Last week, we commenced our discourse on the many “Gates” under the Buhari government. We were on the Oilsubsidygate that has continued to drain Nigeria of her meagre resources. We now continue. We shall also look at other gates.
STILL ON OILSUBSIDYGATE
Over 2 trillion naira has been spent on the so called non-existent subsidy, much higher than the GEJ period. The era of vacuous, doltish and asinine inconsistencies, summersaults, hypocrisy, propaganda and opaqueness in governance is here with us. Where is the subsidy money coming from, when the NASS has not appropriated any funds for it under Sections 80-83 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution?
How much has been spent? Who authorised it?
The most recent of the scandalous gates (and it is still brewing), is the “Adeosungate”. The facts are rather straightforward. Premium Times, an investigative online newspaper had published a story, questioning the NYSC exemption certificate allegedly awarded to Kemi Adeosun, PMB’s Minister of Finance. She completed her first polytechnic degree at age 22.
Under the NYSC, she was not entitled to exemption, having not attained the exemption age of 30. Under section 2 of the NYSC Act, a person shall be exempted from service “if at the date of graduation or obtaining his diploma or other professional qualification – he is over 30 years”.
Others who are equally exempted are members of the Armed Forces, Police, DSS, NIA, DIA, or Conferees of national honours. Adeosun had graduated from the Polytechnic of East London (not University of East London as some of her papers are said to bear, having graduated before the change of name from Polytechnic to University) at 22 in 1989, but returned to Nigeria, after she had clocked 30.
She also served as Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State. NYSC has confirmed she did apply for exemption, but failed to tell a cynical country too used to this government’s shenanigans, if it granted it.
Because the NYSC Act emphasised “the date of his graduation” as the appropriate date, Kemi, at 22, did not meet this qualifying age, having graduated at 22 (no doubt, a brilliant student). So, she was not qualified for any exemption. But, she tendered an exemption certificate for ministerial screening. The second curious issue is that the then NYSC DG, Yusuf Bomoi, a retired Brigadier-General, who died on September 18, 2017, had retired officially from the NYSC on February 13, 2009. He was replaced by Brig-Gen Maharazu Tsiga.
The trouble is that Kemi Adeosun’s “exemption certificate” is dated September 9, 2009, over seven months after the purported issuer and signatory, Bomoi, had left NYSC. The whole scandal stinks of corruption, forgery, official cover-up, ungolden silence, etc. Did Bomoi come back from retirement to sign certificate? In decent democracies like the UK, where Kemi was born, raised and schooled, she would have resigned immediately in honour, and she will be applauded as charting a new paradign shift and narrative from the known “sit tightism” of Africans.
The following, amongst others, had resigned, for one scandal or reason, or the other. Michael Flynn, resigned as Advisor, NSA; Robert Bentley, as Governor of Alabama, Reince Priebus resigned as President Trump’s White House Chief; Jacob Zuma resigned as President of South Africa on February 4; Miro Cerar, as President of Slovenia. Others are Robert Fico who resigned as Prime Minister of Slovakia; Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, as President of Peru; Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, as President of Mauritius, Oliver Solonandrasana, as prime minister of Madagascar.
Only on June 9, David Davis resigned as Secretary of State, for exiting the European Union, following differences with Theresa May.
In 2016, Cameron had resigned as Prime Minister of UK and leader of the Conservative Party after majority voters of UK had voted to leave the EU (July; 13); John Key, prime Minister of New Zealand; Matteo Renzi, , Italian Prime Minister; Otto Perez Molina, President of Guate Mala (September 3, 2015); Erico Letta, as Prime Minister of Italy (February 22, 2014); Uhuru Kenyatta, as Kenya Finance Minister, after being indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity (January 26, 2012).
Even Kevin Rudd resigned as Prime Minister of Australia on June 24, 2010; while Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister of Japan, resigned on June 8, 2010, for merely breaking a campaign promise to close an American Military base on the Island of Okinawa. For merely losing the general election, Gordon Brown on May 11, 2010, resigned as Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Labour Party. In South Africa, Thabo Mbeki had resigned as president for illegally interfering in the National Prosecuting Authority.
This was on September 20, 2008. So, what is wrong with us Nigerians? Why can’t we throw in the towel when events point to that? Why must we hold on to power anyway, when power is transient and ephemeral? Why are all top players in the present government who have been serially accused of one offence or the other using their official positions and connections to stay put in power?
The “Herdsmengate” is all too familiar to spill ink over. Suffice it to say that we are in an era where the life of a cow is priced higher than that of a human being. Where 300 cows are rustled, over 200 human heads must be cut to satiate the bacchanalian appetite of the unseen but loomy gods and goddesses of cattle. We are told to allow them destroy and drive us away from our ancestral homes, rather than allow herdsmen kill us. We are preached to learn to peacefully co-habit with AK-4 wielding “mercenaries from Libya”.
We are warned that we must allow cattle destroy our farmlands for peace to reign. We are cautioned to do away with anti-grazing laws so that we can see the next day. The murderers come out openly, thump their chest, and own up to the grisly murders and blood-letting. They are never arrested, never arraigned, never prosecuted. Cows now sack our children from classrooms, hold us up in traffic gridlock in our cities, and eat up our yam produce. Yet, we must not talk, must not complain. Where it is common knowledge that cows are killed for meat to celebrate humans, the story has changed to humans being killed to celebrate cows! What a world!
In this macabre dance of death, presidential spokesmen are busy doing statistical calculation as to which government, GEJ’s and PMB’s, has witnessed more cold blooded slaughtering. Life has been reduced to a matter of arithmetical figures. We have become unshockable, unempathetic, and unsympathetic. God! How patient can you be in the midst of human cruelty.
At first, PMB told a shocked nation that the marauding herdsmen were trained fleeing remnants of late Col Muamar Ghadaffi of Libya, a man who was killed over seven years ago. Then, in an earlier write-up, I had suggested to Mr President that the fact that the killers were foreigners invading Nigeria is more reason he should immediately deploy the armed forces to kill them and halt further incursions into Nigeria’s territorial space.
To be sure, Mr President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and even the Police. Where foreigners, according to the president, have declared war on the sovereignty and suzerainty of Nigeria, it behoves on PMB to defend Nigeria and Nigerians. To be continued next week.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“The real cost of corruption in government, whether it is local, state, or federal, is a loss of the public trust.” (Mike Quigley).
Nigerians, please continue to engage me in the national conversation, whilst awaiting explosive topic of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., Ph.D, LL.D.
Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN
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