By Tony Eluemunor
For the past four weeks or so, I had cast a glance, over a gulf of more than a decade, at the preposterous claim Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, the founding Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, made and which Nigerians swallowed most credulously, like crazed simpletons. Years down the line, with books having been written (where that claim received some comments), and sundry events have taken place that opened new vistas of looking at that obvious but audacious falsehood backed by no iota of evidence anywhere, I have felt the time was ripe to take on all those who pledged themselves to work as knights in the service of Satan, by replicating that obvious whopper.
Always, I used Police Statements made by Ribadu himself, his second – in-command at the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) staff that was seconded to the EFCC, to prove the incorrectness of their pro-Ribadu claims and to the politics behind such stances – calculated fabrication to harm the person Ribadu and the Obasanjoists were up against; James Onanefe Ibori, the former Governor of Delta state. I wanted to also link it with the newspaper with the old Bendel state area that may be buying a used printing press masked as a new one and more shenanigans in Daily Independent.
This time, I had tasked myself to remain focused on just one man and his one book; PROF WALE ADEBANWI AND HIS A PARADISE FOR MAGGOTS – THE STORY OF A NIGERIAN ANTI-GRAFT CZAR. But then, several things intervened; first, I saw the video where that lady who was kidnapped with her husband and nine –year old daughter while they were visiting Nigeria from Britain, recounted her family’s ordeal.
READ ALSO:There is no request before Senate for Magu’s confirmation — Lawan(Opens in a new browser tab)
That video arrested my attention. No, it was not just that she offered to be raped instead of her teenage daughter and her husband or that her daughter is still being haunted by that experience and would wake up at night screaming as though she was still a prisoner of the kidnappers, or that she claimed that her family has agreed never to set foot on Nigerian soil again, and that not even their dead bodies would be returned to Nigeria for burial as they had irrevocably broken every relationship with Nigeria – a country that broke every covenant or responsibility she had for and towards them.
I was still trying to come to terms with debating whether it was realistic for a citizen to expect his country to offer him adequate security or any other service, when I remembered that Lagos had been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities to be a woman in and that Nigeria as a whole came in for strong reckoning when nations as a whole were considered.
Thomas Reuters Foundation, not the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did the ranking. The news that followed that is that Nigeria was also adjudged the third Most Dangerous Place To Live In The World
Anyone would be right to argue that the indices that led to such abysmal rankings accumulated during the years preceding the All Progressives Congress (APC) ascendancy into political power, and that person would be right. I don’t want to argue that such reductionist arguments have their limits, or should have or they would invariably touch on a year like 1984/85 when a Major-General Buhari was in power inside Dodan Barracks.
What really got Prof Adebanwi off my sights this week was the reported killings that trailed the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states. Is it not the fifth year a messianic party, the APC, and its more messianic flag-bearer, President Mohammadu Buhari were voted into power? If yes, how many years should it take to organise free, fair and peaceful elections?
Some people had made us believe that if only Prof. Maurice Iwu was removed, Nigeria would change. Now, that man has been gone from that office for almost a decade. So, why does the electoral problem continue?
Why is it that though the APC came into power in 2015, by November of 2019 it has not been able to provide something as ordinary as electronic voting? Instead, election times have been turned by hoodlums into times of blood-letting. The part that really frightened me was that the Inspector General of Police was quoted by some newspapers as saying that some criminals in fake police uniforms tainted the election. Really? How many of them were arrested? If criminals could wear fake Police uniforms to maintain their own version of order during an election in which security personnel were adequately mobilised, then all hell has broken loose in Nigeria.
And that election took place in just two out of 36 states of the federation!
Please, has anybody noticed that it took just a matter of days into the life of this present Republic for some heroic PDP members of House of Representatives to have formed an opposition arm of the party, as it were, and began to rein in an Obasanjo who had little regard for either the constitution or the National Assembly? Former Govs. James Ibori, Uzor Orji Kalu, Victor Attah, etc opposed Obasanjo as they called for internal democracy. Ghali Umar Na’Abba led the gallant Representatives such as Nduka Irabor, Chidi Duru, Sadiq Yar’Adua, etc. Then a power drunken PDP, annexed by Obasanjo himself and Obasanjoists ensured that people like Na’Abba and Irabor did not return to the National Assembly. Irabor narrowly escaped assassination attempt; someone shot a bullet through his roof and into his bed – at night!
Well, the PDP character of internal opposition to their strong men continued when people like the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki, rather than surrender their staunch beliefs, joined the opposition APC and helped it into power. Then, when APC proved as dictatorial to them as PDP, they raised their rebellious flag once again. But this time, to no effect. They received the treatment the Irabos and Na’Abbas got in 2003. They could not retain their posts. Ibori and Kalu, for instance had to barely scrap by to retain their posts in 2003. And since then, they have been faced with constant battles.
Well, Nigeria has had a STRONG President in Obasanjo, and she has one now in Buhari. What happens when a RENEGADE president gets into Aso Rock? Perhaps we don’t even need to get such a man for disaster to strike. James Bryce visited USA in the 1880s and concluded that the real danger to American democracy may not even come from a renegade President as the real danger to the constitution would come when “A bold President who knew himself to be supported by a majority in the country, might be tempted to override the law. He might be a tyrant, not against the masses, but with the masses”.
Some Americans fear that they have such a President in Donald Trump. But to guide against our getting there, some Nigerian politicians must think Nigeria first – above their ethnic groups and political parties. They must begin to rally together as patriots – for Nigeria’s sake.