not facing prosecution? Why did Lucky Igbinedion pay just 3 million naira after looting for 8 years? Why are all the indicted governors and Ministers from 1999 to 2007 free people? Yar Adua should please save us the hypocrisy of his pseudo-leadership. It is not possible to fool all the people all the time.

It is now known to all and sundry that Ibori is the one controlling the EFCC nowadays. This would explain why Farida is his foot mat. Ibori has perfected the act of escaping prosecution. This guy stole Delta State to dryness and he is enjoying a post-governorship immunity simply because he donated more money than anyone else in sponsoring Yar Adua to the global centre of corruption aka Aso Rock.

Among the people who have contributed to the waste and hopelessness in Nigeria, one should never fail to mention Obasanjo. In Nigeria today, NEPA is generating less than 3000MW and the misdeeds of Obasanjo and his co-looters is a principal factor in this debacle. For 8 years, this man deceived all Nigerians and made us believed in vain. Nigerian are invariably in for another ride of deceit-waiting in vain for a declaration of a state of emergency in the power sector.

Maurice Iwu has joined the long list of the men holding Nigerians as captives. All the elections held even after the sham of April 2007 are still condemnable. The worst political comment in the world in 2008 was made by Iwu when he said that the US should learn from Nigeria when it comes to conducting election. The comments of senile Mugabe (“Zimbabwe is mine” and “no cholera in Zimbabwe”) are child’s play compared to Iwu’s venomous utterances. Nigeria is surely condemned when men without defined visions or missions are in control.

Anyone who has been following the proceedings of the Nigerian Senate under the leadership of the mega-looter called David Mark would really feel sorry for Nigeria. There is almost no room for intelligent discussions and Mark is usually way off the mark when he makes his comments. Nigerians have sacrificed intelligence for stupidity and looting games in the Nigerian Senate and House of Assembly.

David Mark has no business in the Senate anyway. After participating in the looting of Nigeria, it is quite easy to understand the negative contributions he brings with him to the senate. The war on corruption, if we had one, should have engulfed his likes.

The reigning gangsters and looters in Nigeria are surely having a jolly ride with a man like Michael Aondoakaa in control of the legal system. He is not only shielding and defending the looters in Nigeria and abroad, his idea of rule of law is very instrumental in the spreading of poverty and deaths in Nigeria.

What these bad leaders don’t understand is that every little misdeed adds up to the misery of Nigerians. Why protect people who stole monies that they cannot spend in 10x their life span? Obviously he is gaining a lot in the process! One day na one day sha!

There is no way Babangida will not be on this parade. More than 12 billion dollars of Nigeria’s money alleged to be in his possession is enough to keep Nigeria in the doldrums for another decade or more. If 12 billion dollars is pumped into Nigeria’s scientific and medical research and development (R&D), almost all Nigerian scholars abroad will be heading home to contribute to the progress of the country.

We don’t need a prophecy to know that Nigerians will continue to suffer because of a few men in possession of the country’s wealth. If there is war on corruption in Nigeria, many of the people parading government houses in Nigeria today should be answering for corruption and crime against humanity.

There is no real anticorruption body in Nigeria and this is why politicians and government officials continue to steal. Obasanjo destroyed the EFCC by using it to crack down on all anti-third term groups and individuals. The rules have changed under Umaru-soft pedal for all and sundry. Slow and steady kill the case was the modification by Farida Waziri-a pure puppet.

If Nigeria has a proper anticorruption agency, it would be independent, open and sincere. The EFCC of today is a shield for the likes of Ibori and all the corrupt governors and politicians that served under Obasanjo. Those who served and lined their pockets before 1999 are not even moved. The only worried groups in Nigeria today are the yahoo-yahoo boys, cybercafé owners and of course the common man. EFCC has even dedicated a drama series to yahoo-yahoo boys on AIT. What a joke of an institution!

Forty-eight years of waste was solidify by the lukewarmness of the Nigerian judiciary. This organ of government has disappointed Nigerians over the years and more recently has produced highly questionable and contestable judgements. The court has made it possible for individuals who did not contest in elections to be winners. Serving convicts and ex-convicts contested and won elections in Nigeria. Imagine how many criminals are occupying political positions in Nigeria. The disposition of the Courts in Nigeria is one of the reasons that the police stations have been turned to firing squads. The Nigerian Police is a sick child on its own: a very sick child! When it mattered most, Nigerian law system usually becomes heavily compromised.

