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« Ozodi Osuji Weekly Psychological Series 2006, #3 of 52: Forgiveness as the True Meaning of Salvation, Peace, and Happiness | Main | Adieu Nigeria! »

January 16, 2006

Don't Give Corruption a Good Name: Emulate the People of Anambra

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- This fight against corruption is now taking a new turn that must be guided against before we throw out the baby with the bath water. The people of Anambra have demonstrated to us that they can tell the difference between goats and sheep. Most Nigerians are very decent people even though we are sometimes misled by the unscrupulous leaders.

There are differences between the fight against corruption going on in Anambra, Oyo, Bayelsa and Plateau States. If the writing on the wall is right, we expect more State Governors to fall by the way side this year. In the process, the Federal Government may truncate democracy by shooting itself in the foot. Whatever PDP does, the buck stops with Obasanjo. He has to give account to Nigerians why his ruling house is not in order.

Corruption is an endemic disease in our community and most Nigerians are looking for solutions. So when the Government asks us to join the fight against corruption, we breath a sigh of relief hoping salvation is gradually creeping up. The good people of Anambra begin to smell something rotting when Chris Uba wanted Ngige out because the Governor would not mortgage Anambra to him. Since it is now known that the election was a ruse, it became imperative to choose the less of two evils. If Ngige was corrupt and stole local government money, the sympathy he got would not be there because it would have been easy to nail him.

It has now come round to Oyo and Ladoja. It could not have been that difficult to impeach Ladoja according to laid down rules of the game. It is unfair to take 18 members out of 32 to impeach an alleged rogue when the game called for two third. Most Nigerians had reservations but support the process when Alamco was removed because he stole the treasury blind as confirmed by the British money laundering law. So was Dariye, the Governor of Plateau State going by the same law. However, the process in our Country is intentionally crude and daring, favoring those who are uncultured.

This is why it baffles me why the Federal might, find it difficult to prove Ladoja’s guilt instead of using Kangaroo court or dubious rules to remove him. The fact that Ladoja denied the legislators their “five life” in the amount of half a million naira each until they reinstated their five suspended colleagues did not make it right. His treatment turns the stomach of decent Nigerians and bolsters the argument of disrespect for the Judiciary. Unfortunately those against the removal of Alamco or Dariye will now point to the crude manipulation of rules without due process in Ibadan. I find it hard to believe that the Government is in such a hurry and within a day or two to humiliate the Judicial system, not Ladoja. The Governor was given less than two hours to submit his response.

People will of course point to a similar pattern seen in Bayelsa and express fear of its repetition. It was well planned with the help of the police and a public holiday declared by whom? If the Chief of Police knew nothing about it as they claimed in Anambra, he should be fired. And who does the Chief report to?

Yoruba say a pe e lole, o ngbe omo eran jo. (Demonstrating evidence of alleged theft). This Government has decided to obey only the court orders they wanted and ignore others. I do not understand how the hatchet disfiguring of the rule of law in Ibadan has supported the process. It is true that impeachment process is a political matter not a legal one but we are still guided by the same rule of law.

There is no form of government we have not practiced in Nigeria. We need to admit that the problem is not in the form of government but in ourselves. Those who practice these forms of governments are not better than us. This notion of our young democracy is patronizing to say the least. Incidentally, the old Oyo Empire practiced cabinet form of government while the parishioners of our borrowed democracy were still in their political infancy. We must accept that as clever and smart as Nigerians are, we also apply our intelligence to beating any system. So no amount of amendment will cure our appetite for mischief in pursuit of greed and power.

My fear is that this Government may give the fight against corruption a bad name. Instead of people praising this Government in its fight against corruption, it is giving ammunition to those who claim the fight is selective. Even though Nuhu Ribadu is dedicated in this fight, there are those who are trying to derail him from within. He has to distance himself to retain credibility. His office has claimed that, so far they have nothing to do with Ladoja. Ribadu is in the mist of big time thugs and he must dissociate himself from their influence. Do not soil our young patriotic Nigerians.

The people of Anambra, like other Nigerians stood with the Government to fight corruption, only to be disappointed when the same government could not distinguish between the hero and the villain. Just to prove them right, Chris Uba has just been rehabilitated by the PDP. Who were the crooks who rehabilitated Uba when he should be in jail? We have to learn from the people of Anambra.

This leads to the god fathers who are so desperate for influence and money that they are ready to run down the State unless they get their pound of flesh. They turn State Governors into errand boy boy. Chris Uba and Adedibu in spite of the wide age difference between them graduated from the University of PDP. That party has been called all kinds of names including “nest of killers”. Those who have benevolent stake in that party need to rescue it from destroying itself and our dear Country.

If Ladoja has any sense, he better starts singing now about what he stole if he did, how he became Governor and how the election was manipulated, if indeed it was. Learn from Ngige. When he told us how much Chris Uba wanted from him, Anambra people faced their enemy head on and not even Obasanjo could do anything about it. But never count him out though. There was no way the Government of Anambra could have paid Uba and still function. The only reason Ngige is still the Governor today, I do not about tomorrow, is the support the people of Anambra gave him in spite of Federal might.

Those who sleep with elephants or ride on the back of a lion, end up as victims. Akala, your time will come if you can not remember the naked fighters who stripped you at the convection.

Ibadan people rightly feel that they never had the opportunity to finish their term in office. This time they have to thank Adedibu, Arisekola’s partner that wanted to know if receipt was exchanged when it was time to vomit their loot from Abacha. This has nothing to do with Ibadan or Ogbomosho. Do not be used against one another. It has to do with god fathers’ greed and influence. Man pass man, position pass power.

Unfortunately, we have turned the law of our courts into political game. We have respectable judges ignoring order of their superior courts. There is no judicial discipline among out honorable men. Granted that there may be conflicting judgment sometimes, the principle of stare decisis among the courts is important and that is why we have higher court to resolve differences. Shopping for judges, like candies, to give desirable order demean the credibility of our judiciary.

The way we are going by disobeying our court of law, politicians bragging about fighting naked and the President claiming ignorance, Nigeria must not crash. Obasanjo is arming those who do not wish him well. He has a big task but I think at his age and stage in life the best he can do is to be honest with himself and Nigerians. The role of a god father is now beneath him at this point in his life or in 2007.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

Posted by Administrator at January 16, 2006 05:52 PM


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