Dissecting Mrs. Clinton’s Speech

Dissecting Mrs. Clinton’s Speech

By Adeola Aderounmu

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Unlike more than 100m Nigerians who are living in compulsory absolute darkness foisted on them by the vigorless and illegal Yar Adua administration, I watched and listened to the short speech delivered by Mrs. Clinton and I followed the Q & A questions that came after. Keen listeners would not have missed when the US Secretary of State stated that the Yar’Adua’s government is illegitimate..!

My conclusion from watching the session is what I’d always known: nothing positive will happen in Nigerian unless we flush out these bad and corrupt rulers and illegal federal government once and for all. The big question is: how can we achieve this objective?

Just like Mr. Obama’s speech in Ghana there was nothing new about what Mrs. Clinton said. Her speech was titled: Nigeria, towards a new future. She reminded us that we produce 2m barrels of oil a day and that we are the 7th largest producer of crude oil. But she was quick to add that the level of poverty in Nigeria has risen from 46% to 70% over the last 30 years.

Mrs. Clinton blamed Nigeria’s woes on failure of governance at all levels, that is, local, state and federal. According to the US Secretary of States, at all levels of governance in Nigeria, there is corruption and mismanagement. She also mentioned the lack of capacity. I don’t know if I agree with that though. I would rather say the presence of untapped capacity because of one useless federal character that has been used to bring all manners of unknown dudes and nonentities into governance.

She went on to quote the World Bank which had stated that Nigeria has lost over 300 million dollars as a result of corruption over the past 3 decades. But we were once told by Mr. Ribadu that the amount is actually several billions of dollars. Abacha alone stole more than $5 billion and most of that money was re-stolen under Iweala-Obasanjo arrangement. It is unclear how Obasanjo and Iweala could have documented that Abacha’s loots were used for projects that pre-date the recovery of the loot. Who can you trust in Nigeria?

Mrs. Clinton posed a simple question to Nigerian politicians,looters and their agents. These include people like Ibori, Aondoakaa, Yar’ Adua, David Mark, Babangida, Anenih, Igbinedion, Tafa Balogun and Obasanjo just to mention a few looters. Do you know what Nigeria would have done with 300 million dollars? She has some answers: Nigeria could have built hospitals, roads, schools, many children would have attended colleges and several women would not have lost their lives during childbirth.

From my own understanding, Mrs. Clinton mentioned that Yar Adua’s government is illegitimate. She said that the lack of transparency has eroded the legitimacy of the government. It took so long and is almost harmless now but it is better late than never that at least someone is thinking along with me that Nigeria has no legitimate government. She supported her statement by reminding us that Yar Adua admitted that he was fraudulently forced into power.

She urged Nigeria and Nigerians to fix the flawed electoral system and to establish an Independent electoral council. This is an argument that many of us have put forward many times. In one of my article published on the web (as an internet warrior), I mentioned that Iwu is a resident evil in the aisle. If Mr. Iwu stays one week more on his notorious job and as a matter of fact if Nigeria’s INEC is not disbanded to give way to a fresh and independent electoral body Mrs. Clinton would have wasted her time, energy and saliva.

Before 2011 we as Nigerians must join hands as members of the civil societies and groups to demand for the total implementation of the recommendation of the Electoral Committee. Before 2011 we must re-organise our political structures and institutions in such a way that debates, healthy discussions and participation will become the backbones of our political life as it was in the 1920s during the days of Herbert Macaulay. This much was mentioned by one member of the selected audience.

Mrs. Clinton told us something that we already knew was necessary for a free and fair election to hold in Nigeria. She said she learnt from the recommendations of the electoral committee that Nigeria has no Nationwide Voters Registration Process. She is right in a way. Votes are not counted in Nigeria and that is why the mischievous Mr. Iwu can decide the outcomes of elections.

Mrs. Clinton echoed the contents of my first article published in the Nigerian Guardian on September 9 2002 titled: why politicians steal. We must replace officials or politicians if they break the law and if they fail to deliver. She agreed with my opinion that looters, thieves and bad politicians must be brought to courts to face prosecution. She mentioned that that will create a deterrent to prevent future wrong doing. However this is impossible in present day Nigeria. Before we can do this, we must have a true anticorruption fighting organisation, a normal police force and a corruption-free judiciary.

