A truism of economies is they tend to thrive when they have a large stable middle-class. In the mid-2010s, one of the most aggressive facts promoted about the Nigerian economy was that it had created a large and thriving middle-class. Many observers were sceptical but were called naysayers. Today we are all concerned about the future of our economies which has become incalculable due to the uncertain impacts of COVID-19; rising inequality, growing poverty, upward concentration of wealth, and climate change. Nigeria is facing such concerns and has a serious youth immiseration and deprivation problem. And yes, the middle class and the less well-off are the hardest hit. Upward mobility for the youth has become a phantom.Continue reading
Riverine Remedy: Yankius, you self, you cannot even ask after me if I don’t call you. Na so your friendship be?
Yankius: O mi Riverine Remedy, have you not heard of 5G and its cover-up story? If not for that, to call you from time to is not hard now.
Riverine Remedy: (Laughing loud and cynically) So, you still believe in that 5G – COVID-19 junk? You are more than that and you know it.
Yankius: If you do not agree with my beliefs it does not give you the privilege to insult me.
Riverine Remedy: Yankius, have you heard the Acting Managing Director of NIger Delta Development Commission fainted while being interrogated for grand corruption by Representatives in the National Assembly? Nigeria’s Big Thieves are growing in numbers geometrically. Continue reading
Corruption is here in the world to stay, and it entrenches itself in our society deeper daily. Such is our most significant contemporary reality in times of peace and not in an emergency. It is even now legal. Corruption has paved the way for unnecessary and preventable wars, unrest, pestilence, systemic failures and emergencies. Many commentators brand such occurrences as unexpected contingencies. “Things happen”, is the persuasion we must believe, as if they occur with little or no calculated intention and help. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed more corruption than is normally available to the average citizen. Backing ideologies, facilitators, and the consequences of corruption have become more visible to all. The media, criminal justice mechanisms, legislation and civil services could never offer the people such an accessible view of corruption in normal circumstances.
What is Col Sambo Dasuki doing locked up in detention indefinitely without trial at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari? What happened to court trials in Nigeria which are sending other politicians guilty of corruption to jail? Supporters of President Buhari [regardless of party affiliation] would naively (the vast majority) or insincerely (very few) have people believe that Col Dasuki’s detention is evidence of a strong anti-corruption ethos under the present government. The truth is that it is one of the most histrionic acts of corruption of the Buhari Presidency courtesy nepotism. Dasuki is in detention for his very own safety at the fawning kindness of the President. If anyone can accurately evaluate the most likely politician that would be assassinated in Nigeria on any given day of the year, it will be Dasuki by a very wide margin and it is unlikely he would survive unprotected. But why? An informant in military intelligence tells us. Continue reading
“Restructuring”; its meaning is debatable, and for many, it is about oil, resource control. Surprisingly, many see resource control as the receipt of an increased top-up percentage of “derivation” by oil-producing states from oil revenues issued by the federal government (FG) as fiscal allocations. Where is the control in receiving a token part of the revenues from resources mined under your jurisdiction? The practice of derivation no matter the percentage is not reducible to restructuring. A synonymous concept to restructuring is “federalism”, the structural devolution of power from the central government to federating units granting them autonomy within the political structure. If achieved in Nigeria, restructuring will effectively end the unitary system of government introduced by the military government since 1966. Very little is said about the “ownership” of natural resources in the mainstream Nigerian debate on restructuring. Is ownership a taboo word when it comes to oil and federalism?
There is an insightful article for those interested in governance by Taiwo Makinde titled Problems of Policy Implementation in Developing Nations: The Nigerian Experience. In the paper, the Makinde explains quite persuasively why policy implementation in Nigeria routinely fails with successive governments. He implicates, among other factors, a lack of continuity of policy implementation from a previous government to a succeeding, e.g. from Presidents Babangida to Abacha [or Jonathan to Buhari]. Ego [of the leader] is the reason he provides for this. The logic is simple; it is better for the current president to sabotage the good works of a predecessor and initiate his own that will place his mention high on the lips of posterity. It holds for all forms of organisation in Nigeria. The significant exception is President Muhammad Buhari and for strange reasons; blamocracy [and claimocracy].
