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Posts tagged ‘Political corruption’

Nigeria As A Horror Show – By Bayo Oluwasanmi.

By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Nigeria has become a scam. It has lost sight of its social contract. The only factory that is working in Nigeria is corruption industry. We’re marching toward the end game of democracy.

It’s not difficult to see how interconnected things are, the performance of our legislators at all levels of government especially those at the National Assembly to the culture of corruption. Our legislators believe they don’t need the governed. They are not worried that the citizenry is left behind in all spheres of life. They are not concerned about decline of industry and lack of meaningful work for the unemployed Nigerians.

Our legislators are not disturbed that the youth are unprepared for the technocracy of modern economy. The young ones are being taught by the example of the political leaders that the only viable economic base in the country is the multi-billion Naira corruption trade.

The tragedy of the political situation is that our legislators are not even biting off a small morsel of the real problems that we face. We have nothing to show or depict institutional progress in Nigeria in all sectors of human endeavor. We have become accustomed to the professional practice of our political stewards from legislators to ministers and the president. As soon as they invent statistical figures and other bizarre bogus claims, they will go overdrive trying to make it look as if there is progress when in reality no progress is occurring.

The corruption of our political leadership in all the three branches of government combined has become a market based culture wherein majority of our people now fights over scraps to survive. Nigerians by the actions of their own elected representatives have become a permanent underclass. We have no manufacturing base. We don’t build anything. The factories have disappeared. And so with meaning of life that has value with Nigerians who were once employed by the factories.

Nigerians are under assault. The elite ruling class could care less as long as they placate enough people and as long as they throw enough scraps from the table that enough people get a little bit to eat, change will not happen soon. But, Nigerians are now being pushed to the starving point and very soon they’ll be willing to fight. And I believe that’s the only time when change is possible. When people are finally threatened to the root of life and just couldn’t take it anymore. When they reach the point, then it will signal a critical juncture in our history – when the long awaited change happens.

The legislature is one of the institutions that is supposed to serve Nigerians. It is supposed to care for them. But look at what they are doing to us – complete betrayal of the trust and social contract. The National Assembly is a beautiful metaphor for the hollowness at the core of Nigerian will. How can one explain the complicity and compromise of the legislators for the redundant and ragtag policies and programs of the president? As far as I’m concerned, that’s a failure of will and imagination. This has permeated every institution in Nigeria. The only reason by which Mr. Jonathan can be shaved and shaped into a leader for him to usurp the legislative powers and oversight of a moot legislature.

Nearly daily, Nigeria’s mass media report political corruption. Government bureaucrats from local to national are exposed for having abused their offices for personal gain. The key checks and balances of oNigerians are now being pushed to the starving point and very soon they’ll be willing to fight. ur presidential democratic enterprise that could reasonably be expected to reduce political corruption so far attempted have proved a disaster. The EFCC and ICPC and a slew of anti-corrupt agencies have been nothing else than smokescreens. What we have now is a system in which the economy best serves those who can most effectively corrupt and be corrupted.

We don’t need a fictional George Orwell to tell us Abuja is rotten at its core. Reason: Truth is much scarier than fiction. Proven shocking statistics and personal stories of challenge and hardship made even harder by corruption and political collusion that reward the corrupt and criminals at the expense of Nigerians. The horror created by the ruling class has become a manifest of primal fear, loss of will, and helplessness on the part of Nigerians.

The most powerful force in a leader’s life is love for people. The National Assembly at Abuja don’t love our people otherwise how could the government not work for the people? How could evil reign for so long? How could they remain silent and untouched in the face of all the evils that our people contend with daily?

What will it take them to respond to emergency situation that is ongoing in the country? How many babies would have to be killed before they take action? None of their actions or responses show any alarm. It is crystal clear that they have not responded with alarm that the situation deserves. The immigration recruitment exercise tragedy is the latest horror that has miffed the civilized world and seems to be asking “what the hell is wrong with Nigeria?” There comes a time when Nigerians should ask their representatives: how can this be? And now is the time.

