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Buhari’s war on corruption – real or fake? (2)

This is the second edition of this discourse. In the first which was published, Tuesday, Chinweizu, insisted that if President Buhari refuses to implement the Confab Report before him, he will merely use the EFCC, ICPC, etc and noise making against corruption to harass and persecute his political enemies.
By Chinweizu

WE can expect him to extend his vengeance to David Mark, John Shagaya, Joshua Dogonyaro and the others who made that coup against him, and eventually, when he has consolidated his power, he will go after IBB their leader.

The Nigerian corruption system is a clever mechanism. It is so configured that it continues to covertly serve as the Caliphate’s principal device for plundering Nigeria even while the proclaimed war on corruption distracts the public from its systemic roots in the constitution.

The noisy war on corruption is also used to persecute the Caliphate’s enemies, with the Caliphate’s alleged corruption fighters enjoying acclaim for fighting a mysterious and intractable malady. In reality, there is nothing mysterious about corruption in Nigeria. It is bred by the lootocracy that is encouraged and protected by the 1999 constitution.

People should not be fooled by Buhari’s show of impartiality when he goes after some Caliphate looters. An institution under serious attack will sometimes find it expedient to sacrifice some of its own members, throw its most blatant offenders to the baying dogs, and save itself to continue business as usual.

Contemporaneous massacres

For example, during the Vietnam War, the US army sacrificed platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley for the My Lai massacre of March 1968. He was made a scapegoat and accused of directing the killings, and in 1971 he was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison.

As a result, the army’s numerous and contemporaneous massacres in Vietnam were ignored. By making Lt. Calley a scapegoat the US army was even vindicated in the eyes of the duped American public, and was seen as not tolerating atrocities by its soldiers.

It could, therefore, continue with its habit of massacres that are on record from its Indian wars of the 19th century and even earlier. (The books to read are, Understanding Power, by Noam Chomsky, p. 35, for Lt Calley and My Lai; and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown, for the Indian wars.)

This is a form of triage: throw overboard a third of the people crowded on a sinking boat so as to keep the boat afloat and save the rest. So we can expect Buhari to sacrifice Nyako, Sule Lamido, and some other blatant Caliphate looters so as to save the looting system itself and also make himself appear an impartial anti-corruption fighter. But don’t be fooled.

To understand why no caliphate politician, let alone Buhari, the current political leader of the Caliphate, will seriously fight corruption by getting rid of its fountainhead, the 1999 constitution, we must examine the function of corruption in the Caliphate’s mechanism for plundering Nigeria.

The 1999 Constitution and the Caliphate system of plunder and exploitation. “Pre-capitalist agrarian ruling classes in virtually every case depended on what Marx called surplus extraction by extra-economic coercion to reproduce themselves. They therefore owed their ability to take part of the product of the peasants not to their role in production, but to their capacity to organise themselves politically to exert force against them. . . . . In European feudalism, [the] lords’ place in agricultural production, notably via the management of their demesnes, was in general quite limited, and in some places non-existent; but this in no way impeded their ability to dominate and exploit the peasantry, a capacity achieved through their self-organisation into politico-military communities or groups, lordly states on whatever scale.” [The origins of capitalism-debate in 2004, between Chris Harman & Robert Brenner , Accessed Sept 2012]

Like their counterpart in feudal Europe, the feudal Caliphate sarkuna (aristocracy) in Nigeria has used its politico-military organization to dominate and exploit the economic producers—farmers, oil companies, manufacturers, etc. The Caliphate’s politico-military organization is the Nigerian state apparatus. From 1966-1999, Caliphate scions dominated the Nigerian military which dominated Nigeria. By 1999, they had developed a complex and clever political apparatus for exploiting their colony, Nigeria. They codified it as the 1999 constitution, and imposed it by military decree.

Military decree

Their hope was that, using the cover of that fake-democracy façade, they would fool everybody and forever dominate and exploit the rest of Nigerians – just like the white settlers in South Africa hoped to forever exploit the natives of South Africa through the Apartheid constitution with its fake democracy from which the black majority were excluded.

