By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Dimeji Bankole’

Murder in Ogun State: The Killing of Dipo Dina

Adeola Aderounmu

A prominent son of Ogun State has been assasinated. Mr. Dipo Dina was a vibrant opposition figure and the Ogun State gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress in the April 2007 election. He was assassinated near Covenant University in Otta, Ogun State on Jan 26 2010.

My parents are from Ogun State. I have been there maybe 4 or 5 times my whole life. Ogun State is home to Obasanjo, MKO Abiola, Awolowo and several prominent Nigerians including Ernest Shonekan.

Ogun State will continue to occupy a central place in the Nigerian Political Sphere. But that we have killed one of our brightest minds is a big shame to us. We have allowed politics to ruin our sense of value and belonging.

The killers of Dipo Dina should bend their heads in shame. They are no better than wild animals in their show of stupidity, madness and extreme barbarism.

This is one murder too many.

There are people who are already concluding that the Ogun State Government headed by the governor Mr. Daniels should be held responsible for this killing. Such allegations may be careless or reckless.

But what are we going to get in a country where assassinations and murders of ordinary and prominent people have never been solved before? With the wicked and evil minds in control of governance, we may be asking for too much if we ask for the perpetrators to be apprehended and prosecuted. Still it is a necessary call!

The police may be out already calling this an armed robbery attack! This is what they always say. This is shameful and scandalous. We want better results from the police and security agencies.

Anambra Elections is coming soon in February, I hope that the people will allow peace to reign and that the electoral committee will count only the votes casted at polling booths.

In 2011, and before, we hope that the nest of killers would have been dismantled and brough to Justice.

The killing of Dipo is despicable, highly unacceptable and should never have happened. It is sad and the scar will remain with Ogun State and Nigeria forver.

May his sould rest in perfect peace and May the family find the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

A nation in coma: 50 years of bondage, 2 wasted generations and 400 billion dollars Missing..!

By Adeola Aderounmu

A nation in coma: 50 years of bondage and 2 wasted generations

When I wrote Nigerians as captives: 48 years of waste one year ago I was hoping that my pessimism would be overturned somehow. Far from it..! 2009 has gone down in our annals as the worst year Nigerians ever lived. In total, it’s been almost 50 years of bondage, 2 wasted generations and more than 400 billion dollars missing.

It is now accepted that the generation that took over the reign of power from the colonial masters is a wasted generation. Unfortunately they have infected the generation that is after them and it appears the cycle of idiocy is still in motion.

One of the most unfortunate legacies sown into Nigerian politics is the attitude or mentality that if you find yourself in the position of authority or some form of power, you must use that position to steal while pretending to be serving. Ask any Nigerian young man vying for political office what his aspirations are. Young men and women alike have formed the opinion that politics is the quickest avenue to get rich by stealing or just looting. This is one of the reasons why Nigerian politics is full of bitterness and it’s about life and death since 1959.

In line with the above it may be pertinent to emphasis how my generation too has started to waste away. Just recently Mr. Bankole literarily told a colleague of his in the House of Representatives to “shut up and sit down” as the fellow tried to bring up the debate concerning Nigeria’s sick ruler. This means if given the opportunity Dimeji Bankole will gladly become a dictator. In other events Dimeji’s name keep cropping up in allegations of scandal, looting and self-enrichment. My generation is wasting away too. Hope is dim. How sad..!

2009 has ended and Mr. James Ibori will still walk free. This is the height of judicial ridicule. The Nigerian judiciary has become a citadel not only of lukewarmness but also of corrupt minds. In Nigeria, an ex-convict both nationally and internationally became a governor. The man is still free! Is Nigeria not yet a failed country?

Mr. Michael Aondoakaa is still the Attorney General of Nigeria. How do Nigerian diplomats cope among their international colleagues? Even as an ordinary citizen attending an international conference on development in Stockholm in 2002, I was quizzed by a number of participants on several issues. People asked me many embarrassing questions about Nigeria. Some of them could not comprehend why several homes in Nigeria are more fortified than European prisons and 419 activities were common.

Look at David Mark, a military man who served under Babangida. Together they ruined the communications industry. Up to this day no one has explained what happened to my family’s telephone number. These men looted uncontrollably and destroyed Nigeria. They are still in Nigeria and the looting game is still on, at various levels. Nigerian lawmakers now headed by Mr. Mark are blood suckers who assign money to themselves and distribute penury to the populace. Even the lazy executives want to build houses worth billions of dollars for themselves in the new budgetary plans while millions of Nigerians are suffering and living in extreme poverty. No greater scandal!

