Nigeria at war
NIGERIA is at war. The country is facing the greatest challenge to her existence in the wake of revelations about the many daggers that had been directed at her throat. We are not talking of Boko Haram or Shiite or the Biafra reawakening. The opponents now are not the Egbesu boys or the Militants of the Riverine hideouts. The OPC militants are no longer on warpath. And we are not talking of the reported invasion of some kidnappers from Benin Republic.
Yet the country is at war! For years the pen soldiers who were throwing their pen daggers at Nigeria have had a field day. It was a one sided battle. The warriors were fighting and conquering and plundering while their opponent Madam Nigeria was sleeping and snoring. In the one sided war, Nigeria had her eyes plucked out, her dull brain pulled out, her limbs shackled, and all of her soldiers were taken captive.
Just when the attackers were about to slash her throat and put dagger to her stomach to take out the organs that a no-nonsense General, retired but definitely not tired, sprang to his feet and swore to combat the pen soldiers and save Nigeria.
Readers should not confuse the pen pushers alleged to have swallowed some paltry 120 million Naira with the pen soldiers under reference. I mean real Pen Robbers! People who rob with pens and signatures!
These are the real soldiers that have engaged Nigeria in silent war. Now they are out in the field. They have been exposed. And they are fiercer and more deadly than when they wore camouflages and covered their faces to hide their identities. Now that they are in the open they have engaged Madam Nigeria in a war of wits.
In conventional battles, the arsenal of opposing camps is usually x-rayed and assessed for comparative analysis to show which side was at a disadvantage and which side possessed superior firing power.
The warriors who had engaged their pens, brains, signatures, skills and monumental greed and heartlessness to inflict the greatest wounds on Nigeria have now added more frightening weapons to their armoury. They have Currency chewing SANs, Charge-and-Bail lawyers, crooked Court officials, and all bribable accomplices plus hired placard wielding demonstrators and humongous amount of money to throw at the conscience of collaborating judges!
Commander-In-Chief Buhari on the other hand has the EFCC which for many years had proved to be toothless bull dogs known for its legendary wishy-washy investigations, the Prosecutors who are a mere extension of the same rot Madam Nigeria had harboured all these years since the war started, and a bemused Nigerian public that are best known for noise making without any visible action to back their cries, and the dubious international community that had all along been neck-deep in the corruption that choked Nigeria to her present stupor.
Any impartial observer can deduce where the pendulum would be tilted to and which of the two combatants is likely to emerge victorious in this present war. Perhaps I should quickly add that Nigeria has another weapon in its armoury; that is the antiquated and extant laws to fight corruption. Imagine a Judge having the guts to say that the maximum sentence for anybody who stole two billion or 20 billion or 200 billion Naira is only seven years!
Countries like China and Japan, and the ancient Arabs and Jews have the death penalty for any villain who dared to put dagger into the economic throat of their community or corporation. If by your roguery, many people have been sentenced to premature death because the state could not provide safe transportation, could not provide jobs, could not provide safe and efficient hospitals, could not provide potable water, could not provide electricity and therefore exposed citizens to deadly fumes from I better–pass-my-neighbour generators, you certainly, verily deserve to die!
Perhaps we should add also that Madam Nigeria has in her armoury legislators who characteristically turn a blind eye whenever the country is faced with this kind of war. What we are saying in essence is that while Pen soldiers are armed to the teeth, Madam Nigeria and her Commander-In-Chief possess only liabilities.
It is not clear how this war of inequalities would be fought and won. In similar battles in the past Madam Nigeria never captured any captive, never had any prisoner of war, Never. Okay, may be the two that were captured on her behalf by Britain after that country had first benefitted from the loot from Nigeria before exposing and kicking out the looter.
One does not have to be a lawyer to know that criminal cases are not and should not be treated like civil cases that normally carry long adjournments, delays, extensions and in-built tactics that would make both parties forget they ever had a case pending in court. Criminal cases on the other hand, cases especially abnormal, almost satanic and insane, are usually treated summarily with special jurisdictions and tribunals.
It would be a compound fool that would have five billion Naira in his kitty and would not be able to bribe his way out of any quagmire. Nigeria is at war, and while the battle is raging, the opponents are given a breather by way of bail to seek more ammunition and spend time with their spiritual magicians to fight the battle of wits. Meanwhile, Madam Nigeria cannot afford a split-second break.
By February-March next year all the fire, all the frenzy, all the enthusiasm and the entire clamour for justice would have fizzled out. Nigerians would again open their mouths and resume their dreary out-worn song:
“What happened to Siemens?”
“What happened to Halliburton?”
“What happened to Transcorp?”
“What happened to Electricity probe?”
“What happened to Otedola and Lawan?”
“Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing….”
As it was in the Beginning, so it is now, and ever shall it be, World without end.
• Otunba Tola Adeniyi is Jagun Oodua Adimula ll
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