Evangelist Isaac IvbazeSunday, April 2, 2017
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Atlanta, Georgia, USA




A vigilante mob attacks a Nigerian migrant outside a church in Pretoria, South Africa.

igeria was granted independence on October 1st 1960. In 1961 Mr. Tafawa Balewa, the nation's first prime minister was invited by the president of United States, Mr. John F Kennedy. While he was in United States, Tafawa Balewa was treated like a semi-god. The procession of motorcades and the troop of citizens that paraded the streets trying to catch a glimpse of this effulgent prime-minister was evident of Nigeria's prominence among the comity of nations. Haven received several honorary academic awards and citizenship from cities and institutions across United States, he was asked to address the United Nations. In that conference, Tafawa Balewa was accorded a unique recognition and honor by been given the prerogative to speak to delegates from other nations including Japan, China and other African countries. He was seen as a leader of a nation that would spearhead and catapult the continent of Africa to the pinnacle of economic prosperity.

Why was Nigeria held in such high esteem? The answer may not be farfetched. The reason was simply because Nigeria is blessed with material and human resources. The nation is endowed with abundant natural resources. It is pertinent to know that during and after the colonial era, Nigerians were among the most highly educated elements in third world nations at the time. This and among others were the reasons why Nigerians were venerated everywhere in the world. However, as the years progressed, the spirit of hate, selfishness and disunity crept into the foundation of the nation and brought her anticipated greatness to a standstill. Nigeria, as it is today, has become a laughing stock in the continent of Africa and the comity of other nations. Nigeria as a nation has not only become an object of ridicule, her citizens are hunted and terrorized in different countries around the world and they are specifically dealt with, at every slight provocation. The above picture represent the humiliation, misery, and rejection Nigerians face in Africa and other nations.

Now, the questions that the rest of the world ponders are what has happened to Nigeria, a country that was once considered the hope and giant of Africa with all her abundant resources. Why are her citizens travailing all over the world in desperate need of survival and why are they treated with absolute disrespect? Why would the citizens of a country as rich as Nigeria become a burden to other nations? As I write this article many across the world are left in bewilderment trying to unravel answers to these mind boggling questions. Unfortunately, it is an established fact that the moral character of Nigerians have been debased by the nation's leaders because of massive looting and stashing away of public funds in foreign countries thereby demonstrating to the world that they have no interest in the progress of their own nation. The rest of the world including African countries have watched as Nigeria is literally drowned by her leaders plunging her citizens into state of economic malaise. They have read on pages of newspapers how these leaders have callously wrecked their nation by engaging in the worst cases of money laundry and corruption unimaginable.

They have seen and read about billions of dollars that had disappeared into the hands of public officials while the poverty rate among Nigerians grew astronomically. They have seen how these leaders sneak into their countries to lodge the millions and billions of dollars they have stolen from their own country. It is unbelievable that while the leaders of these nations are working hard to utilize every available resources to ear mark social economic and industrial transformation, Nigerian leaders are busy looting public funds, and taking them to their nations. Since 1999, the social economic condition of Nigerians have worsened and the news of billions of funds embezzled by Nigerian public officials have continued to dominate headlines across the country and the world. All the cases that involved majority of these public officials have stalled in the judiciary and some of the officials whose cases are still pending have continued to recycle themselves by contesting and occupying different positions in the nation's offices.

It has been a year and few months since Buhari took office as president and the question is, has he been able to effect any change from the usual Modus operandi? I am not here to analyze what he has accomplished so far but I am extremely convinced that Buhari's quest for solution to Nigeria's problem is undoubtedly very genuine but as for the authenticity of those working with him I do not know. As the popular says goes, one tree cannot make a forest. There is a clear evidence that Buhari's ascension to power has begun to yield dividend by sending shocks to the spine of looters, both past and present some of whom have already begun to return what they have stolen from the nation. This is an exercise in progress which has not happened before in the history of Nigeria. It is now left for those appointed by his government and leaders across party lines to put these resource into use in the interest of Nigerians. Must Buhari be applauded for this? Of course yes. His effort cannot be said to be free from challenges as the enemies of the nation have converged in accord with one sinister intention to oust him from presidency. Since it appears to be difficult for them in the physical realm, they have taken it to spiritual realm by afflicting him with strange illness.

