E O EkeThursday, November 14, 2013




Continued from Part 1

t is wicked for a government, whose presidential fleet have enough aeroplanes to start a private airline business, to say that the government would not pay compensation to the victims of terror. The president should consider reverseing this position. It is not a vote winner and those who advised him along this line do not have his best interest and legacy at heart. I will not vote for such a president, even if he is my brother. I suppose it is time for Nigerians to start focusing on justice as fairness and ensuring that the leaders conduct themselves according to law and exercise their powers within the constraints of the constitution. We can nolonger afford to have leaders who see themselves as gods, who can do as they please. I am angry that Nigerian politicians have the right to allocate ancestral land of the people to their family members and friends. How can it be right for elected politicians to suddenly gain the right to decide who gets a piece of land? How can it be right to take the lands of people and share it to those who support the government? I suppose it is time to abrogate the land use decree or Act and return land to those who own it. If government wants to acquire a land, it should be prepared to pay those who own it. It must be wrong for a group of people to hide behind leadership to share common wealth amongst themselves. This is betrayal and criminality.

Surely, no people can achieve anything, when their leadership focus only on their own selfish personal and political interests; while failing to address in an honest and intelligent manner, issues that affect the greater majority of the people. It cannot be acceptable, no matter the justification, for Nigerian leaders to continue to focus on stealing as much as possible, without pursuing policies which makes society safe and enable everybody to achieve their potential. It is a scandal that Nigerian leaders are consciously destroying Nigerian education system by starving it of the required fund, while they invest their stolen wealth in other countries and in building private schools and universities where only the rich can afford for their children. This must rank amongst the greatest evil leaders can inflict on their people. These actions are as immoral, as they are perverse. We can no longer ignore how this policy worsens social inequality and creates the environment which enables crime to flourish.

It cannot be acceptable that while Nigerian leaders are busy destroying the Nigeria health services, by systematic mismanagement and corruption, many of them are investing the fund they stole from the people in private medical facilities and diagnostic centres where only the rich can afford. It cannot be right that while they steal the fund that would have given good education and create jobs for many, that they are able to send their children to the best universities in the world to study. Why should the average Nigerian be treated as second class citizens when they are injured in accidents by the ruling elites? Why should Nigerian who are involved in accident with convoys of politicians be left to rot in Nigeria , while the politicinas and members of their families are flown abroad with tax payers money?

It is criminal and unforgiveable, that successive Nigerian government have failed to make the necessary social investments in poverty alleviation, universal education, accessible and affordable health care, housing and public transport, which guarantee a safe society. Successive Nigerian governments have failed to demonstrate honest leadership which puts the welfare of the people, the rule of law and justice at its centre. What has happened in Nigeria over the years is the emergence of leaders who do not give a ‘dam’ about accountability, probity, due process and the fairness, but leaders whose primary objective is to misappropriate and divert as much as possible of the national resources into their private pockets. Nigeria is indeed in the hands of the type of people Plato said should not lead. People who have no noble ideals they hold dear or have clear vision for their country based on justice as fairness, which they are determined to pursue. Nigeria is in the hands of people whose only aim is to find the political party that would enable them continue to retain power to loot, hence, their tendency to factionalise or move from one party to another in search of pole positions. Politics in Nigeria is about which party one needs to join in order to retain power and not about policies that would make life better and transform the country.

Nigerian has been in the hands of corrupt men and women whose primitive and depraved values have led to their profligacy, dishonesty and misappropriation that have brought Nigeria to her current state. They spend their time in office acquiring bogus chieftaincy titles, stealing from the treasury, setting up armed gangs and getting obscenely rich, while the country they were elected to govern crumbles and disintegrates. They seem oblivious of the fact that what they do, or fail to do in office; is the real cause of Nigeria’s decay.

The Nigerian situation is very serious. It does not require more talk or conference. It needs a government of honest leaders, who would be determined to address the problems in the most cost effective, just and evidence based manner. Nigeria needs leaders who do not need a presidential jet fleet to govern, Legislators who would accept that their pay is disproportionate and immoral in a country where the majority of the people live on less than a dollar a day and education and health care services not available and accessible to all. Nigerian needs leaders who will accept that it is wrong for a president to refuse to declare his assets or fail to condemn the excesses of his wife and friends. Nigeria needs a leader whose first loyalty is to Nigeria and whose constituency is the whole of Nigeria and not a leader, whose first loyalty is to his ethnic group and religion and his constituency, his state of birth. We simply cannot continue this way. Nigeria does not need leaders who act like godfathers, but men and women who hold the rule of law sacrosanct and are mindful to follow the constitution and ensure justice as fairness to all. Many Nigerians live in penury while their leaders enjoy their loot. The time must come when this evil will be brought to an end, when every Nigerian will be sensitised to see the evil of the current dispensation; no matter how much their ethnic groups benefit from it. Nigeria needs a leader who will ensure that no one will ever benefit nor enjoy the proceeds of crimes and this can only happen, when Nigerians elects their leaders from amongst their best.

What many Nigerians are yet to come terms with is the simple fact that the criminal elements of our population have grabbed power and there is very little space for integrity, probity, stewardship and fairness in Nigerian politics. In fact, that the principle activity taking place at the centre of the Nigerian government is a looting frenzy in many ingenious ways and manners masterminded by a semblance of governance. When Nigerian government awards a contract, what is uppermost in their mind of the politicians is not to get the best contractor at the best price for Nigeria, but how much he or she can make out of the contract and how to cover up his or her tracts so that if the crime becomes public, he would not be convicted. The prevalent attitude amongst Nigeria’s current corrupt political leaders is hubristic, which makes them expect the people to be grateful, if they do not steal more than their predecessor. Nigerian leaders expect to be congratulated for being less corrupt, instead of seeing themselves as expected to be honest. What a sad commentary on the attitude of the leaders to probity and rectitude. In Nigeria, good is not compared with bad, rather bad is compared with worse.

This is the real sad and unfortunate feature of the Nigerian situation. Nigeria has become a country where the normal rules of governance have given way to criminality, rule of the jungle and secterianism in the most primitive way possible. It has become a moral jungle where the most violent, intimidating, atrocious, selfish, rich and strongest of people succeed by might and might alone. People get rich not because their creativity or business acumen, but by patronage of the ruling class. Nigeria has left the values that ensure civilisation and I wonder what a worm like me can do?

You like I, can decide to say no to the normalisation of criminality, greed, impunity and injustice in Nigeria. Maybe, if we do, after all, Nigeria may emerge from its presented doldrums into a civilised society, where the rule of law will reign supreme. Let us get angry and change Nigeria for good. Speak out and stand up for what is right and just. Nigeria needs men and women who will speak the truth and not be corrupted. If we cannot stop them from stealing, we can at least tell them that what they are doing is wrong, immoral and unacceptable.

Continued from Part 1

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind.