Friday, August 21, 2009

Anti-corruption revolution and the rest of us

THE resolution by my community to create some social services like water borehole and pipe laying to distribute same, electricity development and secondary education building project without recourse to the government saw monetary contributions made.

As typical of an Ibo society, defaulters in financial contributions were harassed/intimidated by the masquerades and the task force men. But along the line a new twist emerged as rumour moved to suspicion and more to distrust causing great breach between the leaders and the led. It is from the buggle announcing massive mismanagement of our commonwealth as these men in position of trust changed their food regimen and acquired properties without known financial generators.

Moreso, the churches holding hope of men and women of pious standing came stories from elderly women of great financial misappropriation by the elite class. A woman recounted her ordeal in the monthly broom presentations which the annual financial report never suggested anything positive as seen from the population involved. In these scenarios people hailed and protected the perpetrators with chieftaincy titles or religions honours.

Yes! It is from a similar society most of us grew up and the forces of our environment drowned great many. Our leaders reneged on advocated pact as misery became the lot of majority with project cost rooted to high heavens and most times the only indication of project site is the plaque.

Deception ruled the entire space, while secrecy delivered communion wines to the pain at heart. On these, some persons prayed for an ecclesiastical space of a new Nigeria devoid of over night millionaires and praise-worshippers of greed and treasury looting.

Indeed, the emergence of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from the anthill marked a turning point as the tears of many gave way to hope. It was built on the sophistication by which actions were carried out and result of unimaginable status recorded.

So, the fear of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Larmode garnished hotdog took men to religious books with its forceful inscription as in Ephesians 4:28: “Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard (legal, positive) work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he may have something to distribute to someone in need”. This can be compared to a scene in an elementary school where the sound of the closing bell saw the pupils flee to different directions leaving the troubled heart to bemoan the day’s result.

Truly, the troubled and sick hearts were caught as they saw the democratic era from the prism of ill-gotten wealth, while those perceiving the stench from dead bodies bade farewell to wealth without work. Once, I ran into a politician who told of an incident where he declined collecting a cheque from a lobbyist as he said while chastising the giver for pushing him into the lion mouth of the EFCC led by Nuhu Ribadu. On these strides some of us craved and prayed to be part of this revolution as the sighting of Malam Ribadu’s footage from the watch tower was glorious.

Today, events have changed as the once dreaded agency drops her toga of pragmatism for the blue wine of revelries. The men who once lived inside the palace of fear and trepidation with their political future a subject for science students on the principles of a swinging pendulum, now informs same (students) on how to regain balance.

So, when I read recently from the news dailies of a plan to drop charges by EFCC against a former South-South Governor for want of evidence, I tried checking my pulse level and that of the millions on the hinterlands of the state on their perceived trauma which is now being sacrificed on altar of contacts/connections and technicalities. Yes! Even the nation’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice celebrate same technicalities as he announces his championship status whenever the London Metropolitan Police and courts sneeze on this case.

Oh! Who will contact Malam Ribadu for a national service? This is important as he once told us the great number of past state chief executives whose sin barrels extended to the heaven tops. He meant every bit of it as he re-echoed same in a recent London lecture that a former state governor who once offered him millions of dollars to shut out his satellite technology on him today, occupies a larger space/seat in our future drive.