The same way that late Mr. Ironsi could be omitted applies to Mr. Buhari. Up till date, no one has accused his government of looting the treasury. In fact, he displays his aversion to looting with pride, and his opponents hold him high in that regard. His major problem has always been the reference to his “draconian rules” but not looting of the treasury.
Mr. Babangida was accused of looting, especially the $12 billion approximately Gulf oil windfall for which there is yet to be a proper account up till now. Although the late Mr. Abacha set up a PTF department funded from the gains in the sale of imported petroleum, Mr. Babangida had no such equivalent programme during his regime.
Where did such equivalent sums of money go under him? Yet no government functionary is investigating him. He walks free every day. He even attempts to come back as a civilian president to rule a “gullible” crop of Nigerians!
No one has publicly accused Mr. Abubakar Abdusalam of corruption, though there are rumour mills here and there. Can we also exclude his name from the list of corrupt former Heads of States? Your guess is as good as mine.
If Mr. Abacha looted between 2% and 3% of the country’s GDP for every year that he was a Head of State, did he not learn it from somebody? If $400 billion was estimated to have been looted and Mr. Abacha alone was just estimated at a maximum of $5 billion, is it not reasonable to assume that he was a much more benevolent looter of the treasury compared to the likes of Messrs Azikiwe (1960 – 1966), Gowon (1966 – 1975), Murtala (1975 – 1976), Obasanjo (1976 – 1979), Shagari (1979 – 1983), Babangida (1985 -1993) and Obasanjo (1999 - 2007)?
I am sure that Nigerians must be getting tired of repeated references to Abacha without any other effort to investigate others who taught him how to loot.
Must we just close our eyes while hundreds of billions of dollars that should have provided our children with free education up to university level, provide our people with accommodation and dependable health care services, motorable road and rail networks, adequate power and water supplies, high level of employments for graduating youths, etc are still in the bank vaults of criminals who had the opportunity to rule as heads of State?
Must we keep quite while multitudes of the underprivileged Nigerians continue to live miserable lives? I think otherwise.
Must we continue to make mention of the colossal sum of looted funds without a search for the offenders? I think otherwise. Even after the collapse of the World Trade Centre in America as well as the death of the hijackers, the Bush administration still identified all the people involved. Why is this type of investigation not in place in Nigeria to exhume the facts and pin-point all the looters of our collective wealth?
This to me is the most appropriate thing to do, not free talks at seminars and workshops. And the government owes it a duty to stamp out corruption if her principal functionaries are not corrupt too.
Consequently, the Yar’Adua administration must prepare herself for the full scale investigation of corruption against all the past regimes to unearth the missing links between the $5 billion maximum traced to the late Mr. Abacha and the balance of $395 billion approximately that is yet to be accounted for.
In my subsequent articles, I hope to find a heuristic approach for the identification of the past corrupt leaderships. Till then, let me wish all Happy New Year 2008. Concluded.
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