Welcome to the new Nigeria. A Nigeria where media trial is the in thing. A Nigeria where one is adjudged guilty even before a real trial begins; where a person is condemned even before a law court gives its verdict. It gets so bad that it takes a miracle for one to extricate himself from all manner of allegations, even if he was proven innocent by a competent court thereafter.
At the rate allegations of corruptions are being brandied around, many right thinking persons may find it difficult to serve their fatherland. This is because anybody can simply wake up and allege that Mr. A is a thief. And its only the grace of God that can exonerate such a person. His name would have been rubbed in the mud and his integrity soiled such that its would not be worth the paper it is written on.
Allegations, mostly unfounded keep flying around in torrents, and if nothing is done, to curtail it, it might be difficult in the near future to see genuine persons that would want to serve their fatherland. The truth is that there is no highly placed person today in Nigeria that has not stepped on toes of some other people and these are the people who shout to high heavens that their boss is a thief. And not forgetting of course, those eying the position, they can and would do everything possible to disparage the occupier of the seat. And I think that is what is playing out in the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
We have had the case of Maina, Magu, NDDC and now attention is shifting to the NEDC and the common denominator is that they are all corrupt. No one is saying they are saints, but with the hatred being shared in the media it would be difficult for any of them that might be declared innocent hereafter to wash himself or itself clean of these allegations.
While Nigeria was still trying to wrap its fingers around the allegations of financial recklessness going on in the Niger Delta Development Commission, alarm was raised of another round of alleged corruption uncovered in the North East Development Commission.
The NEDC, established by President Buhari in 2017, is charged with the responsibility of coordinating funds accruing from the Federation Account and donor Agencies for purpose of rehabilitating and resettling victims of insurgency, reconstruction of homes and infrastructural development, tackling poverty and illiteracy in the North East states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba and Yobe.
The Boko Haram insurgency in that region has resulted in the massive internal displacement of persons, loss of lives and destruction of properties.
The House of Representatives has waded in and a special committee has been mandated to dig into these allegations. It has eight weeks to submit its findings to the Green chamber.
But the Commission has already been judged guilty in the conventional and social media, even before the committee begun sitting. The job of the Commission has been spelt out in the law establishing it. “The Commission was established with a mission of coordinating funds accruing from the federation account and donor agencies for the purposes of rehabilitating and resettling of victims of insurgency, reconstruction of homes, infrastructural development and tackling of illiteracy in the Northeastern part of the country”.
Part of the allegations leveled against the Commission, include that the N100 billion so far disbursed to the commission by the federal government have vanished under a year without any visible impact on the refugees nor any infrastructural development credited to the name of the Commission in the whole of the Northeast region. But no one is talking about monies deployed to pay salaries, allowances and buying vehicles for operational use.
The truth is that those casting the stones may be the same people being denied one favour or the other at the NEDC headquarters. Lies may be on the prowl for long, but the truth would soon catch up and destroy the fallacies being bandied around.
- Gyamas wrote in from Abuja