Our daily struggles to accomplish needs for survival attuned to human inclinations for peace and tranquility. As poverty troubles the mind, cause frustration, epidemic of crime lead to fear as insecurity lead to despair. This brought forth the realities of the genuine essence of government in every society. If individuals can conduct their affairs without infringing on the rights of others or coordinate peaceful habitations among ourselves, no one will depend on government for social welfare, security or Justice. Laws exist to moderate the affairs of the people in line with laid down principles to protect our collective patrimony and ensure stability in the society.
Sanctions and convictions are designed as deterrent measures to keep the populace at bay, but the collaborations of commoners with agents provocateurs, to suppress the authorities of the security agencies to undertake legitimate prosecutions of the high and mighty in the society, suspected of involvement in heinous crimes has increased criminalities, with clear realities on the state of insecurity in Nigeria.
The era of dependence on the goodwill of the affluent in the society for means of livelihood has been at crossroads in the last few years, due to compelling societal reorientation. The mentality of free money in circulation now conflict with shortage of resources within the government coffer at all levels. Beyond the politics of patronage, fraudulent practices by government officials are being confronted with startling revelations upon discoveries by citizens dedicated to system change in governance.
The difference between yesteryears and today is the fact that, Nigerians are now determined to ensure that the commonwealth is mainly utilized to serve public interest alone. The ultimate challenge confronting the proper review of extravagance in government circle is the embedding of the lopsided allowances and huge salaries by political office holders in the enabling laws.
The expenditure of the National Assembly, with duplicitous tasks, alone constitutes an albatross to the reduction of extravagance in that arm of government. In our immediate history, Hon Farouq Lawan and Hon Herman Hembe were locked in fiascos with personalities under their supervisory roles as Chairmen of House of Representatives Committees. In the case of Hon Farouq Lawan, in the foray of his led committee to expose the fraudulent Nigerians milking the nation’s wealth through petroleumsubsidy as oil marketers, his integrity was tested with a huge bribe under camera unknowingly, he was subjected to ridicule and has remained unelectable by his constituents since his insincerity to public good was exposed.
In similar manner, the Executive Director of the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mrs Ekeh had no reservations when she exposed the solicited financial benefits of Hon Herman Hembe led committee from her agency in revealing abuse of office by the committee of the National Assembly. The crux of this review is to expose how defenders of our commonwealth usually compromise for personal gains at the expense of collective good of the people. All activities of committees of the National Assembly are regularly provided for in the budgetary allocations, nothing absolutely can define the sordid occurrences other than maximization of profit, due to poor orientations in their oversight functions. The same Otedola whose company was among major companies caught in the oil subsidy scam received entreaties from stalwarts of Peoples Democratic Party to join the Lagos Gubernatorial Race. Had he not declined the invitation, he would have been handed an automatic ticket to contest the forthcoming governorship election.
The emergence of the present administration in Nigeria in 2015 can be attributed to the notion that President Muhammadu Buhari has better capacity to tame insecurity and instill discipline into the polity. For the first quarter of his administration, he lived to the bid and panic already enveloped the hearts of looters of our Commonwealth for the obvious determination of the administration to put them behind bars and retrieve the stolen wealth from their coffers back to government purse. Within the twinkle of an eye, the narratives began to change through dramatic display by personalities like Dieziani Allison Madueke former Petroleum Minister accused of mismanaging government funds in excess of twelve trillion naira.
She fled Nigeria since 2015 under the guise of suffering a malignant cancer and the huge sum of money in her possession is yet to be retrieved. The administration’s first major search light was beamed on the mismanagement of security fund in the war against insurgents in Nigeria under the watch of the former National Security Adviser Alh Sambo Dasuki cooling his heals in detention since 2015. He is being supposedly held for sabotage against the government on the ground that resources allocated for the purchase of arms and ammunition to tame insecurity were diverted to funding of political campaigns for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In the cause of cross examination by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, notable among the beneficiaries of the Dasuki Gate acknowledged the receipt of humongous amounts as royalties for supporting the failed reelection bid of President Jonathan in 2015. Where several among those under investigation entered into plea bargains to return the funds, several of them are under prosecution till date. Instead of the masses to rise in defense of a President determined to change the hitherto status quo, abate the scourge of violence and tame insecurity by tackling corruption in Nigeria, the siege mentality across our divides arose through hired barbaric, machineries orchestrated by vociferous personalities hired to oppose the EFCC, a situation that degenerated to the extent of altercation between former EFCC bosses – Farida Waziri, Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Lamorde.
