Tag Archives: Corruption

​OUR MANY TRAVAILS AND THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE OUR DEMOCRACY

By: Moshood Muhammed

Generally speaking, the people constitutes mainly the element, admissible and permissible in democracy, the Nigerian system of government, with whom the decision of who becomes what, get what and at what time is taken and for.

With reference to the definition a former President of United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, participation of people, who are an indispensable element of government and leadership of a country, is believed to be non-negotiable. But, reverse is sharply the case in the issue of Nigeria, the most populous black-skinned people country in the world.

The rare magnanimity of the then military ruler and Head of State, Rtd. General Abubakar Salami saw Nigeria return to democratic rule in 1999 with Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo as the democratically elected President. After he exited office, Nigeria has successfully transferred power from one leader to the other and most recently, from a political party which Nigeria started with, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a very peaceful and uncommon manner, alien to the African politicians and its many years of political sojourn. This remains one of the feats we have achieved as a country.

On return to democracy eighteen (18) years ago, expectations were high, no thanks to the ‘nightmares of military rule’ and having seen what democracy infers in other climes. Nigerians could not hide their joys when the Obasanjo administration came on board; many were promised with very infinitesimally done so far and nothing done in many cases, even by successive occupiers of the Aso Villa and other public positions in the yesteryears up till now.

Power supply has remained consistently out of supply in many homes, villages, cities and factories, forcing Nigerians to make darkness their neighbours, while many businesses went out of operation, with others relocating to neighbouring countries; education is yet to recover from the colossal damage done to its structural and administrative hitherto strong rooting. Same is the case with Agriculture, which was formally our source of national financial muscle depleting into a business of very few with little concentration from government, not until recent time. The list is endless.

As much as it incontrovertible that all is not so well, coupled with corruption fast becoming regalia of our political actors, it does not translate to the end of the road for the country. The country has despite the political upheavals that greeted the preparation for last general elections among other issues emerged, a united country, though with affray from some parts of the country.

As Nigerian democracy gets a year older, concerted efforts must be made by all in seeing the birth of the new and assuring country Nigerians would be proud of.
Now, the leadership of the country and government structures across board must be sanitized and made to work in the interest of the people, while the trademark of corruption on most political office holders is ‘confiscated’. Our leaders must be aware that if everyone who has at one point or the other occupied the office did not leave, they would never have the opportunity to get there.

Furthermore, the central government must not surrender in its struggle for a well respected country in Africa and beyond, flush out, in sincerity the demonic corruption tendencies, that has almost brought the country on its knees, out of the country; wipe out the inkling Boko Haram insurgence stint, rescue the remaining Chibok School girls, get back home Nigerians leaving like foreigners on the own soil, neighbouring countries. Also, our economy which somersaulted must also be revamped, with the diversification plan executed speedily while ensuring an enduring, stable and uninterrupted power supply to all nooks and crannies of the country. This will do doubt help recover our hailing economy and set us forthwith on the path to prosperity.

On the other hand, Nigerians must see The New Nigeria project as a collective assignment, on which the destiny of millions of our country men and women are tied to, and indeed that of many generations yet unborn. Should the war against corruption be won, proceeds recovered and ultimately pumped into the economy, Nigerians can be certain of a speedily developed country. Hence, everyone must resolve to join the campaign, reject proceeds of crime and never be involved corruption. Charity they say begins at home.

Similarly, our parents, families, religious leaders, teachers and schools must note that they are either partner in crime or partner in progress, depending on what they make of the flock in their care. There is therefore a great need to have them support government and by far, the popular view, rid the country of many rots she has found herself in. This implies that the song of anti corruption, transparency, accountability, hard work and perseverance should be continuous on their lips.

The truth is, should we fail to augment our resolution for the ‘hell-lots’, vent our displeasure with the widely affirmed abysmal state of things, by participating meaningfully in the affairs of the country, our complaints would be mere noise. In other words, our political affairs, call for accountability, responsive and responsible government should not be left in the hands of politicians and the acclaimed ‘opposition’ parties, we must all make Nigeria work for our good. The rumoured military take-over is not and will never be in the interest of majority of Nigerians. As such, we must all defend our democracy and make it stronger.

Though, all may not be rosy for us as a country, it is never a time to give up; our participation in governance should be strong, defiant of oppression tendencies of any public office holder, bad governance, misrepresentation among others, like never before. Surely, we would get there.

