By Comrade Ogbu Alexander Ameh
“The tangled web of falsehood and deceit had enmeshed the very soul Nigeria’s state and its political actors”. Some of them certainly have a great deal of fancy and a very good memory, but with a perverse ingenuity. They employ these qualities in sleaze and malfeasance when serving in public offices of trust.
The maxim that; “no one does anything from a single motive” is very apt when discussing the cancerous proportion of corruption in the Nigerian government at any time in history. Successive governments since independence kept preaching, pontificating high moral ground in the fight against corruption. It was just a mere 10% contract kickback that angered some young overzealous Army Officers’ into staging the first military putsch in Nigeria.
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many”. The military used the first and the counter coup as a subterfuge to make foray into politics. Some political commentators criticized it as a misadventure or opportunism. Since then, corruption on which the protagonists of the first coup premised their messianic intervention became institutionalized.
“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth”. Successive military governments in Nigeria no doubt institutionalized corruption as their civilian cronies used their ingenuity to abet and sustained them in power.
“All happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. So at independence, all countries on the African continent shared the same characteristics of dependency, but peculiar proportion of corruption. It is on this premise that, Nigeria the giant of the continent has continually shown the world that it is truly the African Giant. A former Britain Prime Minister once without mincing words described Nigeria as Fantastically Corrupt.
This historical background intends as merely a corroborative detail, to add verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and cliché narrative of corruption trajectory in Nigeria. “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lives forward”. Now, I will fast-forward this conversation through the passage of time into the present. In spite of the the huge natural resources deposited under the ground that the territorial sovereign state of Nigeria covers, the country is rated poor by World Bank index. Other international economic and financial institutions have the same verdict for Nigeria.
On the lighter mood, that borders on sarcasm and ridicule, one international opinion poll rate Nigerians as the happiest people on earth. How ironic is this when juxtaposed with the avalanche of unpleasant remarks that speak ills of the country, the government and its citizens. Nigeria and its huge population are poor, yet the 1% Comprador Bourgeoisie and their military elite’ counterparts have looted an stashed away fortunes in faraway foreign banks including Panama.
To exacerbate what seems an endless cyclical trend among successive ruling elite, international financial institutional and donor agencies have conspired in a concerted pattern of pervasive capital flight to impoverished Nigerians and enslave them the second time. this is a clear case of the Second Era of Slavery some young African revolutionaries cried out as a warning long time ago.
Walter Rodney, Frantz Fanon, Amicar Cabral, Patrick Lumumba, Kwame Nkuruma, Thomas Sankara, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Bob Nesta Marley in their lifetime raised their prophetic voices against at independence and shortly after. Foreign loans are characteristics of the capitalist system to maintain its strangulation of periphery quasi- capitalist nations to sustain their dependency. To answer the thought-provoking salient question posed by “Whose Burden? Examining the Growing Public Debt Crisis in Nigeria,” unequivocally I say; the poor masses and their generations yet unborn.
Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) in its media parley recently has this poser as the focus of interrogation. I do not need to belabor myself and my esteemed reading public the summary of Nigeria’s total public debt, stock and external. The economic or political justifications by Keynesian Economics who serve the capitalist run state of Nigeria are nothing but a script dictated by the Brentwood Institute and its global financial allies.
I do know that revenue from oil production made the country attractive to predatory creditors. Social Action during its media parley provided a detail statistical table of borrowing between; 2016-2017. Another table shows clearly external debt outstanding by economic sector as of March 2014. Borrowing by sectors showing; projects, creditors, sectors and amount, but without execution. The abracadabra pattern embedded in capitalist system is a norm that corruption is the oil that greases the wheel of the system to move even faster.
It is on this understanding of the working of the system that “Foreign Loans”, Budgetary Allocations are perennially diverted from its original purpose to the unknown. This is why there exist a scary proportion of poverty, infrastructure deficits, crime, religious fundamentalism, terrorism and general disillusion by the masses. It is in the face of this glaring reality that Social Action asserts its call:
Nigeria’s parliament must show leadership and place moratorium on further borrowing by the country and order immediate investigation into the usage of the past borrowings. Details of past borrowing and the projects executed with the funds must be made available to the public and compliance with the letters of the FRA. As cogent and reasonable the call, I for one, as a comrade in the struggle for liberation and emancipation of the masses believe in alternative ideology to capitalism. I do suggest that Social Action should rally and mobilize other critical stakeholders in the civil society coalition to seek clarification of Section 44 (1) of the FRA in court.
Secondly, I am equally in support of mobilizing the masses for a revolutionary from below to uproot the dominant capitalist status quo and enthrone Socialism as a possible alternative for a better society.
Comrade Ogbu Alexander Ameh; National Convener Generation For Revolutionary Change From Below and Author of; “In The Struggle”
By Comrade Ogbu Alexander Ameh