It is very brazen political lying to equate the refund of stolen funds to the state with political success or successful anti-corruption. Effective correction, detection and prevention are the all-round benchmarks of successful anti-corruption for any given democracy. Only proper correction can make precise detection worthwhile, which in turn makes adequate prevention robust. The recovery of stolen is the supererogatory part of the correction and legal punishment the obligatory part. The successful prosecution and conviction of corrupt persons for corrupt practices without any recovery are also deemed successful anti-corruption. “Big theft, Big punishment” should be the motto of any serious anti-corruption government, not recovery. The recovery of stolen funds without formal legal correction is at best dysfunctional just like a car without wheels is dysfunctional. Recovery may be impressive in a backward country or to liars and the naïve but not in a civilised one or to politically aware people because there is an understanding of the impacts of “structural traumas of corruption “A political lie has started to unravel. Continue reading
The complete metamorphosis of the butterfly is a thoroughly adequate analogy for civilisation: the gradual progression from egg to slug to pupa to imago [the beautiful butterfly]. In the Nigerian context, it starts with the colonised state to the inexperienced independent nation-state to transitional nation-state to strong state. The furthest stage Nigeria ever go to was the ugly butterfly that never blossomed. However, after the initial euphoria of the return to democracy, it is now evident that Nigerian politicians and clergy are busy reversing the progress of the nation back into the stage of a slug as a consequence of their thefts and misrule; it suits them well. But does it suit the everyday citizens?
Nigeria once [for several years] had constant electricity, reliable tap water supplies, a world-class education, a modestly corrupt civil service, a postal system that could be depended upon, rape was associated with slum areas, robbery was not something that bothered people, people drove their cars to their home towns 100s of miles away by night, educated women did not have to sleep with men to get employment, kidnapping was unheard of, sexual attitudes were responsible, people were not desperate enough to be easily conned by clergymen, major politicians did not serve rice with an apron in the streets to win votes. Most of all people wanted to be something, upwardly social mobility was open access and the moral cost of doing wrong was high. And this is not a glossy nostalgia for something that never happened, we all lived it even better if one is old enough to remember.
Where has it all gone? Continue reading
Nigeria has path-dependently or even habitually allowed bad leaders and kakistocrats to enter positions of power and govern it either by means of coup d’etas or fraudulent ballots with relative ease and the resultant dissatisfaction is left to be managed by even worse leaders. The cycle of bad leader to bad leader to worse leader has thus become a solidly stable equilibrium in the nation, escaping it seems unlikely. Most Nigerians wonder endlessly how this habit can be broken or bad elections ended in order for good leaders to come into power and foster best governance possible in the society. All by itself this is a very mistaken expectation.
People when no dey happy, people when know dey look
– Fela Kuti, Overtake don Overtake
Last week Ibrahim Malu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was delighted to announce that its training college had graduated 183 cadet officers with 331 more to come. It was an expedient statement intended to assure Nigerians that the fight against corruption is intensifying in concrete ways. Many Nigerians reacted with smiles, emotive comments and dancing. Deja vu?
Uncritical support for anti-corruption activities in Nigeria always discounts the over-ruling problem. The entity that created and maintained the culture of wanton corruption in Nigeria is the “Owners of Nigeria Technostrucrure” (ONT), Nigeria’s leading special interest group. Without any iota of blame apportioned to the recent EFCC cadet graduates and their trainers, they are merely analogous to doctors trying to cure cancer with Panadol.
