NewsReel 24/10/13 - Nigeria: Who Said Our Leaders Are Corrupt - Part 1

[ Masterweb Reports: Fola Ojo reports ] – Chief Ladoke Akintola was one-time premier of the then Western Region of Nigeria. Smooth-talking, loquacious master of jabberwocky, Chief Akintola was severally accused by his many opponents of crass corruption.  His sarcastic response sickened many both in his party and outside. The line is memorable.  “I didn’t eat the money, I spent it, whose grandfather can swallow a penny?” he had said.  The premier, in a manner of a stand-up comedian, trivialized the behemoth called corruption, and today, the monstrous Godzilla is still very much around sinking Nigeria deep into thralldom and towering tribulations.  Friends, this is the fungus among us.
 
To date, our leaders determinedly continue to trivialize the madness of financial misappropriation and the long-term harm and hurt it unleashes on the destiny of Nigeria.  This wild-fire menace and monstrous cascade continues unhindered. The loose behaviors of some dare-devils in power now have become dangerous dance-steps on a freeway way to a volcanic conflagration threatening to gulp up the  beautiful but beleaguered country and spit it out down the of abyss of history.
 
I have decided in my small corner to stop calling those leaders who steal from the nation’s treasury “corrupt”. Because when you do, it seems the culprits perceive it is as a deserved adornment of a chieftaincy title. So they glee, and glow, and gyrate over the nomenclature. And unfortunately, the attendant historical punitive consequences meted out to “corrupt” Nigerian government officials are nothing but a replica of the sham and shame that takes place in a shanty courthouse.  All of them always get away.
 
It was both amusing and amazing when we learnt that the government is now on a massive man-hunt for the person responsible for revealing the frenzy, frightful, free-for-all shopping spree of exotic armored vehicles for Aviation Minister Stella Oduah that cost tax-payers $1.6 million. A man who should be celebrated and honored publicly is now the criminal. That is the state of things now in our land where the celebrity becomes the culprit.
 
Also recently, the new PDP threw a challenge in the face of the PDP-run government that it made $1.05bn in July 2013, and wanted to know what happened to the dough.  The platoons in the new PDP should know what they are talking about. The new PDP and the ancient PDP used to be conjoined twins until they were separated by the surgical scissors of ambition, power, money and control. Together they used to fight common enemies, together they took orders under the same commander, they both know what ammunitions are used for what squabble, they both know where the “ammunitions” are kept, they know how the ammunitions were procured, and they still have the template and blueprint of operations in their possession. When they allege that money is missing, the new PDP must know what they are talking about.
 
Home and abroad, money is missing in stacks and stashes. Home and abroad, our vaults are vanishing in batches. Government recently admitted that between August and September 2013, Nigeria’s external reserves dropped by $1.33bn — from $47bn to $45.67bn. Money is missing, projects are neither completed nor executed, external reserves are on a free-fall, and we are not fighting any wars!
I think to call our leaders “corrupt” is a musical alto and tenor in their ears. To call them “corrupt” is an attempt to embellish the act, costume the behavior in angelic robe and toga, and sandblast the feisty festivals of banditry and criminality that are going on in government. To call them “corrupt” is to make the vice appear meek and mild, because it no longer carries any correctional weight.  Who said our leaders are corrupt? What is going on is no longer corruption; governments at all levels have become grim gulags and concentration camps of heinous crime against humanity, and a bromide and banal affront on divinity.
 
It has shown through recent developments that these people don’t care if you call them “corrupt”. What follows an uncovered case of corruption is usually a coronation of the perpetrator. He or she is applauded and hailed as if he just scored a winning goal in a world cup final match.  He either becomes a chief in his village, an Igwe in his clan, a pastor in his church, an Imaam in his mosque, and a Jeep-driving, jet-flying celebrity among us.
 
…to be continued
 
Fola Ojo ( willieojo@yahoo.com ).
 
*Photo Caption – Map of Nigeria
 
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