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E O EkeThursday, October 8, 2015
eoeke@aol.com


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RECYCLING THE OLD AS CHANGE

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he arrest and bailing of Diezani Allison-Madueke in London, and the appointment of the same old actors as ministers by Buhari has once again forced the state of Nigeria and the way the country is governed on the news.

There is no doubt that Nigeria's main problems include, lack of leadership, disrespect for the rule of law, disregard of due process and contempt for order, which fuel corruption and all agree that these must be addressed to give the country a future.

And it came to pass that after more one hundred days from the day he was sworn as president, on the thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord 2015, That president Mahammadu Buhari of Nigeria, sent the names of his disciples to the senate. He had chosen them each from the thirty-six states of the country and Abuja the federal capital territory. They were men who he had known before, many of who have been part of the Nigerian Shenanigans.

But, he considered them men of 'integrity', who would help him defeat corruption, even though many of them do not have good report.

For instance, from Eboyi state, he appointed Ogbonnaya, son of Onu, a man who was once governor of Abia state, the most corrupt state in Nigeria.

From Rivers state, he appointed Chibuike, son of Amaechi, who while governor of Rivers state had a private plane.

And From Lagos state, he chose Babatunde Raji, Son of Fashola, former governor of Lagos state governor whose record has not been scrutinised.

And so, he chose them, each from all states of Nigeria to work with him to rid the country of corruption, indiscipline and instil the fear of Allah on all.

This is country which his predecessors have left without the values it needs to compete in an increasingly post modern and cosmopolitan world.

Nigeria has been led mainly, not by leaders in its true meaning, but by the scum of the earth, who were guided by the worst of values and motivated by basest of motives.

They spend their time in office looting and destroying the values that make for great nation and people. I have no good words for most of Nigerian leaders and hope that history will always remember them as the scum of the earth.?

Reading the many rationalisations of the corruption in Nigeria has made me realise that there is a lot of work to be done to sensitise Nigerians on what probity and stewardship in office really means.

I do not see how one can take a relativistic view or attitude to honesty and probity in office. Can we honestly say that probity in office has no absolute definition, and that what is required is how much one steals relative to what he achieved?

So in Nigeria, a man who was given one million naira and he steals 250 thousand, is better than the man, who was given the same amount and steals 750 thousand. This is what happens, when a people lose their way.

A thief is no less a thief because he bought one a launch after stealing one’s wallet. How can one justify a culture, where the custodians have licence to steal from common fund and at the same time condemn corruption?

Just because corruption is endemic in Nigeria, does not make it right. When has prevalence of an act become the determinate of its rightness?

We cannot lower the standard of probity because the worst of us find their way to power and, at the same time, honestly hope to build a society with an honest culture.

I have been asking myself how it can be right, for a leader to steal from his people, go to another country, where people who hold the same office he holds in his country, cannot do what he does and buy a big house, where respectable people in that country live?

I do not believe that death makes a man less guilty of his crimes. The fight against corruption should extend to dead corrupt politicians to stop their families from benefiting from proceeds of crime. Abacha, Azazi and many like them may be beyond justice, but justice demands that their evil actions are not justified or excused and that the law should take its normal course.

If any body is found guilty posthumously, their corruptly acquired assets should be ceased and returned to the national treasury.

This is the only way to send the right message to corrupt Nigerian leaders, that the law will hold them accountable both in life and death.

If Buhari is serious about ending corruption, he should know that the best way for a man to protect his property is to prevent thieves from stealing it and that waiting to find the thief after the theft is not a good idea. He should not be a respecter of the corruption and and persons and, should widen his fight to include all who have stolen from Nigeria. There should be no sacred cows.

He should be setting up special court or Tribunal to try corrupt politicians, alive and dead and, calling them or their relatives to explain how they afford or afforded their life style, mansions and other assets on their legitimate incomes.

There is no reason why leaders conduct in office, cannot still be investigated after death. It is very clear that what most people who have held public offices in Nigeria do is to simply steal from Nigeria.

We can see that the money that would have been invested in Ajokuta steel Rolling mill, Railway cooperation, Roads, education, health and investments that would have created jobs in Nigeria were used to buy houses in Texas, Washington, New York, London, Dubai etc., build private schools, universities, farms, hill tops mansions all over Nigeria, bought armoured cars and private jets.

It is on record that Nigeria has the world highest number of millionaire generals and ex-politicians. We have already forgotten about Ibori and many like him, who have so far escaped justice. No one talks about Demiji Bankole. he may resurrect as a Governor of a state or Minister in the nearby future.

The rot in Nigeria in deep, sordid, and monstrous, and only a person who has lived in a developed society can see its enormity, perverseness and evil, which is why many like me rage.

Sadly, our dear leaders and heroes are no different from common criminals. They got rich simply by stealing what belongs to all, and unless Nigerians accept that one is either honest or not, Nigeria will institutionalise a lower level of probity than was needed by developed nation to achieve greatness.

I think we should wake up and accept that our great and dear ex-leaders were crooks, which may explain the reason why Nigeria is what it is today, in spite of having many natural and human resources, Nigeria has failed to develop and lift many of its long suffering citizens out of poverty.

What is the way forward? It is simple. Evil flourishes because good men find good excuses to do nothing. We all must become involved and oppose the forces of corruption, ethnicity and religious intolerance, prejudices and ignorance that are behind the rot.

We cannot continue to offer religious or metaphysical explanations for ills that have their root in the behaviour, choices and attitudes of our leaders which can only be changed by appropriate society sanctions. This is why I am involved.

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