In the case of the Caliphate fake-democracy, the other Nigerians are not excluded from participation in elections and government. However, Caliphate colonialists in Nigeria have organized the political power to appropriate the surplus produced by non-Caliphate sectors of the country using various devices in the 1999 constitution.

For example, the 1999 constitution distributes the seats in the National Assembly, NASS, in a way that guarantees Caliphate domination of the NASS. And it’s lopsided distribution of states and Local Government Areas, LGAs, guarantees that the Caliphate territory gets more than its fair share of Nigeria’s state revenues, principally through the constitution’s provision for revenue allocation to states and LGAs regardless of what each produces or contributes to the National coffers.

Furthermore, the looting immunity granted to the state governors ensures that in every state there are local politicians who stand to benefit personally by the looting arrangement. This device co-opts the political class in the whole country as accomplices and self-serving defenders of the Caliphate system.

Caliphate system

That is why the Caliphate is adamant about keeping the 1999 Constitution, even by resorting to civil war as Junaid Mohammed threatened in 2013. That is the system that Buhari has come to entrench. Since corruption/lootocracy, whereby state revenues are looted into the pockets of key office holders, is precisely the Caliphate’s main feudalist mechanism for plundering Nigeria, Buhari, as the Caliphate’s political leader, will do nothing to uproot it.

He will do just enough shadow boxing with it to fool the ever gullible Nigerian public. He will make a big show of catching and punishing many high profile looters, even starting with some of his fellow Caliphate officials so as to give the impression that he is impartial in fighting corruption.

As some have speculated, Buhari may sideline the EFCC, ICPC etc. and hire consultants to ferret out corrupt officials; he may even set up special courts to try corruption cases so as to reduce the logjam in the regular courts, as advocated by some – but that’s all like trying to swat, one by one, the mosquitoes in your bedroom that are bred in the swamp in your backyard, instead of destroying the breeding ground of the mosquitoes by draining the swamp.

Confining his war on corruption to the Jonathan administration Another aspect of Buhari’s war on corruption that gives a clue to his Caliphate hidden agenda is his insistence on confining it to the Jonathan administration. [Buhari will probe Jonathan’s govt only; not Obasanjo’s, others – Presidency.]

Nigerians have rightly condemned this as an indication that he is on a witch hunt, instead of a genuine war on corruption. Balarabe Musa, the civilian Governor of Kaduna state during the Shagari presidency, 1979-1983, has already challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to extend his corruption probe to past regimes starting from 1966. He said such an investigation should include Mr. Buhari’s military regime between 1983 and 1985.

Military regime

“At the moment, he seems to be sparing some people because he said he will probe only Jonathan’s administration and will not probe the others. That is negative and short-sighted and will not solve the problem of the country. He should go the whole hog from 1966 till date because the corruption we find today started at that time,” the former governor said. . . .”He should probe everyone and everything including himself. . . .” he said. [Balarabe Musa to Buhari—Probe your military regime if you’re serious about corruption war

In support of Balarabe Musa, I shall focus light on a special aspect of Buahri’s limiting of the scope of his war on corruption. Lawyers are fond of telling us about coming to equity with clean hands.

Coming to equity with clean hands: In this war on corruption, Buhari is the chief accuser and prosecutor of the accused. But is Buhari himself innocent of corruption? If there is evidence that he is not, then he ought to start by prosecuting himself and withdrawing from the role of prosecutor until he has had his own day in court and is discharged and acquitted of every charge of corruption.

Nigerians who are under fifty today were either not born or were too young in 1980 to have been aware of the scandal over the N2.8bn, which was then more than $2.8bn, that went missing when Buhari was in charge of the NNPC during the Obasanjo military regime that ended in 1979. That scandal was never cleared up under President Shagari before Buhari overthrew Shagari. So the question arises: In prosecuting anybody today, is Buhari coming to equity with clean hands?


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