Barrack Obama; “And He Finally Spoke.” by Ndiameeh Babrik
My eyes are red now I hope I will not catch conjunctivitis. I cried because all those praises pour out in the Ghanaian parliament is ordinarily suppose to be in Abuja. Umoru had said it when he was refused invitation to the G-20 summit in London. Nigeria has all the potentials: 140 million people, intelligent, industrious, enterprising in outlook, full of determination. A country filled with natural resources and blessed with all round weather from the temperate weather on the Jos Plateau to the tropical rain forest in the South and the beautiful grassland savannah in the middle belt to the desert weather in Sokoto-Kano- Borno axes. But all the above comes to nothing because of failure of leadership. This is because almost the 140 million people depend on petro-dollar and in fact as per the words of Ibn Na Allah member representing Zuru Kebbi state in the House of Representatives, Nigeria can afford to kill 30 million Niger-delta people to keep the petro-dollar flowing! Now he has bought an aircraft with his own loot of the petro-dollar. I had the rumors that he was doing okada also called “achaba” in Hausa language before his godfather catapulted him to the House of Representatives. Those who held Nigeria and Nigerians captives since 1985 are not up to 30 million. In fact they are far far less than 100,000. Why kill 30 million people for their petrol while killing less than 100,000 or even far less can solve the problem. The problem is not the Niger-Delta militants but those who share the proceeds from the oil as their share of the loot. Republic of Ghana only killed seven or there about and that turned Ghana round for good! Why not in Nigeria? Those who destroyed Nigeria are still here with us and in fact they still display this ill-gotten wealth scornfully before our watchful eyes. To move Nigeria forward we have to say the truth as it is whoever ox is goad. Selective prosecution and persecution of national treasury looters (criminals) cannot solve this problem at all. All looters with no exception must be prosecuted holistically to serve as a true deterrent. Before the digression, we were talking about Nigeria's potentials. Nigeria as a nation has everything under the Sun to make it great exception leadership. I am happy that President Obama of America has challenged the youth to take their destiny in their hands. His speech in the Ghanaian parliament was directed at Nigeria pure, simple and straight. It is Nigeria that has failure of leadership in all facets of development. Obasanjo must be very ashamed of himself by now. For the umpteenth time, the world is a global village. Democracy is about people's vote and rights to choose their leader that was what Mr Obama said. It is not about selection and imposition. Obasanjo, Maurice Iwu, Ehindero, Okiro, Ahmadu Ali, Ogbulafor and their boy Yar'adua should bury their heads in shame.
I had said it before, Yar'adua can make a clean break and implement the Justice Uwais committee recommendation and conduct a free and fair election in 2011.
It is always better to be on the better side of history and be counted. Learn lesson from General Ibrahim Babangida's history. June 12, 1993 election annulment has continued to hunt him and will continue to hunt him even in his grave. He has made every effort to dissociate himself from it through paid sycophants like Humphrey, Ibrahim Jalo, buying columnists in newspapers like Mohammed Haruna but to no avail. June 12 1993 has become his nemesis and in fact will prevent him from going to 'Aljanat' because the voice of the people is the voice of God. When I read “when a General surrendered” by one Suleiman on Sahara reporters.com for example, I had wanted to write to Suleiman that the best General Babangida can do is to return the $12.4 billion US Dollars he was reported to have stolen from Nigeria as per the Dr Pius Okigbo commission report back to the national treasury. $12.4 billion dollars at today's exchange rate is about N2.3 trillion Naira. That is Nigerian's budget for two years. It is possible, after all when Zacheaus met Jesus he promised to give back to whom he had cheated four times what he got from them. There is no shame in these things. Make peace with men before making peace with God. Building mosques all over the place can never be the right restitution. History will be here for thousands of years and record of those who looted Nigeria will be here written for future generation of Nigerians to know who did what. Just like 42 years after his death, Nigerians of Northern origin are still full of praises for Sir Ahmadu Bello. Ditto Awolowo in the South west.
