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Date Published: 09/22/10

Nigeria: A Nation Glorifying Failure

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) was inaugurated on 3 rd of September 2007. It becomes three years old this September hence this anniversary press conference to address some of the salient issues affecting the present and the future of Nigeria and her people.


CACOL is an aggregate of human rights, community based, and civil society organisations with anti-corruption agenda across Nigeria. CACOL sets for itself the task of using any available means to cause relevant authorities to probe and bring to book all corrupt leaders both in public and private institutions. The decision to embark on the journey was taken in view of the need to confront, once and for all the monster that is ravaging all facets of our national life in Nigeria - Corruption. We decided to do this on behalf of millions of hapless Nigerians who have by a choice that is not theirs, fallen or are potential victims of corrupt leaders. This monster torments ordinary people of Nigeria in all areas of their endeavour. We have to confront it with a view to defeating it because it has to be done, not by ghosts or citizens of other nations but by Nigerians who have pride in themselves to be full-blooded Nigerians.


CACOL Rationale for operation is premised on the fact thatcauses of all socio-economic and political problems plaguing Nigeria today have been traced to endemic corruption by and among leadership of various socio-political institutions in Nigeria and their collaborators elsewhere. Corruption as evidenced in all dishonest behaviours like stealing, oppression, favouratism, nepotism, lying, embezzlement, misappropriation, bribery, cheating, fraud etc has made an average Nigerian poorer while an average leader unjustifiably wealthier than the capacity of their legitimate earnings.

Access to all basic necessities - food, water, health care, road, education etc not to talk of good things of life - housing, power, energy, transportation etc are elusive to an average Nigerian. Living in Nigeria has become a nightmare owing to lack of security to lives and property occasioned by the large army of unemployed youths that turn to crimes for want of what to eat. While our leaders appropriate billions of naira to themselves as salaries, wages and all sorts of allowance, including renovating a three-year old building with N628 million while the only building standing in the culprit's former primary school has no roof; they sell our common heritage to themselves and cronies at ridiculously low rates; destroy public institutions to create market advantage for their private and privatized ones and accentuate fraud with fraudulent judicial process, people of Nigeria die in droves of preventable ailments like road accidents, malaria and childbirth! Hence we hold the belief that rather than engaging authorities on the effect of a vice we should tackle the vice itself from its roots

CACOL operates under the ideology of “Equitable distribution of work and wealth” i.e. from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. It is our belief that the state owes it a duty to provide jobs for all able bodied. Nigerians never ask for too much than to eat and have a place to lay their heads with minimum convenience. But where the state fails to perform this aspect of its responsibility it must provide social security for the unemployed and the aged. This will make our country convenient save and secure for everyone to live in.

CACOL operates on the principle that a rotten head cannot protect its body. A cancerous tail threatens the head. The fight against corruption is a hydra headed one that cannot be confronted from all fronts at the same time. It can only, like learning proceed from known to unknown. The great is what is known while the little is relatively unknown owing to their level of spread and impact. Hence our fight shall take the principle of `one step at ca time' starting from the presidency to the councillorship; from Chef Executive Officers to cleaners, in both public and private settings.

CACOL’s Motto is Name, Nail, Shame and Shun Corrupt Leaders Anywhere, Everywhere

CACOL’s Vision isA Nigeria without corrupt leaders both in public and private sectors of the economy.

CACOL’s Mission isto deploy any means available to it to cause relevant authorities to probe and try all corrupt leaders both in public and private institutions.

Objectives of CACOL are summarized as follows:

1.)to campaign for the probe and prosecution of suspected or proven corrupt leaders;

2.) to advocate for ostracization of corrupt leaders from their immediate and larger community;

3.) to enlighten the society on the virtues of living modest and corrupt- free lives.

