OPINION: Let us stop this madness – Eze Onyekpere

Published:3 Dec, 2012

OPINION: Let us stop this madness – Eze Onyekpere

Recent events in our polity, and the postulations of elected and appointed officials of government, seem to suggest that our development is held back, not by visionless and greedy leaders but by the sheer docility of the populace. Since the beginning of 2012, it has been one monumental scam and scandal after another. Perpetrators of these scams are all alive, walking the streets as free men (and women). Nigerians are used to the idea that things will remain as they have always been due to the lack of political will on the part of the leadership. A political scientist who presided over a panel discussion at a premiere of a documentary on corruption in Abuja a couple of days ago stated that what we call lack of political will on the part of the leadership, should not really bear that description. He rather sees it as the lack of sufficient push and demand from those who are the victims of the maladministration and greed of the leaders. This redefinition seems more apt as a description of what happens in Nigeria. It is a fact of life that Nigerians are a long-suffering people and very easy to enslave in virtually all aspects of their lives.

Related to this is the constant attempt at capacity-building in the public sector. Conference after conference, meeting after meeting and workshop after workshop have proverbially built the capacity of public servants on a wide array of subjects. Yet, in those endeavours where they have received the new teachings and capacity, they fail woefully to deliver services to the people. Essentially, what is lacking in these offices and officials is not capacity. It is clearly a lack of integrity. Virtually every Ministry, Department or Agency of government requests resources to buy library books which is also part of capacity-building in an anti-intellectual environment. But, how many ranking officials of the Nigerian state have in the search of new ideas, read a book in the last three years?

Why do we find it difficult as a people to ask for our basic rights and that things are done the right way? It appears that we have accepted that corruption is a necessity and a way of life to the extent that we see people in public office as having a socially accepted opportunity to steal and loot. We expect them to take their turn in the belief that it may get to our turn tomorrow or the turn of someone very close to us who can facilitate our access to the treasury. It is like a relay race and the baton is exchanged from one set of government officials to another in the full glare of the victims of the senseless race. Rather than jeering and taking steps to block the tracks and stop the race, it appears the victims are cheering and clapping. But it is self evident that the resources will never be enough to satisfy everyone’s greed and that the finite resources need to be very well managed to even satisfy our needs. Thus, from the size of our population and available resources, the opportunity to steal will only be available to not more than five per cent of the population thereby leaving the remaining 95 per cent in the lurch.

So, why are we, the majority of the population still clapping and cheering? Are we satisfied with the life we are living, the poverty, darkness and hopelessness that we endure? Are we satisfied with the gridlock in the system? We clap and cheer when we take no step to stop the race and pretend that it is well when everything is wrong. When our rights are violated, instead of seeking remedies to a logical conclusion, we hand over everything to God or we shirk from a fight to claim our rights because we do not have the time! Meanwhile, we have been created in the image and likeness of God who has given us all the powers and things we need to conquer and inherit the earth. And those in authority understand that we do have the stamina that is required for the marathon race involved in claiming rights – the scenario suits them perfectly as they continue with more impunity and violations. We clap and cheer when we refuse to be a part of mass action to protest inhuman and oppressive policies or even to show those in authority that we are angry with the system they have designed to enslave us.

Using the federal budget as an example, there is a rat race among the departments of government on who will use the appropriation process to corner public resources for private ends. The examples of these requests are legion. There is the huge and insensitive demand for travels, transport and training, the repetitive demands for refreshment, meals and welfare packages; agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources that will demand hundreds of millions of naira for exactly the same project, statutory transfers that are not disaggregated and made known to the public, among others. Appropriated and available resources for capital budget implementation are deliberately withheld by the Government while salaries and overheads are fully drawn down. The NEITI Reports reveal that there are public and private agencies in the petroleum sector who withheld over $9.8bn public revenue since 1999 and no one dares to ask them to refund it. Yet, the executive is requesting legislative approval to borrow less than this stolen sum. The list is endless. But what is the reaction of the majority of Nigerians – silence. This silence cannot be golden because it is the silence of a slave who before his master cannot summon the courage to utter a word.

