In Nigeria today, all the years of living a fake ostrich life has now come to haunt the country. Today, as I travelled the country, from Lagos to Ibadan, Onitsha, Abuja and Warri, the culture of the end justifies the means has come to make Nigeria, a country of get-rich-quick syndrome. No one cares how you get rich, just get rich!. In all these cities I have mentioned, the roads are a disgrace!
There are posh mansions all over the place but the roads are the type that you will see in a ghetto.! What I also noticed is that these mansions are built inside massive and high wall and completed with giant security gates, the type that will make the US White House Presidential Palace and the French Elysee Presidential residence green with envy! Nobody asks questions as to what happened to the billion of dollars voted in the budget to build and repair these roads. Many Nigerians seems to have taken the long view that it would soon be their turn to be made ministers or governors so that they can loot the treasury, carting away the fortune budgeted to make life comfortable in this world. In the Asokoro district of Abuja, the nation’s capital and Park view Estate in Ikoyi, Lagos, many mansions lay fallow with for sale sign for more than five years. I was told that these mansions are not really for sale. The signs are used to deceive gullible Nigerians by the owners who are usually civil servants and Politicians who use such properties to hide their wealth from the compromised anti-corruption agencies and the journalists who have been compromised.
There is a direct link between Nigeria’s under development and the weak accountability culture of the country. A friend of mine, who is a contractor in Abuja told me that a director of Finance in one of the Parastatals in Abuja, in which he has business dealing said that, he needed to be bribed with N50 Million (about US$250,000), for his company to be paid for the work done. When my friend haggled and hesitated, the director pointedly told my pal, that even if (President) Jonathan sits in the room, he will collect the money! That is the level of corruption in Nigeria! That a public servant will say such a thing shows the lack of fear of retribution or consequences for those who steal from our collective heritage.
While Nigeria is estimated to have earned over US$100 billions from oil sale in the last three years, there is hardly any development to show for these huge earnings. Youth unemployment has skyrocketed to almost 50%, which has led to social problems like Kidnappings, robberies, Islamic extremism (Boko Haram), violence and the rise of the Super Class also known as the nouveau rich.
In a country that cannot generate 2 hours of power daily in almost anywhere in the country about 150 private jets are parked in various airports in the country. In a nation where the poor are getting poorer the number of billionaires and millionaire have risen so fast that, you wonder where the source of such vast wealth come from. There is no prize for guessing my readers. Unlike in the civilized world, apologies to my friend, Mr. Fred Adebayo, of Queens, NY, when monies are budgeted in Nigeria for specific projects, there are no mechanism in place to ensure the projects are implemented. There are no Inspectors general for the different government ministries. So every year, billions can be budgeted for the same bridge years in years out, without such a phantom bridge ever being constructed.
A friend of mine at the UN Mission, New York, once told me that I should stop referring to my effort and that of other patriots in fighting against military rule in Nigeria, that eventually led to this our current democracy. But my question is, did we remove one set of military usurpers and looters (Abacha stole close to US $4 billion) to be replaced by another sets of looters dressed in civilian uniforms?
Who can be happy that our baby, Nigeria, freed of military rule and now dressed in the clothes of democracy has also become a victim of civilian looters who now steal in billions? The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, who may go down in history as the most clueless, the most corrupt and the most annoying and disgraceful President has continued to preside over a corrupt government where the only way to remain in government is to be a corrupt person. Jonathan has refused to declare his assets to the World. So who can blame his Ministers, If they continue to create a bazaar of corruption in Nigeria, using allocation to fund private projects while looting the monies to “safe” havens like the canary Island and Europe?
Who can blame Stella Oduah, ex-Minister of Aviation for stealing billions from the Aviation Ministry when she knows that her President is also busy doing shady petroleum fraud with Deziani Madueke, the Petroleum Resources Minister in ensuring that US $20 billion oil sales was never reported or paid into the Nigerian treasury? The truth of the matter is that President Jonathan is a corrupt man, with insatiable appetite for looting in the same scale as the loathed Abacha! Watch my word, with time, Jonathan will face corruption charges from a dock of the law to answer for all the shenanigans that he is involved in now which time will reveal.
When I left my hotel in Ikeja last month for a visit to Lekki, the want and deprivations were a disgrace to a country that pride itself as giant of Africa! What Giant? With children hawking orange and poff-poff in the traffic. What giant of Africa will not take care of the weak, the elderely and the disabled of the Society?
What giant of Africa will leave dead bodies/roadkill On the Apapa/Oshodi expressway; Badagry expressway and call itself as a civilized part of the human race? What self–respecting country will cede the work of security, energy, and food policy to the individual while engaging in blame game with patriots and hiring shameful liars to spin to the world why they are unable to contain Islamic radicals of boko Haram? Why they are unable to protect citizens from bomb blast of Boko Haram? President Jonathan, what is your job in Aso Rock? Are you there because you think that you are a privileged Nigerian from Ijaw land, with no shoes, who is now taking the slot of South–South? Is that an end in itself?
Where did you get your Ph.D and in what field? Are you the Manchurian Candidate determined to bring Nigeria to an end?. If you have no clue as to governance, apologies to the Ex-VP Atiku Abubakar, why not relinquish power to VP Namadi Sambo? As things stand now, it looks like you have lost control with these endless bombings, kidnapping of 276 girls in Chibok, and your presidency looking on as if it is the most normal thing in the world. President Jonathan this is not normal! All your government has been doing is reacting to the activities of Boko Haram! Reacting! Boko Haram has proclaimed to you that “we are in your city (Abuja)” they are indeed there going by the double bombing in Nyanya, Abuja, April 14 & May 1 2014. Mr. President, seek help to end the insurgency before Boko Haram next boast would be, “Jonah we are now in Aso Rock!" That would be when the many Ostrich-Nigerians--hypocritical, highly–placed Nigerians, will take to the hill and abandon you! Do something before 2015 becomes a mirage for you, so near but unattainable!
*Published in the AFRICAN ABROAD USA April 30-May 14, 2014 edition
To be continued...