PRESIDENT JONATHAN AND ENTHRONEMENT OF CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA [The Report Card Series]

By on February 3, 2015

A CRITICAL LOOK AT THE REPORT CARD OF PRESIDENT JONATHAN ON THE ISSUE OF CORRUPTION

Most Nigerians, and even observers from all over the world, have often wondered that with the vaunted intelligence of average Nigerians, we remain one of the most underachieving countries relative to the astounding talents and abundant resources that God has blessed us with as a nation.

Despite the much politicized ‘Paper’ achievement of being the ‘biggest’ economy in Africa, and the projected big ‘growth’ for Nigeria’s economy next year, many Nigerians still do not enjoy a good quality of life comparative to other countries with much lower resources. Most Nigerians still have no job, no house, no car and have a life expectancy of just a little over 50 years despite our huge natural, material and human resources.

While this anomaly has been the subject of debate for decades, the fact is that virtually every contributor to the debate about Nigeria’s underachievement, relative to our resources, agree that the number bane of our underdevelopment and backwardness is the issue of corruption.

Corruption has loudly seeped into every area of our country. We have unimaginable corruption everywhere, at our ports, at our ministries, at our parastatals and in our legislature. The issue of corruption has eaten so deep it into our national psyche that our own President is now saying, with a straight face, that ‘there is no corruption, but mere stealing, in Nigeria”.

It simply breaks my heart when I think of the wasted resources, wasted opportunities and the wasted generations of Nigerians that could have made an impact in the world but for the issue of corruption.

Virtually everyone agreed that we must deal with corruption at the highest levels if Nigeria if we are to take our place of greatness in Africa and the world. Even those who preside over the corruption in the land, also agree at least publicly, that we must remove corruption before we can have any accelerated development in the country.

Yet, despite the so-called national consensus of the evil of stealing and corruption, even when some of our leaders seemed confused about the difference between the two, I am amazed that we have a government that has been the embodiment of corruption boldly asking Nigerians to vote them in for another 4 years despite the historical achievements in elevating corruption and corrupt practices in our land. It is even more perplexing when I encounter otherwise patriotic and intelligent Nigerians passionately fighting for the return of the government of corruption over that of a man who represents our one chance to finally confront corruption at the highest levels of our land.

As far as I am concerned the #1 issue in this election should be the issue of Corruption. Nothing that matters even comes close to the issue of dealing with corruption. Most Nigerians really should boil down the question to who is most likely to fight corruption, and who is most likely to give us the best chance of dealing with this national cancer.

Unfortunately, rather than dealing with the main issue and putting the contestants to this acid test, we have been distracted by mundane issues like whether one candidate has a primary school certificate EQUIVALENT, despite having served at the highest levels of government for decades, history of military rule 30 years ago and whether a 72 year old man can rule effectively despite evidence to the contrary in the world about ability of leaders to rule (e.g. Mandela of South Africa, Ronald Reagan of USA AND Margret Thatcher of UK all ruled in their 70s and did awesome jobs!)

While I agree that many issues determine a presidential debate, I am firmly convinced that the issue of corruption should be up front and center. We should look at the President who is asking us for another term in the light of his record in fighting corruption and also examine the challenger who wants to take the throne on his ability, record and potential for fighting corruption

I believe we should refuse to be distracted by mundane red-herrings that have dominated the national discussion in the last 2 months and focus on the root cause of our underdevelopment and then choose the best candidate who can help us deal with it

First, we need to look at President Jonathan’s record on the issue of corruption will show that it is not only presumptuous of Jonathan to be asking Nigerians for another term in office based on his record of corruption in the last 6 years, it will be progressive suicide for Nigerians to give it to him.

For the enlightenment of those who have drunk so much misinformation coolade from the misinformation cabal of Doyin Okupe, Ruben Abati and Femi Fani-kayode, I will like to highlight some of the mind-boggling corruption and scandals that have dogged the administration of President Jonathan for the last 6 years and why I am definitely against him for any additional term as President of our country.

  1. THE TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE RULE OF LAW ON CORRUPTION –

People almost seem to forget that our National President looked Nigerians in the eye at a nationally televised show, and declared that he does NOT give a damn about asset declaration for public officers. The President made this shocking declaration despite the fact that the laws of our land made it MANDTORY for National officers to declare their assets! Not only did our President get away with breaking the law by refusing to declare his assets for 6 years, Nigerians seemed to lack the political will to hold him accountable to that law.

