This is the sixth trench of our write-up on Buharocracy- a corruptive and disruptive genre of democracy. It is a concept that dwells on hypocrisy, laziness, narcism, opaqueness, corruption, lack of vision; directionless, and cluelessness. Ozekpedia has so far explained the meaning, plenitude, amplitude, depth, and breadth of this amoebic and hydra-headed pseudo-democratic concept. We have, from part 5, commenced dealing with specifics. We have just finished insecurity, the parlous economy that Buhari dragged into recession.
Today, we will talk about anti-corruption, one of the tripodal mantras he used in winning elections in 2015. Insecurity and economy, Buhari failed dismally. Let us now look at his anti-corruption mantra.
BUHARI: THE ANTI – CORRUPTION OR CORRUPTION CZAR?
The self-acclaimed anti-corruption Czar, who fought his way to power by deceiving Nigerians about corruption failed in this aspect.
Currently, Hon. Sergius Ogun, a member of an ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives, is carrying out an investigation into the controversial fuel subsidy issue. The House submitted that at least, 40 and 45 million litres daily is being consumed by Nigerians, but NNPC Ltd uses between 65 and 100 litre per day to determine subsidy charges. The lacuna in this figures computation parades one of the climaxes of corruption in the Buhari administration. Hon. Ogun moved a motion in the House of Representatives that there is evidence that subsidy was charged in duplicate, yet Buhari did nothing other than to sign the subsidy increment to 4 trillion.
There is also a problem of oil theft. Petroleum products are still stolen in large scales. Many prominent Nigerians own illegal oil blocks, where they siphon crude oil and sell in huge quantities and sums. Why would certain pampered individuals own oil wells in a Country whose economy depends on oil?
Nigeria has even failed to meet its OPEC production quota of 1.8 million barrels per day. We still export about 1.25 mpd. Oil theft continues to be at its peak. What do we want to make out of all this sham?
The anti-corruption war by Buhari has been adjudged one-sided. While the Attorney General of the Federation unduly interfered in some criminal trials of top officials of government, the EFCC and ICPC on the other hand fight a selective anti-corruption. The war against corruption has been sacrificed on the altar of political, religious, and ethnic sentiments. It has been sabotaged by Buhari.- https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/524426-efcc-icpc-officials-accuse-buhari-of-sabotaging-fight-against-corruption.html?tztc=1; EFCC, ICPC officials accuse Buhari of sabotaging fight against corruption; April 18, 2022
The AGF’s intervention in the Danjuma Goje alleged N25 billion corruption trial by the EFCC – traded off by this administration on the altar of political expediency in the Senate, will continue to raise questions about the sincerity of Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.
It is only in Nigeria that a senator on a criminal trial proposed a bill for amendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 – for compulsory submission of all case files to the AGF for advice. The EFCC and ICPC chairmen even opposed the bill during the public hearing.
There is an old proverb that says show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are. A serving member of Buhari’s cabinet, Bashir Magashi of the Defence Ministry, refunded $400,000, out of $550,000, to the Federal Government from a frozen account in 2001, held on his behalf at the Jessy, UK branch of Bank PNB Paribus. This was money acquired from illegal crude oil allocation during the Sani Abacha regime. The administration shielded APC corrupt members.- http://www.anlelechannel.com/fg-shielding-corrupt-apc-members-ozekhome/; FG shielding corrupt APC members – Ozekhome; May 2018.
The low ranking of Nigeria in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, (154 out of 180 countries in 2021); the endemic fraud in constituency projects by members of the National Assembly with no lawmaker held to account; the grass-cutting contract for which a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation was prosecuted; the N523 million school feeding scandal during the 2020 just COVID-19 lock-down; and even the president’s signature scandal – to mention just a few- astound Nigerians.
The presidential pardon granted by the Council of State to former Governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame, the only ex-governors convicted for corruption under Buhari, conflicted with Buhari’s avowed commitment to the fight against corruption.-https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/04/16/ozekhome-knocks-buhari-over-pardon-for-dariye-nyame/amp/; Ozekhome Knocks Buhari over Pardon for Dariye, Nyame; 16th April 2022.
Also, the recommendation by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, chaired by the AGF, that Francis Atuche, a former Bank chief executive be released after just a year in jail, out of his six-year jail term for stealing N25.7 billion, comes to mind.
Nigerians are very innovative, so innovative that it was in the Buhari government that we first heard of the words “Budget padding”. In 2016, the budget was passed running into hundreds of billions. Since then, budgets have always been padded up till the last one over 21 trillion naira.
Where are all the recovered – Abacha – looted funds under the Buhari-led administration? Has the government accounted for the same to Nigerians to date? I am not aware. Or, are you?
All the external COVID-19 relief funds from international communities and donor organizations were brazenly stolen. What about the fake Nigerian Air? Haba. Let us tell ourselves the truth for once.
The Buhari administration introduced the unpopular grazing policy which encouraged herders to carry out war against farmers. Many lives have been lost to this continuous ambush. Thank God that for the first time, some powerful Southern Governors stood against Buhari, and frontally accused him of using and-grabbing tactics to disinherit Southerners.
Some of the armed groups created by the pampered farmers-herders attacks have since transitioned into violent motorcycle-riding bandits targeting communities in the North-West and Central states. Kidnapping is now a multi-billion crime to engage in. Nobody is safe again. What a disaster!