Today’s EFCC is controlled by a very corrupt man called Mr. Ibori and Mrs. Farida Waziri is just a puppet. She is also alleged to be corrupt. In addition, if a Nigerian politician loots 20 million dollars, he can pay EFCC 1 million naira and attend court for 2 months. He is free afterwards. It is called plea-bargaining. EFCC is funny abeg !

With the type of Attorney General that we have, we are in a mess in Nigeria. Mr. Aondoakaa is making a mockery of what is supposed to be another strong arm of democracy-the judiciary. With Mr. Aondoakaa, how can we successfully prosecute the likes of Ibori? With all the corrupt faces scattered across the nation and even at the venue of the meeting, how can we, in the words of Mrs. Clinton, have Trust as the Foundation of our Democracy?

The US secretary of state mentioned that democracy is not perfect anywhere in the world and was quick to mention the stupid excuse that corrupt Nigerians are always ready to refer to in recent years-that even the US has problems with elections. This is connected to the Bush-Al Gore election controversy. She said that democracy is not about elections alone. Any student of politics or political science is aware of the points that would come next. Democracy is also about the judiciary. In Nigeria our judiciary is a cash and carry process. The law is upside down and always in favour of the ruling party and the powerful. It has become a ruse of law.

Democracy is also about the rights of the citizens. Nigerian citizens have no rights! They cannot have the basic things that the state owes them. No light, no water, no good roads, no basic health care and the list go on. Democracy is also about strong democratic institutions. How can we imbibe this in Nigeria where godfathers have already decided the results of the 2011 elections? If only Hilary knew that!

The other day I saw how people were boasting in Anambra State that they will “capture this” “capture that”. The big mouthed local government officials were presented with Mini Buses and probably money with which they will campaign (I hope) and “capture” all the political offices in Anambra. I was worried about the use of the word-capture. So Nigerian public offices are up for capture? Which year are we going to start counting the votes?

Democracy is also about the freedom of the press. In Nigeria today, many opportunists have used The Press to capture government positions and some journalists and media people are also looters today. A lot of misinformation is in the air in Nigeria because of the way politics have been used to manipulate the Nigerian Media. Nowadays many columnists in Nigeria are quick to condemn online analysts and bloggers. It is really a shame what democracy has done to the Nigerian press. Brown envelope syndrome and political jobbing has come to stay.

Democracy, according to Mrs. Clinton, is also about good governance. We knew this already but I guess she is trying to tell Nigerian politicians that they are all bad in terms of governance. Mrs Clinton told the nonentities in Aso rock and elsewhere that oil and aid cannot guarantee success but she was gullible to say that the US supports the (evil and unrealistic) 7 points agenda of an idle mind. Yar Adua is a lazy man who will not deliver one thing in his tenure as illegitimate leader. My bet is on that. How can a man swimming in corruption and surrounded by corrupt people achieve anything? Yar’ Adua lied to Hilary (just the way he lied during his inaugural speech) that he will deliver on roads and electricity. Since when did chicken grow teeth?

The Civil society was challenged to make more use of the political system to encourage a type of politics that will be for common good. With the Nigerian Police that I know, this is an optical mirage. Unless something radical occurs, the civil society and genuine pro-democratic groups will continue to be suppressed.

Mrs. Clinton mentioned some positive things about Nigeria. For example the agency responsible for preventing human trafficking has put Nigeria in a comfortable position among the serious nations fighting the menace. But I wonder how many of our sisters are on their way to Italy and Denmark tonight. Nevertheless we must praise the agency in question because many factors in Nigeria are probably not in favour of the struggle against human trafficking.

Mrs. Clinton said that US can partner Nigeria in many ways citing that she met with Mr. Ojo Maduekwe to discuss a certain bi-national commission, technical assistance and supports in various areas. Is this the US visit Maduekwe bragged about? But I hope Maduekwe was listening when Hilary mentioned India and Indonesia as countries that we can learn from. Is it true that Indonesia had a successful election and that democracy there is about 10 years old? What is our excuse when India can organise a successful election?

Obasanjo reminded us in 2007 that we have always had elections with complains and violence since 1959. So I guess he was pleased that he championed the evil that was perpetrated in 1978, 1999, 2003 and 2007. He must be our National Record Holder.