Young, obscure student leaders initially led the best chance of a revolution Nigeria had at the University of Benin campus in May 1989. These young leaders staged a protest that became famously known as the “Anti-SAP Riots”. This protest-turned-riot, spilt into Benin-City and rapidly to other cities in Nigeria including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. The masses were firmly behind the student protesters. The people bought the persuasive message of the obscene leadership corruption and thoroughgoing military repression. However, it was the rejection of neoliberalism that was mercilessly impoverishing the majority of Nigerians that spurred the citizenry. The people and the student protest were one people with a united aim. The guns of the repressive military regime no longer frightened the masses; they had nothing left to lose.
Numerous factors are acutely responsible for the persistence and worsening of the phenomenon of corruption in many so-called democracies. These factors include regulatory capture, lack of transparency, inappropriate political systems, vertical policy transplantations, the weak rule of law, harsh economic conditions, the absence of political legitimacy etc. All these factors tend to be invisible to the general public and require scandal to be known. Another critical factor in the growth of corruption is the much less talked about “guilty accuser syndrome”. The guilty accuser syndrome is a sophisticated political selection strategy that ensures that only politicians with “dirty hands” can get into positions of power that are both strategic and lucrative. Such a syndrome is more associated with new and transition democracies than mature liberal version. The guilty accuser syndrome is a significant weapon of corrupt political patrons since it can ruin strong institutions and render institutional reform useless.
Anti-corruption is not a simple task to handle and it is not always straightforward. There are practical exhaustive steps to fighting corruption if properly executed (even with mistakes) that could certainly lead to massive reductions in the incidence and scale of the phenomenon. Currently, there is nothing of substance either straightforward, indirect or practical about the mission of anti-corruption in Nigeria that swept the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari into power. Corruption has at best become a “spiritual exercise” in the sense that the President and his Anti-Corruption Czar are behaving more like minor biblical prophets sent to warn their people than kings and administrators who ruled people with effective direct instructions. It’s time to pray. Continue reading
As much as many may try, it is not possible to make sense of the current political realities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by any conditions that preceded the Civil War (1967-70). This is not a case for perceived discontinuity but exceeding and sudden transformation. Nigeria only became a full state after the beginning of the Civil War, considering her acquisition and use of state power via centralisation. This is because during and after the war, Nigeria ceased to be an intended ‘uniform federation’ and opted since the administration of General Yakubu Gowon to be a two-tier state; the federation and its colonies. Nigeria is truly an “auto-colonial state” today, a fact obscured for 50 years. Continue reading
When sociologist Donald T Campbell came up with his eponymous Law, one wonders if he expected it to be of theoretical or practical use. Campbell’s Law states that “the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Originally intended to measure crime rates and other social phenomena, it has been in also in use in corruption studies. Tony Blair, as Prime Minister of Great Britain, is exemplary as a textbook case of Campbell’s Law.
A “billionaire” kidnapper, Evans, is now the new icon shining in the dull skies of Nigeria. One may ask how a ruthless kidnapper can either be an icon or hero to millions in Nigeria? Because it is Nigeria. Claude Ake once stated that “Nigeria is the only country in the world where no one questions the source of one’s income.” The depth of the statement is far from casual or mere observation. Amassing wealth in Nigeria, whether legally or illegally, has a highly regarded and venerated virtuousness of its own. In many cases, the more crooked the source of income, the better it is rated by the public. That is why you find young men who have legitimately worked very hard for their money blatantly lie that they made the same money by crooked means. How twisted can things get? Continue reading
A new breakaway has emerged out of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) recently and is known as the “Jibaluka Confraternity”. While the exact details of the Jibaluka Confraternity are yet to be released to the public, the preponderance of ennui within NAS certainly led to its formation. This ennui is generated in the way Seadogs are treated. There are expected to pay their dues like men, attend meetings like men, practice brotherhood like men, take on responsibilities like men and uphold the tenets they are oathed to uphold like men, however, it is also demanded they obey orders like little boys afraid of the cane. Zombiism of another kind. Many cannot stand it any longer. Continue reading
There has been too much optimism invested in what is widely touted in Nigeria as the ‘dividends of democracy’ i.e. the benign and enabling outcomes of democracy. After 18 years of a return to democracy in Nigeria, the dividends of democracy on offer has only meant the military is no longer in government. The dividends have neither been delivered in the form of better leadership nor better governance. Unsurprisingly, the crisis of leadership in Nigeria cannot be solved by democracy as a system all by itself. Democracy can fail societies terribly. Continue reading
Excerpt of a talk ‘The Crisis of Leadership – The Case of Nigeria’ given by Grimot Nane at a meeting of the Democratic Alternative (DA) about the leadership problem in Nigeria – 15/05/2017.
