Written by: Bamisope Kupoluyi.
THE GOVERNOR’S PRIDE.
Corruption allegations are normal in the Nigerian political sphere, very few of these allegations see the light of a courtroom. Its all about “who get power pass”. These allegations are common among Executive Governors usually towards the end of their tenure. These allegations just become subject of speculation and debate. But they never lead to any disciplinary action or consequence.
Sometime last week, a video clip caused more frenzy and ruckus than any other news headline in recent times. The video clip showed the executive Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was seen collecting a bribe amounting to 5 million dollars from contractors in the state. This video clip is unprecedented in recent times in Nigeria. Daily Times Newspaper spent 10 months reportedly investigating and planning on getting concrete evidence to incriminate the Governor. It is also said that 15% of the monies for contracts are given to the Governor as bribe. The release of such evidence is a rarity in incriminating a public officer as high as an executive order.
I must commend Jaafar Jaafar and the daily trust team for bringing this information to limelight. It is sad that many of our news outlets have become a medium of propagating a corrupt party’s agenda. They used merely a publicity outlet rather than a medium of free and objective news. The Kano State House of Assembly in uncommon fashion began inquiry into the allegations. It is unusual in the Nigerian political sphere as the Governor has undue influence over the House of Assembly. Many of the Honourable members pay their allegiance to the sitting Governor rather than the masses that put them in the power.
Concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of the inquiry by the House of Assembly. But I have decided to keep an open mind. There is a possibility of indicting him and starting an impeachment procedure. Although based on precedence it proves to be very difficult and almost impossible. The most disappointing part of these events has been the ‘supposed’ reaction of the People of Kano. They have taken to their numbers in the streets condemning the actions of Jaafar Jaafar ahead of his meeting with House of Assembly. They went ahead and declared their support of Ganduje and come 2019 he will be re-elected. This goes to the prove the root of our problem as a nation. The leaders are willing to use any means to exert their authority. He reportedly hired school children as political thugs to protest against Jaafar Jaafar.
These actions are despicable. It is even reported that their school teachers coordinated the children. If a man can go to this length to exert his power and influence in the state, such leaders need to out of office. He is true reflection of Nigerian leaders. They all tend to be selfish and egocentric. The truth is that in a sane society, Governor Ganduje should have resigned from office so that inquiry would be fair and objective, to clear his name. But in Nigeria, that never happens. They rather die in office than leaving respectfully. The pride and ego of these Governors and other high ranking public officials are paramount to their good name or good image. They are only interested in money and influence.
What is the Governor’s pride? It is acquiring all the resources (natural, financial, human, material, economic) and influence (social, political, economic, religious) possible in the space of eight years which will enjoyed for a lifetime. They care not about creating a legacy, improving the lives of masses, investing the lives of the people, paying salaries, making a positive mark of the lives of people that put them in office. Is Governor Ganduje any different? We as people will still go on and introduce these despicable men and women as “His/Her Excellency”. What is truly excellent about a man that has not paid salaries for over year, or a man that puts children out of school so that they go on the streets to sing praises unto his name and show him support in the time of difficulty. We need to wake up as a people and stop all these glorifications and praises for men undeserving of it.
I would really like the inquiry to go on if possible and it brings about a positive result. The fact that the inquiry saw the light of day is already a miracle. Let’s wait and see as the events unfolds.