“The young people who were born after and during the civil war do not know the history of Nigeria. The civil war between Nigeria and Biafra ended in 1970. We are now a sovereign state of Nigeria.
“But there is nothing wrong if a group agitates for a state but you cannot do so by confrontation in a sovereign state of Nigeria. It is treason. Biafra ended with the civil war in 1970. The Federal Government should detain and charge him (Nnamdi) for treason. I am an Igbo man and a Nigerian. You cannot be agitating for a state within Nigeria adopting confrontation.
“When the leader of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike’s mother died, I was then the Secretary General of Onahaeze and pleaded for his release from detention to enable him bury his mother.
“I was among a private delegation, led by the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije, to Uwazuruike. We told Uwazuruike that you cannot be talking of a sovereign Biafra inside a sovereign Nigeria’. Nnamdi should be charged for treason but his undue detention without charge cannot be supported.”
– A former Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya
In all things, I am grateful to God always! I am thankful to Him, my Shield and my Navigator!
This evening on my way back home after hours in the traffic, along Ilo-Ajegunle Road, I branched into a gas station to fill in the fuel. Just as I pulled back into the road, alone in the car, a couple of commercial bike riders popularly called “Okada”, were ahead of me speeding, just about then, a woman crossed and the rider tried to swerve to the right and the woman went back to same direction, the rider tried again to flip the bike handle back to the left, unavoidably, the woman collided with the bike. The woman went flat lifeless and the two other passengers on the highway injured severally all in the middle of the highway.
Heaven knows, if I had been distracted a second, I would have run over the body of the woman. God really helped me, I quickly wheeled to the median wall and pulled by the service lane ahead, to come down and lend hands to rescue those lying on the road, acting a Samaritan!
Alas,just about when I was locking the door and alighting,some four bike men and miscreants have suddenly been surrounding the car . “Yes, you can’t go”. “You hit them.” “Come and carry your meat”. Several untoward utterances were coming from their guts! Immediately I became angered and emotive, I shouted back at them, even in my native dialect, mi Olorun laa ko ba hin! Ira Jere! Se oju rihin ni mo ko lu han?
And the passers-by and shop-owners about that spot trooped out to my defence that I did not get near them but were knocked down by the bike man.
My people, I could not hide my temper I moved towards slapping one of them. The teeming crowd just prayed for me,”E ni ri ogun akoba ooo”. I made a detour, instead of getting near them to assist as I had wanted,I left them and entered the car.
I just thank God for His mercy. He drives with me always. Oro ti a o mowo mese, o ni kan wa oooo. I cannot thank God enough.
Those who thought that the salary palaver in Osun and other states owing workers will disappear with the bailout funds should have a rethink because it will not. Workers and pensioners have been restless for the past one week, expecting to be paid the bailout received recently.
The governor, however, has insisted that payment would be made only after the completion of the verification exercise. True, physical verification has ended but the result is still being collated and the report yet to be submitted, which should form the basis of the new wage bill.
I agree with the governor that ghost workers should not receive the jumbo pay. From investigation, it has been found out that the beneficiaries of payroll fraud in cooperation with the opposition PDP have been blackmailing the governor to heat up Osun and incite workers against the governor.
Secondly, it was the workers themselves who asked for the verification exercise after disputing the N3.6 billion wage bill the government claims it pays every month, it was never the governor’s idea.
A lot of misinformation has been going on and many innocent workers have been deceived. The N34.9billion bailout received from Abuja represents three values. The first is for salaries for February to June 2015, the second is for pensions covering the same period while the third is for the completion of specific projects, ongoing or new. These funds are not transferable. So it is not true that all the N34.9 billion is for paying salaries and pensions arrears.
The question which has engaged the governor and for which he has proposed half salary for senior staff is what happens after June? Given the dwindling oil receipt and N2.3 billion allocation from Abuja for July, what will be the state of Osun’s finances after the deductions for the bailout loan kicks in? It simply means that Osun’s allocation will be less than N1billion. So where do we go from here? Should we eat everything now and go hungry later or spread what we have to last us longer?