The man in charge of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, hitherto in charge of criminal investigation under the previous bosses immediately suffered image battering for daring the odds in discharging the duties of his office. Instead of the average Nigerians to develop a united voice against anyone involved in financial crimes, the political animals in humans overshadowed quality thinking in an era where the price of crude oil, the major source of our revenue drastically reduced to $50 per barrel, the lowest crude price in history. Causes of poverty are attributed to changing trends in the economy of a Country going by global standard, associated with high rate of unemployment, job loss and lack of basic needs by the people.
Considering our enormous resources in Nigeria, the Country ought to be self-independent but due to lack of ideology for National Development and building of National Interest, sense of tribalism and racial affinity promoted federal character and quota system at the expense of merit and competence, which has denied the people of the Country from seeing ourselves as one. Admitting that Nigerians are poor, the blame for poverty or disorderliness in the polity is a shared among all tiers and arms of government in Nigeria, as a matter of fact, the residual blame goes to the State Government as the allocation to Local Governments pass through the State Governors same way the budgetary allocation to State Assemblies and Judiciaries pass through them.
Aside basic economic regulations and supervision of security agencies, under federalism, the State Governors takes appropriate charge of governance at the grass root level then why pass the bulk of the blame to the President. Indeed there is a federation account where monthly allocations are distributed according to specific model and designs, when the State Governors are seriously exhibiting fraudulent practices in the utilization of the funds and other intervention funds not to mention the internally generated revenues,the complicity of residents of States that applaud their dubious Governors that failed to provide for basic amenities but pass the bulk of blame on the President speak volume of hypocrisy in our society and the main reason why the one star rogue is taking the lead.
Majority of former Governors were indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and Security Agencies for abuse of office, misappropriation of funds and executive recklessness. Though many of them still occupy sensitive positions due to the weakness of prosecutions or lack of political will to secure committals against them, due to their acquisition of followership and paid agents that protect them and make their prosecution pick semblance of persecution. In the advanced Countries we are trying to emulate, any politician or citizen with a baggage of corruption allegations rarely get appointed or elected into political offices and those Countries have controlled numbers of political parties. At the last count, Nigeria has about 91 Political Parties of which majority among them lack acceptability to win seats in House of Assemblies Elections but disturb our political space with so much mischief at the expense of national growth.
American President – Donald Trump in the use of grandiloquence referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as lifeless and some mischievous Nigerians found a delectable campaign motivation in the fallacy, a global report classified Nigeria as the world headquarters of poverty, the opposition found a campaign slogan to cajole the unsuspecting populace to oppose continuity of a President under whose reign the global report was declared. Going by rhetoric and logic, Nigerian President visited his American counterpart recently and in the evaluation of the bilateral discussions on market and trade among the duo, Nigeria President considered the option of a better deal with the China President – the Yuan Naira deal to develop our economy which has curried more Chinese
investments in recent times . If poverty is an expression of lack of basic needs, then Americans must be very poor for the trade proposals being discussed with Nigeria and other Countries. America sponsored wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and so on, to hijack the control of oil in the Middle East and indirectly foisted leadership on several other Countries in Africa and Asia to expand their grip as world power.
So long the peculiar needs of the people differ from communities to communities and the wishes and aspirations of the people differ accordingly, we can’t have a global measure for poverty, our wants are not similar, so the yardstick for measuring poverty can never be the same. Before the advent of civilization, hunger was basically alien to Nigerians, social amenities and education were our major challenges, now that basic amenities are addressed to a reasonable extent, instead of total concentration of ensuring quality health, education, portable water and sincerity in governance, our competition with Countries that battled with our current fate over 80years ago and succeed created our major crisis today. Had Nigerians understood that hasting to meet up with development in advanced Countries might hinder our space for development, issues causing anxieties in the society would have been easily resolved.