How can Nigeria have free and fair elections in 2011 when we don’t have an Independent Electoral Commission? Mrs. Clinton said the US can work with Nigeria depending on the way we approach the voter registration process (and of course the intra-party politics). I understood that if we want to computerise the process, the US can assist Nigeria to an extent that will even allow disable people to vote. But if we want to persist with our crude methods, then according to her, the future of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians.

Mrs. Clinton said she told Yar Adua why Nigeria is not in the G-20. She said it is because of the impact of corruption on our system and economy. She said it was also because in Nigeria, wealth is concentrated at the top. What she meant was that Nigerian politicians are thieves, that they are stealing money instead of spreading wealth and helping to build the nation. She said Nigeria is not in the G20 because we have a system where there is no accountability.

Mrs. Clinton expressed her dismay that Nigeria is not electrified despite her oil wealth. “When you think of Nigeria, the oil and the gas, you think it (Nigeria) will be electrified”. Truly corruption has destroyed this country. In Nigeria today Electric Power Supply is not available. I wonder if Nigeria generates up to 100MW as I write this. NEPA gives you a blink-blink at the end of the month and then brings you a monthly bill. By so doing, NEPA is a looting agent. It is pure robbery to do that!

The most positive thing that came with hope from the session was when Mrs. Clinton said that there are loads of Intelligent and hardworking people in Nigeria who are capable of producing good results. She said for 2011, the opportunities and the responsibilities lie in our hands. For me the task is for the intelligent and hardworking people to accept the new opportunities ahead and to face the challenges that will come with the responsibilities on our shoulders.

The time is now to build good foundations for our democratic institutions. Whether we like it or not we must start to construct and build strong democratic institutions. It is the normal or usual way to eliminate strong men or godfathers who have used violence and force to intimidate and relegate us.

Mrs. Clinton’s speech was good but not perfect. We knew all/most of it before. She probably deliberately avoided the Niger Delta debate and her response to a question on the peace process aka fake amnesty does not come across as convincing. Some commentators have condemned the role of the US in the Niger Delta crisis. It is likely that the US along with the UK, is supporting the illegitimate government in Nigeria through arms deal. It is also a common knowledge that the US is more interested in the oil that goes from the Niger Delta to USA than at the nature of governance in Nigeria.

But in a diplomatic world the US as a super power must appear like a good partner and a global lover of the poor masses even if she is doing nothing about the helpless masses as we have seen in recent events across the world. But the deals with the government behind closed doors usually betray the open speeches. Yet several aspects of what Hilary talked about regarding our politics are unfortunately real and true.

Our politicians are wicked and deaf. They may be mentally deranged considering their insatiable lust for wealth acquisition. The saddest thing is that when they wake up the next day after Hilary’s visit is over; it is back to business as usual. Yar Adua will travel to Saudi Arabia because 8 years as governor and 2 years as illegal president were not enough to build one hospital to tackle his ailments.

Maduekwe will ignore Hilary and throw away the notes he made. Ibori will get a contract to import election machines that will be manipulated and pre-programmed by Iwu. By 2011 all the governors (except Fashola perhaps because he said he doesn’t want a 2nd term) will be in PDP and the looting will continue. Head or tail, the Nigerian masses lose. A revolution might be inevitable to achieve some of the dreams of Hilary. Afterall JFK told us many years ago that “Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable”

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1960-2008: Nigeria has wasted 2 generations and 48 years

By Adeola Aderounmu.

Not everyone will agree that 2008 was another wasted year but in actual fact, it was wasted. To those who have managed to climb up and away from the poverty zone, it is a year of accomplishment. To those who have succeeded through hardwork and a little bit of luck, it is a wonderful year.

However, more than 90m Nigerians are still below the poverty level. Many of them living desperately on less than 2 USD per day. To be sure, there are some people in Nigeria who do not have any money or material comfort. These people are neither covered by any form of social security nor consoled by the any type of social amenity. They lack the basic things of life: water, food and good accommodation. In general, their standard of living is below acceptable human conditions.

Several millions of Nigerians will start 2009 just the way they started 2008-poor and facing extreme hopelessness. They will start a new year without electricity in their homes. Nigeria is currently generating less than 3000 MW of electricity! Power supply in the last quarter of 2008 is one of the worst in the history of Nigeria. There are many days of absolute power cut and (sometimes) intermittent supply of about 30min in 2 days. Is Nigeria really a country?

