Archive for November, 2008

IS THERE A WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA?

November 14, 2008

When I was much younger, I used to think only one thing whenever war is mentioned. I used to thing only of a situation in which two or more countries or group of people fight against each other over a period of time with different weapons on different fronts. Little did I know then that it can also mean a fight or effort over a period of time to get rid of or stop something unpleasant in the society. It was exactly the period of the “War Against indiscipline”, anchored strictly then by General Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon. The emergence of the War Against Indiscipline with all the seriousness that was attached to it gave me another meaning of war.

 

 

But it looked like that meaning of war I got from the War Against Indiscipline disappeared from my memory when that government was overthrown. The subsequent government looked like they declared before emergence that they would not continue that war or have anything to do with anything war against anything. One of my teachers back then told me that he believed that only the likes of Idiagbon were fit and qualified to rule a country like Nigeria. I asked him why he held that opinion, and he did say that tough countries need tough leaders who are hard and soft at the same time. He said the ‘Idiagbon approach’ to issues is the only kind of approach that can effectively change things in Nigeria because of our nature as a people.

 

 

Many years after that period of the war against indiscipline, we do not seem to see anything like that or close to that. And it is not as if we have had saints as public office holders and leaders. Many have described our nation as one of the most corrupt nations. We have had various abuse of power, abuse of human rights and different levels of corruption since then. I was reading from a particular website recently that the major percentage of corruption happened after the war against indiscipline and the year 2000. Many of the people accused of being responsible for the embezzlement of state funds are still alive and walking free. The ones that are dead were walking free until their demise. This is one of the reasons our public office holders are not scared about looting the state treasuries.

 

 

People are deterred from committing certain offences because of the punishment meted on offenders. But with this antecedent, the present generation and the upcoming generation are but encouraged to go ahead with corrupt ways knowing that their predecessors were all above the law. We have had different anti-graft agencies which had been programmed to fail from inception. We have had many probes without results. The child that was born when the Okigbo panel was constituted would be in secondary school or higher institution by now or may have finished. But nothing had come out of it, even the where about of the report is not known not to talk of its content. Justice Oputa panel and the likes have all looked like exercises in futility. Recently, the legislators started their own probes. What have come out of them? They were only good enough for headlines in the media with no seriousness attached.

 

 

The last administration did setup anti-graft agencies which the present administration also inherited. The activities of the anti-graft agencies did not have credibility because they were turned into witch hunting exercises by the executive against its perceived enemies and declaring its own saints. But we know they were not saints going by the revelations of scams by the legislators at different levels. I am bothered about our judicial system. Our judicial system looks like fashioned to favour the elite in our society. I have seen many incarcerated for minor offences, and the bigger looters of our treasuries walking around as free citizens. The symbol of justice with the scales looks like it would always tilt to the side of the elite who can afford to pay legal charges to hire credible lawyers. Judicial officers in the recent past had manifested that justice is not cheap and can only be got by money bags and people who had looted state funds.

 

 

Is there really a war against corruption in Nigeria? The new head of the EFCC was reported in the press as saying she did not inherit the case files her predecessor claimed they were working on which we applauded then. Does it mean he appeared before the senate then to give us false hope about the activities of the anti-graft agency or that the files had found themselves in the trashcan thereafter? I do not seem to understand the whole drama since his removal from office. Many are insinuating that his removal was orchestrated by the bigwigs under the green and red umbrella who felt he had done beyond his mandate by arresting some former governors and office holders who contributed immensely towards their “pseudo success” at the polls. It is very noticeable that the heat and fear of the anti-graft agencies had died down and the fire they generated had been overwhelmed by the antics of the godfathers and their sons. Credible people in the polity had advised that we give the new boss of EFCC time and chance to settle into real action. Even honourable people like the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu had recommended her. Let us hope she would prove these people right with the right initiatives and vigour required.

 

 

So far not so good or good at all. I do not know of any genuine war against corruption. The legislators had shown that the voice of their godfathers is now the voice of the gods. The voice of the people has been resounding even in the heavenlies about the freedom of information bill but the same people who claim they represent the people are not seeing it as a priority bill. Corruption can be checked if the people can access the necessary information about governance. All the allegations, denials, cheap blackmails and counter allegation between the public office holders and their perceived ‘detractors’ would be relegated if not completely taken care of with the passage of that important bill. But for the fact that majority of the legislators look like stooges of the anti-Nigeria cabal and many do not even know about the bill or its importance in the bid to check corruption, the bill had been thrown out severally.

 


What informs the withdrawal of charges against some public office holders who are either standing trial or had been picked by the anti graft agencies? Is that a sign of weakness or a sign of seriousness? The truth is that many in the corridors of power do not think about the future generation of Nigeria when they do certain things. The future generation would remember them for all these mess in the polity at the moment, and give them kudos? I do not think so. I do not even know how they would come out to preach against corruption in the future when they were part of it. The withdrawal of these charges is an obvious indication that there is no serious war or effort against corruption in our nation.

