2nd June, 2010
Unable to contain the excesses and financial recklessness of political leaders in the country, former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom , Dr. Christopher Kolade, has described political leaders in the country who loot the treasury as evil.
He said they are evil because they have continued to blindfold themselves to the plight of the masses who are daily turning into the less privileged.
Kolade, who spoke with former United States Ambassador to Nigeria , Walter Carrington, at a symposium organised by the Centre for Values and Social Change, lamented that Nigerian leaders, under the guise of being covered by immunity, engaged themselves in various unethical practices.
He compared his growing up period with what now obtains in the country and said, â€œin Nigeria now, there is an appearance of success which if you dig down, it is not sustainable or enjoyable.â€
Kolade further lamented that though Nigerians were very religious, the more churches and mosques spring up, the more confusion that sets in. â€œIt has become difficult to understand what those edifices do for us.â€
He decried a situation where public officers take oath and ask God to help them when they are sure that they do not need Him to assist them.
He said that while growing up, his family taught him the value of honesty, but â€œtoday, if a man forgets his purse in a cab and the driver of the cab returns the purse, he is published in the papers as one honest Nigerian, yet in those days, it was the norm to be honest.â€
While admonishing Nigerians to stop celebrating corrupt politicians, he added that corruption in the country is made worse due to the personal interests of politicians against the overall good of the people.
According to him, they steal the money kept for development and give the people crumbs.
Kolade further said the average Nigerian politician lacked love for the truth. He said they naturally hate the truth and have disdain for those who are tempted to tell the truth.
He questioned how the politicians could be given huge funds as security votes and not questioned on how such funds are spent despite the fact that the funds are sourced from the tax payers.
He also complained that the new Vice President, Namadi Sambo, while he was being sworn in, was said to have been honoured with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) asking what he had done to warrant such an honour on his first day as Vice President.
He agreed that Nigerians can no longer die for their country because they feel alienated.
While advising the citizens of the country to come together and fight injustice, he advised them to avoid electing leaders who have not shown enough maturity to handle such positions.
He also advised that leaders should learn to resign when indicted so that investigations could be done.
Also speaking at the event, Ambassador Carrington tasked Nigerians to set out a day to celebrate heroes of the countryâ€™s democracy.
He stressed that he believes 12 June should be marked as Democracy Day, because without that date, there would not have been 29 May.
He also said that from his assessment of Nigeria , if the US President Barack Obama were a Nigerian, he would never have won the election.
Carrington said this was because Nigerian politicians still believed in sentiment, ethnicity and other unconstitutional means to get to power.