Last week, Nigerians were treated to another round of comic relief by the two leading political parties in Nigeria.
Two weeks ago, within a space of five days, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, accused the PDP- led government of withdrawing N150 billion in cash two weeks to the 2015 election. In a false sense of bravado, the PDP challenged Osinbajo to name the looters instead of brandishing figures. The federal government granted PDP’s wish and they started crying foul.
Saying the PDP never looted our treasury is like saying there are virgins in the maternity ward.
Some have accused the APC of playing politics. But of course, it’s all politics.We play politics with everything in Nigeria. Even at moments of national grief when we should unite as a nation and put politics aside, politicians still try to score cheap political points.
The opposition party has also released their own counter list in their own version of the comedy.
At the same time, I also believe the list is not yet complete. I expect to see the name of a certain person who helped rig the election in Ekiti and has now defected to the APC. The APC should stop being safe haven for looters and election riggers.
I also blame President Muhammadu Buhari for all this. If the president had capitalised on the euphoria of his coming in and the judiciary had treated some of this corruption cases with dispatch, some of them would be in Kuje or Kirikiri by now. But they have noticed that the anti-graft war has lost steam and some of the alleged looters have now become emboldened and are even threatening to go to court. Even if no court has pronounced them guilty, Nigerians have declared them guilty of perculating our common patrimony.
Even the former minister of Petroleum, Deizani Allison – Madueke, would be regretting for fleeing the country. I remember last year, she was begging to come back to Nigeria because she knows our judicial system. The way things are going, nobody will go to prison for looting our treasury.
We know how slow our Judicial process is and how compromised some of our lawyers and judges are. I must also commend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoggen on his effort in trying to rid the judiciary of bad eggs.
Back to our list, the federal government should also beam the searchlight on the civil service. Most of the corruption in Nigeria happen in the civil service. Apart from the armsgate, we should also take a look at the NNPC, NPA, FIRS and Customs. The government should not concentrate on arms’ money and opposition politicians alone.
Also, all those involved in the Malabu, Halliburton scam should be brought to book, no matter how highly placed they are. No matter what happens, the anti-graft corruption war must go on, even if some call it selective or skewed, we must start from somewhere.
Where Is Opposition In The Senate?
The opposition, PDP in the Senate, is supposed to be questioning all government policies, bills and actions.
I remember when the APC was formed in 2013, debates in the red chamber became very interesting. Then the APC had very sound and articulate lawmakers like Senators Olubunmi Adetumbi, Ahmed Lawan, Kabiru Marafa, Shola Adeyeye, Babafemi Ojudu, Omoworare Babajide who were giving the PDP- led Senate a run for their money. It was an interesting period in the Senate.
Incidentally in the 8th Senate, the three outspoken Senators who usually criticise government action and policies are APC Senators – Shehu Sani, Dino Melaye and Isah Misau. You would be forgiven to think sometimes that they are PDP Senators.
PDP Senators, led by Emmanuel Akpabio, Enyinaya Abaribe, Phillip Aduda and James Manager, are obviously sleeping on the job. But do you blame them, when you have APC Senators doing their job for them, all they need to do is just watch and enjoy the show.
Why Is Mantu Not In Police Custody?
Senate’s former deputy president, Ibrahim Mantu, last week, confessed to being a serial election rigger.
His words: “Yes, yes, I did. But I am now confessing the truth. What do I mean? I didn’t have to go and change election but you provide money. You give money to INEC boys to help; that is, they see any chance, they should try and favour you. You provide money for the security. All our elections in the past, I’ve been in the game for about 20 years.
“And I tell you, each time, it is not necessarily when I am contesting an election but when my party sponsors a candidate, I would like that candidate to win the election. What we used to do before is that, we make provision for INEC, we make provision for security, we make provision for even agents of other parties so that they would not raise any objection to what we are able to get. Whether I rig myself or not, but when I provide those resources to the officials, I am rigging election.
“I believe so because if people are born again like me and refuse to do it. We the players, unless we give before somebody will take. Don’t give so you will not get a taker,” he said.
Senator Mantu told us what we already now but what I find strange is that he is still walking about, a free man. A man just confessed to a crime on television and our security agencies are more interested in harassing journalists and collecting Roja on the streets than doing their jobs.
Hope Mantu is not planning to defect to APC so as to escape prosecution? If that happens, then we need to have a funeral service for the anti- corruption war.
The PDP has come out to deny Mantu. According to them, “The PDP has never directed or had any pact with him to rig election on its behalf. Never!
The last time I checked, we don’t have independent candidates in Nigeria. Mantu rigged on behalf of his party, the PDP and he was also an arrow head of the third term agenda of Saint Olusegun Obasanjo.
We also know all elections held in Nigeria since independence, had been rigged and the worst of the bunch was the 2007 elections that even the major beneficiary of the election, the late Umaru Yar’adua confessed that the election was marred with widespread malpractices.
The card reader in the 2015 elections was a game changer. Although the election was not perfect as there are no perfect elections anywhere in the world, the card reader minimised rigging to an extent.
By now, Mantu should be in custody, giving us more names of people who assisted him in rigging the election and on the botched third term agenda.