While we still debate this, this is the moment of clarity for the governor and I daresay the workers too. The present wage bill of N3.6b is unsustainable; something must give.
The governor must reduce the wages and pensions bill in the state to a maximum of N1.8 billion. The current workforce of 35,000 is too large and unsustainable. There must be a shift in the anti-development thinking that makes people to say that Osun is a civil service state, or the civil service is the only industry in Osun. This type of thinking will lead to nowhere. The civil service is an instrument of service delivery and not an end in itself. On no account must the government spend more than 40 per cent of the state’s resources running government. This takes courage.
If it were in the private sector, the workforce would have been right sized as back as 2013 when allocation fell from N4.6 billion to N2.6 billion and nobody would be accusing the governor of owing workers eight months salary.
The governor keeps giving assurances that he will not lay off workers. This amounts to living in denial. The bottom line is that he must live within his means. Therefore, he must be prepared to right-size and cut down on wages, especially of the top civil servants who gulp most of the wages or continue to pile up debts and crisis. May God give him the courage to do what is needed.
Thank God my six hours on the new farm today was successful, I am proud to say I am a Farmer. Livestock and Fish farming is a very tedious one,moreover when you do everything manually. Mechanised farming is the best but Nigeria is a lucky nation where all what you have is natural, devoid of chemical.
As an environmental, human and anti-corruption activist, Farming should be seen as a fundamental way to build a non-oil based economy. Kudos to Prof. Omotoye Olorode who initiates me into farming. Chief Gani Fawehinmi Maize Farm along Akure road in Ondo and Tuns Farms owned by my benefactor, Asiwaju Olatunde Badmus were the two farms where I developed to a true farmer.
As a livestock and fish farmer , I have no regret for being a farmer, it is self independent and self reliance, my two farms today is a testimony that hard work and consistency pays.
My farms has also generates employments to the glory of God and the benefit of mankind, this is what sustained our activism over the year and the reason why I can path way with anybody who infringe on my core principle, a man without principle is like an uncharged phone.
I consider myself one of you, and God knows I am in spirit, struggle, pain and hopeful perseverance. Our governor has decided to make 5,000 of us street and government building cleaners. This was contained in an urgent promo published across all dailies this Friday by Borno State Environmental Protection Agency Coordinator, Nasiru Surundi. They say we are to be cleaning shops, markets, streets and government offices as “street vanguards” for N10, 000 monthly.
I know 100s of thousands of us unsecure youth are in desperate need of money, but I write this letter to ask you if what you want and think you deserve from your administration is to be hired by the government as cleaners? If government offices are dirty why do they not get on their fours and clean it themselves as public servants handsomely compensated for next to nothing?, is a question we ask.
Dear great youth. If we do not stand for ourselves, no one will. I commend you as I always have for being the patriotic ones who believed and who paid the ultimate price, fought and died to save your communities when the army ran; saving the capital Maidiguri as a home for you and displaced millions. Had it not been for you, Boko Haram would long have captured the entire State long time ago. As reward for this alone, if money was all that mattered, you deserve the yearly N50 million budgeted without condition! Not to be disrespected and told to be street cleaners. We know how these very officials have plundered 100xs as much for doing nothing other than putting us in harm’s way, aiding and abetting Boko Haram while failing to feed, arm and support us who fought them.
Dear comrades. I urge you to stand for your rights along with your dignity. The two go hand in hand. Our patience cannot be bought with a mere 5,000 of us being humiliated with N10,000 each when we know what we deserve and what has been stolen from us, can it?
If N300, 000 is invested in small enterprises it yields 4 permanent jobs on average worldwide! That’s about how much our government intends to use to buy two of us’ loyalty over a year span in stipends. If our government had a true conscience, will they not use this same money to invest with us rather in aiding us procure what it takes to set up small businesses whereby the same funds for just one year will get 10,000 of us permanently employed and small business entrepreneurs? Of course, with some of us deciding to run street and building cleaning enterprises that may hire Nasirus to do the cleaning, at our own volition? But this government has lost its ability to think.