Yet Nigerians are addressing Yar Adua as president. What has he successfully presided over since he was illegally bundled into power by Obasanjo and Iwu? Nigerians know that they are being held as captives but they don’t know how to release themselves from the bondage.

No one can deny that the Nigerian masses are being held as captives by a clique of tropical gangsters who have “bought” the country and turned it to their paradise and our hell. It is so unbelievable that these monsters have held swayed for most part of the 48 years of Nigerian independence. It is also remarkable how they re-group and recruit new accomplices in order to ensure that evil and terror are perpetually unleashed on the common man.

For instance Yar Adua’s fake government is oiled by corruption just like the others before it. How long shall we repeat this? Everytime I hear Yar Adua condemning corruption, I get stomach pains. How can you condemn something that you are enmeshed in, something you are doing almost nothing about in the interest of the public even though you have the transient or stolen power to do so?

Can Yar Adua tell Nigerians why Ibori is not facing prosecution? Why did Lucky Igbinedion pay just 3 million naira after looting for 8 years? Why are all the indicted governors and Ministers from 1999 to 2007 free people? Yar Adua should please save us the hypocrisy of his pseudo-leadership. It is not possible to fool all the people all the time.

It is now known to all and sundry that Ibori is the one controlling the EFCC nowadays. This would explain why Farida is his foot mat. Ibori has perfected the act of escaping prosecution. This guy stole Delta State to dryness and he is enjoying a post-governorship immunity simply because he donated more money than anyone else in sponsoring Yar Adua to the global centre of corruption aka Aso Rock.

Among the people who have contributed to the waste and hopelessness in Nigeria, one should never fail to mention Obasanjo. In Nigeria today, NEPA is generating less than 3000MW and the misdeeds of Obasanjo and his co-looters is a principal factor in this debacle. For 8 years, this man deceived all Nigerians and made us believed in vain. Nigerian are invariably in for another ride of deceit-waiting in vain for a declaration of a state of emergency in the power sector.

Maurice Iwu has joined the long list of the men holding Nigerians as captives. All the elections held even after the sham of April 2007 are still condemnable. The worst political comment in the world in 2008 was made by Iwu when he said that the US should learn from Nigeria when it comes to conducting election. The comments of senile Mugabe (“Zimbabwe is mine” and “no cholera in Zimbabwe”) are child’s play compared to Iwu’s venomous utterances. Nigeria is surely condemned when men without defined visions or missions are in control.

Anyone who has been following the proceedings of the Nigerian Senate under the leadership of the mega-looter called David Mark would really feel sorry for Nigeria. There is almost no room for intelligent discussions and Mark is usually way off the mark when he makes his comments. Nigerians have sacrificed intelligence for stupidity and looting games in the Nigerian Senate and House of Assembly.

David Mark has no business in the Senate anyway. After participating in the looting of Nigeria, it is quite easy to understand the negative contributions he brings with him to the senate. The war on corruption, if we had one, should have engulfed his likes.

The reigning gangsters and looters in Nigeria are surely having a jolly ride with a man like Michael Aondoakaa in control of the legal system. He is not only shielding and defending the looters in Nigeria and abroad, his idea of rule of law is very instrumental in the spreading of poverty and deaths in Nigeria.

What these bad leaders don’t understand is that every little misdeed adds up to the misery of Nigerians. Why protect people who stole monies that they cannot spend in 10x their life span? Obviously he is gaining a lot in the process! One day na one day sha!

There is no way Babangida will not be on this parade. More than 12 billion dollars of Nigeria’s money alleged to be in his possession is enough to keep Nigeria in the doldrums for another decade or more. If 12 billion dollars is pumped into Nigeria’s scientific and medical research and development (R&D), almost all Nigerian scholars abroad will be heading home to contribute to the progress of the country.

We don’t need a prophecy to know that Nigerians will continue to suffer because of a few men in possession of the country’s wealth. If there is war on corruption in Nigeria, many of the people parading government houses in Nigeria today should be answering for corruption and crime against humanity.

There is no real anticorruption body in Nigeria and this is why politicians and government officials continue to steal. Obasanjo destroyed the EFCC by using it to crack down on all anti-third term groups and individuals. The rules have changed under Umaru-soft pedal for all and sundry. Slow and steady kill the case was the modification by Farida Waziri-a pure puppet.