As we approach the one year anniversary of the fuel subsidy crisis, it is imperative for Nigerians to rediscover the spirit of the protest, to draw boundaries against official corruption, to demand accountability and to make it clear to those who have held us in contempt over the years that their time is over. Let us write letters, send text messages, and use the social media to approach our leaders. We need to file law suits, picket institutions, organise street protests in accordance with our freedom of association and movement and refuse to be intimidated by anyone, no matter how highly placed. Let us begin to use the instrument of recall against those officials who have let us down. Indeed, let us make life extremely uncomfortable for anyone who is in leadership position but seeks after his undue comfort to the detriment of the nation. It is time for the millions of unemployed youths to organise and strategise to face a common enemy. You need to organise across ethnic and religious boundaries. Taking to crime will not solve the problem. Nothing will change until we sufficiently demand for change. In history, there has never been and in Nigeria, there will never be political will for beneficiaries of the rot to clean the system. Our destiny lies in taking back our country and our future with concerted action aimed at cleansing the system of corruption and maladministration.

 

Eze Onyekpere (censoj@gmail.com)

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Jonathan Holds Meeting With Ex-Ministers

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has met with some members of his cabinet in a bid to defend his integrity. He was said to have told the former ministers that he was “not a thief in office as being portrayed”. He explained how he met President Muhammadu Buhari for 20 minutes on two issues, which include, advising Buhari against subjecting his person and former cabinet members to “media trial” on alleged corruption and; why the Election Petition Tribunals in Rivers...

Abba Moro Sued By ICT Firm, Claims N350m Damages

Former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has been dragged before a Benue State High Court, sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, by Bosmos Infotech Limited, claiming the sum of N350 million as damages for false, wicked and malicious defamation to tarnish its hard earned reputation. Counsel to the plaintiff, Barr Ocha Ulegede and Co, who instituted the legal ac­tion for his client following public declaration by the former minister that Bos­mos Infotech...

Mikel Obi’s Two Secret Children Uncovered

John Obi Mikel, has fathered two secret lovechildren with different women. The Chelsea midfielder, 28, has a four-year-old son, who was born after he had a brief fling with the lad’s mum. He also has a one-year-old daughter by a woman he met in a nightclub two years ago. The footballer  paid about £80,000 a week  is not named on his son’s birth certificate, but bought a house in the Home Counties where the boy lives...

Nine Princes Battle For Ooni Stool

Nine princes, at the weekend, emerged top contenders from the Giesi Ruling House for the vacant stool of Ooni of Ife, vacated by Oba Okunade Sijuwade, who died recently in a London hospital. Initially, 35 individuals from the ruling house were said to have shown interest in the stool, a development that made the Giesi family to set up a committee to work on the list of contestants, with the intent to choose a capable candidate....

Graft Suspect, Audu Emerges APC’s Kogi Flagbearer

Former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, on Sunday received the nod of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to seek a return to the office he had occupied twice. He is currently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged contract scams totaling N10 billion. After a landslide victory at the election primaries of the party, Audu pledged to repeat the feat at the coming election in the state. He...

Go & Defend Yourself Before Judicial Commission, Wike Tells Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, to go and defend himself before the judicial commission of inquiry sitting in the state. Wike, who was reacting to Amaechi’s declaration on Saturday that he (Amaechi) would not appear before the Justice George Omereji-led panel of inquiry, said it was wrong for the former governor to describe the commission as illegal even when the court had ruled that the panel was in order.

Presidency Responds To Jonathan’s Ex Ministers

In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam  Garba Shehu, the Presidency asked the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers to do a bit of self-reflection on the sort of government they handed to President Muhammadu Buhari back in May to determine for themselves if it would have been right for any incoming government, not just this one to ignore the issue of the brazen theft of public assets, perhaps...

Saraki Leads Delegation To 4th UN Conference Of Parliamentary Heads

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki,  will today lead Nigerian delegation to  participate in the 4th United Nations Conference of Parliamentary Heads holding at the  organisation’s headquarters in New York, United States. This year’s conference which will be declared open by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban  Ki-moon, will feature presentation of reports and general debate on “placing democracy at the  service of peace and sustainable development.” Other issues billed for debate include; “Challenges facing Parliaments today”,...

8,000 Nigerian Refugees In Cameroon, Chad, Niger

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammed Sidi, at the African Union Regional Consultative Meeting for West Africa in Abuja, disclosed that about 58,000 Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria are taking refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad. The consultative panel was slated for the development of a common African position for the World Humanitarian Summit. Mr. Sidi said there were about 57,743 Nigerian refugees in Cameroun,...

How Pilots, Toddler, Officers’ Wives Died

Hours after the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Donnier-228 aircraft crashed shortly after it took off, it was exclusively gathered that three of the civilians on board were wives of Air Force personnel and a toddler. The aircraft, with call sign NAF030, had on Saturday morning crashed into a house at Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna killing all seven people on board. Before the plane crashed, the Abuja-bound aircraft, which took off from Kaduna military airfield at...

