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I Want To Know Who Owns The Land

First published April 5, 2016
SubTopic: The Forfeiture of Sovereignty of Nigeria by Nigerians

Musician/Evangelist Sunny Okosun posed this question in a song a few years back from a pan-African anti-colonial perspective. Today, I do it in this treatise from a purely Nigerian perspective. Mine has nothing to do with the British, or other colonial masters. I am talking about oppression of Nigerians by their own so-called brothers in the country. I do want to know who really owns this land called Nigeria? Is it “We The People” as our constitution says, or is it the few people that are always imposed on us as leaders? Sovereignty is a very important word in a democracy, and every Nigerian should embrace it very tightly as we approach the coming April elections.

It is the word that affirms that “We The People” own the land. Sadly, most of us do not even seem to have any clue whatsoever, what the word means at all. No wonder, we sit back and watch a few so-called powerful individuals to select, in so-called elections, a team of gangsters to rule us. And then we sheepishly sit back and watch the selected gangsters to treat us as slaves and run our country as though it was their own personal, badly managed company.

In essence, “we the people” do not own this land. The gangsters that are imposed on us in the name of leaders do. To that effect, the leading party’s slogan— Power to the people— is a major farce. It should read ‘Power to the Gangsters.’ We have, in our disgraceful passivity, relinquished our sovereignty to them.
We know that they go in there with nothing, and a couple of years later, in some cases only months later, they are stinking billionaires in any currency of the world. For them, it has become a competition to determine who can steal faster and more than the others. They no longer go for millions, mind you.

No sir! Indeed, billions are soon going out of fashion; they are now competing for Trillions. Greedy Bunch With Deadly Impunity! Our so-called leaders are so greedy and so bold that their crimes stick out like sore thumb. They even dare us to do anything about it; otherwise, they would at least make a little effort to hide their loots. Rather, some of them have their killer squads ready to ‘snuff out’ anybody that dares to protest their flagrant abuse of power. The less deadly ones prefer to engage Public Relations teams, lawyers and corrupt judges to do their dirty job with lies and deceit.
They flout the loots with so much impunity, some in form of ownership of universities, banks, airlines, and multiple billion naira housing estates. This should make us all to feel very insulted and ashamed that we have allowed it to go on for so long. Nigerian looters believe, or should I say they know that we are too ‘weak’ to do anything to them.

They know that Nigerians will always accept any situation and move on with their lives as though nothing ever happened.
The Constitution Violation Virus: The evil deeds of our so-called leaders are so humongous and so open that anybody, even a five-year boy, or girl for that matter, could nail them a million times over within due process of the law.

This is why I can never understand why baba and the State Lawmakers have to resort to the blatant violation of our constitution in order to impeach some of our so-called governors. The constitution violation virus must really be incurable. Baba is obviously deeply hooked. The man cannot seem to do anything without violating our constitution, even when it is absolutely unnecessary.

As I blame baba, however, I do not pretend not to understand one fairly sensible explanation why he is taking the ‘operation-impeach-the-governors’ campaign the obvious gangster style. Call me the devil’s advocate for a moment, if you will. My premise, by the way, is that we should nail any guilty mega looter of our treasury any which way we can. I established this in my previous piece on the so-called presidential witch-hunt against governors. Just think about it for a moment, would you. Do you really see any possibility of impeaching any governor in this crazy country under normal circumstances? As you ponder on it, lets remind us of some of the ‘normal’ circumstances in question, the Nigerian style. (1) The so-called legislators are always, repeat, always ready and eager to be bought. That means that they are ready at any time to look at white and pronounce it black, in broad daylight. (2)  If a case gets to court, the lawyers and judges are ready and willing to be bought over, too. They hide under all manner of legal mumbo jumbo to set a well- paying criminal free. If everything else fails them, there is always the good old court injunction instrument to manipulate to their advantage. (3) The governors have billions of naira of our treasury in their control to buy all these ever-willing, so-called custodians of our laws a million times over. We are all here when they promise people, and I quote, “millions in any currency of the world,” in order to set them free by hook and by crook. What do we do? Absolutely nothing! It makes news headlines for a few ways and fizzles out. Our miserable hellish life goes on, and their looting and heavenly living, now indirectly empowered by the law, continues.

It is for this situation that I cannot help but subscribe to the ‘get-them-anyway-we-can’ notion. I cannot help but support, for instance, the little game of blackmail that my boy Ribadu pulls on some of our so-called lawmakers. Everybody knows that the governors are guilty of looting, but the lawmakers can never agree to impeach them because so many of them are on the governors’ payroll. And you think that I give a damn if Ribadu has to apply a little common sense coercion to get the job done? If that is the only way to nail the criminals, then so be it, I say. Besides, what is so wrong about Ribadu’s form of coercion anyway? It is simply a modified form of what American legal system calls plea-bargaining. Under the plea-bargain system, it is legitimate to allow a “small fish” to get away with a crime, if he can testify and help to ‘nail’ a “bigger fish.” Ribadu only modifies it a little to suit the Nigerian adverse peculiar situation. He applies a little plea-bargaining coercion to force the smaller fish in the legislature to nail the Execu-Fish? One sure thing about plea-bargaining is that it never exists if the subject has no guilt. In other words, if the lawmakers were clean, nobody could ever “blackmail” them to impeach the governors, if you insist on calling it blackmail.

If they were honorable men and women as they were supposed to be in the first place, nobody would need to coerce them to do their job. Sure, Ribadu might have failed to follow due process in some cases, but is that a good reason for us to allow the looters of our treasury to go free? I maintain that anybody who walks the deplorable roads of our cities and towns, aware of the deplorable state of our schools, hospitals, and everything else in this country, and is not angry with the looters of our treasury, needs a serious rethink. The only sensible explanation to me is that the person benefits from the evil, period.

Insult Upon Injury: Another popular trend among the Nigerian looters that insults my person is their boastful utterances. I believe it was the deposed Inspector General of Police who introduced a slang, ‘I will bounce back’ in their criminal dictionary. Trust the copycat syndrome of Nigerians; now all the looters are insulting us with the same, or similar statements. We catch or impeach a thief in office for stealing billions of naira; and he brags that he will bounce back. Only in Nigeria! In a sane society, such criminals are too embarrassed to boast when they get caught. In Nigeria, we give them chances to remain in power forever. Mind you, they do bounce back once they somehow happen to get back into the good book of baba and his PDP. They force them on us again. And, as usual, we all accept it like helpless fools.

Finally, I have to say that I do not blame the looters of our treasury as much as I blame the entire population of Nigerians. We are so apathetical that we have forfeiting our sovereignty to them! Very unfortunate!!!
Harry Agina writes from the USA

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