Never underestimate the wisdom of the old saying, “what Britain needs is another good war”. Peace, jobs, wages, NHS are boring and appear to be responsible for the national malaise in British politics. Or are they? The May 5th local elections are over, and the June 8th general election is on its way.
“There is no good name for a terrible disease” – Urhobo proverb.
“The solution to Africa’s problems lie solely in Africa” – George Ayittey.
Coconut Head Corruption (CHC) is a term derived from the vocabulary of George Ayittey. He is a distinguished U.S. based Ghanaian economist and is used to describe the observed hollow-headedness and thoughtlessness exhibited by corrupt African leaders and their clients. These Big Men Ayittey is critical of have engaged in corruption since the beginning of the post-colonial era. Ayittey consistently and emphatically in his works and on social media uses words like “Coconut Leader”, “Coconut combat” or “Coconut solutions” to address misgovernance and lousy leadership in African. Coconut-prefixed words as Ayittey uses them is just one aspect of the sincere, blunt and uncompromising zeal with which he is opposed to corruption and deliberate under-development in Africa. Solving Africa’s problems is not a ‘popularity contest’; it is about consistent successful approaches and outcomes; political correctness has not done anything for Africa (Ayittey 1992).
When the suspensions of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir David Lawal, and the Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, by the Presidency were announced yesterday, many enthusiastically hoped it was the beginning of the serious disciplinary approach to dealing with malfeasance and nonfeasance in the Nigerian government. Others may say, too little too late, but it can doubtlessly be built upon. The Big Thieves in government and outside it, will not be sleeping now, but orchestrating watertight schemes that will prevent their heads from rolling. Power is sweet especially when stolen funds pay for it. There lies the dilemma the enables corruption to fight back decisively; the money that hooks in the throat. It is always a mistake to appoint many highly corrupt individuals to government. Continue reading
Where is the Government of Nigeria (GON) or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) winning their war against corruption? Nowhere. No vigorous prosecutions, no convictions, no legislative reforms, no judicial reforms, no constitutional reforms, nothing. All the citizens of Nigeria see are publicity stunts and government-engineered scandals. Is there anything else substantial to show anywhere? The incentive now is, after all its tough talk, the GON must save face as Nigeria, and the rest of the world watches her anti-corruption activities. Recent developments are now verifying the stage-managing of the cash seizures; the money is going back to where it came from directly – the Central Bank of Nigeria. (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-KW)
There are many rational reasons for the GON (its agencies) and EFCC to stage-manage mysterious theatrical large “cash discoveries and seizure” to make them look like they are doing a good job and these are evident to everyday Nigerians. Continue reading
The current sensation in Nigeria is the mysterious discoveries and seizures of large sums of money (mostly foreign currency) found at lying fallow at premium addresses. The cash discoveries are claimed to be the work of selfless “whistleblowers” at the encouragement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). And it is expected to show the world that the Government of Nigeria (GON) is winning on its anti-corruption campaign promises. Some highly experienced experts in the anti-corruption and crime industry find the discoveries very unlikely and too good to be true. The fantastic cash discoveries made by the EFCC credibly appear to be merely clever stage-managed acts of publicity.
The Pyrates Association has legally ascertained that the “4-7 Creed”  can neither be patented nor used exclusively by the National Association of Seadogs (NAS). Thus, the Pyrates Association is rightful and justified in its adoption of the 4-7 Creed as its central and guiding philosophy.
