By Christie DOyin
When Senator Smart Adeyemi asked ‘what is the future of the Nigerian nation’ on the floor of the Senate Chamber, during a plenary, I realised that it is a question that has been bugging the minds of millions of Nigerians, and such that we are yet to find answer.
Though one would have thought that he was going to give us the answer or proffer solution(s) to those problems that gave birth to the question of what the future of the nation is.
Can one really give a definite answer or a blanket solution to the series of corruption problems facing the Nigeria nation? Very pathetic.
Within the space of two weeks, we have recorded cases of allegations of corruption and fraudulent practices from such places that have left many Nigerians wondering if there is any hope for the country.
I’m talking about the probe, exposition or call it investigation, perhaps revealer questioning of the former Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, by a presidential committee headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami, which tipped him (Magu) against the Attorney General of the Federation AGF, Malami against each other in accusations and counter accusations on matters of corruption and those bordering on corruption, the probe of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC’s immediate past former Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei, the man who decided to ‘faint’ rather than subject himself to the rigour of answering ‘point blank’ but pertinent questions around the alleged financial recklessness in the commission and how he and others spent N81.5 billion during this period of lockdown as a result of the novel corona virus pandemic and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who revealed how National Assembly ‘honourable members have been benefitting and enjoying contracts emanating from the money milling machine called NDDC as well as the embattled former acting managing director of the agency, Joy Nunieh, who had also earlier appeared before the committee.
And of course that of North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Managing Director.
Whatever you decide to call it does not matter, the fact is that the activities of looking deeper than usual at what was happening in those organisations were more than opening can of worms, really, I would rather call it opening ‘drums of worms’.
According to reports, Pondei, who appeared with other management staff of the commission, had earlier led a walk out on the committee on first appearance, accusing the chairman of the house committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, of corruption. An accusation which the lawmaker, who represents Akoko North East/West Federal Constituency of Ondo state, described as shameful and baseless.
Pondei had said because of that, his team will not speak before the committee. When he eventually he did and facts started rolling out, he supposedly fainted and that was all. It’s a case of what I call Nigeria we hail thee.
However, it is no longer news that the probe that opened the ‘drums of worms’, rather got messy as there were alleged threats to the lives of Joy Nunieh as well as an attempt to arrest or abduct her by some people who claimed to be policemen without a warrant of arrest.
Similarly, the Federal House of Representatives also ordered investigation into an alleged missing N100 billion fronm the purse of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC). A whooping hundred billion naira for crying out loud!
Mr Mohammed Goni Alkali of NEDC was also indicted and accused of frivolous spending, in a motion moved by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu. According to Elumelu, alleging that the sum of N100 billion given to the commission by the Federal Government, had ”vanished” because Goni was awarding nonexistent contracts.
In his words; “The N100 billion so far disbursed to the commission by the federal government is said to have vanished under a year without any visible impact on the refugees nor any infrastructural development credited to the name of the commission in the whole of the north-east.
In a related development, the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, secured the final forfeiture of thirteen barges and tugboats as a result of alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering activities.
If not corruption, it is stealing and and other fraudulent practices.
These day, there seems not to be an end to cases of corruption under the apostle of anti corruption President of this seemingly great nation.
Each day, there is always one thing or the other happening as well as one corruption allegation or the other and counter indictments that makes one imagine if there is rule of law in the country or any sane mind among the so-called leaders that parade themselves in the corridors of power.
So pathetic a story that sends jitters down the spine of those not finding the situation funny at all.
And to say that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, would reportedly come out boldly to say that the Federal Government cannot afford the cumulative N300 billion grant demanded by 500,000 exiting beneficiaries of the N-Power.
When will we get it right, or is the country cursed?
Without mincing words, I still maintain my stand that Nigerians have entered a one-chanced bus and will only come out by divine intervention.
Really, I think it’s about time we start seeking answer to the question of what the future of the country could be.
Doyin writes from Ilorin via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Christie DOyin