Nigeria is a very interesting country that is blessed with natural endowments. It is very rich in culture and supposedly tourism. It is the most populated country in Africa with an estimated population of over 160 million people and more than 350 local languages. It is the richest oil producing country in Africa, 7th in the world and 5th highest supplier to the US. It is diverse in religion with Christians and Muslims in dominance. It is a heterogeneous country that has always been finding it extremely difficult to appreciate its ethnic diversities. It is a country that fought a civil war from 1967 to 1970, but has, however, irrespective of its tribulations managed since its amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Lugard to stay together as one country, one people, one nation.
Because of its richness in natural and human resources and position, it is seen as the giant of Africa. But the Nigerian Senate President, Senator David Mark, thinks contrarily, while reacting on the issue of the maltreatment of Nigerians in foreign lands and castigating the shabby roles of Nigerian mission staff on the floor of the senate, he said, “We should have our missions well-funded. We say we are the giant of Africa but if you can’t fund missions, you are not.”
“Knowing that the Minister of Petroleum Resources was at one time directly under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for a long time, then I ask; did EFCC ever fight corruption in this country?”
Nigeria is supposedly the hope to redeem Africa from economic imperialism as the world globalises and gives the continent its voice in the market world. But sadly Nigeria is dangerously nosediving. Disgracefully and undoubtedly, Nigerian politicians are the brain behind these national disasters and slides that have made many Nigerians to angrily and ignorantly question the existence of God. Without shame and consideration, the political leaders of Nigeria embarrassingly have formed gangs and turned what was supposed to have been a blessing to Nigerians and Africans (crude oil) to a source of sorrow and a curse that has impoverished many innocent Nigerian masses to an anguished death.
The probe or findings in the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) and the drama, accusations and counter accusations by millionaire, Femi Odetola and Honourable Farouk Lawan are not only a shame and shocking but have gone further to reveal that Nigerian top leaders past and present have all at various degrees committed heinous crimes against Nigerians and humanity in one way or the other. Knowing that the Minister of Petroleum Resources was at one time directly under former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for a long time, then I ask; did EFCC ever fight corruption in this country?
“The person that gave bribe and the person that took bribe have all committed crimes before the eyes of the Nigerian law. Why is only Farouk Lawan in detention now? Where is Femi Odetola?”
Femi Odetola claimed that he had given the ad-hoc committee chairman on fuel subsidy Hon. Farouk Lawan $620,000 bribe in order to remove the name of his company from the indicted companies and the chairman denied that such never had taken place and called it a blatant lie. But Hon. Farouk Lawan forgot that Femi Odetola was equally a smart man as evidence later showed because their secret illegal transaction had been recorded without his knowledge which was later made public. Again the honourable denied the video evidence claiming that his image had been doctored. Alas! After much pressure, Hon. Farouk Lawan swallowed his words and then admitted that he had taken money from Femi Odetola but not bribe and had only taken that in an evidence to nail him at the appropriate time. Incredible!
The person that gave bribe and the person that took bribe have all committed crimes before the eyes of the Nigerian law. Why is only Hon. Farouk Lawan in detention now? Where is Femi Odetola? What are the agents of the government waiting for? But if it is true that he worked with the security agents in bribing Hon. Farouk Lawn with marked money, then excuse me.
In Austria, the former interior minister Ernst Strasser was sentenced on 14th January 2013 to four years imprisonment for corruption having agreed to accept a bribe from British reporters who tried to check the conscience of those representing their countries in the EU parliament. Even though he has appealed against the judgement, his conviction showed the stuff Austria is made of.
In the shame of this brouhaha, Nigerians are scared that this committee and its recommendations might not be different from other past committees in Nigeria that never saw the light of the day. Irrespective of the current detention of Farouk Lawal, the tune of the music is changing and everything seems arranged to set him and Femi Odetola free like the way they discharged and acquitted London prisoner, Chief James Ibori, but only turned around after his conviction and arrested a man they accused to be his accomplice in defrauding Delta State. I weep for this country!
“A couple that is praying for the fruits of the womb cannot have any if they are living pools away from each other without any intimate contact, no matter how many years they fast and pray because they are not Mary and Joseph.”
Please can somebody tell the agents of the government that before they can prosecute anybody for helping Ibori to perpetuate the pains of Delta indigenes in any form that they must first of all find Chief James Ibori guilty in Nigeria and convict him, otherwise, using his London conviction is a mock on Nigeria and a doubt on the crusade against corruption? Somebody should also tell the government that any process they take now in trying to convict Chief James Ibori will not be taken very serious by many unless they first scrutinise the jugde/s and the processes that led into discharging and acquitting him in the first place against all glaring evidences.