The “3-4-7 Creed” is the purposeful transformation of the very benign 4-7 Creed into a very specious admixture of manipulation [cf George Orwell’s Animal Farm]. The “3”; “Odas is Odas” is a brazen excuse for oppression, “No Friend No Foe” a brazen excuse to victimise targets and “fall guys” and “Absolutely No Lagging” a shameless justification for exacting slavery on free men. NAS can keep the “3” for its “intended” uses and conveniences; no benign organisation will adopt such doublespeak.
Therefore, the Pyrates Association by consensus will adhere most sincerely to the provisions of 4-7 Creed, from brook to ocean, in the spirit of true and transparent democratic practice, unlike the wanton autocratic methods that nurtured it initially.
Be Good, not Lucky
 The 4-7 Creed
Four Compass Points:
Against [moribund] Convention / Against Tribalism/ For Chivalry and Comradeship / For Humanistic Ideals
Seven Rudder Blades:
Deck before Ego / All before Self / Sense before Slogan / Truth before Cant/ Learn before Leap / Change over Stasis / Act over Yap
Hope for good governance and good leadership in Nigeria seems to be increasingly distant confidence. If leadership does not take the citizenry forward along the lines of development, growth and flourishing it can either stagnate the state or lead it backwards both in time and in comparison to other societies. Moving backwards in this sense and the manner it becomes manifest indeed is “de-civilisation”. Nigeria is becoming a largely de-civilised nation; sliding backwards in both modern and traditional senses because decay is profitable to the leaders. Continue reading
One of the most challenging experiences a Nigerian [or other African nationals] in Diaspora will ever face is encountered within the paradox of deciding either remaining in a foreign land permanently or going back home for good. Continue reading
James Ibori is both Nigeria and a Nigerian in the most representative of terms. The Ibori Corruption Saga has much less implication for the ex-governor of Delta State himself; it is a signature of Nigeria as it, its forgettable past and possibly its uncertain future. Ibori’s triumphant entry into Nigeria is seriously superficial, his real welcome was a very deep reflection of the expectations and preferences of the ruling elite in Nigeria and their clients. Ibori’s return home to Nigeria is a test for all who have misgoverned and stolen big from Nigeria.
Nigeria has no time or space for impractical people. By nature or nurture, the Nigerian is thoroughly pragmatic, mostly about money and power, in all their ways. Money (and power) is the true God in Nigeria, not Jehovah, not Allah, not Mohamed, not Amadioha, not Olodumare and not Okunovu; why deceive yourself? Super pastors are in strong competition with each over the obscene claim of being the “richest pastor in Africa”. When neoclassical economists say every single thing human beings do is merely to increase their utility or profits, they are describing Nigeria perfectly. Continue reading
Many Nigerians hopefully think that one day, the nation will attract enough foreign direct investment (FDI) to enable the develop development of electricity in the country. The hope is FDI will thoroughly refurbish, upgrade or expand the generation, transmission and distribution capacities of the [now] privatised Nigerian Electric Power Sector (NEPS) to provide customers with “constant electricity” supplies. Please think again! Foreign investors are not coming into Nigeria with $20 billion (at least) to revamp electricity in the country. Nigeria is in no shape to attract foreign investment, and it is unlikely it would have if things were going well. Does Grand Minister, Babs Fashola, disagree? The attraction of FDI is solely based on the assurance that if invested, it will yield ‘good secure’ profits for the investors. What other incentives are there for foreign investors to invest in Nigeria?
When last week Grand Minister, Babs Fashola (SAN), claimed his now-famous incapacity to revamp the Nigerian electric power sector was partly due to the inadequacies of Nigeria’s population census agency, he knew he was lying. Another grand act of blamocracy engendered by the Buhari administration. Nigeria’s electric power problems are primarily that of money (investment) and transparency (incorruptibility); it has nothing whatsoever to do with population census. Fashola did not even have to lie about Nigeria’s electricity development backwardness even though he lied about giving Nigerians an ‘electricity miracle’ in just 18 months if President Muhammadu Buhari won the 2015 general elections. Any fiens?