Membership is open to all organisations and individuals that subscribe to its objectives

Our task is simple - to use all legal and civilized means to campaign against known corrupt leaders and pressure relevant authorities to prosecute them. Our activities will include but not limited to:

petitions - petitions against suspected and proven corrupt leaders would be sent to relevant state agency to take all appropriate actions under the laws of the land to prosecute them;

mass letter writing - would be encouraged among Nigerians to pressure public and private institutions, as well as relevant individuals to take specific actions against known corrupt leaders;

processions - would be held at regular intervals, especially when submitting petitions and their follow-up activities;

research - would be carried out on unanswered questions bothering on corruption to establish theoretical bases for activities and advice relevant authorities appropriately on ways and means of tackling the monster;

study - would be carried out on best practices, workability of intended actions and effectiveness of action taken on the subject matter;

investigations - of reported cases of corruption with a view to assisting anti graft agencies with facts and figures to prosecute suspected culprits;

litigations - court and other judicial actions would be taken against any anti graft agency that is reluctant or refuses to perform its lawful duties or overzealous in performing its functions -,

public rallies - spiced with graffiti, leafleteering, bill posting etc would be held at intervals to raise the consciousness of the Nigerian populace on the need and how to make their communities uncomfortable for corrupt leaders to return to. They will be encouraged not to welcome them with open arms, pomp and pageantry that is the current case which encourage them to perpetuate corrupt practices; but with despise and ignominy that will embarrass them and deter potential corrupt leaders from such enterprise;

  • picketing - would be conducted on reluctant or lethargic anti graft agencies, associates of corrupt leaders like their business outfits, worship places, bankers, club houses, traditional rulers etc

In its work CACOL partners with the following institutions:

  • The Police
  • Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences. Commission (ICPC)
  • Code of Conduct Bureau
  • Public Complaints Commission
  • The Judiciary
  • The Media
  • Professional Bodies
  • Labour Movements
  • Houses of Assembly
  • The National Assembly
  • The Executive Governors of States
  • Community Based Organisations
  • Faith-based Institutions and organisations
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Donor Agencies
  • Foreign Missions
  • International Development Partners
  • The Nigerian Public
  • Others

Each participant finances every programme he participates in. External funding would however be sought for major projects.



By October 1, 2010, Nigeria will be celebrating her fiftieth years of independence. We need to ask ourselves: are there reasons to celebrate the golden age? We in CACOL believe strongly that rather than celebrating with fun fare 50 years of failure, we should use it as a moment of sober reflection. A country where poverty reigns supreme in the midst of plenty: a country that is known for production of; and renown for export of crude oil but import refined and finished petroleum products to the detriment of its economic and political progress; a country where N17bn is set aside to celebrate her 50 th independent anniversary while the masses are denied basic necessities of life does not reflects the presence of good leadership.

Nigeria is unique. A unique country, in the sense that the unthinkable happens therein. This is because what is outlawed in other countries is an acceptable norm in Nigeria. The economic resources of the nation is concentrated in the hands of a group of few individuals called cabal who have succeeded in misdirecting the nation’s affairs for their selfish reasons and to the detriment of majority of the citizenry. A country where more than 70 percent of its annual budget goes for salaries and allowances of political office holders at the expense of the poor teeming masses. It is no more news that basic infrastructures in the country are in deplorable conditions. No good roads, no basic educational structures, our hospitals have become transit point to mortuary due to inadequate health care facilities. Unemployment is increasing as the economy gets worse. Industries have closed down due to unabated high cost of production as a result of unreliable power supply

Recently, about 4,000 people were said to have contracted cholera disease in the northern part of Nigeria out of which over 500 have died due to exposure to contaminated water. Children continue to drop out from schools due to parents’ inability to pay school expenses. The question now is: when shall we get out of this shameful situation wickedly imposed on us by selfish leaders over the years.

When a nation is continually led by visionless leaders, who neither have the mental capacity nor patriotic desire to move the country forward, the lot of such nation is actually hopeless. The time has come for Nigerians to wake up from their slumber to reality. 2011 is a year Nigerians must decide on true leadership. It is a year Nigerians must vote and ensure that their votes are not counted for the wrong candidates. It is a year to tell the wicked, self imposed leaders to go into political oblivion; it is a year to rescue our country from the visionless and corrupt leaders while they bow out shamefully.