Security provides the foundation for strong leadership. There is no question about it that the legislators have no foundation to lead the people. Nigerians feel insecure while the legislators drift from one mission whenever trouble arises. Because we the people do not feel secure, fear will eventually cause the legislators to sabotage their leadership.

The way they handle matters that affect us proves that they are not wise, accountable, submissive, but selfish. Theirs is a tragic case of leadership gone bad. Their greed and graft have greatly influenced their treachery and wickedness. We’re dismayed to learn that majority of the law makers are extreme opportunists and always think the ends justify the means.

The National Assembly is a divided house. A divided leadership eventually produces a divided nation such that we’re witnessing today – a nation of horror show.

Just as every sailor knows you can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving forward, leaders understand that to change direction, you first have to create forward progress!


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Group Calls On Government to Establish Electoral Offences Tribunal.

Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative has called on the National Assembly to pass a legislation to establish a special Electoral Offences Tribunal to dispense justice in all cases of electoral malpractice, ahead of the 2015 general election.

In a press statement released today, the global group popularly known as Transform Nigeria Movement, TNM, noted that the 2015 polls should be more transparent and more credible than that of 2011 as Nigeria cannot afford to have elections or general governance slide back in terms of peacefulness, fairness, transparency, or credibility.

TNM said that starting from April 2014; they will start a mobilisation campaign to ensure that such Tribunal is established in all the 36 States of the Federation and Abuja before the 2015 election.

“We stand with Nigerians who say loudly that they will not accept crooked tactics, electoral tampering, over-heated rhetoric, vote selling or buying, or violence”, the group said, adding that “anyone who engages in such election chicanery should be held accountable”.

“We call on Nigeria’s National Assembly to pass legislation enacting an Electoral Offences Tribunal legislation that President Jonathan himself proposed when he was vice president.”

Frowning at a situation where persons indicted of electoral malpractice in a cancelled election that was marred by rigging still goes ahead to contest again in the rescheduled elections and win, the group called it an anomaly and should no longer be tolerated.

“Such persons should be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution and if found guilty, be barred from contesting in all future elections for at least 10 years”.

TNM said that if Nigeria’s security agencies are allowed to do their jobs professionally like they did during the Anambra governorship poll, the elections would be safely held in states with gubernatorial elections this year and in 2015.

“Credible elections are the responsibility of every citizen,” The group said and urged voters to vote according to their conscience and not sell their votes, which would amount to selling their future and the future prosperity of their children.

“You must hold your politicians, your electoral commission, your judiciary, your media, your political parties, your security services, and one another accountable.  You must vote according to your conscience.  Anyone who witnesses fraud must peacefully report it to the INEC and the Nigerian judicial system for resolution.

“Nothing justifies violence.  Most importantly, Nigerians should vote.  The ballot is your means to select your leaders and determine your futures,” The statement said.


How 45 Directors At The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Colluded With Nigeria’s Attorney General And Minister ToReverse Their Retirement.

Prof. Viola Onwuliri
By SaharaReporters, New York

Some 45 directors at the federal ministry of foreign affairs have colluded with the highly corrupt Attorney General of the federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and the supervising minister of foreign affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri to frustrate their retirement from plum foreign ambassadorial positions in a situation that may yet redefine retirement of federal civil servants in Nigeria.

The AGF interfered in their retirement after receiving hefty sums of bribe money from the career civil servants.

AGF Adoke, who is one of the most remarkably corrupt ministers in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan, issued a memo to the president requesting that 45 directors who are currently acting as ambassadors in several foreign missions who had earlier retired in December 2013 after completing an 8 year tenure be recalled to continue as directors.

The directors had been asked to proceed on retirement according to a federal civil service directive, but a source knowledgeable about their plot to sit tight in power told SaharaReporters that the directors, instead of retiring met and contributed millions of naira which was passed to the AGF and minister of justice Adoke, who then advised them to sue the federal government to frustrate their retirement and removal from their plum positions.

After receiving the bribe, Mr. Adoke then reportedly recommended to the 45 directors lawyers that would file a lawsuit in Abuja to the ambassadors.