Hon. Farouk Lawan told us that big names in Nigeria had been the cabals holding Nigeria down all these years, but that was not worth a headline. But what will be a big news will be the day he will be sent to prison without option of fine and the world will read headlines from Nigerian newspapers that may go like: “Hon. Farouk Lawan Jailed 10 years”, “Hon. Farouk Lawan Found Guilty, His Legs To Be Chopped Off According To Sharia Law”, or people like him with political connections giving prison numbers by warders because prison and Sharia Law are not meant only for those poor Nigerians that steal goats and yams out of hunger.
However, I can only appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan‘s led federal government as a patriotic concerned citizen to please help Nigerians by making sure that the recommendations of that committee are not only made public but critically looked into. While those accused culprits figured by the committee and the companies made to face the law accordingly, the government and Nigerian citizens should be very careful with the lies and deceptions they will come up with because they will fight back and may not go down easily.
“The first step to conquer evil is to conquer fear. Consequently, come out Nigerians, and fear no devil. Come out Nigerians from your shells and stop dying in self-pity, for your destiny is in your hands.”
Even in the face of this Armageddon and sorrow Nigerians seem still very hopeful with their prayers that God will take control. Yes of course, our God is able and I believe strongly in prayers. But do we also expect prayers do the physical things? We must be joking! We asked God to help us and He has answered our prayers by revealing to us what we did not know that has been going on since the discovery of oil in Nigeria, and instead of acting on it, we are still kneeling down again crying and praying for God to come down from heaven and do the physical work for us (by allowing politicians that are supposed to be in prison to lead us). A couple that is praying for the fruits of the womb cannot have any if they are living pools away from each other without any intimate contact, no matter how many years they fast and pray because they are not Mary and Joseph. That could perhaps be the best way to describe Nigerians’ mindset towards some Nigerian political thieves and the reality of judgement. Therefore, sorry Nigerians, we are not David and God does not answer stupid, doubtful or lazy prayers for food because faith alone does not move mountains until one acts.
It is time to stand up Nigerians, and say enough is enough because our merciless politicians and contractors have taken us for a ride for too long. The first step to conquer evil is to conquer fear. Consequently, come out Nigerians, and fear no devil. Come out Nigerians from your shells and stop dying in self-pity, for your destiny is in your hands. It is aching to the marrow to see that a country like Nigeria has got no regular electricity supply with most rural areas in total blackout and without any hope at sight as when such cruel denial of one’s fundamental rights of enjoying electricity will stop. But the politicians are stealing billions on daily basis and powering their houses with silent generators. The pain is no more bearable that we do not have good roads and drinkable water but yet we sell millions of barrel of crude oil everyday. It is so sad to see that Nigerian schools have deteriorated to the level that the pupils/students are now so scared that the walls of their buildings could collapse on them anytime while some of our primary school pupils stay under trees as their class rooms but yet we hope to produce those that could challenge the best in the world.
It is annoying to see fake drugs imported from countries like India, China or Indonesia to Nigeria certified and cleared by Nigerian corrupt custom officers for use in Nigerian hospitals.
“There is no iota of justification for this Nigerian state today. I have many times pondered why but never found any reason except greed, corruption and insincerity.”
It is uncomprehending that thousands of Nigerian medical students graduate from Nigerian universities every year as qualified medical doctors, but embarrassingly Nigerian political leaders still fly abroad for medical treatments each time they are sick even when they have ordinary flu. These actions have raised many questions on the capabilities of our medical doctors. However, the agonizing truth is that Nigerian medical practitioners are as good as their European counterparts where most Nigerian politicians fly to, but the problem rather is that, Nigerian hospitals are without the right drugs and equipments, and it is so because many Nigerian looting politicians have continued over the years without mercy to corruptly destroy whatever system and standard that was left behind by the unwanted colonial masters and without any plan of re-building just to stuff enough money somewhere for their children and great-grandchildren.
There is no iota of justification for this Nigerian state today. I have many times pondered why but never found any reason except greed, corruption and insincerity. Many times I spoke to myself about these issues like someone insane, while in most cases I stared on the sky in silence but asked in my heart if God was still there and most times my tears never stopped to fail me in anguish. When I compare how Austria where I live tries very hard to save the lives of animals not to talk of human beings, I feel so deeply sad and suffer acute aching coming to the ugly reality that lives are not valued in Nigeria in view of the manner and the number of deaths that occur in that country everyday.
It is a shame to see Nigerian politicians send their children abroad for studies because they have turned some of our innocent Nigerian youths into hoodlums under campus secret cults and have used them as their political murderers.
The state of abuse and humiliation of ordinary Nigerians is something no Nigerian can claim ignorant of and we can no longer swallow that anymore because there is limitation to human endurance.Prosecute not only Hon. Farouk Lawan but Femi Odetola if he did not work together with the security agents in this fairy tale and their minds alike and send them to prison now. Enough is enough.
Uzoma Ahamefule, a patriotic concerned citizen writes from Vienna, Austria
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