If Nigeria has a proper anticorruption agency, it would be independent, open and sincere. The EFCC of today is a shield for the likes of Ibori and all the corrupt governors and politicians that served under Obasanjo. Those who served and lined their pockets before 1999 are not even moved. The only worried groups in Nigeria today are the yahoo-yahoo boys, cybercafé owners and of course the common man. EFCC has even dedicated a drama series to yahoo-yahoo boys on AIT. What a joke of an institution!

Forty-eight years of waste was solidify by the lukewarmness of the Nigerian judiciary. This organ of government has disappointed Nigerians over the years and more recently has produced highly questionable and contestable judgements. The court has made it possible for individuals who did not contest in elections to be winners. Serving convicts and ex-convicts contested and won elections in Nigeria. Imagine how many criminals are occupying political positions in Nigeria. The disposition of the Courts in Nigeria is one of the reasons that the police stations have been turned to firing squads. The Nigerian Police is a sick child on its own: a very sick child! When it mattered most, Nigerian law system usually becomes heavily compromised.

All of these evil acts that have confined Nigeria among the poorest nations in the world is actually the summation of the effects of a group fondly called “the cabal“. The cabal is the reason why sane and intelligent minds get to government houses and become stereotyped looting machines.

Even Nigerians who lived abroad before joining government have not been spared the initiation into the looting game. The cabal preaches a gospel of eat and go and don’t bug yourself with the status quo. This is why many nice people have become “new creatures” once they eat the forbidden fruits. It is because of the cabal that our elections have no values and are unworkable. The cabal is responsible for the annulment of the only free and fair election that took place in 1993.

The sins of the cabal are many but its prime approach is to promote fear and ignorance with the view of controlling the machinery of government forever. The newest approach being utilised by the cabal is the secrecy oath in the illegal presidency which is now being adopted across government institutions nationwide. What is secret about the illegality of the regime in Nigeria? What is the secret about the fact that they are all there to protect their personal interests and steal as much as they can just like the deceivers before them.

The problems in Nigeria are not going to be solved or ameliorated if we don’t take care of the stumbling blocks. Nigerians have been quiet for too long and everybody is after his or her own interests. It shouldn’t be like that. Some people have called for a revolution but Nigeria is a very complicated country and this complication is one of the weak points that the cabal and the corrupt leaders are using to oppress Nigerians more and more. Some people want the biblical call: To thy tent O’ Israel! The Niger Delta crisis, the threats of religious riots, tribal conflicts and secession bids are obvious indicators.

Rather than “every-man-to-himself” Nigerians should start thinking collectively of how rescue the over 90m people living hopelessly across the nation. We should come together and discuss whatever it will entail to capture this country back from the vultures who have been stealing and looting since 1960. If the outcome will send us back to our tents, so be it. Posterity should be the keyword.

After chasing Ghanaians out of Nigeria, they went home and built a formidable country that Nigerians are running to like rats. Ghana is now ranked as one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The actions and leadership of one man changed Ghana forever. The lesson is that one man can make a difference. Enlightened Nigerians have the honour to take up this challenge and start building formidable forces and groups that will challenge the “status quo”.

We must do whatever it will take to break from this yoke. It’s too heavy a burden and one way or the other we all feel the effects. Let’s do what it takes to free our children and grandchildren from this burden.

Happy New Year!

The Anatomy of Corruption

Original title: Nigeria, Surrounded
Author: Sonala Olumhense
Source: Nigeria Village Square Sat 22 Nov 2008.

What would you do to someone you truly hated, if you had the authority to do exactly as you pleased? Caution: murder is excluded as an answer to this question, as “someone” could be more than one person, perhaps whole peoples. I will give my own answer in a few minutes.

Before I do so, I remind you, my dear reader: it is about six years since Nigeria began to “fight” corruption. In a fight, one party usually wins, or to have the stronger hand. In this combat, it is our opponent who seems to be winning, but we have played enough of the right game for the world to mistake the aroma for the food. Some of them are beginning to give us the benefit of the doubt in important reports, but how realistic is that?

A war demands troops and commanders. Equipment and supplies. Strategies and manoeuvres. And then, naturally, we expect to find casualties and prisoners; that is how you win. What you do not expect to find are defectors and fifth columnists.

