16th March, 2016
By Joe Igbokwe
I am writing this piece with a broken heart. I am writing this piece with a deep sense of sadness. I am totally devastated because it seems to me that a vast preponderance of Nigerians prefer Nigeria to remain a nation of anything goes. I know that every country has its own builders and plunderers. I know that builders put things in place and make things work. I know that plunderers decimate and desecrate anything in sight.
I am a living witness of what transpired during 2015 elections. I saw desperation on the part of PDP leaders to retain power at all costs. I saw the fears of the unknown in their red eyes. One noticed how they were running helter-skelter to win at all costs. In the peak of the campaigns, one businessman told me that they do not want President Buhari because most prominent Nigerians will end up in jail if he succeeds. I did not know the magnitude of the rot in the system until President Buhari took the center stage last year.
After nine months, my eyes have seen a lot and my ears have heard enough to believe that leaders of PDP have no conscience, no heart, no mind and no soul. In 16 years they pillaged, milked and plundered a vibrant nation to stupor. It was a big scramble for the leaders of PDP to take everything within their reach. They stole dollars and naira in billions and trillions. They never said enough is enough. It was primitive accumulation of anything in sight. In the Army, Navy, Airforce, Police, DSS, SSS, Customs, Immigration, Maritime, Pension funds, NNPC, CBN, Commercial Banks, Budget office, House of Assembly, PDP, PHCN, NPA, Universities, Teaching hospitals, JAMB, WAEC, Judiciary, Ministries, LGAs just to mention but a few of them, it was looting to finish. No wonder nothing is left to even pay salaries of workers. I did not see any ambitious road projects in Nigeria in 16 years. There was no serious investment in modern infrastructure – good roads, bridges, resorts, high speed rail projects. There was no serious investment in Security architecture, Schools, Hospitals, Agriculture, Transportation, Human Resources etc. It has been a case of looters take it all.
Since President Buhari took over on May 29, 2015, it has been everyday, one new discovery of loot and more loots traced to different banks both in and outside Nigeria. To some people it is a joke. To some people APC government is a liar. To some of them President Buhari is trying to divert attention. But the truth remains that no nation on earth has been milked to the bones the way PDP leaders cleared everything in sight in 16 years.
I had thought that their conscience would have been pricked and that I will see some of them showing some remorse and asking for forgiveness. What we hear are all these: “Buhari lacks capacity to govern” from the aged Prof Ben Nwabueze. Charly Boy Oputa, Ben Bruce, Regina Askia are asking ‘Is this the change we voted for’ others which time and space will not permit me to remember and mention say “ President Buhari has no plans for the economy”.
The political nonentity from Ekiti State Mr Ayo Fayose (one day one drama governor) will also add his primitive drama and political idiocy all in the name of playing politics. The defeated PDP and looters of yesterday try to make comparisons about today and yesterday but they are half a penny liars from the pit of hell. I can go on and on. Moving the ball is hard in the politics of Nigeria. The chain of ethical liability is unbroken here. They say the worst never happens here and the best never happens also. I reject the fact that the worst has never happened here.
Now, President Buhari needs our help to build a new Nigeria. I want committed, decent, honest men and women of deep character to stand up for Nigeria. I know millions of Nigerians out there are silently praying for this President to succeed. In the midst of the confusionists and haters of honest things in Nigeria I have seen silent workers who want President Buhari and APC to succeed where Jonathan, others and PDP failed. I want this men and women to rise up to the occasion. Leaders of PDP and their cronies have garnered enough muscles and huge wealth in the past 16 years and they can use this to bring down the system if we permit it. We sleep all the time but the looters are awake 24/7 and work 24/7. We must not underestimate the power of these workers of iniquity, reprobate minds and cultural savages. Call it the foolish constituency if you like. They need to be defeated and crushed. They are fighting in our various Courts, they are fighting in the National Assembly, they are fighting in the Presidency, Ministries, Embassies, States, LGAs, and even Markets etc. Corruption must not defeat President Buhari. He loves Nigeria. He is honest, he has integrity and character. Gentlemen and ladies if you love this President for what he stands for shout: YES WE CAN defeat corruption and Nigeria will grow.
— Igbokwe wrote from Lagos