Since August, 1985, Nigeria has drifted from one bad leader to another, despite all our rich resources; there is nothing to show for it except abject poverty devastating the vast majority of the entire citizenry. When General Ibrahim Babangida toppled General Muhammadu Buhari’s Government, in August, 1985 the value of Naira to USA Dollar was one-to-one and that was after General Buhari had told Western world, that is USA and Europe that Nigeria was too rich to go for IMF loan. Besides, General Buhari had taken it upon himself to pay up our foreign debts for he had said that it was a shame for Nigeria to owe and he almost paid up the external debts when his government was overthrown by General Ibrahim Babangida. Within six months, General Babangida devalued the Naira and went ahead to take the IMF loan which General Buhari had rejected and he had to introduce Structural Adjustment Programme – SAP as a frantic measure. Till today we are yet to recover from the economic quagmire into which General Ibrahim Babangida plunged the country.


The concerned citizens of this country are fast exhausting their patience regarding the deliberate delay created by the Federal Government of Nigeria in respect of the prosecution of those indicted in the now notorious Halliburton bribery scandal. It is quite unfortunate that a scandal of this magnitude which has attracted international condemnation and has further dent our image is being swept under the carpet just because some ‘sacred cows’, including all heads of government from General Sanni Abacha, Abdusalami Abubakar to Olusegun Obasanjo, all of them former army generals, are being protected at all costs by the Yar’adua/Jonathan regime.

According to the Newswatch, September 20, 2010, a summary of the alleged payment showed that between 1994 and 1996 slush monies were taken by our leaders as follows:


Bribe Takers

Amount Taken ($)

1994 - 1998

Gen Sanni Abacha

40 million


Abdukadir Abacha

1.887 million

1996 - 1998

Dan Etete

2.5 million

1996 - 1998

M. D. Yusuf

75, 000

1999 - 2000

Abdusalami Abubakar/Don Etiebet

37.5 million

2001 - 2002

Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku,

Gaius Obaseki and Funsho Kupolokun

74 million

2001 - 2002

Aliyu, Urban Shelter and Intercellular

11.7 million

2001 - 2002

Mohammed Gidado Bakare

3, 108, 675

March 1999

Bayero and Glosmer Int. (Risers Brothers)


1999 - 2000

Shinkafi and Glosmer Int.


March 1999

Edith Edeghoughou


March 1999

Zertasha Malik and Grety Overseas


March/June 1998

Grety Overseas Riser Brothers

1.12 million

From all indications, it is very clear that the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua removed the bribery scandal from EFCC and set up a panel of investigation headed by the former Inspector General of Police in order give it another notorious ‘Nigeria Police Treatment’ that ensures that popular cases fail prosecution tests. Although Mr. Mike Okiro was reported to have arrested and interrogated some middle-level sacred cows, like the former IGP M.D. Yusuf who agreed that his own loot was taken in kind for his health management abroad and Air Vice Marshall Bello, former Chief of Air Staff, who said his is for consultancy from bribe merchant Tesler, until he left office did not make any significant impact as far as bringing any culprit to justice. All he achieved by the 37-page interim report his panel came up with is nothing more than scratching the matter on the surface by arresting and interrogating only the “minors” in the case while leaving out the Chief accounting officers of the bribe-taking regimes as well as indicted heads of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

As a self-acclaimed progressive Nigerian President, Nigerians have been expecting Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to handle this matter with all seriousness in a way that will be exemplary of what to expect if he eventually won the 2011 elections in his avowed ‘zero-tolerance to corruption’. He should ensure that all Nigerian criminals involved in this case are brought to book in the mould of what the United States of America, France and Germany have done to their citizens, without further delay.

The arraignment of a few of small fries in the crime leaving out their principals on September 3 in a court of incompetent jurisdiction by the present Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation seems more like the tactics of the former AGF, Michael Aondoakaa who jinxed the case in the first place by ensuring it suffers the ‘Nigeria Police Treatment’. It is mere grandstanding aimed at drawing a wool across the eyes of the international community in pretence that the present regime ‘should be seen to be doing something’ about the shameful act. It is against this backdrop we call on President Jonathan to remove the bribery scandal from the Attorney General of the Federation and reassign it to EFCC who had earlier made significant progress in their investigation of the case and are specifically established to handle such cases. This will be a step in the right direction. The President should know that his achievements on the Halliburton matter and similar ones like Siemens, Wilbross etc within the next few months stand a good chance to enhance his political fortunes.

