Subject: USA/Africa Dialogue, No. 1064: Aluko and the $12 Billion, 6
Date: August 31, 2005 8:40:17 PM CDT
To: Recipient List Suppressed:;

Anthony Agbali:

With reference to the issue of debt repayment raised by Professor Aluko, phrased within the context of spreading the scheduled repayment over time, in realistically providing some leverage for positive governmental development use, I personally think that it makes no difference. This is simply because whether Obasanjo pays it now or it is spread out later, the irresponsible cabals within the corridors of power would truncate the lives of many Nigerians by coercing the state and its resources into their pocket. It is now known, through the leaked reports of the Okigbo panel that dictatorial and bestial erstwhile Ibrahim Babangida, head of Nigerian government (1985-1993) misused the country's revenue, especially the $12.5 billion that accrued to Nigeria during the Gulf War 1, irresponsibly.

The truth of the matter is that Nigerians should hold Obasanjo accountable to get Babangida to repay this same $12 billion to the Paris Club, or put him on trial. The amount in question represents what he Babangida and other "agboro soldiers," "pepper soup armed forces" and "weeping generals" have amassed through false means to enslave, torture, oppress, and abuse numerous Nigerians. Until they are held accountable for their actions, regardless of whether Obasanjo pays the $12 billion in lump sum on installmentally to the Paris Club matters little. Rather, these thievery recidivists would roll us back on the inertial of economic debacle. Though Obasanjo has advocated and tried to rehab or as they say in Nigerlan media parlance, "laundry," Babangida's image, that there is nothing incriminating against him-at least so far-provable corruption-wise, the reality is: what was his salary as an army general? where did he get the loan to build his Minna Evil Covenous mansion (Horror's House of Terror)? How much did he earn as a Military dictator?

Until we know these facts, and then the total sources of his income, minus his salary, then minus the value of his property and investments compared to his income prior to and since he became a military president, then we can say that there is no transparency in Nigeria, and there is no honest attempt to fight corruption, and until that is done there would be no economic and social security in Nigeria.

Until greedy and heavily a-ethical government and erstwhile officials are accountable, debt relief, cancellation, forgiveness( whatever the name) have no meaning in fact, especially now that the terrain is bustling with the combustive attempts of these "mobsters" to rehab themselves, to replenish lost money once again, through corrupt means by seeking access to power, continuing to militarized the Nigerian polity with impunity and without conscience, or regrets. See the recent news of Atiku? A Vice President linked to high level corruption as is well known in Nigerian cycles. What business is Atiku involved in before he became President to buy a $2m house in Potomac, Maryland? Did he have houses of that amount anyway in the West previously? Where did he earn the money? Where can we find his asset declarations in Nigerian public records?

Yet, this man was the choice of President Obasanjo because of his Yar'adua political connections. He raised to build an American type private University in Yola, OBJ followed with his, and additionally as a seating President at least two years before quiting office launched his monumental Presidential Library. Governors contributed N10m each, and yet we expect them not to be corrupt, when we know that previous to being governors, many of these persons could ill-afford such amount. We know it, and they know it, but once it was convenience for OBJ he turned away his face. Such attempt to be savvy in fostering a politics of convenience rather than principles, is the bane of our problems. It is the reason that a nepotic leader of the ruling party, is still parading himself with relevance, when he should have, given such tainted publicity, tendered his resignation. It the norm of Pillage, Destroy, and Piss [on it] (PDP) to trample upon Nigeria through pillaging, destroying, and "pissing" on it to seal its fate, but I bet this would never happen, higher forces, the will of the people, embedded in their sovereignty would forestall this, if not now, sometimes not too far away. That is why, OBJ vendetta, as suggested by dialogue No. 1053 or American independent agency, I have no singular iota of sympathy for Atiku and all those bullying poverty over our people, and hovering over our lives in delusive strides of false relevance. Nigeria and Nigerians need to appropriately get rid of all of them, rather than gather Al'majiri's to enchant their praises in sonorous tones, that stimulates their thievery nerves.

Aluko's fine thesis would then be pushed into meaninglessness, swiftly boated into the state of factual delirium, asphyxiated and re-wheeled into a cyclical order of social reincarnation of a malaised polity. We know it, we have tread that road before, where meaningful policies are discarded by in-coming administrations in other to further their own prebendal goals and devious hegemony. One time the name and functions of Permanent Secretary became Director-Generals, and now we are back there again to Permanent Secretary (Perm-Sec in the sweet Nigerian rendition), among such other type of revolving policies that has characterized the Nigerian scene. If Obasanjo is committed to this, what political guarantees are there that should the restless Evil Genius come back, he too will find OBJs policies binding. Here again, we are talking about grave issues relative to a backward, pristine, cosmetic, shallowy political culture that has defined the arena of governance. But the issue is where do we go from here? My hunch, is that if OBJ has not waited until his second term to get serious, somewhat such culture could have long began to fossilize in some sense. However, all hope is not lost, as the many Alukos are here to remain with the capacity of vision, and a resilience that outwit corrupt Nigerians in the corridor of power.