biageli Ezekwesili stirred up the hornet's net the other day in Nsukka at the University of Nigeria. But before she was done with her speech Labaran Maku was up in arms doing damage control with threats and lies to the bargain. The mess that Jonathan created and the criminal waste of the nation's resources is nothing new to the average Nigerian and the international community. I guess the only crime Obiageli Ezekwesili committed was by putting numbers to the profligacy of Goodluck Jonathan and Umaru Yar'Ardua before him. It is no news today that corruption and looting are worse off than ever before; they are the legacy of PDP's Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar'Ardua and Goodluck Jonathan, co-travelers in a looting ride the World Bank and Western nations are watching closely. Looting is now so bad and damaging that billions of dollars are disappearing, unaccounted for, or simply wasted and squandered on highly unnecessary purchases that are repeated again and again each year. The figure Obiageli Ezekwesili gave are accurate and incontrovertible; $45 Billion from the nation's foreign exchange reserve and $22 Billion in the Excess Crude Account have disappeared and there is nothing to show for a total of $67 Billion as tangible evidence of development! We can all see that looters have been very busy doing what they do best and the transformation make-believe is alive and well in the Jonathan world of deceit and devilry. Meanwhile Labaran Maku did not provide any figures. Nigerians should have no pity for these looters and thieves when the time of reckoning come; we tend to allow our emotions to run way with us at such payback time.
As for Doyin Okupe and the figures he recently bandied at the press conference, just ignore him. The man needs a job and this is just a well paying job. He is his master's dog and any dirty job Reuben Abati is not willing to do is a slam dunk for a gifted Nigerian Joseph Goebbel. The British Prime Minister David Cameron recently called the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan a corrupt government that is unable to account for Billions of dollars in crude oil revenue. I am waiting for Okupe to bark at Cameron. The same issue came up when Christiane Amanpour interviewed Jonathan on CNN. Jonathan responded tamely, incoherently, and in a subdued manner.
When Jerry Rawlings cleared the filthy Ghanaian government stable his action set in motion the transformation that has led Ghana into a new dawn and prosperity that it is today. It was what Rawlings referred to then as a "house-cleaning exercise," and it was timely. I still wonder why Nigeria's version has been so delayed till now considering the fact that political developments in Ghana and Nigeria are often parallel and what happens in Ghana is most often replicated in Nigeria. The time is right for a house-cleaning exercise in Nigeria. If a fraction of $67 Billion were to disappear anywhere else in the world heads would have rolled and there would have been consequences for the big and small thieves. It is almost certain that no crumb picker will have the audacity to challenge the facts when he has nothing solid to refer to that will enable him contradict them. But this is Nigeria and the thieves are riding the waves; no one can hold them accountable, at least for now.
Dignity is not an issue among the looters in Nigeria; cash is everything. As Kenule Saro-Wiwa's Basi, the scheming, get-rich-quick co-traveler of Alali, Dandy and Josco, whose get rich quick schemes are legendary, would say in Basi & Company, "to be a millionaire, think like a millionaire," which fits the attitude, rougish defiance, emptiness and personality of James Ibori, the convicted thief, looter and money launderer who is in jail in London today; Yakubu Yussuf and his co-travelers, who stole more then 23 Billion naira from the Police Pension fund; Goodluck Jonathan who cannot account for over $50 Billion oil money; Oronto Douglas, who is Jonathan's errand boy and front in all sorts of Billion naira deals; Joshua Dariye, the former governor of Plateau State who is wanted in London for money laundering and who stole Billions from the state; Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the mentor of Goodluck Jonathan, who was jailed for looting the treasury of Bayelsa State, Alao-AKala who was arrested by the EFCC in connection with the disappearance of over 10 Billion naira from Oyo State's treasury but promptly granted bill; Rasheed Ladoja, who is still being prosecuted by the EFCC for stolen funds in excess of N6 Billion; Godsday Orubebe, the minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta (call it the Miistry of Looting if you like!); Bola Tinubu, who was governor of Lagos State for eight years with nothing to show for more than N50 Billion in budgetary expenses, and several other former governors and ministers, particularly those who mismanaged funds at the Federal Ministry of Works.
