Date Published: 07/06/10
Mr. President, A dose of Transparency and Accountability Therapy in Nigeria By John Egbeazien Oshodi
Dr. Jonathan, in your role as the Nigerian President, you appear to be trying to figure out if the gift of tolerance, patience, equanimity and coolness which seemed to have guided you through out your educational and political life would work for you at this time, on a national level especially, the answer is no. The country is yearning for an inpatient leader.
It appears you have come with a very different purpose to help the Nation self renew its self. A good thing at best.
Nevertheless, the national mind is so damaged; as a result it is rapidly acquiring the international reputation of simply politically mad.
In this regard you’re trying to figure out what is going on inside the national psyche, and what characterizes the wounds now covering the politics and economy in the society.
It appears that you are doing this by sometimes, using slow but strategic interventions which make recovery more extraordinary, in a society like Nigeria especially. Why, because the floodgates of one stressor or the other continues to open up suddenly and in a non-stop manner.
Since Nigeria turned their mental or psycho-political alliance away from Britain to America, at least in the last six months, through the advocacy of the person like Nuhu Ribadu as well as your self, the passive approach to issues have swiftly been replaced with an emergency and aggressive type of readiness. And Sir, there is no going back. Remember, Nigeria recently established a Bi-National Commission with the United States of America for the purpose of promoting high-quality political and economic governance.
Politically, and under your watchful eyes and lens, Nigeria is racing against the clock of internal and external pressure. For the good and protection of the common man and woman the United States of America as part of its inordinate principles will more likely continue to put mounting and enormous pressure on you? Sir, these they often with other problematic countries by means like inspiring praise, invisible push, open smile, and of course by way of scare tactics.
America, sometimes works in an unusual manner, and as long they have signed the agreement of shared responsibility with Nigeria, they will work to protect the common people of Nigeria, and as such they will keep you in a feverish state, even if it leads to your political dehydration.
This is the reason for the suggestion for a quick dose of a form of political therapy, the Transparency and Accountability Therapy (TAAT) in particular. Mr. President, this is something you could benefit from, and then pass it to many in the leadership
Mr. President, here is why this type of therapy is crucial at this time. You can not take aid in terms of money, get special attention as evident by your recent White House visit, utter promises of change in terms of fighting corruption and not demonstrate a nerveless and a very strong approach to repairing the traumatic atmosphere that now marks the Nigerian society. You do not do that with them!
The traumatic life events in Nigeria have so much brought institutional abuse and neglect to the people and to almost everything. The man, Nuhu Ribadu, a man mostly trusted by Nigerians at home and abroad, and by the Super countries like America remains a great Nigerian Hope, and you, Sir, has yet to boldly and publicly put him to any public use since his recent return to the country. Mr. President, what and who are you waiting for?
As a reminder, America recently gave you a personal audience and a mount full of advice as well as many Diasporan Nigerians who saw hope in your face recently, are in wait on this delicate matter.
Every reasonable person and America will continue to watch and monitor your next action, but meanwhile, the political stinging on you will continue indirectly and directly.
Just a few days ago, a report from a Berlin-based organization, the Transparency International, reminded America that Nigeria, one of their major aid recipient remains among the top six most corrupt nations out of a list of 180 nations. Again, that is, Nigeria. It is important you study these disturbances, even if you have to wake up at 5.15 am every morning.
Also, there is a new statement reportedly supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which concluded that the most corrupt institution in Nigeria is the Police Force. Now, you see why you need to endure some sleepless nights on these matters of great essence.
Mr. President, these security issues could in no way be good for the internal economic development and international investment in the country, a matter you need to comment on soon.
As usually expected in a Presidential Democracy, you personal and direct comments on these issues remain essential. You can start communicating with the people in many ways. It is time to start reaching the people directly, by the use of communication mediums like battery charged radios, and if possible through the internet and television hoping there will be sustainable electricity.
Sir, this brings up another point, that is the manner by you and other senior Executive officials frequently speak through a representative. Sir, put a stop to this invisible style of communication, now!
Sir, as donor State like the United States of America watch your leadership approach with regards to high level corruption matters like the Halliburton and Siemens scandals; the Nigerians at home and abroad are also watching. And one realistic and quick way you can prove to those that are looking on to you, is to publicly order your Ministry of Justice to fully act on this matter and bring a report on your desk on a set date.
