When honour and the Law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose[?]” – Anne Bishop
No segment of the criminal elements are more pronounced in Nigeria than our politicians. There is no better patriotism than to keep denouncing them. Perhaps, it is the most nationalistic option to help rescue this country. Why not, if they have chosen to treat us like fools, numbskulls who should be constantly at the receiving end of misrule.
Anyone expecting the Federal Government of Nigeria’s leadership, as personified by today’s presidency, the National Assembly and the ruling APC to fight corruption in genuine terms must be coming from another planet. The history of the trio and corruption in Nigeria since 1999 is too numerous to forget at this moment in the annals of Nigeria.
Where we are now in the corruption war is akin to asking a suicide-prone one, “When is life worthless,” His answer would be obvious. He would be acting based on the accumulation of experiences that did not go the way he wanted. In Nigeria today, this mentality of hopelessness is in ascendency for obvious reasons. The people we all agree are responsible for why we are where we shouldn’t be are still in the driver’s seat, speeding off and listening to nobody.
The passengers and the passers-by are screaming but the driver is not hearing. Nothing renders expectations of a passenger useless as when you are much aware that the driver and the vehicle you entered are not well. And that your vehicle has been thoroughly damaged by the reckless handling of the drunken driver.
That’s where we are in this land today. Former President Muhammadu Buhari entered the stage with the loudest ovation of an incorruptible leader. After eight years, he left us with the worst corruption ever. He capped all that by conducting the most fraudulent election in Nigeria’s history, bequeathing to his peo- ple leaders of questionable past.
Leaders taking Nigerian citizens for granted have become a new normal since 2015 when the APC came to power. While occupying the Aso Rock Villa, the APC, and its leadership behave as if nothing else matters and that unless exploits are seen from their prism every other thing should be ignored. Having come to power through a transparent electoral process conducted by an incumbent President who lost, not a few thought that the good process would continue.
But the opposite is the case going by the outcome of the 2019 and 2023 general elections. Soon after coming to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari made too much noise about the trial of the then National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col Ibrahim Dasuki.
He gave the impression that every corruption perpetuated by the PDP and Goodluck Jonathan was centered on Dasuki. The former NSA, a prince of the Sokoto Caliphate, was incarcerated for years and pictured as the distributor-in- chief of corruption under Jonathan.
Many people who allegedly benefited from the Dasuki largesse of his days were tried and jailed, and a lot more were freed by the court for want of evidence since the source of their alleged corruption Dasuki was yet to be found guilty. At the end of the day after all the hullabaloo, Dasuki himself was freed and made to go home sine die.
But not after a lot of resources were expended hiring lawyers for the prankster trials. All the anti-corruption czars engaged by Buhari ended up being consumed by the same sleaze they went to fight. Now, come Tinubu and his gang, making the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele his own Dasuki, and the EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa who, over the years have been looking at the corruption records of leaders as operatives and later as chairman of the anti-graft body, found himself now being scrutinized by those he was screening with a toothcomb.
Now, it is germane to state that the corruption fight in Nigeria is over if Tinubu and his team scale through the judiciary hurdle. God forbid! The anti-corruption battle suffered a fatal defeat the day the dollar, rather than the delegate’s conscience, determined who picked the APC presidential ticket. The same dollar found its way into the homes of the INEC apparatchik and resulted in the blatant thwarting of the people’s will.
To expect corruption to be challenged and possibly floored under the nose of these electoral brigands is like hoping to see muddy waters or green vegetation in the desert. If we are all unanimous that Nigeria’s biggest problem is corruption and the huge beneficiaries of corruption hustle their way into power, it would be tomfoolery to begin to expect anything new.
Perhaps, what will annoy us more coming from the incumbents is to think we are fools and that in our gullibility we will swallow whatever is served to us. All the harassing of Emefele who worked well directly with his boss, the CinC (Buhari) is just insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians. We knew why Emefiele was reappointed governor at the apex bank for a second term: no Fulani man would have served the Aso Rock Villa/APC cabals better than Emefiele.
We all knew when he turned from governing the CBN to serving the Cabals’ Banker of Nigeria. President Buhari knew everything he was doing [the approved and the unapproved] but liked and tolerated them and even openly praised him. Even the real and imagined reason why the DSS was going after him was known to the President and he encouraged him to go on and showed his support by directing the military to provide him security.
Emefiele was not a superman but he had military security directly from the Chief of Defence Staff…enough to scare DSS from him, both at home and in the office. The President must be in the know. If Emefiele had turned the CBN into Dangote bank, as it were, the President was aware of everything and Emefiele dared to continue.
The annoying thing in all the hubbub and hurly-burly about Emefiele is that nothing will come out of it. I can bet my writing iPad that Emefiele’s trial is dead on arrival. That is why they are already flying the kite of plea bargain which is another name for cover-up in Nigeria. The truth that the DSS, Emefiele, and the Federal Government are owing Nigerians on CBN activities under Emefiele may never be known. It happened with Dasuki, it would also happen with Emefiele.
They are fooling Nigerians while settling their scores at the expense of the people’s commonwealth. If the trial of Emefiele should make sense, the President he was reporting to and getting directives from should also be on trial for economic crimes. If the former President who dined and wined with Emefiele is untouchable just as Jonathan was untouchable during Dasuki’s case, let Emefiele be allowed to walk home and allow the country to remain soaked in corruption until an angel arrives from heaven with his guards to tackle it.
That will make better sense than taking us all for ciphers. However, it is necessary to alert us that what is certain about Nigeria is that no condition is permanent as warned by the great Zik of Africa. Nigeria’s corruption status will one day come to an end and it will not be long in coming.
Mohammad Bazoum of Niger Republic and Ali Omar Bongo of Gabon all took the people’s mandate for granted and found themselves where they are today with the people celebrating their demise. When a cow produces huge milk and the herder keeps milking without caring for the health of the cow, one of two things will happen: either the cow will die of malnutrition or in anger kick the herder one day.
Before it gets to this point, the cow would have exhausted all the energies and strength to produce more milk and would just be gasping for breath. That is the state Nigeria is today. Like the herdsman who would not recognize that the cow is dying, Nigeria’s corrupt leaders do not see that the country is bleeding to death.
But they will sooner than later realize that Nigerians are already pushed to the wall and only in a matter of time will they react. Let us wait and see. After all, Thomas S. Monson, the 16th President of the Mormon Church, in his Pathway to Perfection, strengthens our hope thus: “Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.” God help us.
Credit to Ike Abonyi