By Uzoma Ahamefule
- Why Dr Okonjo Iweala’s mother was kidnapped
- 100 billion mismanagement: Senator Smart Adeyemi laments on corruption
- Nigerian constitution is so fraudulently written, revisit it and restructure the country
- Cabals hold Nigeria at the jugular like Pablo Escobar held Colombia
There are situations that stare at one sometimes that are inexplicably overwhelming, shockingly paralyzing and astonishingly dumbfounding, perhaps because one cannot find the right words at that moment that can aptly describe the situation or the feelings. In this very state of beyond comprehension, you are vulnerably helpless and speechlessly condemned to standstill in astonishment.
In the state of today’s Nigeria, evil is positioning to completely takeover. Don’t be a conniver in silence.
The killings by herdsmen are too much. Why is the Federal Government of Nigeria not declaring them terrorists?
The disheartening speed and unabated rate at which herdsmen have continued to destroy people’s crops and properties across the nation and arson houses and slaughter humans – old, young and pregnant women – like butchers at various communities in different states in Nigeria with impunity is pitifully horrible, shameful and an indictment to security personnel and the leaders of this country.
Every story emanating from each part of Nigeria that is associated with herdsmen has always been with anguish, sorrow, blood and tears. Why? Why? In the past few years Nigeria has been having intermittent mass burials of people slaughtered by herdsmen and Boko haram. The last mass murder in Kaduna at least over 27 people were reported to have been killed within 24 hours by herdsmen, amongst was also an innocent five-year-old boy.
It is equally on records that some national dailies have reported that at least 3,000 people have been killed by Boko haram and herdsmen since May 29, 2015. Even in war time the USA cannot lose one American and you have peace as an opponent. What is the Nigerian government doing? Why do AK47 and other dangerous arms in the hands of these human butchers look licensed? How and where does an ordinary herder get money to buy a heavy and a very expensive weapon like AK47? This is tragic.
At this very moment some Nigerian lawmakers from the north cannot go to their villages and sleep, and some cannot even visit theirs at all because either Boko Haram has chased the entire people of their villages away and taken over, or because of the fear of killing and kidnapping by a bunch of vultures, vampires and blood suckers the Federal Government of Nigeria tagged “bandits”. Many lawmakers have cried out and stated this fact openly to all Nigerians, so it is not an assumption. What kind of country are we for God’s sake?
Are these arsonists, rapists and terrorists invisible? Can’t they be arrested? If they have been arrested, how many of them have been successfully prosecuted? If they have not been arrested and charged, will it be totally wrong to say that many of those – if not all – assigned with the responsibility of doing so are connivers? Will it equally not be reasonable and appropriate to get all the Chiefs of the security forces – Army, Navy, Police, Custom et cetera sacked and replaced? As Nigerians gnash their teeth and wail, who are those benefiting and enjoying their agony and loss?
How can one even fathom out the idea that a bunch of idiots could invade a community, execute evil agenda of raping and killing for about two hours or more successfully without any challenge from government forces? This is incredibly very sad. The honest interpretation is that the security situation in Nigeria has totally collapsed, and the government of the day has no option than to accept this fact, leave politics and propaganda and wake up to the reality of proffering solutions. But whatever solution they want to proffer, one thing is imperatively empirical, guns should be legalized to sane and worthy citizens to protect themselves from murderous and raping herdsmen or bandits. Again, declare herdsmen as a terrorist group that they are. Dictionary defines a terrorist as “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.“
People in authority should stop their inconsistent and flimsy excuses that those herdsmen killing and maiming were not Nigerians or that the group of Fulani herders were infiltrated. It is laughable and shameful. But if it should be true – because Nigerians are doubting their stand – they should get into action immediately by singling out the bad eggs in their midst and start prosecuting and jailing them or call them what they are, and treat them as such. They have wasted enough innocent blood.
Corruption jeopardizes justice in Nigeria, destroys fabric of democracy and progress: Nigerian constitution is a fraud
If events and allegations of corruption in high places in Nigeria are justly adjudicated and proven, it would mean that many political leaders especially governors, ministers and lawmakers are heartlessly competing with each other over who will out-smartly embezzle more from the collective wealth of the nation while they watch ordinary citizens dwell in abject poverty. According to an investigative report by Punch, 15 high-profile corruption case files are sadly missing. These case files have to do with some current and ex governors, ministers, lawmakers and people in top places. Are we really fighting corruption in this country? How did the files get missing?
According to the Transparency International Corruption Index, Nigeria in 2019 ranked fourth most corrupt nation among the 19 countries in West Africa, and 146th out of the 180 countries in the world, but yet the leaders of this country have deceptively continued to claim to be winning the war against corruption. But the brutal truth is that under President Buhari’s led APC government every sector of Nigeria’s life bleeds from corruption.
