FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiFriday, November 10, 2017
[email protected]
Bonn, Germany

NIGERIA: A COUNTRY UNDER SPELL (2)

Continued from Part 1

Those who fight corruption should be clean themselves (Vladimir Putin)

Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective (Pratibha Patil)

Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen's faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already-tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs (Joe Biden)

ith the likes of Buhari at the helm, Nigeria is damned, the more. Apart from being clueless (leading Nigeria into the gutter), Buhari and his government are also corrupt, deceptive, pretentious and murderous. The way Buhari, his ministers and officials are lying is also horrifying. Buhari and the minister of interior, Dambazau, all claimed that they didn't know about Maina's reinstatement. It then means that Maina must have walked into the ministry of interior and reinstated himself. They have even bullied and panicked the Head of Service, (HoS), Ms. Winifred Oyo-Ita, to recant her earlier statement that Buhari ordered Maina's reinstatement.

Buhari, his sidekicks and minions have fooled Nigerians for long; and now, Nigerians are refusing to be fooled anymore. We know what transpired in this Maina's case, and nobody can pull the wool over our eyes here. I agree with the governor of Ekiti State, Fayose, that the President Muhammadu Buhari's directive for the immediate disengagement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, is an afterthought. In a Press Release, the governor likened Buhari's anti-corruption fight to a situation where "Satan is calling Judas Iscariot a sinner", and he noted that the President only acted to save his face from the global embarrassment caused him by the outcry of Nigerians on the news of Maina's reinstatement. The governor then asked: "If Maina, who was declared wanted for corrupt practices by the International Police Organisation, after he was dismissed from office by the Civil Service Commission in 2013 for allegedly committing N2.1bn pension fraud while in office, could be secretly reinstated and even promoted without writing the required civil service promotion examination, no one should be in doubt any longer that Buhari is not fighting any corruption.

Buhari's penchant of giving safe haven to known criminals, while hoodwinking Nigerians that he's fighting corruption, is beyond human comprehension. There's a saying that one should acknowledge a good point, even when made by an opponent: Even though I belong to no political party, no one, with an open mind, would dispute what the PDP said on this Mainagate. Paraphrasing some of the Party's points, while we are growing fatigued shouting ourselves hoarse in protest against nepotism, falsehood and corruption, Buhari's administration has elevated and made them an integral part of Nigerian statecraft. Nigerians should be appalled that the reinforcement of financial corruption by this government might soon lead to the demise of Nigeria, if the celestial does not intervene.

But, how can Buhari grow such thick skins to constructive criticism? How can he, in spite of the open condemnation he has received from Nigerians over his shielding of criminals, violate the Civil Service Rule by promoting Maina, a wanted criminal, to the position of a Director with all benefits attached, when he priorly abandoned his duty post as an Assistant Director and absconded? He was even paid his salary arrears amounting to N22 million, which he has reportedly collected upon approval and release by the Accountant General of the Federation. How can Maina be paid such a huge arrears, if the president didn't know about it?

The vexing part of it is that this Buhari's government is yet to tell Nigerians where and when, and under which Court's Jurisdiction Maina was cleared of his criminal allegations of stealing, warranting his restoration to duty and getting rewarded with double promotion.

Unexplainable is the fact that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), our security agencies like the Police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the likes, weren't aware of the entrance of Abdulrasheed Maina, a high class wanted criminal, into the country, until the media exposed it. For those who don't know, it was the media that exposed the arrival and promotion of Maina by this government, before the agencies "became aware" of his presence in the country.

Buhari has a pattern here; Maina's case was not the first time he has shielded known criminals while deceiving gullible Nigerians that he's fighting corruption. My friend reminded me that Maina isn't the first person who was fired for corruption and was brought back by Buhari to his government. Of course, we all know now that this man, Abdulrasheed Maina, ran away since 2014, and was declared wanted by EFCC for the embezzlement of N2bn pension funds, but was reinstated as deputy director in the ministry of interior:

* Abdulrahman Dambazau was fired as chief of army staff, for corrupt practices in purchasing of arms, but was appointed the minister of interior by Buhari.

* Mohammed Barkindo was removed as NNPC MD, by the late Yar'Adua, for taking huge kickbacks from oil, but was appointed as Nigeria's Secretary General to OPEC by Buhari.

* ACP Zakari Bui, a man who was accused and dismissed for aiding Boko Haram kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto, to escape from detention, was reinstated and promoted by Buhari.

* Ahmed Gambo Saleh, Registrar of the Supreme Court, was accused of stealing N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court and was caught red handed. The case against Gambo Saleh was withdrawn almost immediately, and he has been appointed the Secretary of the National Judicial Council. Not only that, he was also made the Secretary of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee, headed by Retired Justice Isa Ayo Salami." Imagine how a crook was appointed the secretary of the committee monitoring corruption trials. A clear case of "appointing a hawk to guard the chicks"!

* Timipre Sylva, the former governor of Bayelsa State, had his 46 houses, which were seized by the federal government, returned to him by Buhari, because he's an APC member.

Many Nigerians, including Governor Fayose, have demanded the immediate arrest and trial of Maina, as well as the dismissal of all those who perpetrated his reinstatement. Deeming Maina's reinstation as fraudulent and shameful, Governor Fayose then added that: "Even the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, who was accused of corruption by the Senate, removed from office unceremoniously and declared wanted is now the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos.

When the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, raised allegation of award of $25bn contracts without following due process against the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Presidency was the one that defended him (Baru).

Also, President Buhari has refused to act on the report of the committee that investigated the $43m discovered in an apartment at Osbourne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, despite the fact that Nigerians have been asking him to act on it. Sacking the DG of the NIA isn't enough; we need to know how and when such money found it way there.

Even the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, was indicted of corruption by the Department of State Services, and all that was done by President Buhari was to ask the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to investigate the DSS report. Up till today, nothing has been heard about it, and Magu, despite his rejection by the Senate, is still acting as the EFCC chairman".

The point is that we have been unable to isolate the major problem hindering Nigeria's progress. Apart from the socio-politico-economic problems, we have to find out what put Nigeria under a spell, as to release the country from it, so that never again will a gauche like Buhari smell the leadership position of Nigeria; and the citizens will never again be suffering in the midst of plenty. So many precious lives have been wasted, and so much innocent blood has been spilled in bouts of violence, in the dark history of this country. The blood of innocent Nigerians cries out for justice; the innocent blood is crying to God from the cities of Nigeria; the righteous blood cries out for vengeance, and until the right thing is done, Nigeria will continue to grope in the dark, trying to figure out how to become a nation, 57 years after the so called independence!.

To be continued!

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SN7Pko_jCM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPUNyxvEma4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQUd8Kpyvto

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

Continued from Part 1

IMAGES IN THE NEWS