The 'Sick' Looting Of Naija...Aloota Continues
When I leave, I will leave Chaos...Mbotu Seseseko
I have paraphrased the above...indeed, when he left, he left chaos in the Congo. Many thanks to Yinka Odumakin for helping me recall that one. The last one week as been hell for Nigeria, I just sat back, watched and read the national dailies, in addition to editing a paper online thus the privilege of getting some disheartening first-hand news. The Zulus say that no matter how short a man is, he will still see the sky.
Well, I just landed Kano from Jeddah via Cairo; as i left inside sources say Mr. Yardy has had a relapse. I am one of those praying for his recovery, however the truth is bitter and someone has to say it. Nigeria's president is sick. He is very sick and it is not just malaria...His condition is tantamount to putting us on a life support machine.
How much has this government spent on his health, on all these trips for foreign Medicare. As I left Jeddah, the following were flying in Dr Bukola Saraki the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Isa Yuguda, the Governor of Bauchi State as per an in-law to the President.
Alhaji Abba Sayyad Ruma, the Minister of Agriculture, and Alhaji Ahmed Yayale, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Before I left, I picked up seven newspapers and went through the pain of calculating the amount of money that was stolen, missing, projects that were at most frivolous or ghost projects...in a five day week; it was almost a trillion naira.
Everywhere out there everyone is complaining about the effects on the depression, the troubles that have come with the recession and all that, yet in my beloved nation, it's a different tale. A leadership that apparently has long lost direction and is in disconnect with citizenry and also a citizenship that has long thrown its rights to the gutters.
Its funny, i hear that the South-South will secede if Jonathan resigns, pressure on VP to resign, North meets to take decision and all that crap...however fact is that in all these, we have been treated massive looting by government officials and more looting embedded in the 2010 budget.
Let's look at these few examples--The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs since creation has done consultancy design and construction to the tune of N22 billion and not one single project fully completed and the ministry asked for more money for new projects and the same week a supplementary budget was passed for them.
A House of rep member actually said that "It does appear like money allocated for consultancy is even higher than that of the actual project. I am disturbed that at the end of the year, what we are going to have to show is consultancy".
If we wanted to pat the House of Representatives on a job well done, it was a Lord have mercy situation as the Speaker could not in English explain how over N52 Billion was spent on tours, N43Billion on refreshment. (Not by him alone but the entire House of Representatives). Where did they go to and what did they eat. Who will perform the oversight function on this kind of heartless spending?
A lame excuse of some Turkish delight was the benefit of all that travels. We are in trouble was once a favorite phrase, however now i have come to realize that there is no trouble...the looting just continues, its only the style and methodology that changes. All explanations to the unschooled are very legitimate but if you know how it works, just 'carry dey go'...aloota continue.
After all the Yardy's sick, so we loot the treasury at sickening pace.
At a time the UK parliament are resigning, getting sacked and thrown out of power over improprieties of a few £100s of Pounds our so-called number-4 thinks spending N52 Billion on tours, N43Billion on refreshment is in order. Shameful, very disgraceful as an online commentator put it.
Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada and the respected Liberal Party got voted out over "Sponsorship Scandal" of about $100,000 CAN. The money was not stolen but mis-applied. Till date, Liberal party has never fully regained the confidence of the Canadians. The party has since been voted out and remains the opposition party.
However in our case the more the PDP ruling party loots the more it extends its 60 year mandate to rule us to ruin. Now we are faced with two constitutions as the president remains incapacitated, we battle with the PDP zoning arrangement and what our statues book says.
The Speaker even said categorically it was not a waste when asked by reporters...apparently not pleased with the question that National Assembly got an appropriation of about N43 billion under a sub-head called “miscellaneous” to cover meals, refreshment and medical care among others, disagreed that the National Assembly was ostentatious.
“People should weigh the cost of the House's performance with the cost of running the House before anybody could make comment on it. It is just a way of distracting the House which we will not allow to work”, he warned.
Should this man not be stoned to death...No he should not be because this is exactly how to spend Nigerian money...you put as much as N43 billion under a sub-head called miscellaneous.
Hear Bankole "it was from one of such foreign trips to Turkey that I attracted foreign firms, who agreed to bring in $1 billion investment into Nigeria this year. “Nobody reported this”, he said,
Like I do not understand English “they agreed to bring in”. They have not brought it in yet o, probably will not!
“$1 billion translates to N360 billion. Is it there or not?” he queried. “You need to weigh the cost and the benefits and if you don't know, ask; we are ready to provide an answer. “You don't have to wait until you have the whole Press in the world before you ask. What you are looking for is the ones that would embarrass the House of Representatives, but we are not afraid”, the Speaker said.
Unfortunately the press corps was afraid...but I am not afraid like many Nigerians are not...Mr. Speaker you goofed and I will tell you if no one does...common Igbo business sense would tell you that if you expended N95 billion to get a promissory N360 billion, it is bad business, very bad business.
Let me not bore us, leave the senior boys that are helping themselves, same week the police was expending almost N40 million in buying dogs and spent more money buying bullet proof vest than bullets and ammunitions.
That was not all, an Abacha was sentenced in far away Switzerland, but as usual, we never see the monies that are recovered, it simple disappears, even during Ribadu's labored fight in EFCC we are never told what becomes of all the monies, we just hear millions and billions.
What is the alleged Ibori money doing in CBN coffers...Okay I know, its there as evidence. Just like a friend asked of what use is it growing foreign reserve in a currency that is fast falling when your country groans under mis-governance and corruption.
The U17 World Cup has come and gone but the SS is picking members of the LOC as several billions developed wings. Infact I have it on good ground that several chair heads just shared left-over amongst themselves in millions...
In case we forgot there was a committee that was raised several millions to make sure we qualified for the world cup...We have qualified and so, where is the summary of expenses, the balanced book of the plus and minus?
Stealing in Nigeria is double delight, even if you are caught like the Bodes and Tafas, you never really do a refund...monies stashed away somewhere, after the initial discomfort you get back to reckoning or silently go away and enjoy your loot.
You have trained your kids, they are scattered all around the globe, in some Oxford and Cambridge, while you have looted the treasury of monies meant for Iyalode Grammar School and Adamu Comprehensive High.
We like stories and in Nigeria we tell a lot of them. We are sensational people, easily tickled and amused...Bank chief has 60 shops in Dubai; XYZ paid himself ABC billions of dollars. Madam Mosquito gave her nanny malaria contract of 10 million Kobo and after some court sittings, bail, sittings and bail and then...the storm is over.
What is the solution to this problem called Nigeria, why is it that a few chose to label the rest bad and play chess at the expense of our collective future. We certainly cannot keep going on like this, we cannot, and we just can't.