Democracy is the most decent form of government that guarantees growth and development in accordance to the wishes, yearnings and aspirations of the people, but in a situation where the conduct of a vast population among the people promotes crimes and economic sabotage, democracy becomes endangered as it no longer protects the supremacy of government to curb crimes and guarantee the growth and development of the people. As at May 29, 1999, records shows that the exchange rate was around #30 to $1 and as at May 29, 2015, it rose to #234 to $1. A bag of 50kg of rice was #800 in 1999 and #8,000 in 2015 while most of the agencies and companies that sustained the economic growth prior to 1999 such as NITEL, NEPA, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Nigeria Machine Tools, the Steel Rolling mills, Textile companies and many others were either privatized or went moribund before 2015. Nigerians mostly tolerated the government in power that facilitated the ruin of the economy through looting, abuse of office and promotion of crimes through neglect of the welfare of the security agencies.
This generation tilt more towards extreme colloquial manner in communication, colloquial has strangely affected literal expressions to a degree where our literary works no longer conform to quality thoughts and actions, which were the focus for a brighter and great nation the first generation of political leaders anticipated in the struggle for an independent Nigeria. Some thirty five years ago, rarely would you have had a conversation with people educated to an equivalent of today’s secondary school leaver without respecting their excellent communication skills with big vocabularies. Educated folks above 60 years of age today mostly possess good command of English Language compared to educated folks below 40 years of age. According to Abraham Lincoln “a capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others”, in real essence, reading broadens ones horizon, sharpen perspectives and improve understanding. The fact that colloquial has override good communications, slangs have replaced idiomatic expressions and wishful thinking has replaced truism, is responsible for judgment inimical to growth and development of Nigeria.
The best of brains seems helpless in the compelling tasks to ensure morality becomes the ultimate determinant of people’s actions and inactions. The mentality of survival of the fittest has now become highly ubiquitous in our society, considering the way and manner unsuspecting members of the public, are being brainwashed by notable political leaders, to cast aspersions, demean and batter the image of any security chief that dared to prosecute any former public officer or contractor under the protection of the power brokers.To escape diligent prosecution in allegations of corrupt practices, violence suddenly surfaced in the Niger Delta through the Niger Delta Avengers and palpable tension arose in the South East under the guise of agitation for Biafra. The worst of the scenarios was the internal wrangling among leading figures in the ruling
Law could be very tardy in reacting to changing attitudes, but the process of attitudinal change requires an acceptance of human fallibility and imperfections, irrespective of the moral state of the conscience of the people. In all honesty, the sordid era of the past, are the challenges being addressed by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, well determined to end the scourge of insecurity, with clear directives to the Security Agencies to advance their duties. In a situation where top public opinions are products of wishful thoughts and vendetta, the pursuance of collective agenda usually suffer serious setbacks, especially when laws are twisted due to inequitable discharge in the justice system. And report overzealous security officers to their hierarchy, let us put an end to the act of battering the image of our security agencies.
Whenever the image of a Country’s leadership is consistently disparaged by the western press and local civil society organizations are well mobilized to protest every attempt of government to curb indiscipline among political office holders, the educated folks should reason beyond sentimental interest and affinity, there must be serious conflict between the rule of law and national security, the most annoying situation is that no advance country toy with national security and the only item that has ensured sanity in their clime is national security above the rule of law, when the situation arises.
Crime is the greatest malady responsible for the slow pace of growth and development of our dear Country.
Insecurity can only end, when the sponsors and collaborators are confined to solitary confinement. Patience is a very scarce virtue and this is responsible for intolerance and hatred among humans today this has overwhelmed the hitherto spirit of fidelity and sense of common public good, which are among the solid bases on which the hope and aspirations of the Nigeria of our dreams, were built upon. We can’t be angry with every leadership in Nigeria simply because our immediate expectations are not instantly fulfilled, we must acknowledge the fact that healing an epidemic circumstance is highly encumbered and often require time to heal.
