Continued from Part II
t is so easy for anyone to refer to Jonathan as a thief and a shameless rogue. The end Jonathan craves is surely going to be sore and rough, nasty and unpleasant, because a thief cannot go unpunished and a looter's case should be worse. Where is this couple coming from? Who do they think they are and why do they think they are at liberty to squander the resources of the people of Nigeria on themselves without a care in the world for the hardship the people are going through? How can there be so much oil boom and yet so much poverty, unemployment, misery and diseases in the land? Because people like Jonathan and the legislooters at the National Assembly are flushing the nation's oil wealth down the cistern of greed there is very little left the nation can use to create wealth and create employment. I will be shocked if Nigerians fail to come together to challenge the budget allocation to Patience Jonathan, any budget allocation to her - even N1.
Looting and state corruption as crime against humanity
The magnitude of looting and state corruption in the Third World, particularly Nigeria is pushing more people into poverty, hopelessness, diseases, disasters and generational dependence on hand-outs. An economic genocide is happening right before our eyes despite and in spite of abundant state resources and huge state prosperity; economic genocide in Nigeria is heavily exacerbated by state corruption, looting and blatant stealing of government funds. It has been estimated that more than seventy percent (70%) of the wealth of the Nigerian nation in the last thirty-three (33) years cannot be accounted for, mostly the crude oil income from the hugely corrupt and rotten state oil corporation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). More than $1 trillion has been stolen and looted from oil revenues in Nigeria during that period. Funds that would necessarily have been used to create opportunities, build and develop the nation and advance social services and to put into the development of local industries around the crude oil operations of the nation have ended up in the hands of current and former Nigerian leaders, their ministers, sidekicks and fronts. The funds are predominantly held in secret bank accounts at home and abroad, and not being used or allowed to generate employment and opportunities for the nation and its people. It is from this perspective that we need to consider state corruption and looting as a crime against humanity, as a genocidal crime.
Looting is denying our children the medical care, good early education and access to clean water. It is denying our women decent prenatal and antenatal care, access to good health care and social services. Looting is denying our young men and women qualitative higher education opportunities that will endow them with the knowledge, skills and abilities that are comparable to what their peers in other nations of the world have access to. It is making the lives of our young graduates miserable with exposure to unemployment and a dearth of job opportunities. Strangely, the looters are demanding that the unemployed pay to seek and apply for employment! Looting is sending our retirees to early graves and denying them their pension benefits and gratuities. Looting is killing Nigeria's economy because hard work no longer pays, and opportunities to work and work hard are few and far between as the capital to create wealth, build factories, develop local industries are being stolen and looted as I write. There are so many young and middle-aged people in our nation today who are depressed, struggling with mental instability because they have been pushed to the limit in an environment that has no doors to knock on and no room to accommodate their dreams.
Corruption is the new scourge devastating and ravaging the world, particularly in the Third World with Nigeria being the most corrupt of those nations and Nigerian people the worse for it, and this is in view of the trillion of dollars of oil revenue that is stolen every year by political office holders at the Federal and State levels. The anguish, misery, debilitating crush, and poverty that are the direct result of state corruption are just unbelievable. The huge wealth of Nigeria is not getting to the people and there is no investment in infrastructures to show for the disappearance of the oil boom beside the fat bank accounts and stupendous wealth of current and past office holders. The Niger delta, where more than 80% of Nigeria's crude oil is exploited has remained in abject poverty when the people there ought to be living in splendour and wealth like you find in the US state of Texas with prosperous cities such as Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Bastrop, Laredo, Brownsville, and tens of several small cities, many of them benefiting from the wealth that Texas oil brings.
To stem the spate of state corruption, which leaves the people at the mercy of thieves holding political offices and whose absolute power and control comes with impunity, there is the need to classify state corruption and looting as crime against humanity, which should be tried by a special International Court. The only time a Nigerian official has been successfully prosecuted and punished was in the United Kingdom when a former state governor was found guilty of stealing funds from the state where he was governor for eight years. A corrupt state is never willing or able to prosecute anyone because the cancer is right from the top. The prosecution of war criminals and the perpetrators of war genocide became important in the 1990s and now is the time to prosecute corrupt state governments and officials for bringing poverty, diseases, instability, misery, and hunger to their people in the midst of plenty. The time has come to establish an International State Corruption and Looting Court to "end impunity by the perpetrators of the most serious" financial crimes against the international community, which are crimes against humanity and the people whose national wealth are being squandered and looted by state officials and political office holders. The twenty-first century is going through very serious yet avoidable global financial and economic crises as a result of state corruption and treasury looting. The result of state corruption, money laundering and looting is abject poverty and heavy dependence on food and economic aids from the West. Those who steal funds from foreign aids can and should also be prosecuted by the International State Corruption and Looting Court. The recent discovery by the UK government that millions of aids dollars meant for poverty alleviation programs in Botswana were stolen would qualify for trial in this Court. The mind-boggling looting of national treasuries in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Uzbekistan and several others will also qualify. Corruption is king in these three nations and many others.