An open letter to Nigeria’s President Jonathan

August 17, 2011


Crime syndicate masquerading as a nation?


Nigeria must work towards not being categorized as a “crime syndicate masquerading as a Nation”


Living and life in Nigeria are adventures, though not of the pleasant varieties.


I’ve been at one of those [sort of] world’s backwaters these last couple of days and despite it being a “modern” Nigerian city, I haven’t been able to get online.  I’m even staying at a 5-star hotel – I believe – as the clean small boutique type hospitality inn has all that takes a Nigerian hotel to slap itself with the Michelin-type classification of choice:  tons of marbles and tiles!  I’ll need to drive around the city trying to get signals for web access and whenever I do today, Wednesday, August 17 or tomorrow, 18th  – I’ll post this!


Dear readers, please remember this is a leisurely-paced blog by a near-old lady that promises readers one or so new writings of my own and a couple of essays from past writings every week and while I’ve been able to deliver more than that promise, it is frustrating on occasions like this not to be able to post even when one has completed an essay. You’ll bear with me, I trust.




Dear President Jonathan,

Nigeria’s reputation has not only been damaged by the criminal activities of some of her nationals abroad but mainly by the ever-growing corruption level of almost all of her governments since independence. Despite your campaign promises to provide “transformational leadership” and bring “fresh air” to Nigeria, the air that seems to pervade the country is of stench emanating from corruption at all levels of government.

Most Nigerians are beginning to wonder if their president is up to the task of taking on the war against what IS the principal reason behind all Nigeria’s problems.  And in the early going of your presidency, this serves to remind you of a mere few of the zillions of corruption allegations that call for your attention instead of the frenetic search for tenure elongations that you’ve reportedly stated would stem governance problems that plague the country and reduce electioneering costs.

Dr. Jonathan, most Nigerians do not see a single-term tenure of even a dozen years as the panacea to the near murderous fights that accompany presidential quests.  Tackle the corruption problem by ensuring that those who have cases before the various investigative agencies get their just rewards.  If those in high offices know that they would not get away with looting, corruption would be greatly minimized.


Here are a few of those awe-inspiring facts/allegations crying out for action or change of actions already taken or not taken:


ONE:  The blatant cold shoulder given the allegations of corruption and graduation year forgery against Dieziani Allison Maduekwe by you does not show a president willing, ready or able to bring change in the business-as-usual corruption situation of Nigeria.

TWO:  Mr. President, an alleged Siemen’s bribe taker should not be on your cabinet.  As 234NEXT chillingly put it, “in a discomforting sign that Nigeria’s new president will travel a familiar old track after all, Goodluck Jonathan has nominated two questionable men, Haliru Bello Mohammed and Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar Mairago, for ministerial appointments.” 

Mohammed is the guy widely reported as one of those who benefitted from Siemen’s £8.6 billion Siemens international bribe scandal while Mairago was detained for “fraudulent activities” as the executive director of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).   That they were able to even appear on your cabinet list confirms why I chose the title “Nigeria’s ministerial list portends a future that is Nigeria’s immediate past” for an essay that appeared here after that list became public.

THREE:  How could the following persons whose names remain on that infamous list be arrested and prosecuted when one of their own is a member of your cabinet:  Tajudeen Olanrewaju, Cornelius Adebayo,  Alhaji Elewi , and Jibril Aminu, a recurring top player in successive Nigerian governments, a one-time Minister of Petroleum Resources and a PDP Senator?

Worse for a reputation you want to build, Good Doctor, many of these alleged bribe takers did own up.

FOUR:  What is going on with the case of the former Speaker, Alhaji Saburi D. Bankole?  Why is he so certain that there is no way anyone could find the evidence to nail him on the seventeen charges against him?  According to a 234NEXT news report, “He said there is nothing, no financial transaction, that has his name or signature appended to it.” This statement, and another widely reported “no court in Nigeria can convict me” smack of a conspiracy against the people of Nigeria – a syndicate – holding the country and its people up to ridicule.

Bankole’s alleged loot, as you know, involves billions.

FIVE: a Sahara Reporters investigation:  Would the world regard as “fresh air” the stench from a Nigerian state where a governor allegedly paid N450 million for a N16 million contract as ex-Governor Nyame purportedly did, an act that earns him an EFCC investigation as part of N1.3 Billion supposedly looted funds?

How was Nyame able to do that and what of other governors in, perhaps, most states against whom allegations of looting stand?  Can those who have absconded not be investigated on charges being leveled and subsequently tried if evidences call for such?  What has happened to looters found guilty and their properties and assets that litter the country and the globe?  Are there no quick means that these can be taken over if these men are found guilty even if they’ve fled the country?  Ditto asking for the cooperation of those countries where these loots are stashed and where these men have fled?

Sharing of millions: N15 million to the deputy speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, N4 million to the P. A. to commissioner of finance and N16 million was for the purchase of the stationeries not purchased, and N8 million gift to ministry staff was done because there are no known repercussions to those who perpetrate such crimes against any state in the country.

SIX:  When the world read a Sahara Reporters investigation in May about the looting of a bank by Mrs. Anthonia Akingbola [husband already being tried for reported looting of Intercontinental Bank] and some associates, how do you want people in other countries to describe the country you lead?  Mrs. Akingbola was reported as being “wanted over new charges relating to the theft of over N56 billion  depositors’ funds in the two banks” Intercontinental Bank and Bank PHB] .

Mr. President, N56 billion is well over US$300 million as we all know, and those scams led to hundreds of thousands of ruined lives, lost opportunities and even suicides.

SEVEN:  How about the new [minor] revelation of Africa for Obama’s Onyiuke Okereke alleged certificate forgery?  You have no hands in the former D-G of the Stock Exchange claiming to have a doctorate degree when she reportedly does not – zillions in politics and government do in these parts – but the general environment is that of a frontier where anything goes and we cannot but attract descriptions, metaphors, adjectives, etcetera that are often employed in describing such places.

The display of ill-gotten wealth by those in politics and government is partly to blame for those who have given Nigeria a bad name abroad because they too want affluent lifestyles like their compatriots who live high off looting of public wealth.

Your stamp of approval is there, Mr. President – on the status quo, if you do nothing – or on a real transformational leadership.  You must do something about Nigeria being perceived as “a crime syndicate masquerading as a nation”.




Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

    Emotan 77
    Former publisher of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed ... now publishes her writing here

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