The fight against corruption in Nigeria is being fought forcefully and with determination outside Nigeria than inside it; lip service is paid to the war as all looters continue to build up and buy up everything money can buy and build. Many of the current and former ministers, governors, presidents and former first families are living large and spending and flashing huge sums in the face of predominantly struggling and poor Nigerians who have no where to turn for medical care and meals. Hopelessness has replaced the hope they fought for in the 1990s to enthrone democracy, and those who lifted no finger in that struggle are the looters of today and the opportunists of the day. Even the World Bank is doing some documentation and work in tracking corruption in Nigeria. (see http://star.worldbank.org/corruption-cases/search/site?f=sm_field_arw_jurisdiction_origin%3ANigeria).
The truth is that foreign agencies and powers can do little to stem the tide of looting and the elimination of poverty from a nation that earns enough to improve the lot of its people. An Oil-rich nation is production poverty-rich generations!
What has Jonathan got to show for the $67 Billion from the nation's foreign reserve and excess crude oil funds? Would he say the money was well spent? What and what projects can he point to that will justify that much fund? But we all know what Jonathan and his co-travelers at the National Assembly spend money on, don't we? Their annual shopping list has remained the same: new buildings and homes for themselves, new extensions to their homes, new aeroplanes, helicopters, foreign trips, estacode, overseas allowances, food in Aso Rock, sport utility vehicles, limousines, conferences, hotel accommodations, groceries, etc. What is in all these items for the Nigerian people? There are over eight planes in the presidential fleet and many more to call up for duty should the need arise, or should Jonathan wish to bring a brother or sister to Abuja from Bayelsa. The other day Jonathan sent a presidential jet to Malawi to go get Mrs. Joyce Banda to Abuja for Patience Jonathan's jamboree at a huge cost to the taxpayers. But Mrs. Banda has one official plane which her predecessor bought a few years back, only Mrs. Banda was not ready to squander her nation's little resources and actually planned to sell the 14-seat presidential plane bought by the late President Bingu wa Mutharika because she intend to use the funds to provide basic services to her people. The difference between Mrs. Banda and Goodluck (an unfit name for a harbinger of endless bad luck) is that the former is passionate about the well being of her people and the latter is passionate about what he can get and the welfare of his immediate family; the former is very contented and satisfied with little but the latter is never satisfied even with so much and heavily excessive resources that he found when he arrived Abuja.
Now Labaran Maku makes it look like Obiageli Ezekwesili is the problem and the person to blame for the reckless waste of state resources by Goodluck (that name again!) Jonathan! The wanton abuse of state funds and the excessive waste which Jonathan has turned into a way of life and a novelty is shocking considering his antecedent and poor background. You will expect such a person to be more prudent; you will hope a man who did not have shoes on his feet as a boy will manage resources wisely and prudently, but Jonathan has proved us all wrong. He and his wife are determined to accept every gift possible and live well beyond their means and at the expense of the Nigerian people.
Jonathan's disgraceful appearance on CNN with Christiane Amanpour
Did you see Goodluck Jonathan on CNN in an interview with Christiane Amanpour? That was a disaster and a disgraceful appearance. Jonathan looked like a goat that was led to the slaughter. He was incoherent and uncomfortable. He was nervous and unsure of himself. It was a disastrous seven minutes for Goodluck Jonathan; in fact, his luck deserted him within seconds. He and Umbrerra are meant for one another - Jonathan was once a shildren! Did this guy defended his doctoral paper or did he even wrote it? Jonathan was a flop throughout.- not knowing what to say and how to say it; very unsure of himself, highly incoherent, and actually looked stupid and spoke like a motor park tout, with all his mouth. Here is a guy who has no dignity and integrity at home and who is unable to express himself clearly and concisely. His diction was pedestrian at best and local/primitive. It is easy to fool the people in Nigeria and to loot their commonwealth but do not try to take on Western reporters and journalists like Amanpour or BBC's Stephen Sackur. The story is always different and your true identify is easily exposed. It was Stephen Sackur who grilled Obasanjo on Hardtalk and made him look very ordinary. I still go online to watch that interview Obasanjo granted Sackur. It must be one of the major regrets of his life. I am not so sure Jonathan will survive an encounter with Stephen Sackur. Simpliciter, Jonathan was a disaster, a terrible and terrifying look on his face. He was like another fisherman from the creek before Amanpour.
To be continued next week.