All of these evil acts that have confined Nigeria among the poorest nations in the world is actually the summation of the effects of a group fondly called “the cabal“. The cabal is the reason why sane and intelligent minds get to government houses and become stereotyped looting machines.

Even Nigerians who lived abroad before joining government have not been spared the initiation into the looting game. The cabal preaches a gospel of eat and go and don’t bug yourself with the status quo. This is why many nice people have become “new creatures” once they eat the forbidden fruits. It is because of the cabal that our elections have no values and are unworkable. The cabal is responsible for the annulment of the only free and fair election that took place in 1993.

The sins of the cabal are many but its prime approach is to promote fear and ignorance with the view of controlling the machinery of government forever. The newest approach being utilised by the cabal is the secrecy oath in the illegal presidency which is now being adopted across government institutions nationwide. What is secret about the illegality of the regime in Nigeria? What is the secret about the fact that they are all there to protect their personal interests and steal as much as they can just like the deceivers before them.

The problems in Nigeria are not going to be solved or ameliorated if we don’t take care of the stumbling blocks. Nigerians have been quiet for too long and everybody is after his or her own interests. It shouldn’t be like that. Some people have called for a revolution but Nigeria is a very complicated country and this complication is one of the weak points that the cabal and the corrupt leaders are using to oppress Nigerians more and more. Some people want the biblical call: To thy tent O’ Israel! The Niger Delta crisis, the threats of religious riots, tribal conflicts and secession bids are obvious indicators.

Rather than “every-man-to-himself” Nigerians should start thinking collectively of how rescue the over 90m people living hopelessly across the nation. We should come together and discuss whatever it will entail to capture this country back from the vultures who have been stealing and looting since 1960. If the outcome will send us back to our tents, so be it. Posterity should be the keyword.

After chasing Ghanaians out of Nigeria, they went home and built a formidable country that Nigerians are running to like rats. Ghana is now ranked as one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The actions and leadership of one man changed Ghana forever. The lesson is that one man can make a difference. Enlightened Nigerians have the honour to take up this challenge and start building formidable forces and groups that will challenge the “status quo”.

We must do whatever it will take to break from this yoke. It’s too heavy a burden and one way or the other we all feel the effects. Let’s do what it takes to free our children and grandchildren from this burden.

Happy New Year!

The Anatomy of Corruption

Original title: Nigeria, Surrounded
Author: Sonala Olumhense
Source: Nigeria Village Square Sat 22 Nov 2008.

What would you do to someone you truly hated, if you had the authority to do exactly as you pleased? Caution: murder is excluded as an answer to this question, as “someone” could be more than one person, perhaps whole peoples. I will give my own answer in a few minutes.

Before I do so, I remind you, my dear reader: it is about six years since Nigeria began to “fight” corruption. In a fight, one party usually wins, or to have the stronger hand. In this combat, it is our opponent who seems to be winning, but we have played enough of the right game for the world to mistake the aroma for the food. Some of them are beginning to give us the benefit of the doubt in important reports, but how realistic is that?

A war demands troops and commanders. Equipment and supplies. Strategies and manoeuvres. And then, naturally, we expect to find casualties and prisoners; that is how you win. What you do not expect to find are defectors and fifth columnists.

The first thing one notices in our so-called war is that there are hardly any casualties. One or two unfortunate people are all we can point to after six years in cases that, in the end, may have had little to do with graft and everything to do with politics. That is the tally. The supposedly “injured,” (undergoing trial, awaiting trial) are all over the place living better than the Queen of England, partying harder than Madonna and travelling better than the Sultan of Brunei.

What about the commanders? In random order, as I cast my eyes over the horizon, the army is advised by an ethically-empty and professionally uncaring Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Increasingly alleged to be involved in all kinds of personal malfeasance and even dismissed by the political salesman Terry Waya as “the greediest man in Abuja,” it took Mr. Michael Aondoakaa only months to build himself a mansion fit for a king. He has converted his office into the best friend of corrupt former governors in trouble abroad.

In the past fortnight, the press has reported the arrest by the State Security Service, of his younger brother, Innocent Aondoakaa. From him, they obtained extensive evidence of several filthy deals bothering on extortion that the AG, in collusion with the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has been involved with.

