Delta State and Celebration of Corruption Featured

Saturday, 31 December 2016 00:00 Written by  Published in Niger Delta Watch Read 307 times
James Ibori in Prison James Ibori in Prison

Since the release of Chief James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State from British prison, the impression the political class of the state especially of the PDP extraction has been giving is that there is nothing wrong with corruption and the crimes the man was jailed for.

A politician even compared Ibori with Nelson Mandela and Olusegun Obasanjo for their prison experiences.  Mandela was sent to jail by apartheid South Africa for fighting for the rights and freedom of his people. In the case of Obasanjo, the Abacha regime framed him up for some unexplained crimes. Another politician, a senator from the state boasted that Ibori, while in prison, was pulling the political strings about elections and appointments.

The celebration has made one critic to say that stealing is part of the culture of Delta State. If the truth must be said, majority of Deltans abhor corruption and stealing of public funds. Therefore those politicians celebrating Ibori know why they are doing so and should not be equated with vast majority of Deltans who are hardworking, honest and patriotic. Those who are celebrating corruption are free to do that and it is hoped that EFCC is taking note of them.

There are two main lessons that can be drawn from Ibori`s experience in the UK. First, that the Nigerian judiciary is very corrupt and given the way the former governor was acquitted of all charges against him. The second reason is that Ibori is not only the corrupt former governor and that there are many all over the country including one that got a perpetual court injunction that he should not be probed. When you add all these together, you are faced with a country that is swimming in corruption. The final lesson of this despicable celebration is that the political class is so guilty that they despise the court ruling that put Ibori behind bars for about six years. With this kind of political mindset, salvation of the nation is still very far.

Cross River Governor`s crowded political aides

Politicians are special breed of people and their thought process most of the time do not sit well with reality. Or how else could one explain the appointment of 2000 political aides by the Cross Rivers State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade. It is on record that the former governor of the state Mr Liyel Imoke had 90 political aides.  But this is a state with a total workforce of 22, 000 and a monthly wage bill of N4.5billion. Yet there are some politicians who are lauding Ayade to high heavens for the provision of democratic dividends. If the truth must be told, Ayade is threading the wrong path of governance and should be called to order.

What are really the job descriptions of these political aides? Of course, it is just a case of giving jobs to the men and women who worked for his election. It is unfortunate that the State House of Assembly is silent on this matter and is more of rubber stamp of the `imperial` governor with his train of courtiers. This is wrong through and through. It is now the duty of the civil rights organizations, the press and the senior citizens to fight this obvious art of mis-governance. This is clearly how not to spend the people`s money. Ben Ayade must be told in plain language that Cross River State does not belong to him alone and by any stretch of political imagination should not treat it as a personal estate. Since the State House of Assembly is docile on this matter, it would not be a bad idea to drag him to a court of competent jurisdiction for wasting the taxpayers’` money.

Rivers State Imperial Speaker

There is a saying that if you show me your friend, I will tell you who you are. And that is exactly what is playing out in the Rivers State House of Assembly where the speaker Honourable Dabotorudima Adams is presiding. Adams for months running has refused to swear in APC legislators that were duly elected and given certificates of return by INEC. Speaking in Port Harcourt recently, the 2015 APC governorship candidate Mr Dakuku Peterside argued that there is no constitutional provision that gives the speaker such power. He therefore threatened that the APC legislators would take their seats whether sworn in or not. Speaker Adams is behaving like Governor Nyesom Wike and perhaps taking orders from him. The whole episode is wrong, illegal and unconstitutional and clear advertisement of the immaturity and intellectual incapacities of our politicians. The speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly should realise that he was elected like the other legislators he is treating like political vermin. When people in power forget themselves and arrogate to themselves the powers of the gods, they are creating a very fertile ground for anarchy. The only qualification for a legislator to take his seat either at the national assembly or the state house is the presentation of a valid certificate of return to him  by INEC. Should Speaker Dabotorudima Adams continue to take instructions from Governor Nyesom Wike, he is sowing seeds for anarchy and chaos. The more serious transgression is that the speaker is doing grave damage to the beautiful concept of separation of power. It is hoped that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu and the Inspector-General Police, Ibrahim Idris are aware of the unfortunate unfolding political drama in Rivers State.

Ajalakpo Oweh

Ajalakpo Oweh, is a seasoned journalist who writes in from Delta state. He covers the southern sub-region of Nigeria for the magazine.