Sir, for every day that passes without your open comment on these matters, leaves room for you to be viewed with a sense of political mistrust.
This could result to a state of political despair, on your part, something you certainly don’t want as you may be already experiencing a sense of disgust over these current and mounting problems.
Mr. President, here is another realization, this mentality of foot-dragging every thing, must stop. It is time to develop a new mindset, now that timing is very important to the nation’s overall functioning, and please do not say you are working on African time!
Mr. President, your place in this anti-corruption war is to openly come before the people and the world, and stand between the Chief Prosecutor Mrs. Farida Waziri, the Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, the Head of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission. It is time you openly recognize the efforts they are making towards the nation’s sanity. It is time for you to openly come out and express your support for the risk they take , and stand with their personnel and assure them of your maximum support, and your stand of neutrality and as well as those of your officials on every investigative outcome.
It is not enough to say the investigative bodies do not report to you, hello, you are not a ceremonial Head of State!
Sir, in an Executive Presidency, every enforcement matter and all executive agencies are under your command. Sir, be more careful about how you or your representatives throw into the public mind these types of unusual comments, and let’s hope you are defining your political growth through the study of past and current executive presidencies.
There is no doubt that you are doing these studies as evident by your higher level of schooling. All you need is to show a diligent approach to issues that matters to the nation and a protective mind set on behalf of the people.
In an extraordinary county like Nigeria, at least election wise, it is essential for you to know that there is very limited time left to objectively engage in the 2011 electoral planning, as it relates to collaboration, preparation, and debate.
Sir, by the way, what is delaying a ‘yes or no’ answer from you with regard to your potential candidacy?
Dr. Jonathan, it is okay to fantasize on this great position, but it is time to confront your self on this issue of whether ‘Jonathan will run or not run’. There is no reasonable excuse so far why you are defying democratic expectations and realities like this type of decision, none.
Sir, only you in your state of aloneness can put a finishing thought on this issue. Particularly, at a time when the spiritual and sectarian elements of a Tribal Democracy seem to be at war with the libertarian and autonomous tenets of any Political Democracy.
Nonetheless, it very therapeutic for every Nigerian and the international funding sources to Nigeria to know the President’s priorities on this matter, in order for the country to know if it is going forward or backwards. Sir, how about telling every one today.
Even a little hint from you is every bit as important in order to ensure that there is no apprehension of an extraordinary havoc like the North and South zoning/rotational adversity, inflaming the country into a state of political divide and instability with possible consequences as a civil war or military intervention. God Forbid!
Dr. Jonathan, please promise to all of your aficionados or admirers that the therapy of transparency and answerability as noted through out this notations, will be put to use. Hopefully, the country will be on the road to permanent healing. Sir, this could only occur by initiating this therapy on your self, and making way for it to be absorbed by the people.
Sir, you have to use these therapies in an on-the-spot way and aggressively, as well as in an unwavering manner in order to show healthy breakthroughs for the people and help better the nation’s image in front of your international supporters.
Mr. President, this is the time to use the two edged combination therapy, as the country is in need at this time. Sir, you need to vigorously become proactive on these matters not in the manner of sensitively extending your hands as if you are reaching into a freshwater of fishes; but in an explosively and out rightly manner since anything about Nigeria requires a daring move. So as to enable you reduce the depressive state of the people, and bring closer all those who currently identifies with you.
Mr. President, as you are quite aware of a few days ago, a Presidential Proclamation 7750 that was signed into law in 2004 by former President George W. Bush is now in full view in Nigeria. At a time when you are in the seat of the Presidency.
The Proclamation is for the purpose of denying foreign corrupt leaders and their families’ entry into the United States of America.
Recently, it was invoked by President Barack Obama, on your former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa. This new stand must be very relieving to the people especially coming from their African son, at least partly. There is more to come, a promise he made to the African people during his visit last year. Sir, you aught to personally comment on this important occurrence, then good faith Nigerians and America will openly know you are in the same mindset with them.
As you may be aware of the Proclamation law was reportedly once used on a co-former Governor, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State.
One would have wished that summary judgments like these are coming directly from you on frequent bases towards those Nigerian Leaders with known history of corruption.
These corrupt elements are seen freely using their blemished or tainted monies, and openly moving in and out of Nigeria, with a convoy of police as security protection. Also, many of their children and families resident in overseas enjoying better residences, good air and adequate schools.
Sir, by the way it is time for the Nigerian ‘big’ or rich person to stop using members of the Nigerian Police Force as private guards and start using security officers from private companies, as guard. Sir, stop this absurd act!
Also, another task, Sir, is for you to issue an executive order which will show to the public the general or the basic annual or monthly salary of a senior official like a President, a Vice President, a Minister, a Governor, a Judge, a Director General, a Military Head, a Law Enforcement Chief (in the Police, Immigration, Customs, etc), including the allowances for newspapers, drivers and domestic servants (things that you should put a stop to, right now).
Sir, the release of these pay information, is essential in order to judge their overly expansive life style compared to their salary respectively.
In order words, where did the money come from especially if each of their annual income is basic as expected in an emerging or developing nation like Nigeria?
As you know, many of these characters are heaping delays upon delays on their so called court cases for reasons best known to them, may be in order to weaken the court proceedings and devalue the case(s).
Sir, the Nigerian leadership is held up in corruption and it must be seen for what it is, and you need to really go after it with workable and drastic solutions. Because without a swift, open, and short and long term problem-solving type treatment just; talking, or using a spokesperson as you often do, will make matters all too enduring for you and the people.
Sir, it is time for a blended type of public service personnel and leadership. You will agree that the present multi-layered debacle have been handled by the same people of the same atmosphere.
The use of the same people and elements, and expecting a different result is nothing short of self delusion on the part of every one.
Sir, you should issue an executive order and return many Diasporan Nigerian serving as career and public service workers across various areas of local, State and federal offices in advanced countries, America especially.
This is how you create blended leadership, bringing in en masse individuals familiar with the type of governmental system now adopted in Nigeria, the American executive, political and economic type of governance.
They will be joining others already deep in the old Nigerian way of administration, and they should not be in fear of been replaced from their comfortable positions. The only change is that these in coming professionals and experts will come in with experienced and up-to-date skills in relevant areas like: Procurement, Military, Police, Waste Management, Emergency Management, Objective Journalism, pollution Control, Disaster Management, , Erosion Control, Office Management, Housing Management, Road Management, Aircraft operation, Behavioral health, Correctional Management, Building Management, Banking, University Management, Clinical Nursing, Postal Management, Hospital Management, etc.
They should not come in a singular manner as the goal is for you to get them into the country, in a massive amount and let them heavily flood the public service.
As long as you have adopted an Executive styled system by virtue of the Nigerian 1999 Constitutional Government, acquire people who are already vast in this type of governance.
Sir, as you may know they will need some flexibility on your part in terms of age limitations as some of them are already in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s. Special modification in the Nigerian civil service rules could accommodate some who want to apply for transfer of service from their documented diasporan career positions for the purpose of continuity or retirement. Some may need very little money to move back with their families and settle. This has been done before in the 1960s and 1970s, and every one saw the great strides the country made on till the armed forces took their different turns in annihilating many civil advancements.
Sir, also put into your head, that these Diasporan Nigerians will save the country from great cost as they are used to doing many things on their own. They will be driving their own private cars, and ironing their own clothes. They will rent their own residences, dust/clean their homes, and do the baby sitting of their children. They will be guarding their own homes as they are likely to seek and procure licensed guns when they reach home.
Sir, as long the global world remain communicable as evidenced by the interlinking of communication networks, social networks, trade and banking, be prepared to start improving on these issues on your own, using the therapies of transparency and answerability or accountability. If not be ready to face a forceful-type of global treatment usually administered to societies where awful leadership is greeted with impunity and people are ruled with the spirit and acts of indifference.
All in all, it is time for an up-to-the-present system of engagement and to achieve this let’s put to use the Transparency and Accountability therapy.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FACFE is a Clinical/Forensic Psychologist, and the Associate Dean of Behavioral Science , North Campus, Broward College, Coconut Creek Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org.