This government that begs for an amnesty for Boko Haram so their sins can be covered; a recurrent pattern in Borno where and why Mohammad Yusuf was allegedly killed to cover their sins, is at it again. I am not even sure in their proposition for an amnesty for Boko Haram they have written that Boko Haram killers should be made street cleaners after pardon. I bet you in that proposal they gave Buhari, they opted for the surrendering terrorists to be shipped abroad to aviation schools, whereas they are so insolent to declare they want their brave sons who did what the army would not, to be street cleaners….ad this while mercenaries are still being paid to fight the fight we fight, for $400 (N100, 000)/ day. And then they ask why there is terror in Borno. No it is not because of poverty; terror has absolutely nothing to do with poverty! The terror is the child of the corrupt cluelessness, insults and injustice.
Proverbs 22; HCSB: 22 “Don’t rob a poor man because he is poor, and don’t crush the oppressed at the gate, 23 for the Lord will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.”
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (R.A): “The Prophet (pbuh) sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.” Volume 3, Book 43, Number 628: Sahih Bukhari.
This is my word to you.
We will shame our adversaries. I believe I can count on you.
President Muhammadu Buhari conveys sincere and heartfelt condolences to all Nigerians who lost relatives in the latest terrorist atrocities in Jos, Kano, and Zaria.
President Buhari joins them in mourning their loved ones who were brutally murdered in the suicide bombings and attacks that also caused horrifying injuries to others.
The President urges all Nigerians, however, not to be unduly disheartened by the seeming resurgence of terrorist attacks and atrocities in the country as his administration remains fully committed to overcoming the challenges of insecurity, terrorism and insurgency as quickly as possible.
Already, the intensified onslaught by the military on terrorists’ strongholds has led to significant seizures of weapons and vehicles, a blockage of their sources of arms and ammunition, and a decimation of their fighting men.
President Buhari assures Nigerians of the ability and readiness of the country’s armed forces and security agencies to contain the frantic resort by the terrorists to attacks on soft targets such as crowds and places of worship.
The President is convinced that with recent increases in troops deployment, improvements in the supply of arms and equipment to the military, as well as the ongoing effort to mobilize greater international cooperation and support, the end of Boko Haram and terrorism in Nigeria is in sight.
He calls on Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any suspicious persons to security agents as his administration continues to give the highest possible priority to eradicating Boko Haram and ensuring greater security of lives and property across the country.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
Though the bereaved child of the dead is truly worried and depressed, he’s not going to be buried with his mother. The raging storm in state of Osun shall subside and new living springs shall blossom.
Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola a.k.a ÀRÀ, shall live his dream for Osun.
It is unfortunate that workers’ salaries are delayed, it is most unfortunate that it is not a deliberate act or an act of impunity on the part of the governor. Right from the time he assumed leadership of Osun state, discerning minds could see that he is in a race against time, he is hyperactive to see Osun developed into a model state, as a transformed state and as a state that whoever succeeds him will have little to do in terms of capital expenditure but rather would just need to be maintaining structures and templates put in place.
“Aládáánwò kii l’ore.” The governor of ‘Hosanna’ just yesterday when he was implementing populist programs like ‘Opón Ìmò’, ‘School feeding’, ‘Model Schools construction’, ‘Multiple multi kilometer roads construction’ among many other altruistic projects to take Osun to next level has suddenly become ‘crucify him’ to the extent that some are working towards getting him impeached. His major disconnect is his administration’s inability to pay workers’ salaries, a malaise that is endemic in almost half of the states across the federation including the workers at the federal level.
Government is a collective. The leader provides leadership and direction. When the people are well informed and the government is open, there ought to be support, sacrifice and cooperation when there is a raging storm. It is in the spirit of this understanding I will like to appeal to the good people of Osun state who just last August approved the performance of their leader thereby renewing his mandate.
Unfortunate and harrowing as the non payment of salaries is, I will implore Osun people to make new discoveries that often come from adversity and challenges which will be an added value in the near future long after the storm is over.