With a President at the Center openly contemptuous of the laws meant to guard against corruption, why are we surprised that corruption has been enthroned as a national culture in our land. If the head refused to be accountable, do we really have any moral right to ask anyone else to be accountable to us on the issue of corruption? Yet, this man in on the verge of being reelected for 4 more years of the same disdain for fighting corruption.

  1. THE ORGY OF CORRUPTION IN THE JONATHAN GOVT

The fact remains that though we have witnessed some major scandals in our country before Jonathan came to power, the issue of corruption has come to have a life of its own and become the National Flag for the last 6 years of Jonathans rule. Everywhere we go now, the corruption seems to be the flag that identifies Nigeria. Virtually no sector of our economy under President Jonathan has been spared as President and the ruling party went on an orgy of corruption with the resources of our potentially great nation.

Though President Jonathan claims to be on a mission of national transformation and he tells us all the time that his government will fight corruption to the death, him and his cabal of thieves can rightly be described as a ONE-CORRUPTION-AMONTH government. For the last 6 years, there has virtually been no month that we don’t have a breaking scandal or rumours of a covered up scandal. The whole country reeks of corruption and it appears that Nigerians are so used to the stench that it is not bothering us anymore. Otherwise, how can you account for the fact that some people are seriously passionate about returning Jonathan for 4 more years of the same old story we have lived through for last 6 years?

For those who may have repressed the soul-wrenching corruption scandals that we have endured as a nation under the govt of Jonathan, here are some of the mind boggling corruption scandals that have erupted under the Jonathan government

  • The N1 Trillion Naira Subsidy Scandal – Over N1 Trillion Naira of Nigeria’s money disappeared into the pockets of the petroleum Cabal and despite a lot of smoke and mirrors from the Jonathan Presidency, this scandal remains unresolved
  • The Pension fund scandal – For several months Nigerians were brutalized with a scandal involving the retirement funds of our old people in the much publicized Pension funds scandal. Again, President Jonathan presided over this travesty that has since been swept under the carpet.
  • The Power Scandal – President Jonathan himself told Nigerians that if he could not solve the power problem in 4 years, he would not be able to solve it in 10 years and should not be considered for reelection. It has been 6 years since he became president and this problem remains unresolved for most Nigerians despite billions of dollars being spent every year.
  • The Bullet Proof Cars Scandal – We all witnessed the unbelievable revelations that our Aviation minister paid over $1.6Million for 2 armoured cars (at $800,000 EACH) that were found to cost less than $170,000, yet the President still kept the minister on for a couple more years despite public outrage. To date nobody has bene charged with this fraud.
  • The Boko Haram Scandal – While the misinformation team of President Jonathan has done a great job in trying to pin sponsorship of this dreaded group on the opposition the fact remains that several people in his government and his party have been identified with possible links to this group. Some of the President’s own people linked one way or the other to the book haram included Senator Ahmed Zanna, Pdp, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff [PDP]; Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume [PDP]; Vice President Nemadi Sambo [PDP]; and Gen Azubuike Ihejerika, [PDP]
  • The Missing $20 billion in Oil Revenue revelation by the former CN Governor, Sanusi Lamido. Rather Mr. president instituting a honest probe or public enquiry into the amazing revelations, by a man who should know since he was the governor of CBN, Mr President and his cronies chose to accuse Mr. Sanusi of playing politics and the President suspended him as CBN Governor with bothering to resolve the accusations against him and his officers.

I could go on and on about the mindboggling scandals we have had to endure since Mr President came to power 6 years ago but you get the gist.

  1. THE ARROGANCE OF CORRUPTION IN JONATHAN’S GOVT

It is bad enough that our collective psyche is being bombarded regularly with outbreaks of corruption scandals, but it seems that our President revels in rubbing salt into our collective injury with his often non-challant and arrogant response to issues of corruption.

