/ The Nigerian corruption mess
January 8 2016 By Abiodun Giwa/Opinion
Newspaper reports said that the Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, reacted to reports linking a reception in his honor that costs N82 million to corruption. The news report said that some members of the country's opposition party have questioned why the Nigeria's federal government has not probe the reception given in PortHarcourt in River State by the former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi, who is currently Nigeria's minister for transport, that costs the state government a prohibitive price.
The current government in Nigeria is currently waging a war against corruption, which observers say is not only lopsided, but an outright war of vengeance against the opposition party. Many Nigerians appear to share this view, because sources say that what many Nigerians have expected is a new beginning that would put the country on a better footing, but what they seem to have is a continuation of a war against corruption and a battle of survival of the fittest among warring politicians.
Many Nigerians have given justification for the questioning of Sambo Dasuki, a former Chief Security officer to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, for the diversion of the money that was meant for the purchase of military wares for the fight against Boko Haram. Virtually all sections of the country and who is who in the current opposition party that formerly was the ruling party that controlled the federal apparatus had money given to them by the former CSO. The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, and the country's Guild of Editors are not exempted from the collection of the booty.
The NPAN had explained it collected money for its members for the loss they suffered, when their newspapers were seized by soldiers before the elections and that the president approved the payment of the money to them. The former president of the Guild of Editors, Femi Adesina, who is now the president's spokesman, said that the officers currently in charge of the Guild would explain the acceptance and the use of the money to the public. Yet, when he was the MD of the Sun Newspapers, the newspaper was one the papers that shared from the money taken by the NPAN, later returned after truth had leaked.
One question people are asking is whether the reason that the only people that are being questioned now by law enforcement agents are former functionaries and member of the former ruling is because of the money shared around by Dasuki, and that possibly when other investigations begin, the dragnet will go beyond members of the former ruling party. But the negative aspect of the current investigation is the mention that that the serving president has benefitted from the sharing from the number of bullet proof cars assigned to him by Dasuki after he was attacked by Boko Haram. The president has explained that he has never taken any $300,000.00 mentioned as having been given to him with the cars.
It Dasuki has said that he has given money to the former opposition leader along with bullet proof cars before becoming president, and after becoming president the new president agrees that he has taken the cars but not the money, how would the public who is saying the truth? The president's spokesman had argued that the president was officially entitled to those cars as a former head of state at the time the cars were given to him. Another former governor who was said to have used about N80 million to set up a website for his use while in office has become the Minister for Housing, Power and .
No single member of the new ruling party, most of who were formerly members of the old ruling party are being questioned for anything. Sola Saraki, the current senate president, who ran into trouble for with his party and was arraigned for past corruption charges, having hijacked the senate presidency against the ruling party's plan, seems to have the enjoyment of a plan for soft landing. It seems veritably that it is a grace to be members of the ruling party and a crime to belong to the opposition.
It is why the statement credited to the Nobel Laurate in which he said that 'corruption is fighting back', because some of the opposition party members have raised the issue of the N82 million reception given him by a former governor, now a minister for transport, is viewed by observers as not only inappropriate, but unexpected of a learned fellow like the Nobel Laureate, and that if Nigeria is a country, where accountability and equality before the law is applicable, those politicians who have reportedly misappropriated funds in the past, would never appointed ministers again.