If we venture into the remote causes of our deviation from the track of national interest and pursuance of worthy lives for all Nigerians by the government into the foray of selfishness, greed, corrupt practices, oppression, nepotism, ethnic and religious intolerance amongs the citizenry, our hearts should bleed for fairness, equity and love for humanity as witnessed during the struggle against colonialism; Nigerians are not cursed, we only need to acknowledge the fact that the only time the downtrodden ever produced a President they can genuinely lay claim to his emergence through their unalloyed support, contributions and votes was at the 2015 general election. The political juggernauts and turncoats that have been forcing leadership on us against our wishes through coarse and witty methods, exploiting ethnic and religious affinities and leanings are much disturbed that the leadership you elected in 2015 is completely checkmating their greed and corrupt tendencies that earlier endangered the Nigerian economy and security. The reality of the inherited liabilities are the travails and concerns the present administration is striking out to turn the tides around to change the narrative to wipe off the sordid memories of the era of decadence. Prior to 2015. Most Nigerian roads collapsed, industries were moribund and the economy was on the verge of abysmal dysfunction.
Logic can never be ignored in politics if positive results must be achieved by the Country, failure to apply logic and logical reasoning enable poor decisions that make people susceptible to poor judgment as being witnessed presently in the society. Logic is the art of reasoning and thinking in conformity with the limitations and incapacities of human understanding. You can’t throw logic to the winds and expect proper appraisal of situations, especially when external influences indirectly control the economy of the nation. If the assertion that readers are leaders is correct, it then implies that Nigeria was a nation envied globally at the era when educated folks were mostly readers, which
equally implies that the major challenges of this Country today was birthed by poor reading ability among majority of educated folks in this generation and this to a great extent has affected quality of reasoning required in genuine nation building.
According to Roger Bacon, reasoning draws a conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience. Aristotle further explained that the duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or system to guide us, in the
hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument or follow a long chain of
reasoning. Young Nigerians seems to have been brainwashed to a degree where morality no longer
appeal to many in the cause of their livelihood as seen in the unimaginable rate of crimes of all kinds in our societies. Alas, individuals frown at attitudes of others unfavourable to their expectations, but care less when their actions place others at great disadvantage.
In the regular search for their daily bread, most people fend for themselves trespassing on others’ resources, because of inalienable rights we hold supreme, ignoring the pointers of inequalities guaranteed by restrictions from individual’s possession to others. We are all citizens of a country where blanket letterings provides responsibilities of government to the people and guarantee citizens’ rights and privileges but the people fails to be law abiding or connive with law breakers to escape prosecution, the government is already placed in a jeopardy. What we witness in Nigeria today is a conflict between forces in love with absolute freedom to behave without caution or irrationally in the cause of leadership over the governed even at the expense of their welfare and those seeking a departure from absolute freedom to an era where probity and accountability will prevail in the society.
In the fight against corruption, the judiciary has vital role to play without which the fight will become a mockery once the judiciary is compromised then the hope for a better society will remain a mirage. What will be, will be. If you are on the street like every other hustler, with legitimate hustling and you are wailing over the CJN palaver, visit the prisons to see numbers of convict with pardonable offences serving jail terms, because the judges rarely temper justice with mercy when anyone without a godfather among the downtrodden breaks the law.
How can you support those that parried you into penury, wake up, have you ever witness a situationed where police arrested notorious armed robbers at scene of crimes three consecutive times and were granted bail three consecutive times and still walking freely thereafter, if you are a police officer and you arrest them for the fourth time, will you take them to the station again? Tougher days ahead for corrupt lawmakers and jurists. How can we promote buy and sell verdicts and bill passage. If Mr President had done the needful in this order over time, the current reactions would have been meaningless.
If law does not count to you when you committed, only the President should be law abiding – fallacy – the power brokers should be presumed to be innocent until convicted, but the downtrodden can remain on awaiting trial in prisons? When you become the head of your family and vagabonds whose true parentage are covered begins to plot your removal, don’t protect your heritage, give up and allow them to ruin the future of the unborn generation.