OPEN LETTER TO IBRAHIM LAMORDE, CHAIRMAN EFCC, TUNDE IDIAGBON HOUSE ABUJA, NIGERIA. BY A I IMAM
DATELINE JANUARY 2012 ABUJA NIGERIA
I feel compelled beyond every possible level of resistance to do two things today in the year of our Lord 2012.
First I am compelled to make public my contributions to public discourse on issues affecting our country. This is the first time I will be putting pen to paper to publish on the pages of a newspaper.
Secondly this is the first time I will write a letter (official or personal) and pass it to the intended recipient openly.
These are extraordinary steps I have taken to try and reach you today and the reasons for taking these steps are very extraordinary and compelling.
Mr Chairman, before I go into the details of these compelling and extraordinary reasons for my letter, I will first of all wish to congratulate you on your recent elevation first to the position of the acting Chairman of this very important agency (the second time) and finally as the substantive Chairman.
Sir the circumstances leading to these events are very well known to Nigerians and thus do not need to be revisited here.
However I strongly feel that your appointment must be some divine intervention as it could not have come at a better time in our history and especially at a time all patriots are involved in the struggle against the cancerous malady of corruption that has gradually eaten deep into all spheres of our public and private lives.
This cancer has not only destroyed all our public and private institutions, but has also our eaten deep into our social, cultural and religious values.
It has succeeded in spreading endemic poverty, ignorance, disease and absolute hopelessness and despair.
Sir, you were very recently quoted and correctly so in many national dailies to have expressed your strong views (which I found to be very informed) about the scale and scope of corruption in the system.
You also gave insights into your strategic thinking on how to fight corruption.
One particular area you mentioned and which I found interesting was that of corruption in the public service. And in your own words, it is one “sector that is ridden with massive corrupt practices”.
This in my opinion is a blunt and bold statement of fact and must be appreciated and acceptable to anyone with the slightest knowledge of the workings of the public service.
You were also quoted as saying that there are suggestions that “most choice properties in Abuja are owned by public servants”.
I will wish to state that these are not just suggestions but verifiable FACTS! I will wish to add that it is also a known fact that the richest class of people in Nigeria today are not business men or women, but our “public serpents”! And they arrogantly flaunt their ill gotten wealth every day before the hopeless eyes of our impoverished citizens.
They do this with impunity knowing very well they are well protected by their Godfathers and co-collaborators in higher places.
This level of corruption and impunity has succeeded in producing for us the kind of public service we have today.
A public service that is neither performance based, nor result oriented.
While in many sane societies public service is seen as a privilege to serve one's country and contribute to its development, here it is seen as a right to rape and plunder its ever increasingly scarce resources.
While others look forward to a fulfilling career of service and a retirement in which the wealth of experience gained is utilized to guide the succeeding generation, our “public serpents” look forward to retiring into the experience of “enjoying” the wealth plundered and raped.
Sir this letter is not intended to x-ray the public service, neither is it intended to be a historical treatise on corruption in the public service, so I will not waste your very valuable time going into any details on the public service sector as an institution and a system.
In fact I rest in the comfort of your knowledge of the situation in that sector and they hope and expectation that you will not fail in your God given opportunity to tackle corruption in this sector and contribute you own quota to the efforts to salvage and save what is left of this country.
Sir, I recently stumbled upon a very interesting piece in the “Inside Politics” column of the Daily Trust Newspaper of Friday, January 06, 2012 (Page 42).
It made not only an interesting reading but also provided a clear evidence of the level of corruption, the arrogance of the corrupt and the audacity of shamelessness.
The piece I am referring to was an interview conducted by Ismail Mudashir of the said Daily Trust Newspaper.
The interviewee was an unassuming, rural looking young man from Katsina state in North West Nigeria.
He is a self acclaimed “philanthropist” and a major financier of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) both at state and national level.
He by his own account has “been building schools, building mosques, paying school fees for children, buying houses in tertiary institutions for the sake of accommodating our students and so on”.
As a major PDP financier, he has confessed to have over spent the Katsina state government during voter registration drive and on election days.
Reading through the interview, you will be left in no doubt that the young man is a multi-billionaire.
In fact in his Dutsinma LGA alone he said in his own words “I spent N80 million Naira for Jonathan on election day”.
What he spent it for is left to your imagination. However that is not the issue here.
Sir, it may interest you to know that this self acclaimed “philanthropist” and PDP financier, is not one of our new and emerging oligarchs, or a member of the subsidy cabal, but wait for it; He is Alhaji Umaru Abdullahi Tsauri popularly Known as TATA, a fulltime federal civil servant of the Government and People of Nigeria. He by his own account and in his own words is an “ordinary assistant Director” in the federal ministry of defence! (Any one still wondering why Nigerians are defenceless and at the mercy of Boko haram, ethnic militias, robbers, kidnappers etc?).
This “ordinary assistant director” is by no means an exception but the rule in the public service.
It is a system full of billionaires like TATA. Tata may have been just the brave and arrogant one to come out openly and dare all of us, but I assure you there are many sleeper billionaires in the system.
I therefore urge you to begin to prove to Nigerians that you mean every word you said and that we can trust you to deliver without fear or favour.
And there is no better way to demonstrate this than by picking up Umaru Abdullahi Tsauri and asking him to explain how he came about his stupendous wealth while still serving as a career civil servant.
That is assuming you have not done so already.
A I Imam