Soon as the ambassadors filed a bizarre lawsuit he wrote a strong memo to President Jonathan asking that he recalls the directors pending the determination of the lawsuit, last week President Jonathan reversed the retirement of the 45 director based on Mr. Adoke’s recommendation, however, the federal civil service commission rejected his legal advice saying it portends danger for the civil service as more civil servants would engage in such acts of insubordination to frustrate their retirement from service.

President Jonathan then turned to the supervising minister of foreign affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri to carry out to the order.
With few hours left in the position, Mrs. Onwuliri then requested the permanent secretary in the ministry to implement Attorney General Adoke’s advice but the Permanent Secretary reportedly refused the directive citing the position of the federal Civil service commission on the matter and urging the minister to recall the directors to Abuja while the minister of justice is pressured to fight the lawsuits.

Our sources stated that since Mrs. Onwuliri was part of the scam she bypassed the Permanent Secretary by issuing a poorly worded telex riddled with spelling errors to foreign missions asking that the missions maintain the “ status quo ante”  by retaining the retired directors at their respective positions. The telex a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters had to be corrected in some instances with a red pen.

Mrs. Onwuliri hurriedly sent the telex instead of waiting for the new minister ministry to properly interpret the AGF’s directive. Her action was described as  a breach protocol according to our sources.

Mrs. Onwuliri is expected to be replaced by a new minister of foreign affairs; Ambassador Aminu Wali, who is currently Nigeria’s ambassador to China.
The Nigerian Senate cleared Wali yesterday after President Jonathan nominated him as minister early this year.


Jonathan’s 2015 Onslaught By Charles Ofoji.

By Charles Ofoji

Only the naive would still be waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to formally declare his intention to seek reelection in 2105. The body language of the president and his calculated speeches, inactions and actions leave no one in doubt that he will not only ask the Nigerian people to renew his mandate, but in fact he has started campaigning for reelection. The firing of his Chief of Staff and four ministers last week are unmistakable canons, kick starting a reelection bid.

At last, Jonathan, albeit reluctantly, sacked his controversial political ally, Stella Oduah. Undoubtedly, if not the fact that 2015 is dangerously too close, he would never have fired the woman, who not only played a pivotal role in his emerging as president in 2011, but also, despite her malfeasance, arguably did a good job in the aviation industry as minister. Jonathan was awfully disinclined to sacking Oduah for the two reasons I have mentioned. Her discharge is a loss to Jonathan personally and the Nigeria people. The Aviation Industry will miss the vision this ambitious woman had for it. She wanted to reform the rotten industry and she did well in this direction. I guess her greatest undoing was that she failed to realize that no matter how well you mean or how well you might be doing your job, public service has rules which are sacrosanct.

Oduah got carried away. In that way, she unwisely played into the hands of her enemies, who are predominantly the cabal holding aviation industry hostage – those who want business to remain as usual. At the end, she paid the price for not playing by the rules and her enemies rejoiced. Her greatest mistake was that you cannot be a reformer and live below board. Reforms hurt special interests. The owners of such interests would naturally fight back to retain the status-quo which guarantees their profit.

I was one of those who personally admired Oduah. I had wished she did well, being a woman. It would have gone a long way in bridging gender inequality in Nigeria. I also, on a personal note, wished her well, being a friend of her brother during my times in Cologne, Germany. Nevertheless, her misbehaviour was not tolerable, neither was it pardonable. You don’t bend the rules because people you like broke them.

Jonathan had tried to bend the rules for Oduah until he found out that the heat was unbearable. She had only become an agonizing political liability. This is why I refrain from congratulating this president for sacking those enmeshed in corruption, who dined with him. There is no sincerity in their sacking. They were not sacked because Jonathan was interested in ethics or in the fight against corruption. It was only onslaught towards 2015 – a selfish move aimed at winning back the trust of the Nigerian people.

It is useless to inquire if Jonathan would be successful in getting Nigerians to trust him again. Even if Nigerians would not trust him again, who would they? The so-called Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) has not presented Nigerians with a viable alternative. It takes only an extraordinary candidate to defeat an incumbent anywhere in the world, more so in Africa, where it rarely happens. The names I hear of in the APC do not come near to even being average candidates. In fact, they are worse than Jonathan.

