By Abdul Abdullahi
What is the latest news about Naija? Still very awful if not sad! It is not about men biting dogs but how heroes are produced from the ‘corruption village’.
That notwithstanding, the oppressed people could have made the other catchy news by mobilising themselves into a formidable force to profer stern warning on the huge atrocities perpetuated by their unjust rulers. Both Plateau and Taraba are relatively underdeveloped states that cannot afford to suffer financial crimes committed by their greedy leaders.
I anticipated that the Plateauneans and the Tarabans would have taken over the streets enmasse to tell their sorrowful story and ought to have reminded the authorities the shocking tale of those who swore to protect their lives and properties, but later betrayed them, found guilty of stealing their hard earned money and started paying their dues in prison, until Buhari freed them unconditionally.
This should have been the unanimous reaction to the federal government’s emotional outburst that ‘ Dariye and Nyame were pardoned on health ground’. But what about the consequences of looting the money that would have been put in place to fix our public hospitals adequately so that lives could be saved? Organising is not antagonising.
Exploiting or oppressing is not a right to be exercised by the exploiter or oppressor. In the event of protecting the oppressor however, a single, sonorous and intimidating voice should naturally emerge to rent the air through organised settings so that the government can learn the bitter lesson that the legitimate right to pardon economic saboteurs belongs to the masses. After all, a cardinal and campaign promise of Buhari was fighting corruption with ‘zero tolerance’ .
It is a kind of adulterated politics to bring health issue as a supporting factor to free Dariye and Nyame. The closest associates of Mr. President did not provide an effective service to halt that insulting decision of showing mercy to leaders who were not merciful to their subjects when they were raping public treasury.
Their criminal acts might have resulted into deaths as a result of bad roads which the stolen money could have been channelled for road rehabilitation or construction.
The clemency was so controversial that it disowned the fundamental rights of followers to be duly protected by their leaders.
Dariye and Nyame’s state pardon can teach us the lessons of gains and losses. While the federal government hardly counts any justified gains, the responses of the general public can assist it to count their numerous losses. The loss of memory on the part of Buhari’s advisers is very significant here.
The obnoxious verdict shows loss of memory on what will be the repercussions of this act. It is followed by a substantial loss of integrity of the government.
A survey of Nigerians’ opinions can confirm this. Loss of confidence on the government is another failure because there is a great imbalance between fighting corruption and setting free the notorious agents of corruption.
The next loss is the fall of focus on the crusade against corruption of the government. Diminishing the credible status of the EFCC is another big loss. It is interesting to note that the anti crime body had to spend millions of naira, 11 years pursuing the case to its logical conclusion.
It is yet another great setback for the judiciary which convicted the two culprits. It is still another loss for particularly Femi Adesina who failed to build a protective house for the continuous assault of Buhari’s image in this debacle.
Indeed, there are many other losses that can now serve as the beginning of wisdom for the government to avert future losses.
‘Corruption Village’ is an appropriate expression that contextually stands relevant. To corruption, he always reminds us that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.
At one time, Baba Buhari was so optimistic, stating that if it were in a military regime, all those standing trials for corrupt practices would have been jailed by him.
These are a reminiscence of yesterday’s events to explain today’s inconsistencies.
For comparison sake, the incorruptible Balarabe Musa was put in jail for committing no economic crimes when Buhari was a military ruler. Eventually, Musa contracted ailment for which the authorities found no justification to free him until General Ibrahim Babangida seized power.
But here are two convicted governors who stole billions of naira belonging to the people, were serving various jail terms to atone for their sins but got released on ‘deteriorating health’ ground.
But it seems the government knows pain but does not know how the people feel it. The victims of Dariye and Nyame’s established felony are still feeling the pain, albeit it may be invisible. From 1999 to 2007, Joshua Chibi Dariye thereby dubiously and criminally enriching himself and abusing public trust, while his subjects were wallowing in abject poverty. He also got 14 years jail term.
The wisdom behind the freedom of these corrupt leaders remains known to the government alone.
To clean them of this great sin is a task that cannot be accomplished by the government. They will remain bearers of sins as recorded by the indefatigable history.
The worst had been committed by these two people and the best had been done by the government to make them heroes.
But what justice will the casualties of their economic sabotage get? When Nigerians decided to make Buhari a hero, it was out of his unflinching integrity unsuccumbing to corrupt deals. Nigerians ranked him the best anti corruption crusader in 2015 by ensuring his victory at the polls.
They were fully convinced that Buhari would off root the deadly seeds of corruption. They were over ambitious that corrupt people would have no breeding space. Seven years in office however, the face of adequately conceptualize it, a village comprises of an insignificant number of people compared to towns. Similarly, corruption perpetuators are also a tiny number out of our high population.
In qualified villages, uncivilised practices are actively a social cancer that breeds social diseases and retards progress. In today’s corruption village, the promoters are uncivilized in boosting the illicit trade.
With this infamous policy of the government, the corruption village is making progress with new heroes. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari was so lavishly moved by ballot box snatching that he ordered for the shooting of the offenders to inject sanity into the election process.
Mr. President also exhibited no nonsense and uncompromising style that those who smuggled rice into the country should not be tolerated. In his campaigns against was Plateau state executive governor. After his exit as a governor, he left behind a war torn people engineered by his recklessness. He committed the financial crime of stealing billions of naira belonging to the people he ‘ served’.
He massively looted the state treasury to the tune of 2 billion naira. The Supreme Court found him guilty of criminal misappropriation and criminal breach of trust through diverting the state ecological fund and sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment. Reverend Jolly Nyame was the executive governor of Taraba state between 1999 and 2007. Within the period under review, he raped the state treasury amounting to 1.6 billion.
He fraudulently transferred the money from the state treasury to a company, Saman Global for the purchase of office equipment and stationeries that were never delivered corruption still remains very attractive.
The best the EFCC could do has now been reversed in favour of corruption and not the nation. With this new development, Buhari’s heroism in corruption fight has further deteriorated alarmingly as he has also been accused of condoning corrupt practices involving some of his cabinet members.
The truth of this matter will definitely unravel itself when Buhari steps down for another president in 2023. Hopes are now dwindling. All corruption cases should be closed with immediate effect.
The fight against corruption should be suspended indefinitely because petty thieves are wallowing as well as perishing, while notorious and sophisticated looters such as Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame are regaining freedom!
Welcome to the corruption village!.