If you are not participating, it is not making sense. #Standwith9ja

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria

BANKS ON ROADS

By: Adekunle Adewunmi

Prior to this age, virtues such as sanctity, honesty, contentment and uncoveteousness were the order of the day. Scarcely did reports fly of theft. No ears heard for long the cry of inconvenience from the struggling masses. All appeared like it was well!

Banks are known to be registered with the Central Bank before any operation can begin. The management also recruits different staffs in order to make transactions an easy-to-do job for the benefit of both parties. But, deposits are not only made, cash withdrawals are also part of the transactions possible at banks. Simply put, deposits and withdrawals are allowed in banks. Suffice is to say here that the people don’t deposit in banks by being coerced.

Nowadays however, unofficial banks are being mounted and operated on the highways which birth the illegal collection of money, forcefully deposited to these unofficial bank operators without a strain of empathyfor the state of the pockets they hijack. This brash phenomenon ushers in a sigh of painful enquiries. Why have they chosen to fool us? Who are they even fooling? Those who make life not worth living and inconvenient to their fellow humans keep spitting untrue words at us that they are friends of the citizenry.

Alas, Nigerians are now enlightened, the dark ages are over, the light has come!

Governments emerge, their time elapse, yet, there’s nothing to show for the many years of their stewardship. All centers on the looting of state treasury, which involves squandering of national funds, only to leave the hopeless electorate in a sorry state of reproach. As if that isn’t enough, human-banks are now being mounted at roads where they are fearfully beheld askings of the terrain in which they become unquestionable beasts that devour anyone who fails to ‘cooperate’ and tender daily deposits into their sacred pouches. Some have evengone from collecting daily deposits to levying dues per hour.

This act has gone rampant to the extent that the ordinary man’s business will almost always encounter rude disruption by these armed men. On the sight of a vehicle loaded with food, things fall apart within their skulls; and all schemes veer towards hijacking the burdened hulk from its navigator, even if it hasn’t been smuggled in from another country.

Those Forces in khaki and black clothes, who are instructed to safeguard the properties and lives have been found, countless times, exploiting and endangering the very properties and lives they were sworn to protect. Safety of the masses is now in the hands of bullies who, of course, strangle the people’s way of survival for their selfish gains. The salaries and allowances being paid them by the government for their works are being kept only to keep extorting the ordinary drivers on the highways; individuals who have chosen to find succour in the stressful jobsthey have taken as a profession.

Many of these drivers, who are the victims of callous highway extortions, go into commercial driving because they want nothing but the best for their families; their children in particular. Some of them overwork themselves even till midnight in order to pay the tuition fees of their children in higher institutions. Still, some locusts would seem to appear from the mirage and cut their monies short. It is possible that, by the ripple effect of such a condition, much mishap is caused. Some children of these commercial drivers might even end up being dropped from school due to not meeting up their payment deadlines.

A voyage to a town in Oyo State, Igbo-Ora to be precise, which is known to be the land most populated with twins revealed the ordeals commercial vehicles drivers go through when they set out for their daily businesses and the level of unnecessary pains inflicted daily on them by these road-bankers. It was so astonishing but head-aching to find the Forces at road sides almost within a two-minute drive interval, demanding for daily deposits otherwise known as “rabba or bribe”. Any commercial driver who tries to argue with them may meet his waterloo and get roped with different offenses that cannot be found in the statute of vehicle movement. The predatory logic is that by the time they cause passengers to be delayed and complaints spill from the driver’s customers, he’ll be forced to pay even more than he would have paid if he had not struggled with the Forces.

A personal encounter with one of the commercial drivers who makes his daily living on the route further exposed the high rate of wickedness leveled against them on a daily basis. He posited that if he was opportune to own any charm, he would have used it on “those wicked government security officials” because he often returns home at night from the day’s toil with almost nothing to show for the sweat due to the problem faced with the soldiers and policemen.

Without mincing words, this shows frustration, pain, and anger, which may result in rebellion and trouble against the Forces if the government does not find a lasting solution to halt the evil activities of these thieves.

Apparently, they operate this way almost everywhere since they believe they can’t be checkmated by anyone. Little surprise is to hear that these Forces build gigantic edifices and live big. President Muhammadu Buhari should try to start looking into the bank accounts of individual Force members so as to see clearly the billions of naira they have therein stolen and forcefully collected from struggling drivers.

Banks mounted on roads should hereby be destroyed so that sanity, freedom, and welfare should become the order of the day!