Head or tail, we, the ordinary people continue to suffer. We can go to hell for all the political gangsters care. Two years after the present illegitimate government was forcefully installed we have found ourselves atthe most humiliating position among the comity of nations. No greater shame..!

Our educational system remains hijacked by government officials who are proprietors and owners of private schools and universities. Public schools are in total rot and states of confusion. The quality of education is low as emphasis has shifted to profit and total corruption. Many of the children of the rich and looters have been sent abroad to school right from elementary schools as revealed recently.

We ended 2009 as a dark nation both literarily and proverbially. Nigeria is generating electric power that is embarrassingly low and ridiculous. The output may be less than 3 000 MW! The result is a state of near total darkness over the country. This is real and the effects on the quality of lives cannot be overstated. The effects of lack of electricity on employment opportunities and economic growth cannot be overemphasized. Infrastructures are commonly lacking and hopelessness pervades the land. Nigeria is in coma..!

We have suffered in the hands of those who used khaki, agbada and violence to recapture Nigeria in 2007. At the moment our constitution has been unofficially suspended with the illegal installation of a new chief of Justice. In the last 5 weeks (Nov–Dec 2009) the man who slowly supervised the stagnation of our lives since 2007 has been missing in action and no one knows what his true situation is. We continue to thrive on rumours and speculations about his health. But obviously he’s in a bad shape and that he has not be removed from his position shows that he was probably a puppet in the first place. The situation confirms the fears in certain quarters that Nigeria is ruled by a cabal and not an individual.

Still, we are being tussled around in Nigeria like idiots, all of us. Daily, we are fed with lies and deceits by those who are power hungry and inclined to evil ways. There is no need to ruminate over the implications of a country’s foremost citizen, legal or illegal by nature, lying helpless in a foreign hospital. We continue to spread all our clothes in the sun. The world is laughing at us and I continue to think about the racial implication of the intelligent question. Something is fundamentally wrong with the black race anyway. Nigeria is the largest black nation on earth. Something is wrong with us. I’m sure.

We are like 140m robots, programmed to fail as a nation but instilled with the eagerness of self-preservation and survival instincts. Another year has ended and our unusual resiliency has not allowed us to figure out how to re-engineer ourselves from our stereotyped siddon-look status into proactive agents that will seize the moment through collective reasoning. Why is it impossible for the rest of us to force justice and fairness on our system? Surely we may not be able to attain a common reasoning. Is that the colonial impediment that I was warned about?

Just when we are still pondering and brainstorming on what we can do to save our nation, the corrupt regime in Abuja came up with a propaganda called rebranding. The regime tried to shy away from the problem of corruption and maladministration. The best Christmas present ever to any Nigerian government was handed over by Nigerian terrorist named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. In the twinkle of an eye he laid to rest the fraudulent rebranding program that several Nigerians have criticized times without number. He updated our known reputations by taking it beyond our reach or control.

By putting Nigerian on the map of terrorist nations Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab reflected the failure of Northern Nigeria where Obasanjo allowed the likes of Umaru Yar Adua to disrupt the secularity of Nigeria through the establishment of sharia regimes. These treasonable acts provided the basis for the escalation of Islamic fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria. Innocent people are slaughtered routinely across Nigeria no thanks to the failure of the useless government to bring sponsors and perpetrators to book.

Umar Farouk represents the failure of the central Nigerian government. He is a classical example of failure of both the home and the society. He will stay for a long time as the link between two failed generations and an emerging generation of disorientated Nigerians. His activities, though highly condemnable and disgraceful will probably provide the needed reflection and reasoning over some of the problems plaguing this sick country.

2010 will be Nigeria’s year of jubilee. We should look back at our errors and shortcomings. Then we should look ahead-how do we want to continue this journey? The time is now for progressive minds to take the central stage, it is over due. If we must split back to regions, so be it. We should probably not continue to live as strange bed mates where our individual, wicked ambition is to steal from the treasury or be beneficiaries of questionable wealth through friends and families. Do we have a common national ambition?

We cannot continue to rely on our endless prayers from our sinful lips without the corresponding actions. It is a lame approach. Imagine the progress that will be accomplished if we take the necessary actions to define our mode of existence-regional governments or true federalism. Imagine what we can achieve if we ensure that the likes of Ibori and Aondoakaa are allowed to do time with Mr. Bode George. Just imagine the progress and national revamping if we insist on the rule of law, the end of corruption and the end of tyranny. We must define how we want to achieve these goals otherwise we are facing another 50 years that will remain characterised by waste, slavery, poverty and unhappiness under the cabal and their accomplices.

May the Glory of Nigeria come, soon..!

aderounmu@gmail.com

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

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