I have always maintained that only the pathetically ignorant and the deepest of the shallows will ever believe that Nigeria as is can fight corruption.
Nigeria as a country was forged in corruption and Harold Smith spoke it loudly how the British colonialists used graft as statecraft.
I was stupefied when I settled down for national news on my first night in India and the first thing that hit me was “India Population as at 9:00 tonight is so so and so…”
We don’t know our exact number in Nigeria today and it is a colonial legacy as they never wanted our real population to be known by falsifying our census and every census till date has been manipulated for the same reason.
We cannot hold free and fair elections in Nigeria and when it accidentally happened in 1993, the outcome was annulled and we went through five years of crisis that nearly consumed the country. This is also a colonial heritage as the British rigged the 1959 elections in a very shameless way.
Our rulers since independence have not really invented new evil but building on the handiwork of the evil empire itself in sustaining Nigeria in iniquity and it is the very reason a country with great potential has become a great embarrassment to humanity. Those who know where we are coming from could not have been impressed with that silly Prime Minister who was whispering to the Queen that “Nigeria is a fantastically corrupt country. “It is what my people call the people of the world using what they turned you into to abuse you.
That was why I was not impressed when in response to western pressure after return to civil rule in this dispensation, the Nigerian government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, we knew it was going to be Economic and Financial Crimes Celebration. What structure were we planning to use to fight corruption?
If the books of out anti-graft agencies alone are properly put together today, they are enough to make Nigeria smell dirtier than some of the worst corrupt countries in the world. What do we now expect when we open the books of corruption?
I was told of this group of patriotic Nigerians abroad who wanted a better credit rating for Nigeria after 1999 and engaged one of the best accounting firms in the world to come and check our books. When the firm came and approached the first entity, they saw the books were un-auditable. They tried their hands on one or two other places and it was the same thing. They returned to those who hired them and didn’t want to be accused of Advance Fee Fraud. They enumerated what they already spent from what they collected and left the country.
That is the picture of the country that engaged Nuhu Ribadu to fight its corruption in 2004. Nuhu showed some flashes but those who knew the inside stuff know it was all scratching the surface. After he was kicked out by Yar’Adua, Chief Gani Fawehinmi was so angry and predicted that a time would come that when EFCC officials knock at doors, people would open and ask them to sit down and the next question would be what food and drinks should they serve them. We are there now but the truth is that the war never took off. That Nuhu who excited some little hope in the beginning has been the presidential candidate of ACN, an active PDP stalwart and now a broom-waving APC man in eight years says more than enough!
When Madam Farida Waziri who was alleged to have been sourced by people under investigation was unceremoniously removed, they went to bring Ibrahim Lamorde who was touted as the power behind Ribadu. He ran away from a Senate probe that asked him to give account and its from grapevine we started hearing of his whereabouts ever after.
It was Lamorde that went to headhunt Ibrahim Magu when he came as they were both Ribadu boys. Magu had been out of the police for almost four years. For having investigative records in his house against the rules of the establishment, we never cared to find out what he was doing in all those years.
Then came a President who made anti-corruption the cornerstone of his campaign in 2015. Unfortunately, he did not spot the person he could use for such a campaign all the years he had been running for the presidency.
In 2016, Ibrahim Magu was nominated for EFCC chairman and the DSS forwarded a report on him that showed we would only engage this type of person if we were looking for the head of a criminal ring and not a czar. The Senate rejected him but curiously the presidency kept him in acting capacity. It was known all over town that the EFCC beholden to vested interests under Magu was running like a racket.
It was not long before former Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun served him a query that there was a clear gap between the claims of recoveries and returns that Magu was making. But the system made the Minister to abandon the charge against this special case who was serving so well the cause of anti-corruption propaganda.
The Justice Salami-panel is still working and has yet to come out with a report but there is hardly any allegation against Magu that does not flow from his DSS portrait.
Why we kept such a character as the head of EFCC for four years only shows that what is wrong with this society is worse than Magu’s.
Until we fundamentally rejig this country, we will not be in short supply of the Magus to showcase that our so-called anti-graft war is mago mago war. And until then we shall continue to be a laughing stock.
…Resolve WAEC exams
Now that many voices of reason are speaking up, the Federal Government should open up to other views outside its own and ensure that the furore over the coming WASCE is resolved in the best interest of our students.
What we face currently is a global pandemic and there is sufficient reason not to make the time for this year sacrosanct.
It is not for the government to say our students will not write the exams this year but to facilitate how they and other students will do so at a time that is safe. That should not be a rocket science for any government.
Those who are in government should know that they have a greater responsibility to the interests of the public than the egos of officials.
Re: Farewell, Koseleri (2)
DEAR Mr Yinka Odumakin, one would find it very difficult to underrate you in view of your academic excellence, activities in defending Yoruba nation and sense of responsibility. Actually, your comment on the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi is more or less a reality but your comment in the second to the last paragraph that Senator Ajimobi’s excessive talk could be symptomatic of his city of birth, Ibadan is very unbecoming of somebody of your own calibre.
Ibadan apart from being the political headquarters of western Nigeria, is also talented with very many goodies which no reasonable person can wave aside. The earlier you correct this impression, the better.
Mogaji G. O Tewogbade.
My light one on Ajimobi’s talking prowess being a function of his sociological upbringing was not meant to be a slur on the great Ibadan city that stopped Fulani onslaught on Yoruba in Osogbo. Please don’t take it as an insult. I dare not insult Adebayo, my Foko friend o.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE