Are Nigerians United Against Corruption Or Is It, You First?

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States


Are Nigerians agreed on corruption elimination and eradication? Maybe NOT!

I have maintained in the past that I abhor corruption because of its consequences.
You would think that all reasonable persons, especially Nigerians, are united against the corruption scourge or pandemic, and therefore intently focused in the war against it?

Copiously, I have written about the adverse effects of corruption, corrupt practices and those who perpetuate it, in a series of articles, I had argued that corruption is anathema to national development, as it deprives Nigeria for instance, needed resources for the development of public infrastructures and the consequent stagnation, stifled and stunted growth, development or advancement, adding that Nigeria’s greatness depends on corralling our efforts to decimate corruption, wherever it is found. I assumed then that a majority of Nigerians are united and agreed on fighting corruption successfully!

A successful war against corruption requires that everyone is put under the radar, and no passing the buck! Any defense of persons accused of corruption must be rooted in their innocence and certainly not the unproven guilt or mere suspicion of other persons.

In the past two weeks or so, I have written two articles, supported with facts and internet-links to buttress the arguments that I had presented; I regret to announce that the overwhelming majority of Nigerians who responded to the two articles, Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Explain and Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Resign Now, were in favor of the VP as the responses defended the VP, instead of a focus on the issues

Those defending the VP, have anchored their argument on their fervent beliefs that corruption is pervasive in Nigeria, that corruption permeates the federal government and that President Obasanjo is even more corrupt than Vice President Abubarkar; Defenders of the VP are uninterested in the evidence or facts adduced to support the presentations that I made, and their excuse is simply that, there is corruption everywhere, and that it is therefore pointless fighting corruption at all, or starting the fight from the middle?

My criticism of the VP is encrusted with specificities, such as dates, locations, amounts and names of persons involved etc. Defenders of the VP are not interested in the specific exactitudes of facts presented, they are instead wishing away the facts by seeming to say, not-in-my-backyard! They have managed to convince me that the war on corruption must mean every other persons being prosecuted and punished first, and then, their family, political associates and friends of the VP defenders and the VP, must be punished last, if at all!

How about the personal responsibility of these accused individuals? These individuals who it would appear, are always camouflaging their guilt by pointing to others, who may be equally guilty or others who are just being pointed to, to distract the real guilt of those being investigated, arrested and charged? This is as if to say, my defense is rested on the guilt of others? Instead of using or relying on, my complete innocence? We ought to require or even demand that accused persons answer for themselves, and not depend on mere suspicions, unproven allegations and guilt of all others!

In various cases, these sorts of warped and twisted arguments have been made to protect corrupt public officials in Nigeria during the past six years. In Plateau state for instance, the Plateau House of Assembly overlooked stunningly glaring evidence, including some of such evidence on tape, against Governor Chibi Joshua Dariye and refused to impeach him and cheered him, instead, after the state of emergency previously declared in that state was lifted. There is also the resort to immunity shield and cloak, abused by some.
And even in Governor Dariye’s case, British Police testified, British Police is also on President Obasanjo’s payroll, and subject to his manipulations? Does President Obasanjo also manipulate the American FBI? Was it not the FBI that initiated VP’s investigations?

In Cross River State, the Deputy Governor Ekpenyong was impeached for purchasing a house in the name of his twelve years old son, and then, like magic, the governor was reinstated and then he resigned, I think with full benefits, as if he had not committed the breaches of the laws and ethics, which were obvious!

Governor Kalu Orji, (the boy who cried wolf) is always crying wolf, imagined wolves and no wolf at all, Governor Orji has been accused of improprieties and he seem to have completely ignored the charges, but instead, he frequently accuses others of corruption and improprieties of his own! But famously omitting to provide specifics as evidence of facts to sustain his accusations, as if he is not required to?

He has accused persons ranging from Chief Annenih to President Obasanjo etc. Kalu Orji has had cause to apologize to President Obasanjo and PDP in the past, for such flippant accusations that he had made against the president, only to repeat more accusations at regular intervals! Corruption wars again by Kalu Orji? Kalu Orji accused others of being killers once, but without providing specifics proofs? Kalu Orji’s Deputy not recanted threats to Kalu, that were allegedly made by Chief Annenih, Kalu would not answer to accusations against him, he relies on immunity? Of course, not in his backyard, President Obasanjo should be punished first, the other person, must go first, no person for whom there are specific evidence or facts? Such as we have demonstrated against the VP?

Kalu has been alleged to own Slok Airlines, Sun Newspapers (the proud tabloid) Kalu is also said to own a home in Maryland, United States, according to Jonathan Elendu and Omoyele Sowore, Kalu’s home is ironically close to the VP home the US, looters know where to shop for homes I suppose. I do not have evidences or facts connecting Kalu’s to properties, proving alleged breaches, I do not for instance know the names of the board of directors of Slok Airlines, Sun Newspapers and whether it includes Kalu’s name, I do not also have the block and lot numbers or land registry information on Kalu, as I have on, I have hear speculations regarding numerous deals by Governor Igbinedion, deals he is said to have had, in California, in London, South Africa etc, but I do not have specifics! I have head that an Ibori has a two million pounds value property located in choicest area of London, (is this Ibori, any relations of Governor Ibori?) I do not have specifics regarding Igbinedion, Kalu or Ibori, whereas, I had specifics on Mr.& Mrs.? Atiku!

