—-*Urges Tinubu To Urgently And Decisively Deal With The Twin Evils Of Massive Corruption And Insecurity Before They Destroy His Government And Nigeria.
The happenings in Nigeria in the recent past and currently are quite saddening, highly annoying, vexatious provocative. Yet, news about steps taken and results from such moves are gratifying.
For example the news that the private investigator engaged by President Bola Tinubu’s administration has reportedly discovered a staggering sum of #8 Trillion looted funds in private bank accounts shocked me to the bone marrow. You can imagine the length such an amount of money can go in solving some of our immediate need as a people. It can revamp our moribond refineries or build a new one or two.
While I am still expecting the full details of the alleged Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, thieves involved, including how much they stole individually and how it was stolen, I recon that what was announced was what has been discovered. Like the Americans would say, we are’t seen nothing yet. I can imagine the staggering sums yet to be located! That is just one agency or parastaltal alone. have mercy on Nigeria. Yet, several ministries stinks. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Niger Delta, Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Works and Housing m Just name the ministry that does not stink or where corruption has not grown wings and walks freely in Nigeria. The mind set of the average civil and public (Government or political appointee) is how to deep their filthy hands into the collective patrimony. Patriotism is long dead. Honesty is unfortunately no longer and virtue in almost all work places. Integrity has since been thrown over board. Illegal or ill-gotten wealth is now being appreciated and celebrated above well- deserved modest financial attainment or achievement.
Thank God for the emergence of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at this critical time of the nation’s history. It is abundantly obviously that God has started using Asiwaju, the authentic and indisputable leader to gradually clear Nigeria’s financial rots and straighten the rough edges of the nation’s tatared economy. In a little above 100 days in office, see how much has been discovered to have been stolen from the nation’s treasury in last few years. This is mind blowing.
Apart from the distant pasts, and the recent Obasanjo, Jonathan and Buhari regimes, one readily recalls former Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and how much he allegedly stole to which he is facing trials and has confessed to stealing huge sums of funds, some for which he is pleading for plea bargain. This will allow him to refund a fraction of the ill-gotten funds. It will not be surprising if the alleged current CBN rogues also opt for the plea bargaining option.
But, enough is enough. I humbly urge and encourage Tinubu to continue to use the instrumentality of the law to fight and seriously deal corrupt public officers at all levels who are guilty of corruption and covetiousness. The greedy public officials who use their privileged positions to divert or convert public funds to their personal use must not be spared. They must be maximally dealt with to serve as deterent to others. No one must be spared, no matter how highly placed or whose ox is gored. No sentiments, religious, ethnic, tribal or political affiliation should be ignored if this menace must be defeated or checkmated, once and for all. There must be no sacred cows. The full weight of the law must be brought to bear on these unscrupulous, undesirable and criminal minded individuals who have continued to rape and ruin our richly endowed beloved country.
These unpatriotic men and women through their nefarious activities have brought Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa to her economic and financial knees; thereby reducing her to be one of the poorest nations on earth with impoverished citizens who are forced to wallow in abject poverty and swim in an unbearable squalor.
The combination of past visionless and their uninspiring leaderships, coupled with this set of economic saboteurs, financial vampires and gluttons have, by their individual and collective insatiable greed further pushed and consigned Nigerian masses to their present pitiable, parlous state of suffering in the midst of plenty. Yet, hope is not completely lost. Our hope is gradually being renewed by Tinubu and the realisation that Nigeria is richly blessed with human and numerous natural resources. Undoubtedly, one of the most endowed countries in the world.
Unfortunately, Nigeria has been sparsely blessed or lucky with competent and good leadership. We merely and sparingly had a flash of it occasionally. For instance, during the era when the Late nationalists, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Michael Opara and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe were Premiers of the defunct Western, Northern and Eastern regions. As well as when Owelle of Onitsha (Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe) and Alhaji Tarawa Balewa were President and Prime Minister respectively.
After that came military regimes. Like Lucifer, most of them came to devour, destroy, steal and kill.
We had General Yakubu Gowon whose regime had so much money but did not know what to do with it. General Gowon publicly admitted that Nigeria’s problem was not money, but how to spend it.
There was Muritala Ramat Muhammed, the Edo born but Kano adopted General whose tenure was a flash in the pan because it short-lived.
The President Shehu Shagari administration that succeeded it was riddled with corruption which motivated the duo of General Muhammadu Buhari and Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon to overthrow it.The succeeding government of Buhari/Idiagbon’s regime appeared to be on course by instilling patriotism and discipline in Nigerians when gap-toothed General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida suddenly struck and swept him out of office and power.