The leadership of the government should be honest enough to present to its people the true state of affairs and if there is little disbursements that still come every month, the government can break the workers into groups or batches where some batches are paid in a particular month while it is the turn of other batches ins subsequent months until normalcy returns.
This is also a clarion call on wealthy people of the state origin, friends and believers of the developmental programs of the government to come to its aid by lending the state some money or buying the state’s farm produce through the government. Necessity is the mother of invention, I strongly believe some egg heads can come out with bail out options that will reduce pressure from the government.
Impeachment is not only a distraction, it is not an alternative at this difficult time.
I wish the people and government of Osun state a quick recovery and the grace to live the dream of ÀRÀ.
“Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the recovery of over $7.5 Billion from oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria and another $11.6 billion from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas as a major to shore up the nation’s coffers.” Daily Trust, June 10, 2015
Recovering this vast sums which I believe are gross underestimates from the fraudulent oil multinationals whose home governments PMB was trying to appease in Germany would make tremendous difference to the present financial quagmire Nigeria has found itself. It would be several times over any paltry ‘bailout’ from those countries and of course the bailouts will come with strangulating conditionalities!
Is anybody listening? or it’s going to be about the cloak and dagger politics of APC/PDP alone. At the end of the day, let’s all remember that this country is not about Buhari, Tinubu and the others, let’s face the issues, there is too much politics in this clime! And it just suits them well to be so diverted.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, the western neo-liberal institutions imposed series of killer economic programs on most African countries, as well as South America and a large swathe of Asia that came to be known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). The late Prof. Bade Onimode, a foremost political economist called the SAPs ‘a declaration of war’ while late Prof. Aluko called it the ‘kiss of death’. Well, the same medicine is now being applied to the ailing economies of Southern Europe, with the most devastating outcome in Greece. But progressive Europe is fighting back:
THE DELPHI DECLARATION
On Greece and Europe
European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.
They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.
As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.
Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed, even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?
We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.
We also appeal to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.
We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.
Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.
We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.
More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open military conflicts among its nations.
Delphi, 21 June 2015
The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.
Altvater Elmar, Germany
Member of scientific community of AΤTAC. Retired Professor of Political Science, Free University of Berlin.
Amin Samir, Egypt/France
Economist, President of the Forum Mondial des Alternatives
Ayala Iván H., Spain
Researcher, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales
Arsenis Gerasimos, Greece
Εconomist, ex-minister of Economy, of Finance, of National Defense and of Education, ex-UN official and ex-director of UNCTAD
Artini Massimo, Italy
Member of Parliament
Bellantis Dimitris, Greece
Lawyer, PHD in Constitutional Law, Member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA
Black William, USA
Professor of Economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City)
Cassen Bernard, France
Professor Emeritus, Université Paris 8, secretary general of “Mémoire des luttes”
Chiesa, Giulietto, Italy
Politician, journalist and author, ex MEP, president of the “Alternativa” association
Freeman, Alan, Canada/UK
Geopolitical Economy Research Group, Business School, Director
Gabriel, Leo, Austria
Director of the Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation (IIIC), Vienna, Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum, Coordinator of the NGO Committee for Sustainable Development of the United Nations
George, Suzan, France
Political and social scientist, writer, President of the Transnational Institute
Georgopoulos, Dimosthenis, Greece
Economist, sociologist, political scientist, Secretariat on Industrial Policy, SYRIZA
German, Lindsey, UK
Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Graeber, David, UΚ
Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics. Author of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”
Hudson, Michael, USA
Professor of economics, University of Missouri (Kansas City), UMKC. President, Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends (ISLET)
Irazabalbeitia, Inaki, Spain
Former MEP / responsible for International Relationships for the party ARALAR, Basque Country
Jennar, Raoul Marc, France
Dr. in political sciences, specialist on European law and on WTO regulations, writer of twenty books, among them “Europe, la trahison des élites”
Kagarlitsky, Boris, Russia
Director of the Institute for globalization studies and social movements (IGSO)
Kalloniatis, Costas, Greece
Phd on macroeconomics, adviser to the Ministry of Labour, researcher in the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Workers of Greece
Kasimatis, Giorgos, Greece
Prof. Emeritus of Constitutional Law, University of Athens. Founder and Honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, ex-advisor to PM Andreas Papandreou.