Everybody else, seems to deserve punishments for their corrupt enrichments, but don’t start the corruption war with me or my family, friends and or political associates? But why does the war against corruption in Nigeria appear to be a war that some Nigerians are only interested in fighting, and directed against all others, but themselves?
We have 26 letters in the English alphabet, Nigerians are analogous to these alphabets, now, it would seem as if, attempts to prosecute A for corruption, leads to A, pointing very quickly to B, as A insists that B is also corrupt and deserving of severest punishments, before the contemplation of punishments for A, if at all? A natural progression will of course result in B pointing at C and C pointing at D, the finger-pointing as to who is culpable for corruption and who should be punished first, is therefore obviously endless!

Nigerians are now quite familiar with Tafa Balogun, former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria, as we are as well familiar with former Minister for Education, Professor Fabian Osuji and former president of Nigerian senate Senator Adolphous Wabara

We were told that that these persons were corruptly enriching themselves at the expense of Nigerian taxpayers and voters. But defenders of these men, in a rapid response manner, have labeled them, as victims of vendettas, witch hunt by the ever vindictive and vengeful presidency!

Naturally, these turns of events would make all reasonable people ponderously wonder, whether it is possible to actually fight a successful war against corruption in Nigeria?
How could the elimination and eradication of corruption in Nigeria become a successful undertaking, when as it is, ulterior motives are always ascribed to every effort that has been made by the current federal government of Nigeria? Some have in the past suggested that those persons that have been prosecuted for corruptions were so pursued, because they are mere political enemies of Nigeria’s current president, a president who is intent on punishing his enemies for every real or imagined infraction!

Adducing ancillaries and very extraneous reasons, which are merely poor excuses or defense, ridiculous and incredulously self-serving distractions, has become a time-tested and perfected method for the corrupt persons in Nigeria to avoid well deserved prosecution and punishments, as they are now quick to argue and point fingers falsely at prosecutors and persons merely doing the hatchet job for the presidency.

Nigerian general public have become inured and immune to these outlandish and outrageous excuses and “defenses” The corrupt are being pursued because they are from the wrong ethnic, regional or religious grouping which Nigeria is comprised and composed. Which makes me want to ask, more questions, including; where is the outrage? How come nobody is shock at the revelations or public disclosures against the VP? How is it that the public seem to accept the obvious lies, feeble and nebulous defenses from the defenders of the VP?

A big challenge has clearly arisen, perhaps unanticipated by those who established the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, two new anti corruption agencies established by current Nigerian federal government, to ferret out those who were, are and continue to engage or condone corruption and corrupt practices

How can Nigeria successfully fight corruption with present mindsets that believed Tafa Balogun will never be arrested? Mindsets that believed Osuji, Wabara, and Osomo were selectively being prosecuted? How is it possible that everyone that is arrested or investigated by EFCC, and ICPC, the Nigeria Police, is somehow because such person is a political enemy of President Obasanjo? How is it that the president is able to possibly manipulate all these grown persons at all these government agencies? Where is their personhood, if they actually such puppets on stings? How is President Obasanjo able to emasculate everyman and woman at these agencies? How does President Obasanjo manage to put every Nigerian tied to his apron strings? Could this just be elaborate disinformation? Could these mindsets have arisen from economic disenchantments and attendant expectation fatigue among Nigerians? Or could it be that too many now benefit or expect to benefit from corruption? Are Nigerians ready to eradicate and eliminate corruption? Will any Nigerian President, the current one or the next, succeed in doing so?

Some people seem to believe that the EFCC, the ICPC and the Nigeria Police are not independent or neutral and cannot investigate or prosecute corruption in Nigeria, or that they are controlled by President Obasanjo, but, how about British Police testimony against Governor Dariye and America’s FBI investigation against Atiku? Are some now prepared to argue that President Obasanjo has the whole world in his pocket? Including having the EFCC, the ICPC, the FBI and Scotland Yard in Obasanjo’s control and influence?

At this rate, only aliens or beings from Mars can be trusted to probe corrupt Nigerians? Martians would not be blamed for ulterior motives or hidden agendas; Only beings from Mars have no friends or sympathies or block-interests in Nigerians of particular groupings, be it regional, ethnic, religious or whatever else! perhaps this is why the government of Nigeria has now invited Britons to audit CBN and NNPC?

When will Nigerians accept that the war against corruption is real? And then trust and support President Obasanjo to intensify the fight against corruption; then provide specific information for prosecuting this desirably necessary war? Nigerians must unite against corruption, support the current president, the next and everyone who fights corruption!