All Obama spoke about in Ghana apply to Nigeria in all ramifications.
Education is the hallmark of development. How can politicians in the National Assembly earn Eleven million Naira per annum basic salaries for doing nothing while Universities Lecturers who train future generation and manpower earn one million net? Here in the UK, Gordon Brown the Prime Minister earns barely the same with University Teachers.
As at today the 11th of July 2009, the hospitals are closed, the Universities and the public schools are closed. Government offices run on generating plants. What type of country runs on empty? Only Nigeria. By the way where is madam re-branding? Are you still insisting on the re-branding project? When looters like Joshua Dariye and James Ibori are celebrated with fanfare?
Leaders like Babatunde Fashola and Jonah Jang who make attempt to identify with masses oriented programs are blackmailed into submission.
While President Obama has said we must embrace change whether peacefully or forcefully.
At the G-8 summit, our 'President' was piled into insignificant. While people like Ghadaffi of Libya and even Abdoulae Wade of Senegal were hailed, Mr Yar'adua as Nigerian leader was barely noticed despite her so call wealth and the so called 'Giant of Africa' self imposed title. The reasons are obvious as we have continued to mention time and time again. Just last Thursday, EFCC was said to have released the names of treasury looters in Nigeria, hardly did that names hit the press and there were anguish and annoyance in the reaction of Nigerians. As far as Nigerians know and which is true the only looters of note on that list is probably Bode George and Joshua Dariye. The International community will take Nigeria serious on corruption fighting and hard drugs trafficking when syndicated looters that are known globally like General Ibrahim Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo, James Ibori, Atiku Abubukar, Ibrahim Mantu, Dimeji Bankole (small but big thief) and all those implicated in the Halliburton and Siemens bribe scandals are summarily brought to Justice.
What is interesting about the Obama speech in the Ghanaian parliament is that he went into the nitty-gritty of bribery and corruption in Nigeria specifically mentioning 20 percent on contracts as well as mentioning corrupt Judges who compromise justice for a token of bribe. Ordinarily such speeches suppose to be a challenge to Nigerian looters, sorry leaders that it will never be business as usual. But these guys are hardened you know.
These were the same Ghanaians who were scornfully sent packing from Nigeria in 1984 with emergency made bags called 'Ghana must go.' In a spate of just 10 years, they had one selfless leader called Jerry Rawlings who turned the fortunes of Ghana round and is now the beautiful bride of Africa receiving two presidential visits in a period of one year from America. What a feat!
Contrast that with my beloved Nigeria, while in 1984, we could say with pride we are Nigerians, since 1985 to date the reverse is the case. It fortunes have dived and nosedived further into oblivion. While the Ghanaian leader receives request from foreign leaders to pay state visit to beautiful Ghana, my 'President' beg local tribal and religious leaders and their foreign counter parts to visit him. What a misfortune my Dear Nigeria. What has bewitched you my dear great country. You are classified amongst failed nation-states despite your wealth both human and otherwise.
The irony is that Nigerians in Diaspora are amongst the best worldwide but they don't have conducive environment in which to operate back in Nigeria. As you are approaching the border post at the airport in Lagos, Abuja, Kano or Port Harcourt, the Custom man will be asking you 'wetin you bring foram?' that he wants to chop kola. 'Person wey did come from Abroad where en see kola buy?'
That is the sad story of our Nigeria. But President Barrack Obama of America has now challenged the youths to resist undemocratic change of government via vote rigging. In 2011 we must guard and protect our votes seriously even with our blood. That is the essence of that jingle General Mohammadu Buhari has been putting on Freedom Radio in Kano, which the sadist looter Ibrahim Shekarau decided to stop.
Whatever it is we still have to write about Nigeria because we have no other country but Nigeria and we to make effort to salvage it together.
Ndiameeh Babrik writes from London, [email protected]| Article source