The first thing one notices in our so-called war is that there are hardly any casualties. One or two unfortunate people are all we can point to after six years in cases that, in the end, may have had little to do with graft and everything to do with politics. That is the tally. The supposedly “injured,” (undergoing trial, awaiting trial) are all over the place living better than the Queen of England, partying harder than Madonna and travelling better than the Sultan of Brunei.

What about the commanders? In random order, as I cast my eyes over the horizon, the army is advised by an ethically-empty and professionally uncaring Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Increasingly alleged to be involved in all kinds of personal malfeasance and even dismissed by the political salesman Terry Waya as “the greediest man in Abuja,” it took Mr. Michael Aondoakaa only months to build himself a mansion fit for a king. He has converted his office into the best friend of corrupt former governors in trouble abroad.

In the past fortnight, the press has reported the arrest by the State Security Service, of his younger brother, Innocent Aondoakaa. From him, they obtained extensive evidence of several filthy deals bothering on extortion that the AG, in collusion with the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has been involved with.

In the anti-graft “war,” it is to be expected that Mr. Aondoakaa would work closely with the leaders of the anti-graft agencies. With Mrs. Waziri, who heads the EFCC, the AG seems to be doing well. With controversy swelling over allegedly missing or distorted EFCC files, Mr. Aondoakaa has said nothing. He is galvanized only on the side of an accused governor. Nothing speaks more eloquently about his place in history.

As another “commander” in a critical front in the “war,” I have cited Mrs. Waziri in this column as being tainted. Among others, she has openly, publicly and brazenly flouted the statutory reporting requirements of her agency. There is therefore no official or organized record of what the EFCC is doing.

Unofficially, Mrs. Waziri seems to be a competent swimmer. Her favourite pool to enjoy is the river of corruption and ineptitude that runs from the troubled former governors to her office and on to the Federal Ministry of Justice. Her relationship with the President and the AG makes it most unlikely she was really sent to fight corruption; her sad track record so far makes it most unlikely we will ever celebrate her as a champion graft-fighter.

Another command in the war is the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). The ICPC, which is now headed by a former Supreme Court judge, Mr. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, stirs once in a while to remind Nigerians it is still alive and maintaining a website. Apparently, that is how they justify their statutory claims. The ICPC, which is actually older than the EFCC, seems to have decided that both corruption and power are to be feared; it is not really going to confront either.

What about the police? While the Nigerian policeman has acquired a bad name over the years for his corruption and brutality, he now has a leader without limits. Inspector-General Mike Okiro is linked with several cases of corruption himself, including private schools and shopping malls in Abuja worth billions of Naira that he could not possibly have paid for from his police salary.

The IG also owns other businesses that conflict and compete with his job. His Bharmoss Ventures, for instance, claims expertise in “construction, real estate acquisition and development as well as engineering.” How does a policeman “sell, improve, manage, develop, exchange, lease, mortgage, enfranchise, dispose of, turn of account, or otherwise deal with, all or any part of the property and rights of the company,” and still protect and serve anyone who is neither selling to, nor buying from him?

Meanwhile, over at the federal legislature, David Mark presides over the Senate. Mr. Mark makes no ethical claims. He is a former minister who is stupendously wealthy, with vast financial tentacles and property that span Africa, Europe and Jersey. It is unknown how he came about any of them, including 6 million British pounds his former wife convinced a court to freeze several years ago.

Mr. Mark’s counterpart at the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, a “new generation” politician who came to prominence only recently as Speaker, is currently embroiled in allegations of sleaze following the purchase by the House of hundreds of cars. In the past month, his image has taken a hammering.

Meanwhile at the top of the judiciary, some Supreme Court justices are reported to have accepted inducements from the tag team of Aondoakaa and EFCC’s Waziri, who have a budget of about $30 million for the purpose, towards purchasing justice that is favorable to President Yar’Adua in the electoral petition before the court.

And up at the presidency itself, Patience Jonathan, the Vice-President’s wife, remains a screaming siren. For two years, nobody has touched her, a woman twice held for money-laundering, once for N104 million, and then for $13 million (US). There is no war against corruption in Nigeria for as long as Mrs. Jonathan is sitting comfortably on her backside shielded by her husband, Yar’Adua, and Aondoakaa.

And then President Yar’Adua, who took office 18 months ago and promised a new day. The trouble, for me, is that I thought the President could tell night from day. He promised the rule of law, but is arresting journalists he said he would sue. He promised Nigeria a better deal but refuses to be honest with them about his health. He says Nigeria will implement the Millennium Declaration Goals but prefers to stay in bed. He speaks of Vision 2020 the same way we count our gold medals before the Olympics.