He should seek to please millions of Nigerians than a few dishonest citizens who have for years, run the country’s economy aground and currently posturing as his Political Godfathers. They may turn out to be his undoing!


Now that dubious Nigerians are about offering themselves to Nigerian voters to be considered for elections into public offices, CACOL thinks it very necessary to remind the citizens of the untold hardship they have suffered over the years in the hands of the visionless Nigerians who continue to recycle themselves in and out of offices. It is pertinent to say that Nigeria retrogressed twenty years when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who left office as head of state in 1979 but came back in 1999 as president. We are yet to recover from the corrupt practices that marred his 8 years in office. Such was his inordinate but greedy desire to remain in Aso Rock Villa after 8 years as president and he had to squander millions of public money to bribe legislators.

Perhaps, because chief Obasanjo was able to fool Nigerians, who by act of negligence, allowed a man, who as it were, needed both mental and physical rehabilitation, having suffered serious incarceration in the hands of General Sani Abacha; General Ibrahim Babangida would have a reason for nursing the unhealthy ambition of becoming the next ex-military head of state after chief Obasanjo to rule Nigeria as elected president. It is therefore very necessary to remind General I.B. Babangida that the Nigeria of 1999 is different from today’s. Nigerians are tired of political dead woods. Nigeria wants to move forward. Nigeria has ceased to be an individual’s property as it was in the days of incessant Military coups that brought about oppressions and humiliations. Even though sycophant Nigerians are supporting him because of his money, we must let him know that a PDP ticket is no longer an automatic election victory as rigging will be resisted by Nigerians come 2011.

Besides, we should remind the likes of General Ibrahim Babangida and his supporters that Nigerians will no longer tolerate a leader that would hard heartedly shut all our schools (from primary to tertiary) for almost a year, thereby compelling idle youths to go into heinous crimes such as armed robbery and drug trafficking. Come 2011 Nigerians will ensure their votes count. No intimidation can suppress a determined citizenry. A self-styled president, who once confessed publicly that Nigeria’s economic problems have defied all solutions, thereby making his ineptitude known; who threw the country into chaos by annulling a presidential election results that was adjudged the best in the annals of our electoral history, has no moral justification to contest presidential election, although the constitution is so porous to allow such anomaly.

We need to remind President Goodluck Jonathan that Nigerians desire the best from his administration. That the president is wasting scarce resources on three presidential jets when there are important things that necessitate urgency to spend money on, calls for concern. He should not have waited till PHCN workers went on strike before paying their entitlements. To purchase 3 presidential jets with foreign loan is a step in the wrong direction. We cannot afford another spendthrift government sixteen years after IBB’s economic and political imbroglio. Your loyalty to Nigerian masses will ensure your success at next years polls than loyalty to few PDP stalwarts. A word is enough for the wise.

We would also want Nigerians to view with seriousness, the activities of the legislators regarding the matter of self awarding of allowances which is the only reason why they would not pass the freedom of information bill into law. For law makers to arrogantly award breathtaking millions of Naira as allowances to themselves calls for concern. Such people are not worthy of being our law makers. Legislators who award N240m as yearly allowance per member do not wish their country well. Where will the money for executing important projects come from when an individual in the name of legislator awards himself such huge amount of money? Nigerians should develop the attitude of calling for accountability from public office holders, even at Local Government level. This will check the excesses of public office holders at all level of governance. The time has come to move our country forward at all costs!

Come 2011, all categories of contestants must be subjected to Television and Radio debates as it is done in civilized countries where democracy thrives. A candidate capable of leading Nigeria to the promise land should be confident enough to speak about pressing issues of public interest and should be subjected to cross-examination by Nigerians during such television and radio debates. No leader should emerge the way Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did in 1999 when he refused to take part on television and radio debates. Whoever will not take part in a public debate, whether television or radio should be disqualified from contesting elections. Such a candidate is not fit to rule.

So, Nigerians beware!

Debo Adeniran

Executive Chairman, CACOL

September 22nd, 2010.


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