That Nigeria as one of the highest oil producing nations in the world and equally with other natural and human resources at her disposal was declared the “capital city of poverty” on earth is incredibly a gross indictment that is beyond explanation and pardon.
As the astonishingly awful state of this nation in the midst of plenty deteriorates every day, events have continued to obviously expose the facts that there are quite a lot of stinkingly corrupt and incompetent people in leadership positions who either had worked their ways up through intimidations and brutality, electoral fraud, politics of ethnicity and religion, or based on the awkward and undesirable “quota system” practised in Nigeria, or all of the above – and not because that they were qualified, capable or merit positions occupied.
The Nigerian constitution that recognizes the “quota system” is so fraudulently written, and if Nigerians indeed genuinely want to reduce corruption to its minimal level, stop nepotism, entrench justice, co-exist in peace and make progress, that constitution must be completely thrown away or honestly be amended in mutual respect to all regions and restructure the nation. This is fundamental for peace, unity and progress in Nigeria. Anything more or less is deceptively another fraud, waste of time and resources – because consciousness of one’s ethnicity in Nigeria fuels favouritism and nepotism, and nepotism oils and protects corruption (corrupt people), and corruption brings bribery and injustice, and so it continues for these evils are interconnected and breed.
If one remembers correctly, the 2016 budget of Nigeria was reported to have been padded to the tune of over N400bn. Was anyone arrested and really prosecuted for that criminality? Again, about $43.4m cash and some thousands of pounds and naira were once found in an apartment in Lagos. Is the owner of the monies identified, or has anyone been prosecuted for that? At the quest for wealth, political power and religious supremacy we as a nation have lost virtue and dignity.
The danger of dignifying looters and fraudsters and the colossal negative influence on Nigerian youths
One of the appalling dangers of the after effect of the continuous leadership failures and all the evils in today’s Nigeria is that the psyche of the future generation has been sadly moulded and narrowed to believe that hard work does not pay. For this reason the majority of Nigerian youths no longer considers moral values in search for wealth. What matters to them most is to make quick money – anyhow – so that they can drive posh cars, build mansions, become very influential, take chieftaincy titles and perhaps buy votes or manipulate electoral processes to be declared winners of elections as governors or lawmakers et cetera. If known killers and criminals either have been rewarded with political appointments, ritualists have been given chieftaincy titles by traditional rulers, fraudsters without known sources of income have become king makers and specially recognised at front row seats in churches and mosques, why should many waste time going to school, working hard or being patriotic? Succinctly, the huge force of the negative influence in contemporary Nigeria is the societal dignification of swindlers and thieves etc. who are supposed to either be in prison, await trial or face firing squad, and until we stop to put a round peg in a square hole by calling a spade a spade, until then we will continue to get everything wrong.
100 billion mismanagement: Senator Smart Adeyemi laments on corruption
The recent shocking exposure in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a little thing to compare what could happen if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be probed. But I will not be surprised that a committee may soon be set up to look into the issue, an exercise past experiences have shown that were merely convenient escape routes deliberately and deceptively coiled for the looters’ freedom and to kill the case – and the trend continues. How does one find the right words to describe this ugliness?
Senator Smart Adeyemi speaking and expressing his anger on the floor of the senate about the stinky corruption in Nigeria and on alleged mismanagement of 100 billion by a certain person said and queried, and I quote, “A man single-handedly mismanaged over a hundred billion, in a nation where we have hundreds of thousands of graduates roaming the streets. … The same man is cruising on the streets of Abuja with bulletproof cars. What is the future of Nigeria as a nation?” He has spoken well one would say, but the ugly reality is that the fear of the cabals that have metamorphosed to what I call ‘Nigerian Pablo Escobars’ hindered him from telling us the name of that man that mismanaged such a huge amount of money. That is the irony of Nigeria and if nothing is done and done quickly too, with intimidation, threat and brutality these crooks of cabals will soon take over every political position. Nigerians must stand up in unity and say enough is enough.
The experience of former Finance Minister Dr. Okonjo Iweala in the hands of criminals clearly illustrated the situation better that Nigeria is perhaps at the verge – if not already at that point – of Colombia under the terror of Pablo Escobar.
Why Dr Okonjo Iweala’s mother was kidnapped
Dr Iweala as a Finance Minister in 2012 said, “… At the end of 2011, a total of 1.73trillion naira, US 11billion equivalent was submitted as claims for subsidies by 143 marketers who were importing the products. These numbers seem horrendously large compared to what I had last seen when I was in government in 2006 which was closer to 2billion dollars in subsidy. So we decided to audit these claims. We audited about 8.4 billion dollars worth of claims and we found 2.5 billion dollars worth of fraud in these claims.” Now only 8.4billion worth of claims were audited, and not the complete 11 billion dollars and marketers were already claiming 2.5 billion dollars fraudulently.
