They Raped This Country

Forget about your party affiliations or your inordinate love for one politician over the other. Forget about your so-called political philosophy and idealism for a moment. Forget about your allegiance to any of the political class in the country and let this inimical reality drive home: Our country was raped with reckless abandon. This rape was perpetrated in different phases over the last two decades. It was meted out to us primarily by leaders who for their today mortgaged the future of this nation. It was an atrocity committed by the 180 million dollars Halliburton scandal, the 16 billion dollars Power sector debacle, the 2 billion dollars Dasuki gate, and until recently the millions that were traded in the Ekiti gate; to mention but a few. This rape collapsed our fledging institutions and made a mockery of our nascent democracy. There is only one way of saying it: This nation was mindlessly raped. Consider this: Each day in the heydays of the Oil price at 110 dollars and an exchange rate of 150 naira to a dollar, the country made about 41.2 billion naira daily (At 2.5 million daily production). In a month, that was about 1.2 trillion naira and 14.4 trillion naira annually from Oil production alone.

While Tope Aluko's revelations on the Ekiti gate might have excited discussion points on several media platforms, it was another rude reminder of how much we have been duped in this country. It is true that power corrupt, but the escalated proportion of what we have witnessed in Nigeria is just out of this world. There must be something fundamentally wrong with the mind of a man that will choose to divert funds meant for waging a war against insurgency that is taking the lives of many, primarily those from this man's region, to frivolous activities. In a country still blighted by all sorts of ills and struggling with the basics of life, it defies reason how only a few were able to control the collective wealth of the people. The real question is not whether the revelations made by Former PDP Secretary, Tope Aluko, were true. It is more a question of what more don’t we know. Today, for the actions of those few, we all have to pay. The burden of the foreign exchange, the ridiculous bank charges and the new electricity tariffs are all reflections of how we have to now contribute to building this nation all over again. Over 16 years after a return to democracy, this is our national narrative, our national reality.

Relinquishing power peacefully might have been his finest moment, but one wonders if there is any other positive thing to remember erstwhile president, Goodluck Jonathan for. The atrocities that ran on rampage during his watch were surreal, so much so that we are tempted to believe that while he was a cohort in some of them, he might have been blindsided for the most part. The criticism against him has never been one of him being a bad person; it was more around his capacity, the things he allowed to thrive in his stead. Whatever your conclusions about Goodluck Jonathan were, one fact cannot be eroded: Corruption and impunity attained new status under his regime.

In the light of all these, one is forced to spare a thought for the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. Many have said that all he has done since his attainment of office has been to wage the war against corruption, allowing other sectors, chief of which is the economy to suffer. The criticism might be a fair one when we consider that policies are required to drive an economic direction. Having said that, it is foolhardy to undermine the current fight against corruption on just that basis. Ours is a broke nation at the moment and recouping any available funds is fundamental to oil any policy of this government. However, the truth is that if we put together all the courts and tribunals in this nation, they are not enough to prosecute all the corruption cases that have been wrought over the past two decades. In addition, this war should be holistic. There are cases of untold malpractices in several sectors that should be attended to. From Economy to Power, some people have some answering to do. This war against corruption is beyond Dasuki gate. Yet, even at this point, with several other revelations still to be unearthed, the truth remains: Our nation was raped, mindlessly.


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