 

The emergence of Senator Barrack Obama as the president elect of the United State of America had been heralded by all. But we all know that the level of corruption in our political terrain can never give room for the emergence of an Obama in Nigeria. I believe we have many lessons to learn from his emergence not minding what the professor that conducted the worst election last year had got to say. The time to tell ourselves the truth is now. At the moment there is no genuine interest or political will to tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria. As long as corrupt public holders are walking around free, entering state houses at will, attending government functions, and are accorded respect as statesmen, we do not have a war against corruption.

 

Nigerians are yearning for a genuine war against corruption, not business as usual. We do not need to exhume the likes of Idiagbon from their graves. We only need to take their spirit, zeal and genuine commitment to fight the scourge. We need to fight it now. Nigeria We Can!

 

 

 

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

arinze198@gmail.com

www.arinze198.wordpress.com    

 

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does it really bother God?

November 11, 2008

 

DOES IT BOTHER GOD?

 

 

Whenever we look around us, we usually see one or a few things that do bother us. Most of them bother us because we do feel they needed attention, alteration or to be put in good order. When we were much younger, our parents were usually bothered about our growth; physical, moral, psychological, educational or spiritual well being. They stopped bothering about certain areas of our life after a few years because they felt we have mastered or could take good care of those areas. Today, many of us are bothered about things that do not in any way concern us or even bother God. It is time to look at those things again and know if they should actually bother us or not.

 

The Bible shows us in NUMBERS 12:1-12, where Miriam and Aaron were bothered with what God is not bothered about. Moses had married an Ethiopian woman. And Miriam and Aaron spoke against him for marrying an Ethiopian woman. They told him that God had not spoken only through him but through them also. It bothered them that Moses married an Ethiopian woman but what bothered God was not Moses’ marriage but the critical fault finding spirit they exhibited. They had allowed things to bother them which were none of their business and as a result the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; Marian became leprous and Aaron became very afraid. Many of us have fallen into some trouble or adversity because we bothered about things we do not have business bothering about.

 

Moses was at some point also bothered about his shortcomings but God was not. The Bible shows in EXODUS 4:10-12, where Moses was bothered about his eloquence. God was bothered about the deliverance of His people from bondage {EXODUS 2:23-25, EXODUS 3:7-12}. What bothered Moses was his shortcomings but what bothered God was different {his assignment}. God is not bothered about your shortcomings but your assignment. Many of us are busy bothering about what we don’t have now. Put to good use what you have, in order to get what you don’t have. Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t have, you have something within you which can amount to something; A HERO OR GIANT LIES WITHIN YOU. God is bothered about the gifts or potentials in you which you are not making good use of, not your shortcomings.

 

The Bible shows us in 1 SAMUEL 16:1-13, that what bothers us is not what bothers God. God told Samuel not to be bothered by countenance or height because He is not in any way bothered by these. God told Samuel that He is bothered by the heart of man towards Him. As men if we are told to select or elect a king, we are most of the time bothered about eloquence, fame, wealth, background or educational qualifications. But God says He is not bothered about these. A man can have all these qualifications but his heart is not right. God is interested in the heart of man and the motive behind his actions. The physical qualifications do bother us, but does it bother God?

 

 

The Bible shows us in the book of JUDGES 11:1-11, where the people bothered about Jephthah’s background and threw him out. But when their enemies came to war with them, they realized that his background was not necessary but his potentials. They fetched Jephthah back to be their leader. Many of us have missed the good people sent to help us in our different fields as associates, friends, wives, husbands, because we were bothered not about them or their potentials but their backgrounds. “GOODIES OFTEN COME IN UNATTRACTIVE PACKAGES”. Don’t miss your blessings because it may come in a package you are bothered about which God is bothered about. These days, people judge things from the outside. “DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER”.

 

In church, people are bothered about things God is not bothered about. Many of us are bothered about what we wear or what others wear to church. Many have often said ‘this or that’ should be the dress code to church. Many don’t attend church services when they don’t have new sets of clothes because they feel they have displayed the ones already in their wardrobe collections. It does bother you, but does it bother God? Your heart to church bothers God, not your wears to church. You can wear good designer clothes to church with a wrong or unforgiving heart.

 

All these are religious hypocrisy in the church. God is bothered about your heart not your clothes. Let your heart being right before God bother you not clothes. Some have left preaching to change lives and hearts to God and now are talking about dress codes, hair do, use of jewelries or covering of hair. Some are busy bothering about who is supposed to preach or not and are not doing what the word of God says. Evaluate which of these that bothers God.

 

 

Beloved, God wants us to look at ISAIAH 1:11-20. God is not bothered about our multitude of sacrifices, offerings of animals, observation of new moons and Sabbaths/solemn meetings, appointed feasts and the likes. God is bothered about our heart and the motives behind our actions. It is time to repent and seek God and what bothers Him. Let’s stop playing church. Stop doing to impress your pastor, parish priest or people around. It is all vain if God is not impressed. Your heart is what impresses God. Stay blessed as you bother only about what bothers God.

 

 

 

 

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

 

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

 

 

 

arinze198@gmail.com

http://www.arinze198.wordpress.com