Says : Nigeria will continue to suffer until our social-political- economic system is changed
* Saraki is a victim of the system that produced him
* All Nigerian leaders can be guilty of false asset declaration
By Yinka Ajayi
Renown activist and former governor of the old Kaduna State Alhaji Balarabe Musa, in an encounter, called on President Muhamadu Buhari to probe former president Good luck Jonathan’s administration and other administration from 1966 till 2015. Excerpt:
What informed your call for the probe of past President Good luck Jonathan’s administration?
Yes, I did, but I did not mean Jonathan’s administration alone, I said President Muhamadu Buhari should probe past administration from 1966 when the military took over till date. Because the disabling manner of corruption and criminality in Nigeria started when the military took over power. And if we really want to clean the slate, we have to do that. The earlier he (Buhari) does that, the better for the nation. And any other thing is a waste of time.
But my reason for the probe of Jonathan is not far-fetched, he headed the worst, most corrupt and the latest in Nigeria’s history on corruption. we know it developed and Jonathan was a victim but he made it worst. From calculation, you will be surprise that loots in Jonathan’s administration is worst than that of Gen.Sani Abacha’s regime. You and I are aware that Abacha did not allow anybody to steal except himself, he was the sole thief. But apparently,Jonathan allowed everybody to steal including himself.
What was his status before he became a governor, he was just a university lecturer. But if you access his worth today, you will agree that he is involved and that made it easy for everybody to be involved. Nigeria became much richer during his administration .
Or did you ever hear anybody stealing public fund before 1966 and got away with it Or a president of a Country being so rich from the time of Amalgamation till 1965 or having stolen public fund and getting away with it ? absolutely not! Or did you hear any credible allegation against the likes of : Sir Abubaka Tafawa Balewa, great Zik of Africa Nnamdi Azikwe, Sage Obafemi Awolowo, Sudana , Aminu Kanu and many others in government or opposition? It was from 1966 that these issue of corruption started.
It started with the probe under Gen. Muritala Mohammed’s regime. he found all the governors guilty of corruption except Brigadier Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson the former military Governor of Lagos State.
So it is quite true that these disabling level of corruption and criminality started with the military rule since 1966. that is the reason any credible probe should start from that time. I know it is an enormous task but the government should be sincere.
So far, how will you rate this administration performance a year in office?
It is quite obvious, its a complete failure and does not have the capacity to solve any problem. The unfortunate thing is that the situation in Nigeria is so bad that it is even better than others! Even though he is incompetent, President Buhari when compared to others now and those that would be come 2019 is far better than them.
The situation in Nigeria is so bad that we seriously need a clean-up in form of a revolution. Or how else can we end a situation like this. The nation is in a complete negative state. Tell me anything that is positive about Nigeria presently, apart from the fact that we still remain one as a nation? You may say: ‘The fight against corruption.’ What is the essence of the fight against corruption, when those that know to be corrupt are still going about freely and sometimes gathered celebrating at occasions? You and I know that so many of our corrupt leaders are free enjoying their looted funds in Nigeria.
Could it be the reason behind Senate President Bukola Saraki is being charged with false asset declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT ?
The issue on Saraki false asset declaretion, has many interest, that is why the national assembly and the executive arm cannot sit down to resolve the probe. With the manner they are going about it, there will be many implications. In other words, for it to be legitimate, it will have many implications on most Nigerian leaders. If this action against Sen. Bukola Saraki succeeds, God knows who will escape it in Nigeria. Because all Nigerian leaders can be guilty of false declaration of asset. We have to be very careful about these issue. Not that it should be avoided but we must be very careful because it could affect every Nigerian Leaders because every Nigerian leaders could have made false declaration of their asset in one way or the other. It is a situation of self interest first, and public interest second or even incidental. As long as this is the system that produces leaders appropriate to it, there is no way we can escape the disabling level of corruption because it is the direct product of the system!
But how can we discourage our leaders from false asset declaration?
First, let us find out leaders that were involved with false declaration of assets. If I understand the law properly, a leader ought to declare not just his asset, but his spouse, workers and his under aged children.
How many of them has declared their asset in this manner so far? Even those that declared their asset, there is probability of under declaration.
Do you think Saraki is being victimised by the power that be?
Maybe yes, maybe no. I think he is simply a victim of the system that produced him. Once the system is like this, nobody can escape it. These allegation against him, no Nigerian leader can escape it except few, if any. How many Nigerian leader are so clean to escape what Saraki is going through with the CCT. The system made Saraki the first victim and definitely not the last. Only one percent of Nigerian leaders can. In the likes of village heads, Emirs. Local Government Counselors to the President. These are people I refer to as leaders. How many of them can stand a credible probe. This is the situation a self interest system has produced. Only those that has no access at all to public funds can scale through any credible probe. And they are not up to one percent in Nigeria.
What is the way out of these acrimony we are being faced with?
Change the social-economic system that controls all economic development in the country. Every country in the world is controlled by a Social-political-economic system. And produce a political leadership appropriate to it. If the system in the leadership are negative, they have to be changed to a positive system. Our Social-political system as a nation is based on selfish interest first and then, public second. They must be changed by any means to a system based on public interest first, then followed by self if necessary. I mention earlier that in our history from 1914 to 1966 when the military took over, no Nigerian leader was credibly alleged to be corrupt. The system then was based on public interest first then self later. It may not be absolutely at that but definitely it was close to that. Before the military took over. Immediately the military took over, the system changed which is directly responsible for the negativity in the nation we are suffering today.
Although, there were some corrupt element, but it was not as disabling as it is when the military took over. How can government now function in Nigeria? What exist now is a false.
So there is need to change to change the system and the leadership produced by the system from self interest first and public interest second or incidental to public interest first and self interest to be secondary. That would solve the problem.
For instance, the fuel scarcity we are suffering presently, is caused by privatisation of the sector. That is the principle of self interest first and the public second. Nigeria will continue to suffer until our social-political-economic system is changed. The only thing that can change the system is revolution.
This depend the concrete situation on ground. When we talk of revolution, we are not talking of blood-shed. It is about fundamental change which can be peaceful or otherwise. If the obstruction of affected interest goes on like this, peaceful revolution would be impossible.
Great Countries in the would like America, England, Russia had involved in revolution in one way or the other. some were against slavery and some fought against civil war. Take the case of Russia, they had to do the same thing just to correct the negative situation in their country. Even China did it. These are great nations. So revolution is inevitable.