They are anxiously waiting for his demise so as to continue their plague on the nation's wealth. It is my prayer that the God of heaven and earth will come to the aid of Nigerians by healing Buhari so that he could continue his good works which he has already started. Nigerians must be united by praying for Buhari's recovery in this trying time. This is a very unfortunate situation for the nation. I am not a prophet, but I believe in the event of Buhari's demise, the nation will be overwhelmed with more catastrophic events. This time it is going to be irreparable tragedy for Nigerians. Many may not agree with me but that is the naked truth. Although Buhari alone cannot provide magic solutions to Nigeria's problem, I believe his presence in office is by itself detrimental to political parasites embezzling public funds with reckless abandonment. Unfortunately the vice-president does not have the boldness, or tenacity, and the will power to confront the evil of corruption that has impoverished Nigerians. The leadership of Nigeria in the absence of Buhari as the president will result to social economic quandary for Nigerians. It may probably be worse than what was experienced during Goodluck Jonathan. There is going to be corruption that has never been witnessed in the history of Nigeria.

I am not making this prediction as a man of God but based on the track record of the nation's leaders and the current event. It will be so bad that some politicians who had already returned their loot will begin to ask for refund. I could already see that Buhari's absence has given a breath of sigh to corrupt politicians. Nigerians must understand that this is not the time for division, because where there is division there is bound to be a fall to the detriment of all the people. Some Nigerians may probably think that their prosperity may come on the day Nigeria is disintegrated but that is an illusion built on utopia hope. The division of Nigeria as a nation will not solve any iota of problem rather it is going to compound it. Nigeria problem is not the Hausas, the Yorubas, or Ibos, it is wickedness on the part of the leaders who have simply refused to do the right thing. Unfortunately, I do not believe Nigerian leaders see themselves as belonging to the nation called Nigeria, and so they do not feel morally and ethically obliged to see their positions as that of accountability. The other day I read on the news with a displayed picture of a dilapidated road leading to Otuoke the country home of the former president, Goodluck Jonathan. This is a man who was president for 6 years and yet the road to his own village is in terrible condition. The federal government had established the Ministry of Niger Delta with the sole purpose of providing social economic facilities to the locals whose lives have been altered by oil companies in the state. The billions of monies allocated to this ministry have disappeared into the hands of the same natives who were appointed to manage these resources leaving the locals in squalors. There is no state in the federation where the governors have not embezzled public funds to the detriment of their own citizens. Until Nigerians realize that their enemies are not the Hausas, Yorubas, and Ibos but their own brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, and nephews in government who have taken advantage of them by embezzling the resources met for their sons and daughters and their communities, the nation will continue to wallow in ruins.

Now how do we therefore resolve this most complex problem? Here is my own recipe for tackling the problem of corruption in Nigeria. There is a simple but very difficult solution. "DEATH PENALTY" for any public official who is found to be embezzling or to have embezzled public funds. This is the only way to establish accountability and good governance in the nation. Nigeria is one of those corrupt countries in the world where individuals who assume public office as middle class eventually leave that office as billionaires after few years. This is inimically dangerous to the life of the nation and to Nigerians in general. Nigerians must understand that their destinies lie in the hands of these criminals who have vowed to impoverish them and render them economically incapacitated. Any Crime against the nation especially embezzling of public funds must be taken seriously and must not be handled with levity. The punishment for this crime must include death penalty. The nation's school curriculum must be modified to include compulsory courses on nation building. These courses must be taught from elementary to university level. Students must be made to understand the negative effect of looting and how it can affect the nation. Machineries must be placed in motion to educate the public on the need to discourage stealing of public funds. Students must be taught to love their nation by protecting her interest. The government must set up machineries to access and check the source of wealth of every public official both past and present. Banks must report huge deposit to the government and the source of that fund must be traced to ensure it is legitimate. Institutions must be set up across the nation to monitor people living above their income.

The executive arm of government must establish an ethic committee which must act independently to checkmate and evaluate contracts award and all resources allocated to these contracts must be carefully monitored? It is also a well-known fact that the judiciary has joined the nation's public enemy rendering the constitution of none-effect against criminal activities. Therefore the Judiciary must be completely revamped and purged of bad elements to give room for effective implementation of law against looters. The message must be clear to all Nigerians about the need to deal ruthlessly with crime against the nation. Nigerians must be committed to working with the government to deal ruthlessly with those who contributed to the nation's predicament by tampering with public funds. There must be an urgent need for legislation which must carry death penalty against public officials found in any fraudulent attempt to transfer public funds to other nations. They must face death penalty. Nigeria as a nation so far has failed, and her failure is affecting the image of Nigerians all over the world. This is not the time to point accusing fingers at Buhari or whose tribe is wrong or right, but the time for Nigerians to deal mercilessly with corruption in order to redefine the Image of Nigeria both in Africa and everywhere in the world.