IBORI-UK-PRISON-RELEASE-CELEBRATION: A TRAGEDY OF NIGERIA’S DYSFUNCTIONAL VALUES, WHAT A SHAME

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What a shame! What a horrible tragedy of our ‘societal moral values’! When we turn an occasion that calls for penitence, repentance and soberness into a carnival of some sort, or preparing grounds to warmly welcome back an ex-convict into the system to continue his corrupt tendencies from where he stopped; it is a disservice to Nigeria, and a clear signal of how ‘dysfunctional’ our society has become. 

By Zik Gbemre

With the frenzy going on, preparations being put in place and the jubilation in the air, all to welcome James Ibori from UK prison, it is a clear signal that we are in serious problem in Delta State and Nigeria as a whole. We are simply appalled, disgusted and heart-broken to note how Ibori, having been released from prison where he served a jail term for glaringly looting Delta State public funds to a bleeding point, is now seen smiling and cheering with his cronies, who had the audacity to be boasting how Ibori made some current public office holders in the Senate, in the Delta State Government and in the Delta State House of Assembly.

From the said video, if what Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was boasting about Ibori is true, it means Ibori had actually used stolen Delta State funds meant for the development of his people, to install public office holders like the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Igbuya and his daughter into the State House of Assembly to satisfy and protect his self-centered interest.

This is yet another high-proportion-misuse of Delta State public funds by Ibori, amongst his other many sins as an ex-convict. Also, why should a supposed Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in person of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, be boldly and openly sing praises of an ex-convict and boasting about Ibori’s illegitimate exploits as a ‘political godfather who made many politicians’ even while in prison, to be videoed for the whole world to see? It is absolute shame and disgraceful that Senator Peter Nwaoboshi would exhibit such conduct, unbecoming of a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

What a shame! What a horrible tragedy of our ‘societal moral values’! When we turn an occasion that calls for penitence, repentance and soberness into a carnival of some sort, or preparing grounds to warmly welcome back an ex-convict into the system to continue his corrupt tendencies from where he stopped; it is a disservice to Nigeria, and a clear signal of how ‘dysfunctional’ our society has become. 

How would our neighbouring African countries and the Comity of nations in Europeans and US nationalists look at us as a people? Why should other world leaders not mock Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt” nation? What signal are we sending to others across the globe when we exhibit such display of shame and even be proud of it? What lessons are we teaching our children and the younger generation when supposed political leaders are bringing out the drums to publicly welcome someone whose actions while in government cost many and shortchanged/mortgaged the future of countless others?

How would Nigeria develop with this kind of Political Class, Elites and even ‘blind followers’? With such things happening in Nigeria, it paints a picture of ‘hopelessness’ and despair for future prospects for the general masses. Why would we not have Nigerians who risk their lives to illegally cross the Mediterranean Sea just to ‘escape this tragedy called Nigeria’ to Europe and other parts of the world in search of greener pastures? What progress will it bring to Nigeria when we have political leaders and their blind followers celebrating ‘public thieves’ like James Ibori and others? 

Ibori had inflicted untold hardship and injurious-poverty on Deltans with his gluttony-appetite of stealing Delta State public funds meant for the collective good of all. and yet some people have the audacity and shamelessness to still sing his praises and calling him a ‘powerful man’. 

What made Ibori so called powerful? Was it his private money or money stolen from  Delta State government coffers? How do we expect the White man in the US, UK and Europe to look at us as Deltans, when we roll out the drums to celebrate the release of a well-known corrupt politician like Ibori who ‘mindlessly stole’ his State’s public funds to enrich himself and cronies?  

It is simply shameful that the Nigerian elites, relevant stakeholders and some blind followers are willfully encouraging their Political leaders to steal public wealth meant for the ‘collective good of all, and at the same time complain of the nation being in economic recession. Let us bear in mind that it is not foreigners that will fix our Nigeria but us. Whatever successes and failures we see and want lie in the hands of Nigerians. But if Nigerians continue to ‘encourage’ this public stealing and praise those behind it, then the country is headed for far worse days ahead.

President Muhammadu Buhari cannot singlehandedly fix the Nigerian economy if the majority of Nigerians do not support him, one of which ways is to ‘publicly shame known looters of our national wealth and not sing their praises or encourage them. It is clear from the Ibori-Uk-prison-release-celebration that President Buhari is alone in his war against corruption.

We should not blame Buhari for acting slow. For it is obvious that the Nigerian politicians and Nigerian elites are the ones sabotaging the system and President Buhari efforts to maintain a ‘statuesque that will be in their favour.

When we observe some of the things happening around, we pity this country of ours because we have more Nigerians that are ‘willfully unpatriotic’ than we have those that are. This makes the road to Nigeria’s progressive future seem very far.

People shy away from the truth and if a person decides to be patriotic and upright, the ‘spoilers’ of the Nigerian society will fight him and call him all sort of names for daring to ‘expose their devilish acts’ and distance himself from the ‘corrupt crowd’. 

In a situation where the big men go for medical checks in foreign countries and the blind followers who cannot afford it will still praise them, it is really a sad tale. Who do will blame in all of this?

ZIk Gbemre, JP, is the National Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)

 

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