It seems to take Yar’Adua days to wake up, weeks to realize he has not got out of bed, months to decide to fire his ministers, even more months to actually fire them, and then months to announce a list that is evidently more flawed than what he did one year ago. In a country so far down the drain from its potential, a country needing a dynamic, 24-hour-per-day performance, we are hostages in more ways than one.

So, dear Nigerian, what would you do to someone you truly hated, if you had the authority to do everything? The answer is that, to make him suffer forever, you would leave behind a poison that keeps on poisoning.

Before our eyes, someone who obviously hates Nigerians handpicked Mr. Yar’Adua, knowing his deep limitations of vision, ability, motivation, and even health. It is a stroke of evil genius, the poison that keeps on poisoning.

But understanding this ought to make Nigerians rise in strength, not deflate in agony. We are a nation surrounded, but we must rise—prepared to take our destiny in our own hands—and say the word.

That word is: “Enough!”

sonala.olumhense@gmail.com

The worst democracies in the world

By Adeola Aderounmu

Some of the worst examples of democratic government are found in Africa. It is remarkable to note that even the country regarded as the cradle of humanity-Kenya that is, is among the most useless places on earth where crude democracy is established. If Africans cannot practice true democracy, they should denounce it and look for something that will work for the populace especially the poor people who are worst hit by the crimes of the gangster leaders. It is an anomaly to say for example that Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe have democratic governments. In reality, what you see in these 3 countries are autocratic government imposed on the people in a “whether you like it or not manner”.

Kenya Example
Kenya’s Kibaki and Odinga are two selfish leaders who threw the country into turmoil. Together they are responsible for the death of more than 1 000 people and the displacement of nearly half a million others. Today they are both president and prime minister respectively in a power sharing deal that completely negate the significance of the votes casted in Kenya in 2007. Power sharing by these demonic leaders is not democracy. Power sharing is not a reflection of the votes that were discarded and disregarded.

Odinga is now trying to export Kenya’s democracy to Nigeria. Someone should tell him to shut up! Nigeria already has a disastrous form of “home-grown” democracy and the last thing we need in Nigeria is a further dilution of that calamity. So Odinga, Shut up! The only reason you accepted the Prime Minister’s position was for your own selfish reason and that is not related to anything “peace” or “prosperity”.

Zimbabwe’s Example
After Kenya came power sharing also in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is 84 and he is still the autocratic leader in Zimbabwe. He refused to vacate the office of the president even when it was clear that he lost the elections. He said he doesn’t want the opposition in power because the opposition received the backing of the West. But the issue is: who voted for the opposition? Is it the West or the people of Zimbabwe who voted in March 2008?

Anyway, the opposition leader just like in the case of Kenya also accepted to be prime minister. They call it “in the interest of peace”. Good point! But who created the absence of peace in the first place? Of course it is the murderous leaders. It is the likes of Mugabe and Tsvangirai (aided by the West?) who instigated chaos and turmoil and the end result is that the votes became useless!

Truth is no decent man should accept to share power with people like Mugabe and Kibaki who have lost both the plan and ideas regarding modern world. It would have been better to let them persist as sole leaders rather than serve with them. To serve along with them is not the solution especially as the principles of democratic governance are compromised. Why should the people come back another day to vote if the outcomes of the previous voting resulted to power sharing? What then is the meaning of democracy? Nonsense!

Complicated? Yea! When you don’t have a sound principle, you’ll always accept to serve with wicked leaders like Mugabe and Kibaki and you’ll pretend it is for the people. It also shows that the likes of Odinga and Tsvangirai are selfish and very desperate. They are sharing power with friends and co-looters. The people are suffering!

Nigeria
My last example of some of the worst democracies in the world comes from Nigeria. Does anyone know that 20% of black people worldwide are Nigerians? If you break this down it means that for every 5 blackman /woman that you see, 1 is Nigerian!

Yet in this great country, the sleeping giant of AFRICA, democracy remains elusive! Nigeria is not yet a democratic country because since 1959 when the first elections were held, votes have never been counted. It is a tradition that Obaanjo passed on to his puppet called Yar Adua. Nigeria has also suffered tremendously as a result of the incursion of the military into partisan politics. People like Babangida and the Abacha family stole billions of naira and destroyed all the institutions of governance to ground zero.