Koenig, Peter, Switzerland
Εconomist / geopolitical analyst
Koltashov, Vasiliy, Russia
Head of the economic research unit of the Institute for Globalisation and Social Movements
Konstantakopoulos, Dimitris, Greece
Journalist, Writer, Coordinator of the Delphi Initiative
Koutsou, Nikos, Cyprus
Member of Parliament from Famagusta
Kreisel, Wilfried, Germany
Former Executive Director, World Health Organization
Mavros, Giannis, Greece
Member of the National Council for the Claiming of Germany’s Debts to Greece
Mityaev, Dmitry A. , Russia
Deputy Chairman of the Council for Study of Productive Forces of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Russian Academy of Sciences on Development Issues
Ochkina, Anna, Russia
Head of Department of social theory at Penza State University
Pantelides, Panagiotis, Greece
Economist, senior researcher, European Institute of Cyprus
Petras, James, USA
Bartle Professor Emeritus , Binghamton University
Ex-Director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies (Athens), ex-adviser to the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brasil and the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina
Pinasco, Luca, Italy
National coordinator of Proudhon Circles-Editor for foreign policy of the journal “L’intellettuale dissidente”.
Radika, Desai, USA
Professor, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba
Rees, John, UK
Co-founder, Stop the War Coalition
Roberts, Paul Craig, USA
Former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy, Associate Editor, Wall Street Journal, Senior Research Fellow, Stanford University, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Sideratos, Aggelos, Greece
Sommers, Jeffrey, USA
Senior Fellow, Institute of World Affairs, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
St Clair, Jeffrey, USA
Editor, CounterPunch, author, Born Under a Bad Sky
Stierle, Steffen, Germany
Εconomist, ATTAC Germany
Syomin, Konstantin, Russia
Author, TV host at All-Russia State Television (VGTRK.com)
Tombazos, Stavros, Greece
Professor of Political Economy, University of Cyprus, member of the international “Committee of Truth on Greek Sovereign Debt” (debt auditing committee) created by the Greek parliament
Vanaik, Achin, India
Retired Professor of International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi
Corruption and oppression by government officials must be discouraged by all means if Africa is to attain self-dependence.
The influx of Africans into Europe and the Americas is a burden on the host economies and as has received abundant media coverage lately, is a worrisome cause of risk and death to the lives of intendent migrants.
Such unscreened and undocumented migration also poses a significant global security risk.
While all the suffering and loss in Africa cannot be exclusively blamed on corrupt practices of the nation’s rulers and legislative bodies, the prevailing graft is a major bane of Africa’s development and hindrance to its attaining self-reliance. We must be serious and committed to banishing corruption for nations in Africa to rise-up to their responsibilities to their citizenry and also for them to be of use in salvaging neighbouring nations.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and a nation of immense wealth has remained stagnant, and rather than being a beacon, has increasingly become an economic and security threat to itself, its neighbours and the larger world.
Corruption in the executive, legislative and judicial branches has led a world top oil producer to the brink of economic, social and security collapse if not beyond. Thousands have died in north and south terror and as many as 5 million have been internally and externally displaced. Oil spillage has caused an environmental calamity in the nation’s Niger delta.
Oil wealth is Nigeria’s curse. Democracy thus far has been a nuisance to Nigeria rather than a help. Apart from elections never being free and fair, it is realised that Nigerian masses (who might vote these corruption committed officials) are ill informed, too poor and otherwise unprepared for democracy and constantly taken advantage of. The system cheats us and must be controlled by external processes. For 16 straight years of democracy, the open subversion and exploitation of the democratic institution by the executives and legislators in the full view of helpless masses has led to a state where a handful of government officials and their friends consume 80% of the nation’s wealth and the 170 million masses live off of 20%.
