@MickeySunny: Is Nigeria short of good men?

by Michael Ogundana

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”- Plato

Every morning when I wake up from my bed and every night as I lay down to sleep, Nigeria remains the first and the last thing respectively that comes up on my mind.

It bugs me and leaves me with so much trauma and dissatisfaction to see my country being ruled with same men that have plunged our country to continuous shame and reproach out of their greed, gross selfishness and wickedness.

It bugs me and leaves me with so much pain to see my dear nation cherishing and applauding men with little or no integrity while men of integrity and principles are seen as enemies to the government.

This leaves me to wonder and forces me to ask: Is Our Nation Short of Good Men? If we`re are not short of good men, Why then is Our Nation Continually Governed by Heartless Men?

It is no longer news that what the nation suffers from is leadership failure. Such which accounts for all other challenges that befall our country in this time and season. Such leadership failure that left about 200 girls in the hands of Boko Haram their abductor. Such leadership failure that accounts for the continuous humiliation of our country by Abubaka Shekau the Boko Haram warlord. Such leadership failure that has made the country lost its leadership status as the giant of Africa to country that should normally look up to us for leadership role.

This leaves me to wonder and forces me to ask: Is Our Nation Short of Good Men? If we`re are not short of good men, Why then is Our Nation Continually Governed by Heartless Men?

This administration might not totally agree with me on this; that most of the challenges we face as a nation today is as a result of leadership failure. However, every right thinking Nigeria will agree with me and acknowledge that, this fact abounds with so many proofs.

Every right thinking Nigeria will also agree with me that one major thing that is peculiar to this administration aside from its act of cluelessness and carelessness is its respect and admiration for corruption and corrupt leaders. Little wonder, the President called corruption mere stealing during the seventh Presidential Media Chat held on Sunday 4th May, 2014. This means that President does not see corruption in Nigeria but mere stealing and to him is not worthy to be worried about.

However, the world agrees with me that in Nigeria, corruption is visible to the blind, loud to the deaf and spoken by the dumb.

During the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, he created the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), an anti-graft agency which is the designated Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Nigeria. Charged with the responsibility of coordinating the various institutions involved in the fight against money laundering and enforcement of all laws dealing with economic and financial crimes in Nigeria. He also constituted The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), (in full the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) an agency inaugurated on the 29th of September 2000 with the mandate to receive and investigate reports of corruption and in appropriate cases prosecute the offender[s]. To examine, review and enforce the correction of corruption prone systems and procedures of public bodies, with a view to eliminating corruption in public life, and to educate and enlighten the public on and against corruption and related offences.

When former President Olusegun Obasanjo established these two agencies EFCC and ICPC, everyone including the international community applauded him for taking the fight against corruption in Nigeria seriously. But soon he was alleged to have established the two anti-graft agencies to punish his political opponents.
Many top government officials including Chief Alamieyeseigha and Tafa Balogun were arraigned by the EFCC and ICPC during the Obasanjo administration. Most of these ex-officials were arraigned, arrested found guilty and detained.

However, the fact remains that, the people prosecuted under this administration were actually found guilty of the offences leveled against them whether they are his opponent or rival or not is another issue to be discussed another.

After the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the fight against corruption has received a sluggish touch and has really been less active. (Not saying that his administration was totally free from corruption but he showed the willingness to tackle the bane).

In a sane society, one will recognize that the men that were indicted or convicted in one form or the other by any of the two anti graft agencies should remain out of active Political leadership either directly or indirectly especially for a nascent democratic set up like ours.

It however saddens me to see most of these men that were in one way or the other indicted or convicted for one corrupt practice or the other by the aforementioned agencies fully back in government and doing that same thing they know how to do best as if there are no good men left in the country that could do a better job.

Governor Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State on July 26, 2007, pleaded guilty before a Nigerian court to six charges and was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge. On 12 March 2013, he was pardoned by President Goodluck Jonathan. But don’t be shocked that in one way or the other, He`s back in government.

Olabode Ibiyinka George (“Bode George”), the former Military Governor of Ondo State, and later Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, then national vice-chairman in the south-west zone of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In October 2009 he was sentenced to a 30 month jail term for charges that included contracts splitting and inflation. But don’t be shocked that in one way or the other, He`s back in government.

We all know the activities and the accounts of the former governor of Oyo state Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala. But the truth is, He`s on his way back to government.

On the 27th of February, 2012,  James Onanefe Ibori the former Governor of Delta State, pleaded guilty to ten counts charge of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court, London . The truth is after completing is jail terms; He might be back in government. Just to mention a few.

When you begin to consider the never ending roles and dominance of corrupt and wicked leaders in Nigeria politics and their leadership style, one begins to wonder if there are no good men left in the country. And if there are; Are we short of them? If we`re not short of them, why are they not in leadership positions?

For a country to succeed and to live to her dreams, it would be of grave damage leaving the destiny of the country to a set of heartless leaders, which all they do and stand for is their own selfish desires and interests.

Like Plato said: The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”.

This is the more reason why more good men should be allowed to take leadership positions and be allowed to take responsibilities which they so much deserve because that’s the only way out of the present mess we`re in as a nation.

If we succeeded in solving the challenge of leadership failure, all other challenges will be addressed with ease.

God Bless Nigeria!


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija


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