Babangida, the self-styled Evil Genuius had enough funds and opportunity during his time to transform Nigeria, but his ambition to first transform himself into a life Military President blurred his vision and derailed him. He lost focus.
General Sani Abacha that ousted him was more like devil’s incarnate. Like a glutton, he stole and stole as if stealing was going out of fashion. Some of his stolen funds tucked away in foreign lands are still being recovered decades after his evil regime.
Nigerians were optimistic that General Olusegun Obasanjo will take Nigeria to the promised land and leave indelible marks in Nigeria’s political sands of time. That optimism was completely shattered by his greedy desire to get unconstitutional third term through illegal, back door means.
Like Murtala Ramat Muhammed, President Yar’Adua that took over from the Ebora Owu (the strange being from Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta, Ogun State) was a well- focussed and visionary leader. Unfortunately, he died in office after a very brief tenure.
President Goodluck Jonathan, his Vice who succeeded him tried his best,but his best was not good enough. He was ambushed and his government was hijacked by lack of will power, the so-called owners of Nigeria and the South-South and South-East praise-singers who urged him on in the face of visible electoral danger. However, the man who had no shoes at childhood, left a legacy of anti blood shedding in Nigeria’s political mantra through his famous statement that my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. He became the first sitting Nigerian President to be defeated while in office, he refused to challenge the election result but peacefully handed over power.
The second coming of President Muhammadu Buhari was filled with high expectations. He came on the mantra to fight insecurity, corruption and revamp the economy. The popular verdict after his eight years tenure is that he did not quite achieve much of the three key areas he set for himself. Some arguably believe that he fell short of expectations and therefore failed. Few gave him a pass mark. The overwhelming view is that corruption was taken to higher dimensions during Buhari’s tenure. The irony was that President Muhammadu Buhari was believed and many still believe that he is a decent and honest man who perhaps, never stole Nigeria’s funds. But, same cannot be said of his ministers and other appointees. Buhari allegedly turned a blind eye while his loyalists swept clean the nation’s treasury, as being revealed.
Two of such revelations are testimonies to the fact that corruption has become endemic in our society. It had become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the financial fabrics of Nigeria. Corruption has become deadly and monsterous in our country to the extent that it urgently needs to be crushed. Now is the time. I strongly believe and hereby advocate that President Tinubu with his renewed hope mantra and proven determination to succeed in areas where his remote and immediate predecessors failed should deploy his celebrated capacity and capability to change the dynamics. So far, Tinubu has left no one in doubt that he knows where the shoe pinches Nigeria and Nigerians. He fully understands and appreciates the problem at stake, what to do and how to do them. The challenge is that the process appear slow, but the journey to solving the humongous challenges seems certainly steady and the problems surmountable.
Corruption in Nigeria is a twin. The twin brother is insecurity. Both are two major evils currently bedeviling Nigeria. They are the clog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress and greatness. We must all resolve that these evils must be fought to a stand still and forced to surrender or depart our land. At least, they must be reduced to their barest impotent minimum, if not totally eliminated.
There is no doubt that if Nigeria does not kill these monsters, they will kill Nigeria. Similarly, if President Tinubu does not kill corruption and insecurity, the twin monsters will conspire and execute their threats to destroy Nigeria and Tinubu’s administration.
Corruption and insecurity are deeply rooted in Nigeria. They could be seen and felt everywhere you go. Corruption and insecurity walk tall on their four legs and stroll majestically on our streets and work places, both public and private. Every angle one turns, he/she is always confronted by these hydra- headed monsters.
There seems to be a few patriots and honest men and women left in Nigeria to savage the devastating situations in the country. No doubt, the tasks before us, especially President Tinubu are enormous and daunting. They require courageous men and women to tackle and surmount They need strong-willed leaders, leaders with clear vision, enormous courage and abundant will-power like Tinubu to confront and defeat. The good news is that President Tinubu has started well, tackling them. But, he cannot do it alone. All hands must be on deck. As the Holy Bible says: The harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few”.
God bless Nigeria.
. Ibikunle Solana is a Journalist, Publisher of Society Mirror Express International Magazine, Founder/President of (Bola Ahmed Tinubu Admirers’ Movement, BATAM), Co-convener/ Director of Media and Publicity (Christian Support Group, CSG), Co-Convener/Deputy DIrector-General (National Grassroots Coalition for Tinubu/Shettima) and National Director of Planning & Administration (The Patriots Roundtable).