Boko Haram Kill 56 People In Fresh Attack On Villagers In Borno State

Islamic extremist group Boko Haram killed 56 villagers in a remote area, the governor of Borno State of the region said, as the government warned that the extremists are trying to extend their violent campaign. Gov. Kashim Shettima confirmed the attack in Baanu village during a meeting with the parents of the 219 girls abducted from a school in the region by the extremists last year. Thursday marked 500 days of captivity of the...

Obasanjo Is A Traitor Who Likes Nobody, Gani Adams Fires At Ex-President

The National Coordinator of the Oo’dua Peoples Congress, Mr. Gani Adams, in an interview with TOBI AWORINDE has also condemned a former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, saying he does things to satisfy his own personal interest and has no interest of anyone at heart. He said a lot and even mentioned the names of some people the president has fought. Part of the interview below... During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo displayed a...

Boko Haram Suicide Bomb Coordinator, Other Front Line Members Arrested By DSS

The Department of Security Service has arrested 21 alleged commanders and front-line members of the Boko Haram terrorist group including the group's suicide bomb attacks coordinator. A statement signed by Mr Tony Opuiyo, DSS spokesperson, states that the sect members were arrested in different parts of the country from July 8th to August 25th. "They include those allegedly responsible for the coordination and execution of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos who were arrested...

“You Have A Hidden Agenda Against Jonathan “, IYC Accuses Buhari

Ijaw Youths Council has called on President Muhammadu BUhari to extend his anti-corruption war to 1999 to cover the Obasanjo era so as to be taken seriously over his anti-corruption war. The Ijaw youths, who are kinsmen of Jonathan, wondered why Buhari should skip the Obasanjo era and concentrate his probe on Jonathan’s administration, accusing him of having a hidden agenda against their son. The National President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri, who signed the statement released...

Cristiano Ronaldo Spends N6.1million On Waxwork Of Himself

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has spent £20,000 on a waxwork of himself to take pride of place in his Spanish mansion. The Real Madrid player paid for the sculpture after making numerous visits to see a similar statue of himself  (pictured above) in the Spanish capital's Museum of Wax. Ronaldo, who used to play for Manchester United, hired British waxwork sculptor Michael Wade to make the replica at his renowned studio in Bridport, Devon. See the replica after...

“We Are Innocent” – Rev. Father, Teenagers Cry Out After Arrest At Baby Making Factory

20-year-old Precious Ihemine, a JSS 2 student from Abia State, claims that her boyfriend impregnated and abandoned her. Ihemine is in police custody in Asaba, Delta State capital, where she is not finding it easy to free herself from police allegations of engaging in baby trafficking, following her arrest at the home of a polyethene packaging materials producer, John Mary Ihezue, who she claims is her employer. Arrested with her is another 20-year old, Blessing Okafor, who was also...

Anti-Corruption War Is Non-Negotiable, Buhari Replies Jonathan’s Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday replied former Nigerian ministers who questioned the sincerity of his anti-corruption war, saying it is not intended to rubbish the name of anyone. The ministers, who served in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had in a statement cautioned against selective anti-corruption war and warned against labelling the Jonathan government as corrupt. In his response, Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, asked the country’s latest “trade union formation, the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers to do...

Dasuki’s Trial Begins Tuesday

The Federal Government will on Tuesday arraign former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), before a Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly being in possession of firearms without license. The Department of State Security Service, DSS, had, in a statement by one of its officials, Tony Opuiyo, on August 24, 2015, said that it had charged Dasuki with the alleged offence. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta,...

Obuah denies allegation of purchase of three mobile stages, costing $6.9m

The Chief Security Officer (CSO) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Gordon Obuah has denied the allegation of purchase of three mobile stages, costing $6.9m, for public appearance of the then President. Speaking through his lawyer, Mr. Andrew Tsekiri, in a telephone conversation with Punch correspondent on...

EFCC sets up four-man panel to probe Diezani

EFCC has commenced a full investigation into the activities of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the NNPC by constituting a four-member committee of crack detectives to probe all the NNPC accounts which were supervised by the former minister. The committee is led by a Superintendent of Police, who was...

Jonathan’s ex-ministers battle Buhari, write warning letter to the president

Some former ministers who served under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan have warned President Muhammadu Buhari to give the former president his “due respect,” and to stop condemning, ridiculing and undermining the efforts of the Jonathan administration including the integrity of the individual members of the past administration. A former Minister of National...