DEBT SURGE: HOW BUHARI SCAMMED NIGERIANS
The APC came into power with a myopic ideology of “debt is good – no government strives without debts”. Oh, spare me this narrative. If the debt is good, the question is, have you been paying it back? Nigeria now borrows to service debts.
It is now clear to all the economic stakeholders that the country is on the verge of collapse due to its economic meltdown. According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), in its Fourth Quarter report of 2022, Nigeria’s debt hovers around N46.25 trillion. It reported that the domestic debt stock was N27.55 trillion, while external debt stock was 18.70 trillion (USD 41.69 billion) as of December 2022.
This is an administration that met a debt of merely N12.6 trillion. How would a person borrow money to fund a yearly budget without any means of paying back?. The projected budget deficit stands at N47.73 trillion from 2015 to 2023 according to the Debt Management Office.
The stock has since increased to 77 trillion due to the securitization of the ways and means of the facility to the tune of N22.7 trillion. The borrowing by the Buhari was alarming and shameful.
The hearts of Nigeria’s “Yes – Sir” Senate approved $800 million loan from the World Bank, to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme, allegedly to soften the blow of fuel subsidy removal! Haba! No shame at all!
On April 19, 2023, barely a month to Buhari’s government’s expiration, the Federal Execution Council (FEC), chaired by the former Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, approved numerous contracts amounting to over N100 million. To do what with it now? Where would the money be sourced from? The most abysmal of all: on 23rd May 2023, (barely days to go), President Buhari requested the Senate to approve the following sums: $566,754,584.31, E98, 526,012.00, and N226, 281,801,881.64; all purportedly for settlement of judgment debts allegedly owed by the Federal Government. Was Buhari sleeping all this while? Or, should we call him “sleepy –Baba”?. Thank God, power is ephemeral. – https://mikeozekhomeschambers.com/nigerian-leaders-and-the-ephemerality-of-power/. Nigerians are worried about these unending debts, what do we do?. – https://dailytrust.com/afe-babalola-ozekhome-express-worry-over-nigerias-debt-profile/; Afe Babalola, Ozekhome Express Worry Over Nigeria’s Debt Profile; 21st October 2022
Take a deep breath: someone came and ruled you for 8 years, borrowed monies you and your unborn generation would pay, rode in affluence and power, abused you, starved you, and mocked you at the end of the administration by borrowing for his take home, what would you call that?. Let me use a pidgin: that one no-pass scam?-https://www.blueprint.ng/four-days-to-go-ozekhome-cautions-as-buhari-seeks-senates-nod-for-n704bn-judgement-debts/; Four days to go: Ozekhome cautions as Buhari seeks Senate’s nod for N704bn judgment debts; 25th May 2023
It was in Buhari’s government that we first heard of the word – “Hate Speech”. The government hated any person that antagonized it, whether constructive or otherwise.-https://dailypost.ng/2018/02/06/buhari-taken-food-table-wants-take-freedom-speech-ozekhome/?amp=1; News; Buhari has taken food from our table, wants to take freedom of speech – Ozekhome; Feb. 6, 2018.
The hate speech bill passed its first reading on November 12, 2019, sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi, the Deputy Chief Whip. Nigerians were shocked when they heard that the penalty was a death sentence. “I had prayed that it was a mere moonlight tale, the type described as a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth, upon hearing about the death of his wife, in William Shakespeare’s epic, by the same title, Act 5, Scene 5, Lines 16-27).
The bill was a clear violation of section 39 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, and Article 19 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR).-https://prnigeria.com/2019/11/12/death-penalty-absurd-ozekhome/.
ANTI-JUDICIARY: BUHARI’S PERSECUTION AND BLATANT DISOBEDIENCE TO COURT ORDERS
Buhari always talked about due adherence to the rule of law, he crusades obedience to court orders and even shamelessly reiterated the same on several occasions – Yet, his government was always guilty of Judicial non – compliance. From unlawful adherence to anything anti – Judiciary. The government was clearly an enemy of the Rule of Law.- https://sunrise.ng/ozekhome-laments-governments-defiance-for-rule-of-law-as-cdhr-turns-30/amp/; Ozekhome laments government’s defiance for rule of law, as CDHR turns 30; 9th April, 2019
Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested in December 2015, following an altercation between IMN in Zaria and the Nigerian Army, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, (JCA), then of the Federal High, Abuja, on December 2, 2015, granted an order for their release and payment of N50 million to them as compensation. The order was blatantly disobeyed.
Justice Daruis Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court also granted an Order seeking leave to seek medical attention in New Delhi, India. The couple left and returned within a week – only to continue custody in the DSS. What for?- https://dailypost.ng/2019/07/28/el-zazakky-ozekhome-blasts-buhari-govt-proscribing-shiite-tells-ban-miyetti-allah/…; El-Zazakky: Ozekhome blasts Buhari govt for proscribing Shi’ite, tells him to ban Miyetti Allah; 28th July, 2019
The former presidential candidate and publisher of Sahara Reporters was granted bail pending appeal, by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, for his charges; but the Buhari-led government refused to comply. Sowore had filed a case against the DSS. We lent our voice to this absurdity – https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2019/08/05/mike-ozekhome-blasts-buhari-over-sowores-arrest/?amp=1; Mike Ozekhome blasts Buhari over Sowore’s arrest; 5th August 2019. (To be continued).
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