In the anti-graft “war,” it is to be expected that Mr. Aondoakaa would work closely with the leaders of the anti-graft agencies. With Mrs. Waziri, who heads the EFCC, the AG seems to be doing well. With controversy swelling over allegedly missing or distorted EFCC files, Mr. Aondoakaa has said nothing. He is galvanized only on the side of an accused governor. Nothing speaks more eloquently about his place in history.

As another “commander” in a critical front in the “war,” I have cited Mrs. Waziri in this column as being tainted. Among others, she has openly, publicly and brazenly flouted the statutory reporting requirements of her agency. There is therefore no official or organized record of what the EFCC is doing.

Unofficially, Mrs. Waziri seems to be a competent swimmer. Her favourite pool to enjoy is the river of corruption and ineptitude that runs from the troubled former governors to her office and on to the Federal Ministry of Justice. Her relationship with the President and the AG makes it most unlikely she was really sent to fight corruption; her sad track record so far makes it most unlikely we will ever celebrate her as a champion graft-fighter.

Another command in the war is the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). The ICPC, which is now headed by a former Supreme Court judge, Mr. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, stirs once in a while to remind Nigerians it is still alive and maintaining a website. Apparently, that is how they justify their statutory claims. The ICPC, which is actually older than the EFCC, seems to have decided that both corruption and power are to be feared; it is not really going to confront either.

What about the police? While the Nigerian policeman has acquired a bad name over the years for his corruption and brutality, he now has a leader without limits. Inspector-General Mike Okiro is linked with several cases of corruption himself, including private schools and shopping malls in Abuja worth billions of Naira that he could not possibly have paid for from his police salary.

The IG also owns other businesses that conflict and compete with his job. His Bharmoss Ventures, for instance, claims expertise in “construction, real estate acquisition and development as well as engineering.” How does a policeman “sell, improve, manage, develop, exchange, lease, mortgage, enfranchise, dispose of, turn of account, or otherwise deal with, all or any part of the property and rights of the company,” and still protect and serve anyone who is neither selling to, nor buying from him?

Meanwhile, over at the federal legislature, David Mark presides over the Senate. Mr. Mark makes no ethical claims. He is a former minister who is stupendously wealthy, with vast financial tentacles and property that span Africa, Europe and Jersey. It is unknown how he came about any of them, including 6 million British pounds his former wife convinced a court to freeze several years ago.

Mr. Mark’s counterpart at the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, a “new generation” politician who came to prominence only recently as Speaker, is currently embroiled in allegations of sleaze following the purchase by the House of hundreds of cars. In the past month, his image has taken a hammering.

Meanwhile at the top of the judiciary, some Supreme Court justices are reported to have accepted inducements from the tag team of Aondoakaa and EFCC’s Waziri, who have a budget of about $30 million for the purpose, towards purchasing justice that is favorable to President Yar’Adua in the electoral petition before the court.

And up at the presidency itself, Patience Jonathan, the Vice-President’s wife, remains a screaming siren. For two years, nobody has touched her, a woman twice held for money-laundering, once for N104 million, and then for $13 million (US). There is no war against corruption in Nigeria for as long as Mrs. Jonathan is sitting comfortably on her backside shielded by her husband, Yar’Adua, and Aondoakaa.

And then President Yar’Adua, who took office 18 months ago and promised a new day. The trouble, for me, is that I thought the President could tell night from day. He promised the rule of law, but is arresting journalists he said he would sue. He promised Nigeria a better deal but refuses to be honest with them about his health. He says Nigeria will implement the Millennium Declaration Goals but prefers to stay in bed. He speaks of Vision 2020 the same way we count our gold medals before the Olympics.

It seems to take Yar’Adua days to wake up, weeks to realize he has not got out of bed, months to decide to fire his ministers, even more months to actually fire them, and then months to announce a list that is evidently more flawed than what he did one year ago. In a country so far down the drain from its potential, a country needing a dynamic, 24-hour-per-day performance, we are hostages in more ways than one.

So, dear Nigerian, what would you do to someone you truly hated, if you had the authority to do everything? The answer is that, to make him suffer forever, you would leave behind a poison that keeps on poisoning.

Before our eyes, someone who obviously hates Nigerians handpicked Mr. Yar’Adua, knowing his deep limitations of vision, ability, motivation, and even health. It is a stroke of evil genius, the poison that keeps on poisoning.

But understanding this ought to make Nigerians rise in strength, not deflate in agony. We are a nation surrounded, but we must rise—prepared to take our destiny in our own hands—and say the word.

That word is: “Enough!”

sonala.olumhense@gmail.com