“The most immediate source of the disconnect between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is a failure of governance at (all) levels….Lack of transparency and accountability has eroded the legitimacy of the government and contributed to the rise of groups that embrace violence and reject the authority of the state” – Mrs. Hilary Clinton
It was not a good week for the PDP’s lack-lustre Yar’adua regime, when Hilary Clinton came calling last week. The portents were ominous even before she stepped in; addressing the press in Nairobi, Kenya, Clinton used Nigeria to illustrate bad governance, when she pointed out the absurdity of a nation that is the world’s seventh largest exporter of crude oil, having to IMPORT refined petroleum products: it is an example of bad governance. Of course the Nigerian people, who live through the brigandage which pretends to be governance, know even better than Mrs. Clinton, just how venal, corrupt and incompetent, our leaders are. But coming from the Americans, who our ruling elite will do anything to subserviently ape, and whose directives they implement like pages of a holy writ, it certainly cut them to the quick!
But the pebbles thrown in Nairobi were not comparable to the boulders hauled close to the haloed precincts of the Aso Villa. In the past thirty years, Clinton quoted the World Bank, “Nigeria had lost well over $300billion (to) corruption and mismanagement”. She particularly underlined the buildup of problems of the past thirteen years, a period which takes in the mismanagement of Nigeria under the PDP regime of the disgraced despot, Olusegun Obasanjo and his self-imposed successor, Umaru Yar’adua. Clinton emphasized America’s national interest, by stating that “We think it is good business to eliminate corrupt practices”. Furthermore, she noted that “the lack of accountability and transparency…has eroded the gains Nigeria ought to have from its enormous resources”. If Nigeria hopes to have credible elections (a proposition Nigerians know is IMPOSSIBLE under the PDP regime and its Siamese twin of Maurice Iwu’s INEC!), Mrs. Clinton offered that “There must be a truly independent electoral system run by independent group of people”.
For the Nigerian people, there really was nothing earth-shaking in whatever the American top diplomat said last week. We are at the receiving end of the massive corruption which has ensured the death of the public space in Nigeria: dead schools, dead health services, dead electricity supply, dead infrastructure; all of these triggering the desperacy of non-state/anti-state responses to the manifestations of a dead state, as well as living side-by-side with the stupendous wealth corruptly taken by the ruling elite which Mrs. Clinton was scolding. Clinton represents a state dedicated to the world-wide triumph of the capitalist system; they sold the project to the Nigerian ruling class, but their Nigerian lapdogs instituted a venal, corrupt and bizarre form of capitalism. Nigeria’s capitalism does not revolutionize the processes of production, but it systematically saps society of its vitality. Nigeria’s capitalists are bandits and the ruling elite expected to guarantee capitalist exploitation is just a band of thieves. This is the basis of the worry which Mrs. Clinton was expressing; as the leading capitalist power, America cannot allow a vital neo-colonial outpost like Nigeria, to endanger the worldwide system that is the basis of American hegemony.
If anybody believed that the Nigerian clients will retreat to a corner to lick their wounds, you underestimate the shamelessness of Nigeria’s ruling bandit elite! First to respond with all guns blasting like a cowboy from the American Wild West of old, was Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the official megaphone of the PDP. Alkali told the media that Clinton’s remarks “were baseless….Her sweeping statements on what she calls a ‘failure of leadership’ does not correspond with the reality of present day Nigeria where a committed leadership operating within the rule of law holds sway”. A pitiable Alkali (who must live on an uninhabited planet of self-delusion) went further that Clinton “seems to have taken her briefs from (those) who have an axe to grind with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. These are the trite thoughts emanating from a professor of Political Science! But then Alkali has to defend the system which subsidizes his existence as megaphone of the ruling party.
But in matters of ROFOROFO fight, when the dirtier you fight the more you expose base vulgarity, then no one does it better than David Bonaventure Mark: SECONDS OUT, ROUND ONE! David Mark, lest you forget, is Nigeria’s Senate President. He told the press that “The country is ours; we will decide what form of democracy we want. And I think she was very clear on that – that every country will decide the form of democracy. We will decide for ourselves what we want as a democratic system”. And this is precisely at the heart of Nigeria’s crisis and confusion that it is individuals like Mark, who “decide what form of democracy…” is “practiced” in the country. The man’s antecedents speak volumes about the absurdity of Nigeria. David Mark became fabulously rich as a minister of communications during military dictatorship, when he reminded us that communications facilities were not befitting of the country’s poor. As a senator, he fought against our democratic aspirations as a battering ram for Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda.
Despite the bribery and intimidation, we defeated the Third Term Agenda which David Mark spent legislative time trying to achieve. In a bizarre turn of events, Mark became arguably the biggest beneficiary of the defeat of Third Term, by being rewarded with the presidency of Nigeria’s Senate, at the behest of Olusegun Obasanjo. If anybody was again in doubts, about the form of democracy which David Mark loves, he recently told the chairman of his PDP, to ensure an automatic ticket for all PDP legislators. So it is this “gladiator in gilded armour”, which set out last week, to confront Clinton for daring to talk about the CORRUPTIONSTAN called Nigeria, which has served him so well, just as it has ensured the death of the Nigerian space for the Nigerian people. David Mark was caught in a flight of PDP jingoism, because the stewardship of Nigeria in their hands has been so well exposed by a woman they naively assumed should be defending them from the wrath of the Nigerian people. But American imperialism is conscious of its own interests; it realizes that the irresponsibility of the PDP regime will precipitate a major crisis eventually. If the system will cleanse with such tough talk, then the better for America’s imperialist interest. This is what David Mark’s Area Boy-like response to Clinton could not even begin to fathom.
SOLUDO’S “CONSOLIDATED BANKS” ARE DISASSEMBLING
Charles Soludo was the real poseur; originally nondescript and alleged to enter Abuja by night bus from the East up to 1999, he became CBN Governor under Obasanjo. Hiring media commentators who sang his praises about banking “consolidation”; it seems consolidation is now disassembling. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is exposing the hind place of the Soludo fowl, and apparently, it stinks! Moguls of “consolidation” are being exposed as common thieves and more will soon be. WATCH THIS SPACE.
Is’haq Modibbo Kawu
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