From Democracy To Babacracy

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From Democracy To Babacracy : The Obasajonisation Of Nigerian Politics

 

By

 

Jide Ayobolu

jideayobolu@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

November 1, 2006

 

What we have witnessed in the past few weeks is the country is a political tragedy of monumental proportion, the subversion of the rule of law by an agency of government all in the name of fighting corruption, which have not only been selective but outrightly lopsided. EFCC has been used by the president in pursuing his gale of impeachments proceedings, thereby engulfed the polity with ceaseless political tension, in pursuance of his third term agenda. It will be very germane to know exactly what the EFCC has done about countless allegations made against the president, aleast he is not immuned from investigation, for instance,  Engr. Hamman Tukur, chairman, RMAFC, has said repeatedly that, the president unilaterally withdrew $13.1 billion from the excess crude oil, without the knowledge and consent of the National Assembly, only for him to seek retrospective legislative approval for the sum of N140billion, saying that the money was spent for two additional days of the head count, without any accountability. He also unilaterally withdrew the sum of $1, 062, 591,071.85 from the consolidated revenue fund of the federation, without legislative authorization for the power sector. Again, the National Assembly also queried why more than N.3trillion was paid in excess of the amount owed to the Paris Club, similarly during 2002/2003 oil blocks biddings $700 was realized, but only the sum of about $145million was released to the PTDF, so where is the balance and who used it under what law or which appropriation subhead. In the same vein, N90billion was squandered on the rehabilitation of Nigeriaís four refineries within the first five years of Obasanjo governance without any tangible result, why not move against the contractors, and sanction them in the spirit of the anti-graft law? Why not take Tony Anenih to task about N320billion that was given to the federal ministry of works? Why not investigate the president over his 200shares in Transcorp? How did the presidentís son get the funds to buy a house in the U.S.? Why not take Bode George to task about the N84billion fraud in NPA? Why not take Ibrahim Mantu to task over the misuse of N400million 2005 hajj, where many people that had paid up their bills could not travel for the pilgrimage to Mecca? The EFCC has kept sealed lips on the above raised critical issues that bothers on corruption, and the rationalization offered by EFCC is too simplistic, reactionary and totally escapist, its excuses are very unconvincing and predicated on voodoo statistics that are totally baseless.

The State of emergency that is sweeping across different states in the country presently through the instrumentality of the EFCC, on behalf of the president in a great threat to democracy, the president and EFCC pretend as if they are really fighting corruption when in actual fact, they are the most corrupt and needs to be brought to book. They have carried on as if, every other person is corrupt and they are the only clean people, but the reverse is the case. The state of emergency was contrived by the president, promoted by the president and foisted by the president. What is in place in Nigeria is dictatorship, not democracy, democracy has completely collapsed. In the emerging scenario, the operatives of the anti-graft agency bundle members of a state house of assembly to either Abuja or Lagos and coerce them into removing their state chief executive. EFCC is arm-twisting of legislators to impeach their governors. It is in this regard that Professor Wole Soyinka said that, the flagrant disobedience of court orders, the resort to unconstitutional methods to achieve political aims and the gangster approach to the fight against corruption portend great danger for democracy. In a related development, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) likened the situation in Ekiti to what happened in Bayelsa, Oyo and being replicated in Plateau and Anambra states. According to CDD, the EFCC has been politicized and risks losing legitimacy. It accused the federal government of aiding and abetting the impeachment of a governor, allowing the installation of an acting governor and facilitating the declaration of the deputy governor as acting governor.

At this juncture it is important to point out that, Obasanjo was involved in the impeachment plot from the onset, the president was regularly briefed on the plot in Ekiti and he endorsed the removal of Fayose and Olujimi. On receipt of the EFCC report, Obasanjo summoned Fayose to Abuja for a meeting. He asked him to read the report as well as another one submitted by the SSS. The SSS report linked him with politically motivated killings in the state. Obasanjo told him pointedly to resign and go abroad, pending when attention would have shifted from him, but Ahmadu Ali and Bode George asked Fayose not to resign. So, the question to ask is, is this how to fight corruption? It means the president is rabidly corrupt for tacitly encouraging corruption. It is even more important to say that, PDP is a party of strange bed fellows, pursuing different political agenda for different political reasons, there is no party discipline. In spite of the fact that Obasanjo, Ali and George are all retired military men, who belong to the same party and are holding sensitive positions in the same party that formed the government, they donít agree on what to do. It shows very evidently that Obasanjo donít consult them before taken crucial decision and they in turn, undermined the presidentís directives as was the case in Ekiti.

Obasanjo has militarized politics in Nigeria, he has no democratic credentials, and he was imposed on the country in 1999 that was the people of the south-west did not vote for him in 1999. On the Plateau issue, there is no way Dariye could have been said to be guilty of corruption that the national officials of the PDP, including president Obasanjo would not be similarly indicted for receiving and using the donation of N100million for party purpose, only for the president to refund the money after a while. In some other civilized countries it is the president that would have resigned first. And, if Dariye must be put on trail, the president and the national officers of the PDP must follow suit.

In any case, the Plateau State governor has explained that the ecological fund in question was distributed in the following ways, namely, out of N1, 161,162,900.00; the Plateau State government gave N250million to Plateau Radio and Television Corporation, while the state government took N550million, Union Homes was paid N80million, PDP south-west and national secretariat N100million, the state PDP N66million and Senator Mantu N10million. So, what does EFCC makes of this?

The central point in all of this, is that president Obasanjo does not want to leave power, and this is because of his so many atrocities, particularly as it has to do with blatant corruption of unimaginable proportions, the president since he came to power has engaged in several shady and under- the- table- deals, he has however used his office to protect himself, that is why he wants to hang on to power, as well as declare state of emergency in so many states as possible, particularly in states where the governors are not likely to support his tenure elongation agenda, the point that should be strongly made is that Obasanjo is more corrupt than any of the state governors in the country today, this was a man who could not boast of N20,000 in his bank account in 1998, in fact, he was  indebted to the tune of over N200million to various banks, so how come that few years after he is perhaps the richest Nigerian, and he is not in private business, he has been in government all the while so, what is the source of his sudden stupendous wealth? Obasanjo is a common thief. The EFCC has deliberately refused to investigate allegations of corruption against the president, because they think he is above the law and can therefore do no wrong.

Therefore, it will not be out of place to reason that the EFCC is not fighting corruption in Nigeria; instead it has become an outlaw organization that is more interested in political power. Obasanjo is not a democrat, he does not believe in democracy, by his actions, comportment, utterances and disposition, he is dictatorial, hence, he is more at home with the military tactics rather than democratic ethos, that is why he has no regard for anybody, he uses people and dump them, he wantonly abuses people and look down on them. This is why it is important to note that, the beneficiary of democratic rule since 1999 are not those that suffered and fought the military for democracy to flourish. They are military apologists who wined and dined with military jackboots, hence, they want to deliberate plunge the country to the old dark days of military rule. It is for this reason that Obasanjo remains a bull-in Ėthe-china-shop in a democratic setting, and he is a disaster to democracy and a curse to the Nigerian state, and these are is contributions to Nigerian politics.

      

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