Nigeria is very corrupt and the corrupt leaders and politicians continue to use stolen wealth to oppress the other people who are more than 90m and living on less than 2 dollars a day. In a country of 140m it is very shameful that those who could save the country are voiceless and powerless.

I am still amazed why Nigerians troop out on every Election Day to cast votes that will never be counted. That phenomenon should be listed as the eighth wonder of the world. In Nigeria, the situation is worse than in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Why? Because the results of elections are already determined before the Election Day. The godfathers who are mostly illiterates and idiots have their ways of sharing and dividing the political office in caucus meetings. It is a shame and today (october 13 2008) as I write there are violent incidents going on in Lagos Nigeria because of some silly re-election. There is no election in Nigeria without violence, arson, murder, molestation and assassination.

The political situation in Nigeria defiles all logic and human reasoning. This is a country that continues to produce some of the most intelligent people in the world. Nigerians are probably the most intelligent people in Africa, US and UK (and Europe generally) and even in the Middle East and Australia. It is therefore amazing how the idiots in politics have destroyed the institutions of governance and made it a cabal affair. It is amazing how Nigerians continue to develop other countries of the world while their homeland is almost uninhabitable.

Conclusively, there are some democracies in the world marred by stupidity, selfishness, looting, corruption and massive maladministration but the examples of Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria readily comes to mind because of the attendant effects of these anomalous democracies on the lives of the people. For example, there is no reason why every individual in Nigeria should not be a millionaire theoretically. That the monies for 140m continue to end up in private accounts and private pockets remain one of the unsolved mysteries of the 21st century, the 9th wonder maybe!

A Funny Ladder of Corruption

Adeola Aderounmu

I have my reservations about International Organisations like Transparency International AND Amnestry International and their mode of operations, still I think they are trying a little bit reminding us of the some of the things that have made this world a devil’s hive: Corruption by government and lack of respect for the rights of all.

So here we are again in Nigeria! I have written somewhere that Nigeria is the most corrupt country in the world. I have not changed my mind on that position. The reasons were also mentioned in that article which has been published on this blog and on the Nigeria Village Square. I stand by what I wrote then and when I’m affirming now that Nigeria is (probably) the most corrupt country in the world.

If a man like Obasanjo and another one like Babangida can be freemen in Nigeria where more than 90m people are suffereing as a result of looting and stealing under these two men, then it is not true that Nigeria has made any progress in combating corruption. All the looters under the last dispensation are walking free. There is yet no proper dispensation of justice in the criminal investigation of politicians.One by one, they all bought they were out or they were never prosecuted at all. The Iboris, the Kalus, The Obasanjos, The Atikus and all the other thieves in Nigeria.

Look at the excitment on the face of Farida Waziri, EFCC Boss, when meeting with Doris Basle the Transparency International representative in Africa and Mid-East. Nigeris is happy to be ranked 121st which is a climb-up from the previous 148th position. What difference does this make? More people have probably suffered in Nigeria under the period in review than in the year before. So what is the need to move up a silly ladder just to inflict more suffering on a growing number of people?

The situation is probably not going to change in Nigeria until democracy or another form of workable government takes root in Nigeria. So far, what we have is gangsters taking hold of power at all cost. The present governmenr headed by Yar Adua is a reaffirmation of the gangsterism in government. This man will not have the guts or liver to fight corruption because he was not elected, like the others before him anyway. He was made president by Obasanjo, how then can he or his government give a fair investigation into the government of Obasanjo.

Even his own 8 years in Katsina, Yar Adua could not turn around the health department and that is why he is running to Germany and Saudi Arabia to seek solutions to his health problems.

Corruption beget corruption, that should be the motto on Nigeria’s coat of arm.

Soon, Nigerians are going to be presented with another opportunity to steer the course of the country. They must know that a free and fair election is the first cure for corruption. In it lies the ability of the system to rid away with corrupt persons and institutions. In it lies the voices of the weak, the poor and the masses whose contributions will come to represent the only way forward. Not succumbing or giving in to the threats of the wicked and the rogues in power will be the only way to the emancipation of the people and the realisations of their aspirations to build a sane society where the rights of all will be recognised. A sane society where one can live without fear or panic and with the confidence that the future can deliver what today promises.