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Can revolution bring change?

I WOULD like to applaud some fellow Nigerians who  belong to my  school of  thought. In particular I refer to a write up by Mr. Joel Nwokeoma in the Punch of August 9, 2010 titled:  “Can bloody revolution take place in Nigeria?”

In his wonderful write-up, he made mention of notable individuals whose ideology contributed to the emancipation of their people from oppression and perpetual poverty.

One of such individuals include an Indian Noble Laurete, Amatya Sen. This man has written his name in gold and remains a hero in the history of the Indian nation, just like Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Mahat Ma ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, just to mention a few.

In Nigeria today we have the likes of Professor Ben Nwabueze who at a book launch recently in Lagos took a swipe at corruption and its reflection on Nigeria and its citizens.

From the analysis of Itse Sagay, if the president of USA, Barack Obama earns U$400,000.00 per anum and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron gets £190.000.00, it all amounts to open robbery and looting of our national treasury for Nigerian senators and members of the House of Representatives to earn U$1.7 million each per annum.

To me and some Nigerians, they have contributed absolutely nothing to the development of Nigeria; all they have to show for being so-called are massive corruption, looting and fighting in sessions-a national disgrace.

These corrupt practices are perpetrated through contract scams, open seizure of government money by powerful individuals in uniforms, inflation of official costs, setting up non-performing panels, money laundry, etc.

Ministers, commissioners, local government chairpersons, university lecturers and even church leaders are all involved in these evil practices. Also bankers are not exempted. Imagine government setting up a panel to investigate a huge scam, spending money to finance members and at the end the result is not made public- the case of Elumelu and electricity power scam is an example.

University lecturers subject students to obnoxious extortions that leave them to bend or break. The privileged ones scale through while the under-privileged ones resort to cultism.

They know the repercussion of this but have no choice. Politicians and government officials manipulate Nigeria and Nigerians to their advantage without interruption while making policies that shield them during and after their tenures in offices – immunity.

They also shuffle office holders at will -  the removal of Professor Tam David West for Alhaji Rilwan Lukman  and Nuhu Ribadu of EFCC for Mrs. Farida Waziri are cases in point.

With the reign of the latter, the war against corruption seems to have been lost.
With the demand of N10 billion for Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary and approval of N87.7 billion for new voters register to INEC, the scourge of corruption seems to be spreading wider by the day.

I am a pro-new register candidate because people who were under age at the last registration have grown by now and their votes must count but this amount voted for it to me and many Nigerians is outrageous. It will not be a surprise if at the end there will not be free and fair elections-trust Nigerians.

The case of the U$290,000.00 stolen from the NFF Glass House Abuja as well as the looting of national funds at the just concluded FIFA World Cup in South Africa is yet another case in  point.

The effects of corruption in this nation is so glaring that foreigners see Nigerians as slaves in their country, enslaved by their own people.

Think of collapse of industries due to power failure, unemployment on the increase with thousands of graduates passing out of schools yearly, human trafficking, armed robbery, prostitution everywhere and HIV/AIDS scourge, militancy, kidnapping, brain drain, advance fee fraud (aka 419); all these have a great negative impact on Nigeria as a nation and the citizens are seen as suspects everywhere in the world.

These are cases of  ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ and are fought with government funds rather than used for better purposes. HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, unending funding of power projects, EFCC lost battles at home and abroad, 419 and re-branding projects.

All these are tax payers money and hard earned revenue going down the drain. Debts servicing is not forgotten because a reflection on the visit of the ex-US President, Bill Clinton, during ex-President Obasanjo’s regime calls to mind what happened.

During his maiden speech at the airport on arrival, Obasanjo and many Nigerians were expecting him to announce cancellation of our foreign debts but he intelligently did not.

Rather he was showering encomium on the late first lady Stella Obasanjo for her pet project on the Nigerian child.

Mr.  Bona Aduba, a commentator on national issues, writes from Lagos.


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