Diezani Alison-Madueke: Goodluck Jonathan Vs the Nigerian people
). This was a forensic detail of the “nauseating and shocking systemic abuses in all aspects of our oil and gas industry.” This report had been in government hand but kept in the cooler as usual. I crave due indulgence to liberally quote the Premium Times:
“From unauthorized violation of OPEC oil quota for Nigeria, to outright falsification of the exchange rates used for defraying government oil revenue, to barefaced exploitation of the subsidy regime, the report is clear and unequivocal in its observations and conclusions. It not only highlighted how rotten the industry is but it also clearly indicted officials and departments found to be involved in monumental corruption…
Although names were not mentioned in the report, a detailed analysis of the document by Premium Times has thrown up at least 20 government officials and businesspersons who have questions to answer as far as the audit is concerned…”
Of course, prominent amongst those to have been interrogated was Diezani Alison-Madueke under whose watch corruption and malfeasance in the oil industry continued to flourish. The Nuhu Ribadu committee also found it difficult to exonerate Diezani Alison-Madueke as it reported that about 28 billion Naira from oil revenue and royalty is still missing from NNPC account. We should also not forget the eventual waterloo of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the reported missing billions from NNPC.
And now Diezani Alison-Madueke is under probe by the House of Representatives accused of chartering aircraft at the expense of tax payers. She has been accused of spending about N10billion (60 million USD) over a two-year period for hiring of private jets, both for her official and private use. The House said the cost of hiring the plane was about 600,000 Euros per trip. As usual, she has strenuously declared her innocence. The NNPC has also come out in fiery defence of its embattled Minister.
This is the corrupt world of Diezani Alison-Madueke, a lady who like most other special ladies in the life of Goodluck Jonathan, wallows in the crypt of greed, wanton insensitivity and callousness. These are the precise attributes that endear her to Jonathan. It is high time Nigerians knew that ministers are appointed at the mercy of President Goodluck Jonathan to serve his interest only. No national interest comes into the equation at any stage. They are not appointed to serve the Nigerian masses as this attribute does not feature in the concept of governance in Nigeria. Once again, the case of Diezani Alison-Madueke is another opportunity for Jonathan to flex his presidential might and maintain his usual stoic indifference to the Nigerian populace. It is a state of might versus right.
Despite the determination of that contaminated organisation called NNPC to dance on the political mistune of unfettered loyalty to a reigning Minister, certain pertinent questions beg for prudent responses.
We as Nigerians need to ask ourselves if indeed any Minister, or any Nigerian for that matter, has the right or temerity in these austere times to:
Lavishly expend state money on personal aggrandisement and luxury?
Live in stupendous luxury simply because of their privileged position at the expense of the suffering masses?
The other pertinent questions are:
Is it right for the National assembly to assume an overseer function in our mortally corrupt environment when decisions emanating from these chambers are most times ignored and disrespected by the executive arm?
Again, is it morally right for the National Assembly (which by itself has the tag of corruption perpetually on its neck by its commandeering of one quarter of our national resources for a less than one percent of the population) to be the one pursuing corrupt government officials?
The National Assembly took up this role when bodies bodies assigned with this task are shying away from investigating or prosecuting certain officials. We have the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). These bodies are curiously silent when certain Nigerians are in the storm of corruption allegations. Is it then time to re-evaluate their existence and relevance and possibly proscribe?
These and many other questions beg for urgent answers.
Gooduck Jonathan has always postured against the Nigerian people. He has demonstrated consistent defiance and antagonism to the wishes and desires of Nigerians. He has never hidden his disdain for our socio-economic emancipation. Examples abound but few will suffice. We are all living witnesses to the sudden, abrupt and crushing fuel subsidy removal on a new year's day 2012. The resistance of this administration to the removal of Stella Odua despite demonstrated incompetency and unparalleled sleaze is still fresh in our memories. Even the current jamboree in Abuja is a betrayal and mockery of our agitation and struggle for a truly sovereign national conference.
Students of political history appreciate that he buck rests on the table of political authority. This is a maxim the man from Otuoke is incapable of assimilating. His sustained penchant for blaming virtually all except himself is xenophobic and anti-progressive. His intolerance of criticism is both amusing and sad. He has blamed past leaders for the evils bedevilling the Nigerian nation. He has blamed our economic woes on certain leaders without the courage to mention names. Of recent, he has even blamed Northern governors for being responsible for the Boko Haram debacle. In all these, he failed to exhibit that onerous demand of leadership – the need to make life better for the citizens. He is sadly incapable of understanding the urgent need to wake up to neglected responsibilities and to stop throwing the blame game.
The scourge of corruption is like a pestilence in our land. Born out of greed, it has eaten deep into every fabric of our society. From the security man manning the gate of a primary school to the motor park tout and highly placed government officials. Probably the only Nigerian free of this illness is the unborn child. The irony is that we as a people really do not need corruption to thrive. We are so blessed by God and nature that all it takes is for us to exploit those positive attributes that hold us together…
Every reasonable human being aspires to make his society better than he met it. Occupying a position of power and responsibility makes this more of an ardent task. Here, Goodluck Jonathan has failed miserably. His sins against the Nigerian people are mounting by the day. Yet our President is blissfully ignorant of the trauma his regime has imposed on Nigerians. He is busy confusing church speeches with policy announcements. His government is reeling from policy somersaults to policy inconsistencies, confusion and hopelessness. The enormity of his sins cannot be washed even by his recent visit to the Pope, no matter how many times he and his madam decided to kiss the Pope's hand. Whilst the confusion in Abuja continues to roll on, it behoves of us to take our collective destiny in our hands. God will not come down from above solely to rescue Nigeria.
Why should God descend to the physical plane only for Nigeria?
Dr Olusegun Fakoya