Monday, April 9, 2012

Nigeria Does Not Need Any Sovereign National Conference

President Goodluck Jonathan cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hounds if he honestly wants to transform Nigeria. Therefore, until he makes honesty is his best policy he will fail woefully.

I have been following the hue and cry of the growing consensus of many interest groups calling for a Sovereign National Conference to address the lingering north-south dichotomy caused by the recurrent ethno-religious crises plaguing Nigeria. But honestly what we need most for conflict resolution and true federalism is simply an incorruptible democracy. Cultural and religious differences are not the worst problems of Nigeria, but rampant corruption and maladministration and the reign of hypocrisy.

Now let me show you the cast of the motley crowd of those calling for Sovereign National Conference in Nigeria.

Many of the opinion leaders of these interest groups and their clowns calling for the so called Sovereign National Conference are strange bed fellows and partners in crime of the same corrupt and wicked public officials with their accomplices and beneficiaries in the private sector who have been cheating and exploiting the poor masses for decades by the misappropriations of public funds and underpaying their poor workers and other employees such as their poorly paid or even enslaved messengers, drivers, housemaids, stewards, security guards and other victims of their corruption and hypocrisy.
The same Smart Alec who says “okey-dokey” to the corrupt political contractor and has acquired properties through sharp practices is now pointing his crooked finger to accuse President Goodluck Jonathan and his cabinet of corruption. But he has not even paid the salaries of some workers and yet goes on a luxury vacation in Dubai or Miami!
The other one cheats his poor workers to save enough money to purchase a posh car. Another one owes a poor worker hundreds of thousands of naira, but he is living large to impress his equally corrupt peers in the society and grinning and laughing like a jackass in interviews on TV.

Even criminals operating illegal oil bunkers are calling for Sovereign National Conference when they should be arraigned and jailed for stealing millions of barrels of our crude oil every day and escaping with impunity to enjoy their stolen wealth.
What a black comedy as even the lionized Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka sits with them! So who is fooling whom? Please, excuse me!

In a dog eat dog situation with the ascendancy of the culture of impunity practiced and promoted by a corrupt ruling class, there will definitely be a breakdown of law and order as I have always said that when fools are in power, there will be disorder and that is the present predicament of Nigeria. Therefore, what we need most to eradicate the worst problems threatening the stability of our collective sovereignty is a revolution to sack the corrupt and incompetent office holders in government. And before anyone jumps to erroneous and ambiguous deductions, I am not calling for a coup, but a pragmatic reformation for the transformation of the nation by the rule of law. And it is possible!

Cartoon Credit: National Mirror.

A Sovereign National Conference will never put an end to corruption and ethno-religious crises as long as the cankerworms of corruptions and hypocrisy are still crawling and milling through the rank and file of public office and private lives.

You don’t need a conference to treat this sick patient called Nigeria since we already know the genesis and diagnosis of the Nigerian crisis which is the cancer of corruption and hypocrisy. So, the first thing is a surgical operation to remove the cancerous virus of corruption in the body politic of Nigeria and this is possible if we have a consensus in every political party to tackle corrupt practices at all levels of our national life, from the ward level in every local government area to the state government office and federal government office by taking pragmatic decisions for the thorough prosecution of every criminal suspect of corruption and maladministration without compromise or any plea bargain in every sector of public life and also our private lives and by the cultivation and promotion of the rule of equity at all levels.

We have to put an end to corruption in the civil service and private sector by stopping the common criminal practice of cheating and exploiting poor workers in Nigeria where the majority of the people live below the standard per capita income. The minimum wage must be fixed equitably to make sure that low income earners are well remunerated without the misappropriations of their salaries, basic allowances and fringe benefits.

Majority of rich Nigerians have ill-gotten riches by cheating and exploiting the poor masses and misappropriations of both public and private funds. They simply cheat and exploit the poor and also loot public treasuries to enrich themselves, their accomplices and beneficiaries who are masquerading as church going Christians and mosque going Muslims among us, and these corrupt criminals and hypocrites are the worst enemies of Nigeria. And we know everyone of them, because they are our neighbours everywhere in Nigeria. So, let us stop the charade of conceit and deceit and speak the truth that will set us free.

