“With gratitude to God for a life well spent…,” is a popular cliché in many Nigerian obituaries.
As I put pen to paper to comment on the reactions that have greeted the “Nigeria-is-a-fantastically-
corrupt-nation” view expressed by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, I wish to modify that obituary cliché for the purpose of this piece:
“With gratitude to God for a nation well ridiculed, I, a proud Nigerian adult, Babatunde Odesola, express utter support for the views expressed by Mr David Cameron…”
Bemusedly, I read the reactionary pros and cons that have boiled over since the video of the ‘private exchange’ was leaked to the press.
The reactions against the Cameron video point at one thing: Why Nigeria has remained stagnant. They also point the way to the bumpy road of perfidy where Nigeria has been in more than three decades.
If I were Cameron, I wouldn’t dignify this big-for-nothing lame giant with a reply because, to start with, the so-called video was not an official comment. It was a gist, a gossip meant for the ears of the Queen and the other two or three officials present.
Shebi, later this month, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would be one year in office. In the last 350-something days, what has the administration done but chase corrupt politicians and officials whose DNAs are wired to corruption?
The major preoccupation of the Buhari administration is war against corruption, is it not? And we have spent billions of naira to battle this scourge, or have we not?
Our President has been more in the air than on the land, flying from one country to the other, begging Switzerland, Canada, America, Britain, Panama, etc to refund wealth stolen from Nigeria by Nigerians. What a shameless country!
The outcry against Cameron’s home truth shows why Nigerians are lethargic to truth. It shows why our councillors do nothing and earn more than our professors.
It shows why our leaders steal more than they could ever need in this lifetime and hereafter, it shows why it took Britain to try and convict James Onanefe Ibori, that common felon, who stole Nigeria’s (mark you, not Britain’s) money. It shows why all courts, plus including the Almighty Supreme Court, apologies to Zebrudaya, freed Ibori.
The outcry against Cameron’s bitter truth shows why another giant bug, DIE, yes DIEprieye Alamieseigha, fled justice home and abroad only for Nigerians to hail him as the savior of the Ijaw nation!
What about the other Ijebu vermin and SINator, Esho Jinadu, that put himself under house arrest in order to escape from the ‘short hand’ of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission? If anyone says I stole money, I will be ready and willing to clear my father’s name from such an allegation.Kashamu, se o ngbo? No, don’t get me wrong o.
This piece is not saying that politicians in the All Progressives Congress are any better than those in the PDP. Abi, where are politicians like Jim Nwobodo, Alao-Akala, Udoma etc today?
I still remember the way the Prince of Okuku, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, described the way Action Congress of Nigeria politicians steal money. He said, “Keep palm oil and boiled yam in a room with an ACN politician (name withheld)”.
Oyinlola said you won’t see the oil and yam in the hand or mouth of the ACN politician, but when you put a stethoscope to the belly of the ACN politician, there you would find the yam and oil. Scientific stealing!
Truly, the outcry against Cameron’s comment is why the power distribution companies won’t supply you power, yet you would be assailed with ‘crazy bills’ and you won’t complain. It is the reason why politicians who crawled and begged for your votes become your ‘lord and master’ the very day they are sworn-in.
Look at our roads, our hospitals, our schools. Are they fit for humans? It is shocking that we could open our mouths like ‘aja mi lo pa’ and complain that someone told our political class what they are: Blinking thieves!
Why are we always emotional stupidly? And stupidly ‘patriotic’? Have you ever seen a Briton, or an American steal from his country and bring such money down to Nigeria to keep? If we don’t have the balls to call our politicians what they are, do we need to castigate Cameron?
When was life more tolerable for Nigerians, under British rule or under self rule?
That Cameron had good words for Buhari, whom he described as not corrupt and trying very hard to fight corruption, shows how sincerely he felt Buhari is battling corruption.
It is a few minutes to 1am, in the ‘morning’ you will wake up to continue the battle against lack of fuel, lack of power supply, inflation, insecurity and impunity – all caused by corruption….and you blame Cameron? Ok o.
The Prime Minister is also noted to have said, “We’ve got the leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain.”
However, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev. Justin Welby, who was among those present, intervened on Buhari’s behalf, saying, “This particular President is not himself corrupt.”
Nigeria has been ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International for years.
However, Buhari rode to power in 2015 promising to tackle corruption, the insurgency in the North East and to reposition the country for growth.
His anti-corruption campaign has led to the arrest and arraignment of several past government officials, exposing huge corruption scandals – one of the biggest being the arms deal scandal involving between $2.1b and $15b.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, on Saturday said Buhari would present a keynote address entitled ‘Why we must tackle corruption together’.
While supporters of the President have hailed the anti-corruption war and cheered him on, opponents have argued that it is being used as a political tool to decimate opposition.
UK publication, Daily Mail echoed the latter sentiment in a report on Sunday, which accused the President of living lavish and sending his daughter to £26,000-year-school in the UK in contrast to the frugal lifestyle he promotes.
The article has, however, been condemned by many Nigerians, including Peoples Democratic Party Senator, Ben Murray-Bruce, who warned Nigerians against allowing the Western media to demean their leaders.
By Tunde Odesola