Each branch of government and each public parastatal has been left to carve out humongous, ‘jumbo’ pay packages while leaving the masses to less and less. Our representatives supervised this process across parastatals busy carving out their own outrageous emoluments.
Economic Terrorism By Nigeria’s Legislators
The consumption of wealth has not only been a distraction to officials, but also intoxicating, with legislators cutting up as much and more than $2 million (N400 million) per annum, they have forgotten their duty to represent their constituencies; even those from terror ridden areas have totally disconnected with home. Indeed the legislators prefer to sponsor and facilitate terror and chaos to keep the masses distracted and incapable of facing and combatting legislative and executive looting.
$2 million a person per year is a lot of money by all standards and across all borders, we must agree.
The National Assembly budget in Nigeria has been N150 million per year; that is about $1 billion per year for just 469 assemblymen in two congresses. Whereas 80% of Nigerians live under $700 per year, with 100 million Nigerians being destitute, earning less than $360/year or a dollar-a-day. Almost N1000 / $5 is taken per head for 170 million Nigerians by these ‘lawmakers.’ This is colossal looting of unseen proportions in human history. Indeed a crime against humanity.
It took Nigerians four long years to achieve some meaningful repair at the top, with the recently concluded March presidential elections demonstrating the will of Nigerians to rid the nation of plundering administrators. But while the elections delivered change in the sacking of a family of PDP presidents who had institutionalized corruption and dredged government and big business railroads for the funnelling of billions of dollars public money into the hands of a few, Nigeria’s congress, its legislative arm remained unchanged and unrepentant.
Making global headlines for signing 46 bills in 10 minutes, the legislators who barely pass 100 bills in four years have utilised their unchecked power and bargains with the previous corrupt executive leadership to secure for themselves irrevocable powers, life immunity, humongous wages and stupendous pensions. These are the untouchables of Nigeria. Legally kept in secrecy, the National Assembly $1 billion budget is not even open to public review.
There are few channels of redress for Nigerians. Unlike with the corrupt presidencies where we simply voted them out, with the legislators, it is only they that can vote themselves out. It is only the lower House that can vote to scrap the senate and to cut the number of representatives by half as Nigeria desperately needs. Even if a referendum was an option, we all know the effect of throwing looted billions in campaigns on the economy and people of Nigeria. Looted wealth corrupts absolutely. Nigeria is yet to recover from the flooding of the economy with stolen billions by the incumbent in the past presidential election.
Therefore we call on all nations, African and European; we call on the United Nations and all global bodies to empathize with the Nigerian suffering and dying masses and live up to their responsibilities to the human cause.
We request sanctions on Nigeria’s legislators. We ask for travel restrictions and the freezing of their accounts and assets. Nigerians ask you to help us with these shameless lawmakers who have given themselves immunity within our country.
We ask for your help against these lawmakers who could pass no bills to help the thousands of abducted and violated girls and boys in the northeast. We ask you to sanction these thugs who failed to hold the nation’s army chiefs to task and watched as they continued to violate international laws of engagement and perpetrate war crimes while alienating the local indigenes and empowering terror.
We ask for broad-reaching sanctions against Nigeria’s lawmakers past and present till that body is radically limited and put under check.
For your attention: below is a list of implicated senators, who Nigerians more commonly call, legislooters. Several are indicted for various financial crimes; some are wanted globally for crimes including drug peddling and laundering. Some have even been charged with terrorism. Our Independent Electoral Commission, INEC permits these violators and others with fake or even no diplomas and degrees to be listed on the ballot. There is an additional list of 360 Representatives, not appended due to length.
We have begun protests against the corrupt senate in Nigeria and around the world, and will continue to do so at the Nigerian senate and the nation’s consulates abroad to remind you all of your obligations to protect Nigeria’s democracy and its people, the helpless victims of a grand broad day light, billion dollar legitimised legislative fraud. Protests is the only tool we have at our disposal as we cannot resort to violence or retaliatory economic terror.
We count on your action.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something] Email: [email protected] Twitter: @EveryNigerian