By Tony Edike
ENUGU—THE Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, yesterday, expressed serious concern over the poor state of affairs in the country, saying only the activation of existing international protocols, laws and conventions could save it from total collapse.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the CNPP noted that it would be wrong for the international community and agencies to stand by and watch the disintegration of the country.
It, therefore, urged them to consider imposition of sanctions against corrupt Nigerian leaders, similar to those imposed on South Africa during the apartheid era, until the country’s corruption perception index improved.
The CNPP advocated travel bans on politicians, top government officials and known associates, especially those who had been indicted by the police, EFCC or other anti-corruption agencies as well as freezing and/or closure of questionable International Bank Accounts, especially those in Switzerland, Cayman Island, Dubai, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, the US and UK; and vetting of all international businesses that require specified amount of transfers.
“We believe these measures would bring significant improvement in the situation of the country when taken promptly,” it stated.
Taking stock of the outgoing year 2012, the CNPP observed that it was a year those allegedly elected by Nigerians remorselessly unleashed untold hardship on the populace.
The statement read: “Nothing presently works in Nigeria save for what is merely the semblance of a country to the extent that it is now a shadow of what it was before the military snatched power back in 1996 or when Nigeria joined the comity of nations as a giant of Africa in 1960.
“Since coming into the office after the 2011 elections, President Jonathan, for example has not visited Borno State even if only to reassure the suffering citizens of that place that Nigeria has not and will not forsake them.
“Considering the size of the country in all ramifications and the series of federal government’s failed boasts to root out the insurgency by extremists in the north east of the country, the ongoing carnage is a massive tragedy of international proportion.
“What has led to this descent into hell is the blessing and curse of resources which churned out corruption of unfathomable magnitude. This has permeated everywhere from the top to the bottom. Whether pretext or genuine, the President is making a show of coming to terms with the reality on ground but his actions throughout 2012 told Nigerians of a man who will rather groom corruption to thrive to get whatever reprieve he seeks for himself.
“He (President) continues to surround himself with questionable characters with most of those around him being neck deep in sleaze from Ministers, Special Advisers to heads of extra-ministerial departments. He himself admitted that some directors are richer than governors. A known ex-convicts struts the corridors of the presidential villa.
“The National Assembly, which should have been representative of the people, is at the epicenter of the corruption in the land. Virtually everyone with a seat there is on the take and bent on impoverishing the country by appropriating national resources to themselves as recurrent expenditure and allowances.
“Any probe they conducted in the outgoing year was soon mired in controversy as they tried to benefit at the expense of the populace. Their actions and inaction birthed the dreaded Boko Haram and other militia groups that they are now scared to even address. Unfortunately, this resulting state of insecurity is further excuse for them to increase the looting of the country with nearly 25% of the national budget devoted to security without result because the real purpose of this money is to create a slush fund for the 2015 elections.”
Noting that the judiciary had been on “the gravy train as well”, the CNPP said that the hope of Nigerians on the sector was finally dashed in 2012. “From the Supreme Court to the High Courts, most judges are on the take. The result is deficient, putrid and stale governance,” it observed.
While urging Nigerians “to discard their docility, leave it behind in the outgone year and engage the ruling class in 2013 since the populace are the ones who do not have money stashed away to flee the country in the event of a meltdown,” the CNPP, however, felicitated with Nigerians who are alive to witness the start of another year