BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON
If ONLY Dasuki gave me my share...
A man took his goat to the market, after negotiation, another man agreed to buy. The buyer brought out the money to pay, but both the seller and buyer were distracted by an activity in the market.
While they concentrated on this distraction the goat chewed all the money in the buyers hand. Thereby raising several questions, one of such is, who owns the goat, the buyer or the seller?
I live in a conflict prone area of Nigeria, so the sight of various security task forces are common place, while many have become accustomed to the situation, nothing beats me, when I see these men in the evening taking delivery of their “Agege bread” from the camo-painted Hilux van every evening.
The sight of one of such prompted my admonition this week on the armsgate saga currently of national space. In my intervention, I would take excerpts from a series of investigative report titled “the cost of war” carried out by Prince Charles Dickson as a part of a FORD FOUNDATION funded Nigerian Investigative Reporting Project coordinated by the ICIR in 2013.
“Samson Dati is a sergeant of the Nigerian Army, he pulls off his boots to show a sore foot, as he tells me "Do you know we are supposed to be given powder to ease sore feet, but I cannot recall ever seeing that, but trust me it is in one budget subhead."
It is not only powder, but my investigation reveal that a soldier on the frontline is entitled to three liters of water per day, but they hardly get water, and when they do is, at the mercy of the community that they are securing.
A source at the Military High Command, insists, "we want to provide most of these things, but none of them is reflected in the budget, we are at war, you cannot be using a routine budget to prosecute a war."
The poor state of army gear is a tip of the problems, as this my investigation reveals, the Nigerian Army is bedeviled with corruption in recruitment, budgets, criminal defense contractors amongst many other problems.
In the last four years, the Military received the highest budgetary estimate, but investigation revealed little or none goes to equipment and other necessary kitting.
Airforce personnel Michael Choji, revealed that it was all media glitz, "we are worried about campaigns in the media that we are well funded or equipped.
In the 2013 budget, the allocation for the Ministry of Defence, it got a total recurrent (Personnel and overhead) of N20,044,809,028 and total capital budget of N2,902,547,929.
Defence Headquarters got a total recurrent of N845,859,208 and total capital of N1,322,060,000.
For Nigerian Army, total recurrent of N121,246,789,959 and a total capital budget of N8,763,468,000.
The Nigerian Navy had N58,312,400,621 for total recurrent and N15,035,919,070 for capital budget.
The Nigerian Airforce was given N63,921,863,341 for recurrent expenditure and N14,235,430,050 for capital budget.
A further breakdown and analysis simply show that out of a total budget of N364,415,146,885 for 2013, N300,402,146,886 was for recurrent, while barely N64,013,000,000 was for capital project.
What it shows is that the entire armed forces that is fighting a well-oiled insurgent group like Boko Haram, got only N39, 356,877,120.
Interestingly, the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, which houses the department for State Security DSS, National Intelligence Agency NIA, Presidential Air Fleet and State House got a total of N82.255billion, a whooping N50billion for capital projects.
My investigation revealed that apart from the bemusing figures, according to civilian personnel of the Defence Headquaters *Kolade Abe, "Even the money allocated for the capital projects are not left for the end-users, immediately the budget is signed, it is sharing galore."
"Presidency officials, members of the National Assembly all besiege the ministry and with complimentary cards and orders from above, they share contracts amongst themselves,” he revealed.
The greed of the politicians and civil servants come into play, as they act as middlemen, arms are not supplied in many cases it was revealed…”
It is only the naïve in Nigerian Stealing Affairs, which incidentally abbreviated is NSA also) that would sound alarmed, at the current naked dance. Sadly it’s not only Dasukigate or armsgate, but virtually all sorts of open gates of corruption perpetuated in “Naijasphers”.
The security vote pickpockets, the super permanent thieves called secretary in the civil service, the judges, the providers of spiritual cleansing, local bribe taker for admission…it’s an endless list of corruption,
The Ex-NSA Dasuki and Kusa transferred ONLY N1.45 billion to Acacia Holdings Limited account for "special prayers" and off course Bafarawa: Ex-gov reportedly received ONLY N4.6bn from Dasuki for "special prayers". Talking about "special prayers" Dasuki paid ONLY N750 million into the bank account of Reliance Referral Hospital Limited for "special prayers”.
While all these is simply distasteful, one looks on bemusedly as Nigerians debate, whether Dasuki and his sharing crew are guilty or not, whether they are being persecuted or not, or how much APC spent on it’s own campaign, as it is “evident” to a certain level that the NSA’s office was a slush fund center.
Who really owns the goat, the debate continues, I only feel sad, that Nigerians like me, the real soldiers like you, the “us” that suffer the configuration called Nigeria, did not get our share OF ONLY a few good roads, healthcare via a few hospitals, quality education through good number of affordable schools, infrastructure, secured society, I ONLY get scared because if we will ever get anything, it is—Only time will tell.