Nigeria is an interesting Country to be. Laws are often twisted or manipulated when it favours the rich and the mighty while the full wrath of the laws are applied when it is a common man is involved. We operate double standard with finessse. In the same Country, Public officials, present or past, had been accused of stealing money running into Billions and nothing significant or at most plea bargaining are enforced while we have seen a common man who stole a goat or smart phone went to jail for four years.
Our moral and political landscape is so corrupt. Our leaders also tell lies wijth finesse. It is only in Nigeria that leaders are seen as messiah, savior of all but when it comes to corruption, stealing is not a crime. Policemen and Men in the Military Uniforms drive on one way or break traffic rule everyday with an aura of ‘ what will can you do’. But let a public bus driver do same, the heaven will be let loose if he is caught.
The Lagos bus drivers popularly known as ‘ danfo’ had gone haywire also. If policemen try to arrest them, some often over run the men in the uniform. The bus driver will only not do same with a Military personnel. Such drivers know he is signing his death sentence. Because if he is unlucky to be arrested in the process of trying to run away, he knows he is already a vegetable.
Yesterday at the fund raising for President Jonathan ‘ s second rerm bid, one could not but noticed this Country still have a long way to go. Nigeria and Nigerian leaders had become so smart that they now break the laws, in every form. This is done through some back door strategy. Unfortunately our Agencies responsible for law, orders, caution are always on holiday during and after such breakdown of laws by the high and the mighty.
Unlike before where such was done, individuals were often called out to make their donations. As usual, captains of industry, money bags who had made money either through government contracts or hopeful are usually invited by the ruling party to fund the coming election. It is an an anethema to be invited and not turn up. Your business empire may collapse prematurely.
The twist in the yesterday’s President Jonathan ‘ s Presidential election fund raising dinner was that money was raked in under the cover of sectors. So we have Aviation, Oil and gas, Transport, national automobile association, Food and Agriculture among others pulled together over twenty One Billion Naira. Only two major individuals Tunde Ayeni and and Prof Jerry Gana and friends donated a whooping sum in billions.
We have a law in Nigeria, electoral laws, which guide what people, individuals, associations can donate into any political campaign. The maximum does not reach Five Million if it even reaches that amount. But here we are an individual, Tunde Ayeni was said to have single handedly donated Two Billion Naira. Prof Jerry Gana and friends donated Five Billion Naira. We should not forget these two major donors background and businesses. Mr.Tunde Ayeni is the Chairman of Skype Bank of Nigeria. What a way to trade with hard earned shareholders’ money Tomorrow if the Skype Bank and Co becomes or start to run short of cash, we know there will be cover ups and back paddling. No wonder top Executives in Nigeria can do stuff and went away. We will keep an eye on Skype Bank to see what happens in the next five years.
Prof Jerry Gana before joining Politics since 1980s was an accomplished academics. Though his name keeps surfacing on some board of directors of some companies, we have yet to see a company he completely owned unlike Tunde Ayeni who is known to have chains of business.
Our concern here, as it may be for other concerned Nigerians, is that it is obvious to everyone Nigeria is not poor, the money is just in the hands of selected Individuals. Majority of whom one cannot successfully trace the track of how their money had grown into Billions. For people like Dangote, every one knows where the Industrialist is coming from. Though one can argue he had also used the machinery of successive governments to gain monopoly of major markets. He is a business man and one may not be able to blame him as much. But when we look at Jerry Gana, one is quick to raise eyebrow.
One other factor here is that what will a candidate needs such an amount for? We mean a great candidate with right, sellable profile. Has our Political landscape gone so bunker that an individual will need such amount to win the hearts of the electorate? Though it has been cleverly stated the money was given to the party and not just President Jonathan ‘ s campaign. But we bet it, let us check record after election in February 2015.
In Jerry Gana’s hometown, it was rumoured there are no internationally rated medical facility the poor and peasant people can go to when they are ill. It was also claimed not all the roads were in the best condition. There are kids who could not pay school fees as well as some of the public school facilities are run down.
This is also same for his home state. One is quick to say if Jerry Gana really loves Nigeria as much, why was that Five Billion he could raised not channeled into all these laudable projects which may not have direct dividends but can really touched Thousands, Millions of indigent persons. In the same country where many sectors lack adequate resources to function properly, few could come together ad dole out Millions to a campaign while the industry facility can run down or dead if it likes.
One Is also quick to ask how kind are Nigeria moneybags? In advanced Countries, we see what Zuckerberg, Bill Gates etc are doing with their excess fund. They fund researches, they fight common diseases that are killing people. Here everything is view from transactional basis. Put money in the government of the day and get contracts that you will not execute while the money had been paid to your cover.
For instance I have a 14 year old boy from a very poor family who is losing his sight and needed just three Millions Naira for surgical operations on whose behalf I had been going round to raise the fund but I have not made any significant progress in the past one month. Yet here are rich people who would rather give money for suspicious motive. We have been encouraged to weep no more for our beloved Country as President Jonathan has brought Goodluck to the people. But can we truly run short of tears when deserving citizens are starving to death, bad roads are killing hundreds daily, our health facilities have no up to date equipments. In fact out of minimum of five cancer centres we should have in Nigeria only two are functioning. Can you imagine what over Twenty One Billion Naira if properly raised, channeled can do in all these identified loopholes?
How do we tell our children, Nigerians could raise Over twenty One Billion Naira in one night to support political campaign but our rich men could not save lives with average of Fifty Thousand Naira? How do we encourage people without financial muscle but have sound integrity to come into Politics. The level of political psychological and emotional abuse here is very high.
A man like President Jonathan with good conscience and heart for the people like his supporters will want us to believe will carry this guilt and burden for a while. That is if truly his supporters’ claim actually represent him.
Photo credit: cityeople
Apology:To our esteemed community members,global readers, we apologise for our initial mixed up in the personality of Mr Tunde Ayeni, a herbal drug manufacturer and that of Skye Bank’s Chairman.