Authorities in Nigeria have started to indict themselves, through their various actions, inactions, statements, evidences, submissions etc. International authorities have also handed their indictments. Truly, this will give Nigerians legitimate reasons to worry about their future. Events in and around Nigeria lends credence to this very fact. The sources of these comments are from top Nigerian government officials and internationally from credible sources. It’s actually an issue for concerns especially were the security and welfare of Nigerians are concerned. Let’s remember that the primary responsibility of any government any where in the world is welfare and security of its citizens. It becomes absurd and an abnormality when governments’ action(s) or inaction compromises the security of its citizens.
Starting with the Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Afakriya Gadazama, he has warned that the 2011 elections will be bloody. He also indicated that the way the government ignores security reports will worsen the deplorable insecurity situation in the country. He revealed that information about numerous crises (Jos crisis, Boko Haram, kidnappings in Niger Delta, armed robberies in South East etc) was passed to the appropriate quarters. However, actions were never taken to prevent these crises. According to him, the high level of insecurity in the country is fallout of the political system which disconnected people from government and our porous borders.
According to Guardian newspapers of Saturday August 8th 2009 (online version), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the Northern States and Abuja, has blamed the federal government and state governments in the Northern region (especially Borno State) for the outbreak of the Boko Haram crisis. In the western societies these revelations by the Director General of SSS and allegations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), are enough for the authorities involved to resign or publicly apologize to the nation. Same can happen in Nigeria.
On the question of porous borders, the Guardian newspapers (online version) of July 17th 2009 captured the candid revelations from the Customs. According to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) “smuggling had become difficult to check because of the involvement of privileged citizens and poor facilities for the operations by its personnel”.
The Inspector General of Police (Ogbonnaya Onovo) on his part said the Nigerian Police have problems of inadequate vehicles, shortage of personnel and outdated equipment to work with. A quick reminder here to Ogbonnaya Onovo that the former IGP (Balogun), embezzled a reasonable amount of police fund, which would have gone a long way in providing these amenities. Balogun’s successor as IGP (Sunday Ehidero) was also involved with attempts to steal large sums of money from police headquarters. All these information are in public domain.
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri has said the Freedom of Information bill currently being delayed by the National Assembly will boost the fight against corruption and other forms of economic crimes. Many Nigerians have complained about the deliberate delay in passing this bill. I wrote an open letter to our law makers published on my blog, (briefsfromakuta.blogspot.com) and other media outlets both nationally and internationally. The actions of our law makers (failure to pass the freedom of information bill) might become a stumbling block to EFCC’s fight against corruption. However the comment by Farida is an indictment on our law makers. Even Mallam Nasir el-Rufai (former Federal Capital Territory Minister) accused the federal government of insincerity in the fight against corruption.
The United Nations gave their own indictment on the state of Nigeria corruption last year (2008). According to the United Nations (UN), “Nigerian kleptocrats have milked the nation to the tune of about $100 billion dollars thorough various acts of grand corruption, the cost of which it lamented by far exceeded the damage caused by any other single crime” (Daily Sun, Wednesday, December 3, 2008 page 9). Last year (2008) the National Assembly indicted the power ministry when it revelled that $16 billion dollars was invested in power sector without anything to show for it. This investment was made without any single megawatt being added to the national grid.
Quoting the Guardian newspapers (online version) of Monday August 3rd 2009, the United Nations Children Education’s Fund (UNICEF) disclosed that almost one million children in the country still die from preventable and curable diseases. The UNICEF spokesperson (Ann Veneman) noted that more Nigerian children die from preventable diseases than any other country in Africa. Nigeria is also a country where the president and top government officials seek medical attention abroad. Thisday newspapers of Tuesday 14th April 2009 (online version), reported that the president (Umaru Musa Yar’Adua) approved foreign medical treatment for ex-governor Turaki of Jigawa State and a serving senator to be flown to Germany. Senator Turaki was involved in a road accident where he was injured. This is an evidence of total neglect of the federal and state ministries of health.
According to Thisday newspapers of Monday 8th December 2008 (online version), President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua said, “I want to assure all Nigerians that the federal government is fully resolved and committed to the electoral reform programme so that we can have peaceful and transparent elections in this country”. Several indictments came the way of the presidential promise on electoral reforms. Firstly was the attempt by the president himself to doctor the Justice Uwais recommendations. Secondly the way federal government conducted the Ekiti re-run election. Thirdly many notable Nigerians (Former Nigerian Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar etc) have all accused the president of not being serious with the electoral reforms. Lastly ex President Obasanjo said one time that he was not aware of any electoral reform being undertaken by the Yar’Adua government. Obasanjo’s comment was reported by Thisday newspapers of Saturday 2nd May 2009 (online version).
President Yar’Adua has ordered a probe of the killing of the leader of Boko Haram (Yussuf) while under police custody. Meanwhile the president gave orders to both the military and the police for this group to be destroyed. Yussuf was the head of this group, so the group was destroyed as ordered by the president. Finally the president indicted himself as the chief security officer of the country when he embarked on a two day state visit to Brazil when his country was on fire due to the Boko Haram crisis. In July 2009, the Chinese President (Hu Jintao) left the G8 Summit in Rome Italy back to China, the moment riots broke out in Northwest part of China.
It is high time our rulers start to take responsibilities, praises and punishments for their actions and inactions. Nigerians need to demand this from our rulers. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK