Date Published: 10/29/09
HUNGER AS WEAPON OF WAR TO BANKRUPT NIGERIA WORSE THAN BIAFRA WAR By Farouk Martins Aresa
There is no point fooling ourselves about some greedy access to Nigeria’s Treasury, since many without contact are waiting in the corridor for their turns to loot our assets to ashes. This war against Nigeria is longer and more deadly than the Biafra war. Yet these few Nigerians from a tiny part of our populace, are our kin and friends. They are so powerful, nobody has been able to stop them thus far. Their worst punishment is a couple of years in prison hotels. Helplessly, we watch more of our children in the North and the South scavenge toxic dump to eke a living.
Give many Nigerians the choice of either a couple of years in prison hospitals as billionaires like Bode George, less years like Tafa Balogun or none like Andy Uba and Tony Anenih or die slowly of hunger, they would go to prison. If some Nigerians had a choice between crossing the desert pregnant, ending up in foreign prisons or a couple of years in Nigerian prison inns with billions waiting for them, they would chose Nigerian prisons. Indeed, soldiers would rather die gallantly fast by the hail of bullets in a war than die sluggishly of 1-0-0, 0-1-0, or 0-0-1 hunger in our land!
Nigerians have fought a civil war before, but not this type of deprivation that is invisible and undefined lacking concerted strategy to attack and cut its head off. It is almost a one sided battle as these general of looters conquer every institution in the Country like the spoil of war with impunity and little resistance because they are our kin and friends. Since a few of our kin and friends have declared war of deprivation on us, we don’t need invading army as enemies.
During the Biafran war, we had generals on both sides fighting for a conviction, a cause or oil against formidable opponent. In the war against corruption, Nigerians are no match for these political generals. All the training at Royal Military Academy and National Institute of Policy and Strategy Studies only taught us how to overwhelm our people not create surplus and conquer hunger. Instead, they are killing women and children with one of those weapons of war- hunger. After all, they claimed they only loot millions in US dollars compared to these new billionaires.
Anyone who can hijack salaries can kill us slowly. You can see and quantify atrocities of war but our war of corruption is insidious. You have to do an analysis and prove intellectual correlation to corroborate evidence for the adherent of due process to convict. Even then, cronies would argue about it and compare it with their own paid research. By the time we finally agree on the culprits, the house has burnt to the ground and lives lost. Nigeria would be gone. Watch how angry supporters of convict, Bode George who had sued for libel, reacted at the court house.
If Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Hamman Tukur, had it right that we are speeding recklessly to destruction, as if we and the looters don’t know that, no more Country would be left to manage. Some parts of Nigeria will merge with Niger, some with Benin Republic and the rest, maybe with Cameroon. A movie of Nigerians in Nollywood carrying bowls to tiny West African countries asking for jara, may wake us up, or make us revolt.
So who will save us from ourselves but us? Every reasonable voice from the time of Awolowo’s dire warning of the consequences of our profligacy to that of a late convert, the new prophet of doom in charge of politicians excessive salary, Chairman of MAFC, always fall by the wayside. Any silver lining in financial prudence under colonial masters and some unpopular governments, haves been squandered. They handed back our treasures to foreigners under successive rulers. Today, it is excess crude oil account that is being depleted, the next target is foreign reserve.
Yeah, sure, as if they care about what is next! These are the ones whose only achievement and pride in life is how hard they fought to keep us together so that they can loot the Country to death. We need to debunk that aggrandizement. We know the difference between those who were willing to die to get rid of Nigeria’s ten-percent kickbacks and those willing to fight to fat on other peoples’ natural resources. Who care more about Nigeria’s unity, rogues fighting for spoil of war or patriots who could not stomach 10% kickbacks then?
In the same Country we tolerate armed robbers to be shot at the Bar-Beach, Sharia courts cut off arms and legs for stealing goats. But no such public drama for those who stole too much to know the worth of their loot, have no idea how it is generated or not care less. They glorify their loot without the shame that made the Chinese hang, which made Americans like Madoff lose the key of his jail house. Well, in Nigerians they wear their badge of indignity with a wink.
Many of them who think they and their children are immunized to Nigeria’s poverty have lost their lineage in the Country. Their children and grandchildren will remain foreigners spread all over the world or absorbed by neighboring countries. They have reduced those who cannot take the risk to cross the desert or means to sell themselves abroad to praying to win visa lottery, even in their old age. Raise objection, and be struck down or given a wound to nurse.
Hear them, rail against those who made something of themselves outside without subsidy from home: These Nigerians out of the Country are throwing stones back home giving us bad image base on cynicism. Well, at least those ones aim their stones at vultures at home. How can they explained those Judas or traitors, omo-akotileta, throwing hard earned and God given treasures out of Africa to ever-fed countries paved with gold, milk and honey produced by modern serfs?
Those abroad who sweat to build houses to return to, wonder if sweet home they grew up in will be there by the time they return from exiled as economic refugee? How long their personal savings will provide polluting generators and water for their families. You miss Nigeria not when you are hungry but when you have enough to eat and drink. When you are hungry and cannot feed your family, the fear of hunger grips and stares, Nigeria is the last place in your mind. But we can afford to reminiscent again as we become comfortable in either Nigeria or abroad.