by Umar Sa’ad Hassan
Sometimes I feel the pathetic state we are in today would have deteriorated to most of the country surviving on food aid from good samaritans if Goodluck Jonathan had lasted another four years.It seems all the more a possibility with dwindling oil prices leaving our economy very exposed.Those of us who underestimated the effects of his stewardship needed Prof.Osinbajo’s pre-inauguration debt figures to set our thoughts straight.
It is one thing to run a corrupt government and it is another to accumulate a huge pile of debt in so doing.It is killing the country so to speak.
Asides the activities of Allison Madueke as Petroleum Minister; the herdswoman of our Cash cow, the other place one would naturally look into for corrupt practices would be anything tied to security. Trillions have been looted in the name of curbing the Boko Haram scurge and Yes;I would agree with Sambo Dasuki, Jonathan’s National Security Adviser that a late onslaught proved fruitful but the money expended on the War (As investigations have shown) should have bought us much more than we got and in a much better time. Dasuki sat behind a desk in Abuja, made extra-budgetary withdrawals from the CBN,not only awarded bogus contracts but also gave out gifts to his friends and that of the government all in the name of fighting a war that has claimed the lives of many thousands of his countrymen and also rendered many more homeless.
A breakdown of how this man withdrew and spent over N643 Billion of our money is crazy.More contracts to contractors who hadn’t performed earlier contracts to a N4.6 Billion gift to Former Governor of Sokoto, Attahiru Bafarawa which was received by his son.Bafarawa has reportedly claimed the money was for ‘spiritual purposes’ and I can’t wait to see if Dasuki will tell our courts he fought Boko Haram from the spiritual angle as well.Dasuki’s father is a former Sultan of Sokoto so I wonder how Bafarawa, a politician, would be a better ‘Prayer Warrior’.I take solace in the fact that somebody is serious about making Dasuki pay for his sins.
While every other person asides Dasuki, his accomplices in government, and ‘contractors’ could all get off via the ‘We couldn’t care less where the money came from’ route, the principal actors seem to be between a rock and an even bigger one.
Jonathan has hung him out to dry by denying the authorization of any such withdrawals for the purchase of arms and though everyone knows it would take a magician of immense talents to take such funds out of the CBN without the knowledge of the President, so far one can only tie him to this on the ‘team leader’ moral clause.This scandal has effectively put all doubts to rest as to the extent of damage done by the GEJ administration which is unarguably the most corrupt and incompetent we have ever had.
The Former NSA’s haul could have cleared the subsidy claims of petroleum marketers, fixed every bad road in the country, cleared the salary arrears of civil servants and improved the conditions of all teaching hospitals.This is if at all Dasuki felt spending all of it on what he claims he did wasn’t necessary.$2.2 Billion is roughly the budgets of two states in Nigeria. It is easy to understand why we are in the mess we are in today.
As a Nigerian who witnessed first hand the hardship we were subjected to in the twilight of the Jonathan administration, I must reiterate that I don’t envy President Buhari one bit because it is twice as hard to get our feet firmly back on the ground with the drop in oil prices.
Its breaks my heart to think of the innocent lives lost to Boko Haram including the many soldiers who were ‘sacrificed’ and those punished one way or the other for refusing to fight with ‘bare hands’.Dasukigate has vindicated a lot of people who believed the previous government lacked the will power to tackle the Boko Haram menace.It is obvious a lot of money was being made by those whose responsibility it was to do so.Wiping out Boko Haram meant shutting down their ‘Enterprise’.The Security of the Nation was the least of the Former NSA’s worries.
Sambo Dasuki and everyone found complicit must be made to pay not only for conspiring to loot us dry but for the blatant disregard for the lives of their fellow countrymen.They have had their 99 days, now we; as owners have our 1.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.