  • Really, who can forget the smug look on the face of our President when he direclty told us on National TV that he does not give a damn about Asset Declaration, a requirement that is encoded in our laws? Or how does one explain our National President trying to excuse corrupt politicians of yester years by claiming that stealing is DIFFERENT from corruption? The arrogance of President Jonathan in shrugging off corruption is indeed mind boggling.
  • We all remember how he thumbed his nose at Nigerians by not only pardoning an international fugitive from justice that turned Nigerians into laughing stock all over the world by escaping in a woman’s skirt, but also turned around and gave him the HIGHEST National Award in our country. In addition, Jonathan arrogantly gave a posthumous Award to Sanni Abacha, the worst despot Nigeria had ever experienced. Ironically he gave Abacha the award in the same week the United States announced that it was freezing $458m (£275m) that had been stashed away in foreign bank accounts by Abacha – part of at least $3bn that Abacha is believed to have looted during the 1990s. WOW!
  • We have also noted that Mr. President cherished the notion of surrounding himself with corrupt people, or people engulfed or tainted by corruption scandals. Many Nigerians still recoil in horror and shock at the sight of seeing some of the indicted Oil subsidy cabal members right beside our President in Aso Rock and some of them gallivanting on foreign travels with our president on official assignments overseas.
  • It was this same arrogance that made President Jonathan Goodluck retain the minister of Petroleum, Deziani Allison-Madueke, despite the mind-boggling series of corruption scandals that have dogged her since she became minister of Petroleum. In any sane country, with self-respecting leaders who are sensitive to the feelings of their people she would have been removed or re-designated to a less visible positions just on the strength of the corrupt stench emanating from her ministry, regardless of her personal culpability or not.
  • The unbelievable arrogance of our President in the face of corruption charges was best expressed recently when President Jonathan Goodluck told us with a straight face, that ‘there is no corruption, but mere stealing, in Nigeria”.
  • Nigerians can still recall, that during a media chat with our President on May 5, 2014, our President responded to allegations that he was not doing enough to curb corruption among his ministers, by claiming that most of what is referred to as corruption is not really that at all. According to the President, “Over 70% of what are called corruption (cases), even by EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and other anti-corruption agencies, is not corruption, but common stealing,” the president told national television. He claimed that the corruption claims against his government appeared “politically motivated”.

I rest my case! Yet, this is the same man who is asking us to trust him to fight corruption if we give him 4 more years. Really, people need to appraise the candidates very well on these critical issues before we sentence ourselves to another 4 years of pain

This may be Hard Talk, but it is True Talk nevertheless

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.

4 Comments

  1. Muhammad Bashir Abdulkarim

    February 4, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Thnx alot Dr Banwo 4dis masterpiece on the Jonathan administration’s corruption scandals.It is left to Nigerians to vote wisely for d right candidate n dat is Buhari.

  2. Joshua Amuga

    February 5, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Dr Ope Banwo, good insight and intriguingly resourceful and also as a tool of manipulative persuasion. I will contend with some of the issue raise as led accordingly. The emergence of open society has seen a period of evolution from various faculty of a sovereignty. The matter of Fact remains that the period of Nation Leadership by the North has been Prolonged since under colonialism to independence.To mention both military govt. and civilian govt. not until Obasanjo. Fact also is that an uneducated mind is a subordinate which dwells in ignorance which is the result of the northern insurgency. Illiteracy in the North is the product of the closed society. Truth is TRUTH no matter who it is for or against. who did not lot? we are all product of a system in its diversity either consciously or other wise. The system of govt. adopted is also a fault of an open society, i call this uncontrolled freedom. Leadership by example. A Father who is promiscuous is also a bad leader to his children, a true picture of this is seen at the latter age of is invention in his children, So tools of governance should be use to open up such society in the context of illiteracy. Awareness of knowledge to the youths to change a situation is an inextinguishable drive a model of example. looking back can drag us to sinful doubt. People with vision don’t castigate or divide, they add and multiply. What ever you fight becomes stronger, but we have different ways of solving problems, placing a system that can check mate such corrupt practices selling off all government responsibility except in key fundamental prerequisites of a nation sovereignty which is a level ground for all to either run, work, craw or fly. Regional competition is the easiest way of coughing more issues but a sure way to healthy regional competition. Rule yourselves #JKAmuga

  3. omo-oladeinde

    February 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    hmm pls my people why are we so blind folde by this man,o i wept for nigerian and the unborn generation to come.i cannot be suprised at all becouse i know that almost 10% of our elite live on this corruption and this are the people who will always want this cancer to go on.unfortunately some of us who are the poor citizen also lived on corruption invariably they want to be like the elite at the top so what do we expect they will definately endourse this administration.any anyways sha me i belive one day monkey will to market he will never return,our future lies within our parm.

  4. omo-oladeinde

    February 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    hmm pls my people why are we so blind folde by this man,o i wept for nigerian and the unborn generation to come.i cannot be suprised at all becouse i know that almost 10% of our elite live on this corruption and this are the people who will always want this cancer to go on.unfortunately some of us who are the poor citizen also lived on corruption invariably they want to be like the elite at the top so what do we expect they will definately endourse this administration.any anyways sha me i belive one day monkey will to market he will never return,our future lies within our parm.

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