To start with, I ask on behalf of the voiceless citizens of Nigeria: where in this world is Mr. Andrew Yakubu, ex GMD, NNPC, who was accused of stashing over 3billion naira in his house in Kaduna? After he was comically arrested, he was put behind bars for a few days. And this is December, 2017; Mr. Andrew has vanished off the radar.
For the umpteenth time, Nigerians are asking: Where in this world is Mr.Yakubu? Also, after a court granted ex-Defence Chief, Alex Badeh, 2billion naira bail, he too has disappeared off the radar. Nigerians are asking: where is Alex Badeh too? In case you help the citizens of Nigeria find them, kindly report to the highest authority in the land. Let me hastily move to the main issue before me right now.
Nigeria is a nation of side-splitting orders. Ours is a homeland that does not have any reverence for Executive, Legislative and Court orders, especially when men and women of influence and affluence are deeply involved. On the 9th of September, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari gave a matching order to security operatives to fish out those behind the gruesome murder of innocent citizens Plateau. Till this moment, how many blood-sucking demons in human skin have been fished out?
When it comes to terrorism in Nigeria, I am of the opinion that the real terrorists are not those—who are in the field—killing the helpless people of Nigeria. Those who are shedding innocent blood are mere puppets, but those who are feeding; clothing and bankrolling all their activities are the puppeteers. And until you take care of the puppeteers, chasing the puppets is a waste of time and money. The real Boko Haram fighters are not those slaughtering and bombing, but the real terrorists are those who are heavily sustaining them financially. These are questions begging for answers: Who are those bankrolling their nefarious activities? How are they daily feeding themselves? How are they bringing guns and bullets into the country? How do they bring the vehicles they are using into the country?
Also, in the month of May, 2017, the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ordered the Federal Government to “immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high-ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.” Till this moment, has that judicial order been honored? Ours is a lawless nation. And there is no lawless nation that shall be truly great. Prayer and empty religion can never take the place of the rule of law. The truth is, every 3rd world country is lawless and Nigeria is sadly one of them.
President Buhari has ordered release of prisoners in unnecessary detentions nationwide. He directed governors and state chief judged to release prisoners who are unnecessarily detained as part of reforms in the judiciary. The president gave the directive to the states that over-crowding prisons and some other noticeable problems in judiciary have caused loss of confidence in the system. The question is: have they carried out the president’s orders? No. Don’t we still have prisoners in unnecessary detentions nation-wide?
Furthermore, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered former President, Goodluck Jonathan to appear before it to testify as a witness in defense of a former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Part, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh. Has he appeared before it to testify? Those who unduly criticized Goodluck—do not know where we are coming from as a people.
Let me take you a little down memory lane, within the context of Oputa Panel. In synopsis, Oputa Panel also known as the Human Rights violation Investigations Commission was formed on June 14, 1999 by President Olusegun Obasanjo as a Truth Commission to heal the wounds of the past and move beyond them through reconciliation based on knowledge of the truth. It was mandated to establish the causes, nature and extent of human rights violations between January 15, 1966 and May 28, 1999. The commission received over 10,000 petitions and heard cases related to an alleged military coup that implicated former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua, communal conflicts within the Ife and Modakeke communities in Ogoniland and the murder of Dele Giwa, a journalist. Many perpetrators of human rights violation refused to appear before the panel. One of our shameful cultures is blatant contempt for the rule of law, especially when it affects those in the corridors of power.
Sixteen years ago, Dr. Femi Ajayi said and I quote verbatim: “The irony of life is that when laws are made in Nigeria, according to the Generals, it’s only the poor people that the laws are meant for. Poor man that stole a cow would have his arms amputated and the Local Government Chairman or any commissioner that inflated contract prices would still go on the Nigerians streets with all his arms, legs intact…The ex-military generals cowardness, woke up the sleeping butterflies in my stomach about their non-appearance at the Oputa Commission…” It is—like the ex-generals, like the politicians.
Two months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari directed all relevant agencies to compile documents on names of all suspected looters with a view to promptly enforcing the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos ordering the government to release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered. President Buhari has ordered the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and other relevant agencies involved in the recovery of looted funds to promptly put the document together with a view to fully and promptly enforcing the judgment by Justice Shagari. Has those names been released to Nigerians? You and I do know the answer. If it were to be the names of those who are poor, it would have been sent to the “BBC” and “CNN.” Let us keep the show of trickery going while vainly expecting a giant nation to grow without it being planted.