In 2000, Nigeria’s electric power sector had an underinvestment backlog bill of a minimum of $5 billion, $10 billion was more like it. That bill accrued during the period, 1984 to 1999, tacitly under the leadership of Generals Buhari, Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami according to the United States Trade and Development Agency. Olusegun Obasanjo squandered the best opportunity Nigeria had to invest in the electric power sector (2000-2007). Goodluck Jonathan also squandered a fair chance and blackouts were interestingly put up for privatisation. Now in 2017, the bill stands at about $20 billion minimum. The reality of electric power development is straightforward – if you do not have several billions of dollars to invest transparently and diligently, forget about it altogether. Nigerians should bravely accept they will not get constant electricity (24hrs all-year) for many years to come.
Does Fashola’s ministry have even just $5 billion to invest, a quarter of the minimum sum required to revamp the sector?
One of the big lies trumpeted of the electric power sector in Nigeria is the spectacle of “installed capacity”. For over 40 years Nigeria has been struggling hopelessly with 6000 MW installed capacity. Installed capacity is the generation capacity of the sector. Capacity is only a potential and does not automatically translate in electricity delivered to end-users. Despite Nigeria’s installed capacity Prof J B Akarakiri published a paper in 1999 in Energy titled ‘Private Electric Power Generation as an Alternative in Nigeria’. The paper was just three pages, but its implications were visionary and devastating; Nigeria should forget about the centralised electric power National Grid for its constant and sustainable electricity supplies; people should opt to their own generators if they wanted stable or on-demand supplies of electricity. Less than a year after the publication, Nigeria witnessed it’s first “zero installed capacity moment”, total national blackout.
Fashola has had a few “zero installed capacity moments” of his own since he became the Grand Minister.
Going back in time, in 2000 the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) had on its books 1.6 electricity customers with 51% residing Lagos State even though, Nigeria had a 150 million population and Lagos State had 11 million. These figures indicated that just over 1% of Nigerians were electricity customers and Lagos State only 7% of the national population. It is evidence of gross nonfeasance and inefficiency by NEPA and the government. Research by the author carried out in 2002 demonstrated that in Lagos State, electricity customers were about 400% greater than what NEPA had recorded. Electricity meters for customers were scarce and expensive, power theft was rife, illegal (mostly unsafe) connections (to whole communities) rampant. Furthermore, tenement buildings (face me, I face you) that litter Lagos had ten to twenty families as tenants. Many tenants used microwaves, TVs, VCD recorders, boiling rings, electric irons in them using one meter and registered as “one customer”. How can peak demand and average daily demand for electricity supplied be appropriately calculated with such grossly underestimated customer data?
How many electricity customers does Fashola say the regulators claim they had on their books in 2017? Ask him.
In a properly run society, every regulator like energy corporations conducts its own customer-based census. It is called market research. Guinness Nigeria plc knows how many customers it has and uses it to determine growth areas, supply chain approaches, marketing strategies and more. It even uses such information to determine how many people are not drinking Guinness stout because they drink Star, Gulder, Trophy or other beers. If Guinness data management cannot be handled by itself, it would outsource the job to a reputable market research firm like RMS.
Fashola’s advisers should tell him the difference between per capita and per customer in market/sector analysis or planning.
What is the solution to the problem of electricity in Nigeria, many would ask? $20 billion and meticulously transparent oversight; any other technical explanations will have to start from here on. Where will Fashola find the money and are there enough honest personnel to get the job done? Environmental campaigner, Nnimmo Bassey, has persistently highlighted in the media how Nigeria loses over $1 billion annually in uncollected gas flaring penalties from oil production companies operating in Nigeria and also over $5 billion annually in tax fraud from oil services companies. That amounts to over $6 billion annually lost to the Nigerian purse; legitimate and deserved money. This money if honestly collected and invested, can clean up the Niger Delta and completely revamp the electric power sector in just five years. It is not Fashola’s problem but his boss, Buhari, is Minister of Petroleum. For all his anticorruption messianics, he has done nothing about this particular fraud and inertia.
