Nigeria is a limitless pit of gold, which gets replenished each time it is mined. A plethora of riches that times, nature and men cannot exhaust.
Nigeria bears a larger than life opulence with resources other than gold, tucked in the belly of her soil. Crude oil, Liquefied Natural Gas, Tin, Coal, Bauxite, in trillions of cubic meters, showcase God’s blessings deposited in Nigeria.
The country’s huge population is not a symbolic feature of her greatness but an underutilized source of power and domination. The 200million inhabitants of her nine hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and seventy (910,770) square kilometers are such weapons which can stamp the country’s authority beyond her territorial borders.
Her aquatic splendor, rich coastline, bountiful flora and fauna, water resources among sundry free-gifts of nature are what other countries earnestly yearn for at any price. Nigeria is blessed perhaps, beyond measure, but her citizens are perpetually poor.
Can there be a correlation between these two extreme stretches?
Poverty and riches are two opposites sides of a coin. In saner climes these two sides don’t co-habit and don’t meet. In our clime they do. Extreme riches and extreme poverty walk side by side.
The bizarre situation is fueled by a governance system that is appalling low in standard, quality and probity. Corruption in top echelons of government makes Nigerians swim in oceans of riches but draped in muds of poverty.
Nigeria and corruption have a long history from the First, Second and Third Republics. It is an unbroken chain of graft, misappropriation and theft of public funds and assets. The rouge-kleptomaniacs in the Buhari presidency have however shot corruption to a level that makes the saga of Robin-Hood and Jugunu, two notorious outlaws in the American and Indian movies, a surreal representation of a simple dream.
The Buhari presidency is an unabashed narrative of a government perpetually breaking its own laws. Anti-graft agencies have been reduced to diming shadows of inaction, criminal conspiracy, lack of coordination and incompetence to either plead its case or execute its judgement.
Can readers take a cursory look at top government and political office holders indicted for series of financial improprieties against the state since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015?
Orji Uzor Kalu,
These personalities have held top positions at various levels of government at different periods. They have been found wanting in the discharge of their duties. They have been questioned by Anti-graft agencies and some have been detained on allegations of financial malfeasance either in or out of government.
Most of them are on reprieve but unfree of the corruption yoke hanging on their necks. Each is being indicted for failing to account for billions of public funds in their care.
So mind boggling are allegations of corruption against these individuals who used their privileged positions to rob Nigeria thin, that the Guinness Book of Records will need a re-editing to add these Nigerians with rat-fingers, to a league of pirates who plundered their country to point zero-solvency.
The high-point of a seemingly unending graft is the indictment of the immediate past Accountant General of the federation Ahmad Idris on fraudulent diversion of one hundred and sixty-five billion (N165,000,000,000) Naira to private pockets.
By establishing phony companies to capture contracts not executed after billions have been siphoned from government coffers, he is the un-crowned king of kleptomaniacs fondly referred to in Yoruba parlance as Ogundagbeje; the infamous felon reputed for his audacity to rob fellow klepts.
What do you think of an Accountant who cannot account for funds kept in his care?
The integrity question and unethical conducts of the immediate past Accountant General of the Federation is a petrifying exposé of a treasurer who can be trusted to sell the future of an entire generation.
Why are these rodents emboldened in their rapaciousness?
A number of reasons will suffice;
A government without purpose.
A ruling class without character
A complacent citizenry.
This is why looters are rewarded with National honours and career promotions, treated with kid-gloves and in many instances, have their prosecution swept under the carpet.
There’s one clear implication for all these malfeasances.
The rodents get fatter plundering the vault, while Nigeria sinks into the abyss of poverty and disorder.
OLUSOLA AJIBOYE, a veteran journalist contributes this piece from Osogbo, Osun State.
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