She continued that with the full support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the economic team they decided not only not to pay the claims but also to “clean up the whole mechanism for the subsidy claims, and put in place something more transparent” and “clearer”. She said that the position of the government of the day to do what was right did not go down well with the marketers she described as “well connected” people, as they were angered, and there was a huge consequence for her uprightness. Her mother was kidnapped.
According to her the reason the kidnappers gave her mom for kidnapping her were that her, “daughter, a Finance Minister refused to pay oil marketers their dues”, Dr Iweala quoted her mother. And she also said that the condition the kidnappers had given that would make them set her mother free would be that she (Dr Okonjo Iwuala) would “go on television publicly and announce her resignation and depart Nigeria”. As it is in contemporary Nigeria, it was because of bribery, intimidation and corruption that a whole country of Colombia out of fear collapsed into the grip and evil hands of a common criminal and a drug dealer called Pablo Escobar. Nigeria is indeed dangerously nosediving towards this direction and no one will escape the brunt when it finally begins to burn. Why are you silent in this evil?
Who exactly was Pablo Escobar?
Escobar was born in 1949 into a poor family in Colombia. He was a petty thief who grew to become the highest drug kingpin, the most powerful and the wealthiest criminal in history and the most wanted person in the world. Between 1976 – 93 he was said to be responsible in supplying 80% of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. Reports have it that he made about $180 million a day. And according to his son, Sebastian Marroquin, a former president of Columbia was equally on Escobar’s pay roll as he was extremely wealthy that he bribed and bought almost everybody. His plans had been to become the “Colombian president” his wife said. He was so terrifying and maintained control with extreme violence. Escobar was a man who would offer you money and equally his bullet and you had to make a choice. Take the money, close your eyes and shut your mouth or his bullet permanently closes your eyes and your mouth.
When the Colombian authority with the help of the US wanted to arrest and extradite him to the US – a place he hated so much to be taken to – he smartly went into politics and became a lawmaker, a position that made him immune from prosecution and extradition. But when an investigative journalist exposed him as an ex-convict he lost the status of a politician and the immunity of a lawmaker. Again, he went into hiding and continued what he knew best, killing and maiming. He killed the journalist that exposed him, and once more the security agents, the government and the whole people of Colombia were in terrible fear. The US once more intensified efforts to help in his arrest and extradition. Escobar so much despised the idea of being taken to the US because he knew that he would be facing justice there and would not bribe his way out. So when he saw that his chances of escaping the US search lights were very, very slim he agreed and negotiated to surrender himself to the Colombian authority but with conditions. His conditions were that he would build his own prison, select his own inmates and guards. INCREDIBLE!
In fear the Colombian government agreed to all his conditions.
While in his more equipped prison than five-star hotels where his wife and family members visited him whenever they wanted, he still continued his killings and illicit drug dealings. When his evil activities got out of control again the authority planned to change him to another prison, but Escobar got the information and escaped from the backyard as they approached closely to the building of his prison – of course, it was a prison he built and knew much better than the authority and the security agents.
Escobar was a common criminal who rose from stealing and killing to become a lawmaker and aspired to be the president of a country. Unfolding events in Nigeria today seem to be proving that we have many like him at various positions of leaderships, and that is why we don’t have good roads, steady electricity and well-equipped hospitals in Nigeria. Even, despite N10 billion said to have been spent on the presidential “State House Medical Center” in Aso Rock between 2015 and 2019 the occupants of Aso Rock still ignominiously travel abroad for examinations and treatment at every minor symptoms which could suggest that substantial amount of the billions budgeted for equipment and drugs were perhaps criminally diverted into the purse of some privileged animals. If such could conceivably happen in an exalted place like Aso Rock where the president, the vice president and other high government hierarchies are housed, just imagine the arrogant contempt for the general hospitals where ordinary citizens go.
While about N1.149 trillion were spent in 2019 on petroleum subsidy, according to the Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) the Nigerian government has spent N10 trillion in petroleum products in the last 15 years. Why can’t Nigeria build refineries? Simply, corruption is the reason. Nigeria oil subsidy is a big scam and a huge corrupt lucrative venture for some group of animals because trillions spent yearly on petroleum subsidies unfortunately huge amount of the money find its ways into some private bank accounts, and these cabals have continued to do everything humanly possible in sabotaging every genuine efforts that will get refineries functional just to protect the source of their illicit income. When they steal enough, they seek for political power or sponsor someone from their cliques just to protect their atrocities, some – perhaps through hijacking or manipulating of electoral materials – are notoriously successful and end up as senators or governors etc.
Indeed, there are times situations are inexplicable and I am finding it extremely difficult to unearth the right words that would measurably describe the affairs of Nigeria aptly. But one thing is certainly obvious, there are many Pablo Escobars in Nigeria, and truly, truly evil is about to take over Nigeria. Why are you silent in the midst of this malevolence?
Uzoma Ahamefule, a concerned patriotic citizen, writes from Vienna, Austria.
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