Fashola does not have to be dishonest about the deplorable state of electric power in Nigeria. He unwitting inherited a disaster. And he can keep his blamocratic excuses for election time. Nigerians should know the realities of their electric power sector even though it is not pretty and “change” is faraway.
Dr Joe Abah, the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms and academic, in very casual style unwittingly or knowingly re-triggered a limited exchange on one of the most contentious controversies in modern intellectual history; what is the role the intellectual in society? The triggering sardonic comment by Dr Abah (@DrJoeAbah) on Twitter yesterday said “How to become an “expert”  in Nigeria: Be jobless; go around TV stations & beg to appear on ANY programme; criticise all govt actions. Done!” Of the many replies he got [most of them friendly] one by Mark Spencer (@Ack_Spencer) which was equally sardonic read “How to become an expert, sign up as media influencer visit all radio &TV station[s] hailing govt inefficiencies and cluelessness”. This is really the flashpoint of the controversy. However, the contention Dr Abah triggered is one many avoid because of the unexpected possibilities it can generate. Continue reading
If you were to personally ask President Muhammadu Buhari what the most successful thing a person could achieve in Nigeria was and he is candid with you, he will tell you to seize power (through coup d’ états or general elections) or amass riches (through grand corruption). Power and wealth for their sake will always breed corruption, and that is mainly why the president himself is not exempt. We all know that, but some emphatically deny it. The Panama Papers scandal involving tax evasion and money laundering cases in off-shore havens shook many international heavyweights in the civilised world but not Nigeria. Buhari’s administration has rendered big thieving Nigerian politicians and quasi-businessmen completely “Panama-proof”.
The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else – Chinua Achebe
In the year 2017, Nigeria’s economy is predictably going stagnate further without recourse to rescue. Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ will be mostly only fulfilled at the bottom level in the nation. The imminent threat of mass hunger will eventually overtake the ‘Nigerian genius’ of denying hunger when living with sharply decreasing calorie intake over time. Stuff higher than food and water will be harder to acquire or keep. Hopes for improving personal prosperity have never been higher but the economic, cultural and political climate has never been so decisively forbidding. Business opportunities, profits, employment, ethical credit, education, exchange rates are all facing steep decline. It is all, sadly, a problem of leadership and the “Household of Buhari” is a big part of the problem. Continue reading
When I read the article titled ‘The Welcome Party for Ibori’ by Simon Kolawole, it was thought-provoking journalism considering the context of Delta State’s ex-Governor, James Ibori’s much-celebrated release from Belmarsh Prison, London, England. Many Nigerians mostly see Ibori’s celebrated release by mostly people from his home state of Delta as a national disgrace and most rightly so. However, when you consider Nigeria’s history of convictions for corruption, many who complain about Ibori’s smug prison release may simply be tribalists who would do the same if “their man” was convicted and eventually released. The real crushing national disgrace for Nigeria is that it still cannot convict her Big Thieves in her courts and rely on foreign governments to convict “selected” offenders. Yet, Nigeria celebrates Independence. Continue reading
Wole Soyinka is forgiving and commuting personally designed punitive sanctions once again and in the most “magnanimous” and “solemn” of ways. Wole Soyinka is a great man. Soyinka is neither God Almighty, a spiritual leader (except within the National Association of Seadogs a.k.a. Pyrates Confraternity), a president, a jurist, nor an organised crime boss. Where the authority for Soyinka pronouncing “Fatwas of Forgiveness” upon great and small men originates from is a disturbing curiosity countless people share. The new round of forgiveness from Soyinka has been triggered by the mourning of his long-time friend and confidante, the very excellent and honourable person of lawyer Deji Sasegbon, SAN (Deceased).