By Dele Sobowale
“Fish rots from the head”, “The Senate yesterday condemned the alleged misappropriation and abuse of N1,518,871.357,425.64 by the Federal Government”. THE NATION, Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
From mid-2010 until the last Sunday before the 2011 elections, a major campaign was carried on these pages. The message was simple; even a five year old could understand it – don’t vote for PDP and don’t vote for Jonathan. Yet the majority of Nigerian voters, some of them highly respected people, went out to vote for Jonathan not PDP.
The advice to my “Fellow Countrymen” (“How many fools make up “My Fellow Countrymen”, asked Thomas Carlyle), was based on some of the findings included in my book, PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED – which will soon be reprinted and issued. In it, the PDP government led by former President Obasanjo was pointedly accused of misappropriating close to N8 trillion while the government was deceiving Nigerians and the world that it was fighting corruption.
Today, mine is no longer a lone voice in the wilderness. Even the PDP controlled National Assembly, including Senators from other political parties, had finally confirmed some, and only some, of the charges that I have been making. By the admission of the Senator Ahmed Lawan’s Committee, all PDP presidents – Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan – had not only approved the misappropriation of public funds, they have committed what, in other democracies, would be impeachable offences.
The only difference between the Senate Committee report and mine is one of degree not of fact. We both agree Nigerians were robbed by their presidents. While the Senate Committee had limited its search-light to Special Funds Accounts, my inquiry covers all aspects of government operations – especially those associated with oil/gas revenue and the way they are disbursed; as opposed to the way the law prescribes.
I am sure a wider probe will reveal more criminal misappropriation of public funds by these guys. The truth is, all our presidents have been handling funds entrusted to them in the most irresponsible and criminal way. All the Ministers of Finance should join them in any inquiry arising from this report. They too were/are just disgraceful. They colluded in all these misappropriations.
By my own reckoning, the three presidents of Nigeria, all PDP, since 1999, between them had misappropriated over N12 trillion – about one quarter of it since 2010 when Jonathan took over. That is almost treasonable…
To be continued……
GITTO CONSTRUCTION COMPANY CONNECTION
“The more you look; the less you see”. Professor Peller; the magician.
Gitto Construction is one company most Nigerians should not forget in a hurry. It made headlines last year by building a cathedral in Otuoke, Bayelsa State. Certainly, it was pure coincidence that Otuoke is President Jonathan’s village. The cathedral was estimated to cost N2 billion. Chicken change for a President’s gift.
Gitto is in the news again – for N2 billion. That was the amount of loan granted to God knows who; to pay Gitto out of the N1.52 trillion our three presidents, Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, “misappropriated” since 2002. What on earth did Gitto do for the N2 billion? Wait. What goes round; comes round, abi?
VICTIMS OF BOKO HARAM: SUICIDE BOMBER – 2
“It aint the things you don’t know that cause the problem; it’s things you think you know that aint so”. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882.(VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 117).
Anyone still operating on the belief that the suicide bomber is a fundamentalist who has been persuaded to sacrifice his life, in exchange for a sublime after-life, including twelve virgins to bed, can go and discard that idea. The typical suicide bomber is now receiving part of his rewards here on earth – including several non-virgins he is bedding at will.
The theory was blown when female suicide bombers emerged. When I asked a fundamentalist Muslim teacher, “what is the promised reward for female suicide bombers, would they also bed twelve tall, young and handsome men in heaven?”, he was totally stumped. Are we now to believe there are people dying for nothing?
The decline in the number of “volunteers” is linked with the slow but growing awareness among the potential candidates that they are embarking on a journey of no return. And that it is best to have your fun here on earth. Some have run away after enjoying themselves and shrinking from self-destruction.
Is the suicide bomber a villain or a victim? The shocking answer is: he is both. For those he annihilates or maims he is a villain; for those who send him on his deadly errand, he is a victim.
From fairly reliable sources, I was able to piece together some information about the Boko Haram organization structure. But, permit me if that information, still incomplete, cannot be provided now. However, one particular group of people in the structure, perhaps the most dreaded, suicide bombers, now, has a profile.
Almost invariably, they are not part of the main organization. In fact, if they don’t die in their mission, they cannot provide a lot of useful information about the rest of the faction of Boko Haram which has engaged them. First thing is; they are people with nothing to lose. Second, they must have some driving experience. Otherwise they are trained to drive cars with automatic transmissions – which are easier to master.
Third, they are recruited a few weeks before they are sent on the deadly errand – sometimes without being told they are carrying explosives in the car. Fourth, they are promised a lot of money – at least a “fortune” to them. Some of the money is given to them to spend for days, before the attack, while being drilled about the targets and the mission. The balance is promised to them after successfully accomplishing their mission. Sometimes, they are told to nominate the beneficiaries –if they die. Naively, they select one of their recruiters.
That they carry out the attacks is what makes them villains. That they trust their recruiters, absolutely, is what makes them victims. They never return to collect the balance; and, beneficiaries nominated are never contacted to claim the balance. Security officers in the region might make more progress by being on the look-out for former destitute who suddenly start spending freely….
THANKS SIR SEGUN GEORGE, KSJ. PRESIDENT ICOBA 58-62 SET
Dear Segun let me on behalf of our Igbobi College class, 58-62, alive and departed, express our collective gratitude for the leadership you provided by making the 50th anniversary of our graduation from Igbobi possible. In every aspect of our national lives, Nigerians need leaders who, like you, believe in achievements instead of excuses. We respect and appreciate you. Personally, I doff my hat. Thank you, Sir.