When you see the state of low income earners in Nigeria and their deprivations by both the government and private sector you will not be surprised why majority of Nigerians are corrupt and are all locked in the vicious circle of their dog eat dog situation in the rat race to outdo and outsmart themselves in their greed for money and power and to them the end justifies the means. That is why examination malpractices are rampant as both the younger and older Nigerians compete for the acquisition of prerequisite qualifications for gaining admissions into tertiary institutions and into professional institutions for more qualifications required for high income jobs and titular positions in the government and private sector to catch up with the Joneses in the social hierarchy of the status quo of their pseudo-capitalist society.

When you see the nightmarish deplorable state of the police and military barracks in Nigeria and the harrowing indignities suffered by the underpaid junior police and military officers you will no longer be surprised why majority of them collect bribes and extort money from their fellow citizens for both lawful and unlawful reasons. And why are they suffering these indignities? The misappropriations of their revenue allocations and deprivations of other provisions by the corrupt senior officers and government administrators have left the police and military barracks with dilapidated buildings and furniture and left the cheated and exploited junior officers in the lurch suffering in their squalid living conditions and sordid lives making them to careless about human dignity and integrity. So, why would they not be melancholic and psychotic? And what kind of children would be bred in such horrible and terrible environment? Anti-social miscreants and other mutants of the human race who will later become the numerous problems plaguing or civilization.

The campuses of majority of the tertiary schools in Nigeria are not different from the horrifying conditions of the police and military barracks and in many cases they are even worse, because toilets in the hostels have become so bad that both the male and female students and other residents on campuses have to use polythene bags and other containers for their daily excretion and the waste thrown into the open refuse dumps. There are shortages of regular water supply, power outages and other deprivations making them to suffer in horrible and terrible conditions and with miserable lives in the campus ghettos. Therefore these indignities make them to have low esteem and careless about human dignity and integrity and end up falling for the temptations of immoral and criminal lifestyles out of their frustration and desperation to escape from the indignities of their deprivations. So, sometimes, don’t blame the so called “runs babes” in the fast lane of life, because they want to escape from the nightmares of poverty and insecurity. The same insecurities push many of them into campus cults and other confraternities on and off campus in their competition and desperation to secure their lives, families and properties in the dog eat dog situation in Nigeria. And they carry on these ways of life after graduation and end up joining their corrupt godfathers and godmothers in the corridors of power in Nigeria. So, that is how the perpetuation of corruption continues to plague the Nigerian society.

If the members of the ruling class who continue to abuse and misuse the resources of Nigeria in public and private offices want to put an end to the insanity of terrorists like the Boko Haram, kidnappers and armed robbers, then they must first and foremost put an end to the insanity of their own corruption that has even destroyed more lives and properties than the Boko Haram, kidnappers and armed robbers in Nigeria.

When Nigerians stop behaving and living like dogs and put an end to their dog eat dog competition and desperation for affluence and begin the reformation and transformation of their lives to choose to live incorruptible lives in obedience to their conscience and equity in the rule of law, then there will be no more room to breed the melancholic and psychotic citizens and the lunatic fringe on rampage in different regions of Nigeria. And in fact, there will be no need for a Sovereign National Conference, because equity and the rule of law should be the foundation of the nation building of a New Nigeria with a true democratic government from the ward to the state house. God bless Nigeria.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Children of Heaven, Sleepless Night, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe, In the House of Dogs and the new books The Prophet Lied and Barack Obama and the American Dream. Chima is also the Publisher/CEO of the International Digital Post Network Limited, publishers of Nigerians Report, Nigerian Times and other blogs, King of Kings Books International and founder of the annual Eko International Film Festival, Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project and partnerships with Startup Weekend and other international companies.

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