By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
A few days to this day three years ago, Boko Haram was festering, Asari and his kinsmen were threatening fire and brimstone over Jonathan’s re-election fortunes. Buhari had become the APC flagbearer and Professor Yemi Osinbajo was in buses campaigning. We were jittery. The information filtering to us in the Southwest was scary. I was invited to a meeting in Lagos to plan how to forestall the impending crisis. Responsibilities were given to each member. My charge was to follow the money. We knew money talks. I followed the money. What I found was instructive. It became clear it was all smoke, nothing was going to happen. What money joined together cannot be put asunder by mere rants. The arms stockpile was all mind games. The cord of money is stronger than that of power and politics.Based on the money trail, I came to a conclusion and I wrote in my Premium Times column on May 26, 2015, that Nigeria is a racket and a criminal enterprise.
In Nigeria, everyone is on the take. Everyone is taking something from someone or the government and they do not care how it affects the other. No one thinks about the country and the helpless. It all about the next car, the next house, the school fees, the travel…anything but the collective good.
Nigeria will never be great until we are willing to fight for the kind of country we want. At this moment, this is the country we deserve. We deserve no better because we collectively rape this country. We desecrate it. We violate it. In quotes in the next paragraphs are excerpts from the article. It was written as a warning to Buhari. Two and a half years later, we are facing fuel shortages again. Yesterday, I wrote on this wall, that the scarcity it is all about arbitrage. Today the truth is out. *Arbitageurs* want more money. They will hold all of us by the jugular and we will blink. The cycle of exploitation will continue. These gangs will block real reforms in all development sectors until there is mass revolt. Unfortunately for us, they always bet that we will never be able to revolt because hunger will drive us in, within three days of sustained action. Sadly, they are right. The hungry cannot listen to sermons and make sense out of it.
*”Nigeria is hostage to the petroleum cabal, the electricity cabal, diesel monopoly, generator cabal, Cement|Sugar|Rice monopolies, steel import cabal and several other layers of economic and political saboteurs who hamper, marginalise and diminish our national development aspirations and security complex. Nigeria’s situation is made more complex given their amoral daliance with apostates who hide under religion while transfixed in zealous covetousness of Nigeria’s milk and honey and the pockets of its citizens*.
Who are these faceless cabals? Without the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), there is no cabal. *Actually, the NNPC is the cabal*. The marketers are only in an unholy alliance. *The NNPC imports kerosine with federal money for about $30 million per vessel, it sells it to marketers for $10 million, and marketers sell it to Nigeria for $30m. The pocketed $20m is shared by the NNPC syndicate and the marketers.”*
I fear writing about this country. It feels like prophesy, it always come to pass. What I see in coming years is fearful. The only way out is for us to become active citizens. We must fight to have a decent country. Our children deserve a better inheritance!
~Bamidele Ademola Olateju