Based on the covenant between Nigerians and Jonathan and his performance as president, he should not bother asking for another mandate. He failed to deliver on his promise – a breath of fresh air. The air got worse under his watch. For those who love Nigeria, it saddens to know that he would remain president beyond 2015. There is simply no credible challenger.

This cast a big question mark on Nigeria’s recruitment and reward system. The mere fact that all those within a touching distance of challenging Jonathan are people of questionable character simply goes to underline that something is terribly wrong with the country. No thanks to a dubious recruitment and reward system bequeathed on the Nation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, those who are competent and those who genuinely love Nigeria and have something to contribute to her forward-march never get a chance to serve their fatherland. As a result of godfatherism, mostly unqualified people and charlatans ambled their way up Nigeria’s political ladder.

Recently, I listened once more to the brilliant speech of former Prime Minister, late Tafawa Balewa before the United Nations. Again I cried for Nigeria. You could only ask yourself, where did people like Balewa, Azikiwe and Awolowo go? Nigeria did not stop producing such people. The truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of people like them. The only thing is that the sycophants the military handed over power to, so that they could protect their interests, hijacked the country. And they would do all, including assassinating, to make sure that people like Balewa are prevented from coming close to power.

Jonathan is the biggest beneficiary of a system that encourages mediocrity. He should never have been president in the first place. He was propped up by a dubious system. Unfortunately, as he said recently, he is still better than those calling him names.



The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Why A Northern Christian Candidate For President Won’t Work By Sheik Ahmad Gumi.

By SaharaReporters, New York

Outspoken Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi has said that a Northern Christian candidate for President under the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would not work in Nigeria’s 2015 elections. He made the comment while analyzing the political developments in Nigeria in an interview with SaharaTV on Saturday.

Northern Christians he said needed to rebuild confidence with other Northerners before they would be taken seriously.  Instead of a northern Christian candidate he suggested that a South West Muslim presidential candidate and an amiable Northern Muslim candidate as a combination that would rather guarantee a landslide.

“Because the Northern Christians, unfortunately for them, during the 2011 election … all went to Jonathan, they need to build the confidence back for the northerners to show that they believe in being northerners before they will be taken seriously,” he said to SaharaTV’s Rudolf Okonkwo.

The sheik also said he would not accept the offer to be president of Nigeria if asked by any party but would rather support someone acceptable to the majority of Nigerians to assume office.

“I cannot be a president of Nigeria,” he said. “Why? Because of the diversity of Nigeria. Let everybody maintain his diversity. I don’t want to impose myself on people who are ready to reject me. So we should find natural people who are acceptable to everybody so that we can have peace.”

He described President Jonathan’s firing of former Aviation Minister Stella Oduah as too little too late.

“Already the nation has characterized the regime as tolerant to corruption,” he said. “The image has not yet been corrected. It would have been a better image if the president had sacked that woman.”

On the controversy over the $20 billion the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have failed to remit to the federal account, Sheik Gumi called for a combined team of auditors from Russia, China and Germany to come and audit the corporation’s account. Handing the audit over to a Western auditing firm he said would not work because the money in question is in western banks and there would be conflict of interest. He recommended that the Senate and the House of Representatives should select the auditors and not the Minister of Finance.

Sheik Gumi also observed that Muslims were the first victims of the fight against terror. He said that the way the president fights terror had the whole of the northern region subjugated to draconic laws; a situation which he reckons has brought resentment against President Jonathan. “The imagine of  Jonathan now in the North has gone bad,” he said.

Gumi rejected the president’s pronouncement last week that his government had left Nigeria better and stronger than he met it pointing at corruption and insecurity across the land as an example. “He (Jonathan) didn’t make Nigeria better,” he said. “He made it worse.”

He also commended Saharareporters for breaking stories around Stella Oduah’s corruption and sustaining the story, leading to her eventual dismissal. “If the press in Nigeria is as good as Saharareporters, Nigeria will be better” he said.


Okorocha suspends Commissioner for alleged physical assault.


Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has  suspended the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social  Development, Mrs. Nma Onyechere, with immediate effect for physically  assaulting a serving Commissioner in the Local Government Service  Commission, Chief Emeka Okoronkwo.
The Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the governor on Media, Mr. Sam  Onwuemeodo, who confirmed this development to newsmen explained that  Okorocha’s administration does not tolerate indiscipline.
“The Governor received a complaint that the suspended Commissioner  physically assaulted a serving Commissioner in the Local Government  Service Commission, Chief Emeka Okoronkwo”.
Speaking further, Onwuemeodo explained that it was the considered  opinion of the Governor that such a public figure of the rank of a  commissioner should learn how to control her temper, no matter the level  of provocation.
“The reported incident brought bad image to the administration and  the Governor strongly felt that such a public figure of the rank of a  Commissioner should learn to properly manage her temper very well, no  matter the level of provocation”, Onwuemeodo added.
Findings revealed that the Commissioner had been directed to  immediately handover all government property in her possession to the  Permanent Secretary in her Ministry.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Reverse Oduah’s appointments, contracts, experts urge FG.


* If during the tenure of Oduah, 2,000 people were employed, 95 per cent of those numbers were from the south east of Nigeria

Barely 24 hours after the removal of Stella Oduah as the minister of aviation by President Goodluck Jonathan, a union leader and an expert in the sector have called for the review of all the appointments made and contracts awarded during her tenure.

Those spoken to by National Mirror insisted that most of the appointments were lopsided and did not follow the labour rules. They said that most of those engaged by Oduah were from a particular part of the country.

Oduah had immediately after her appointment in the first phase engaged about 75 staff in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, while

other agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB were to follow.

In a telephone chat, the President, Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore, said that there was no rationale for most of the appointments made by the minister in the sector.

He cited the appointments made in NCAA, saying that the agency, which required experts, was ‘flooded’ by those who had no knowledge in the sector.

Ore alleged that those appointed by the minister were those who are presently causing confusion in the industry and safety hazards in the sector.

He said: “They are causing confusion and when the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO and the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, come calling, they will ask for their papers. Those people will constitute safety hazard and potential danger in the industry because they are raw materials that should be trained.

“I am not saying they should sack all of them, but some of them are not required in the system. It is going to be a big challenge for the DG, NCAA, as the industry is presently composed.”

Also, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye, insisted that the appointments were irregular, lopsided and tended to suggest to the players in the sector that it was a mission of a regional personality.

“For instance, if during the tenure of Oduah, 2,000 people were employed, 95 per cent of those numbers were from the south east of Nigeria. We believe as we have repeatedly told the government that they violate the principles of federal character. Not only that, it also violated the existing condition of service in the various parastatals where these people were sent to.

Source: Radio Biafra.

APGA demands immediate reopening of Lagos market shut in bid to force traders to register for APC.


The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has demanded the immediate reopening

of a major market in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos, shut a week ago in a bid to force the traders to register as members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the party’s nationwide membership drive.

Iponri market in mainland Lagos was shut by policemen mobilised by Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, daughter of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he previously installed as the Iyaloja (President- General of Market Traders) of Lagos. She ruled that the market would be reopened only if the traders produced their APC membership cards.

Reacting to News Express’ second story on the issue in four days, Acting National Publicity Secretary of APGA, Mr. Stanley Chira, said this afternoon: “APGA condemns this act of impunity by Tinubu’s daughter in the strongest term. Iyaloja is not the governor of the state; she is not the commissioner in charge of markets; neither is she a security personnel. So there is no basis or empowerment that gave her such powers to become an empress to lord it over the affairs of Nigerians living in Lagos. She may be intimidating the governor of Lagos State but she should not extend it to places of interest to APGA and Umuigbo.”

Stressing that the market closure is adversely affecting the fortunes of innocent traders, many of whom are Igbos, Chira said: “APGA is calling on Governor Babatunde Fashola to call Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo to order. She should not rekindle the anger of Ndi Igbo experienced during the deportation saga of last year. Enough of this tendency to treat Ndi Igbo as second-class citizens.”

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