Sunday, October 8, 2017

HOW TO FIGHT CORRUPTION


Darling Buhari,

So your deputy was speaking in public recently and he blamed Nigerians for not being angry enough about corruption. In fact here are some of his exact words: 
"I don’t think that the people, especially the civil society have shown enough outrage that one expects in order to consistently beam searchlight on the perpetrators.
“People come and ask where are the convictions but I say where are the campaigns, we should be able to point out these persons so that they will not be able to spend these monies. If we are sufficiently outraged about the delays being orchestrated by defence lawyers intentionally to frustrate such corruption cases, everyone will hail the move by the Chief Justice of Nigeria."

These words moved me. I know I don't personally control things like the police, the army, the EFCC but I agree with him. I am not a Governor, have no budget, am not a judge or prosecutor but I agree that it is my lack of outrage that is making it difficult for your government to do the things you swore you would do during the campaigns in 2015. And for this I apologise. 

I promise to be angry. Outraged beyond measure. In fact, I am typing this with outrage, with so much anger that the people around me are wondering why I hate my keyboard so much. They think I am typing an angry breakup letter. They don't know it is love for you and your government that is making me so angry. 

Maybe if I was angry enough your government might have arrested and prosecuted Babachir of grass-cutting fame, you remember him? Your former secretary. Yes, that one. 

I remember the week you became president. I had to fly out of the country to attend an event. At the airport, people were so afraid that someone was going to spy on them and report their corruption. No official at the airport asked for a gift. No one gave that smile that demands "something". They just did their jobs happily. And instead of being outraged like Yemi suggested, I was happy. A few months later I was flying again. This time you were already in power and there was no list of Ministers and people were tired of waiting. And there was no outrage. So the woman checking my bag asked me pointedly if I was not going to give her anything. In fact, she asked so aggressively that when I refused, I became afraid that she could retaliate by sneaking something in my bag that would show up in Casablanca where I was headed. So I paid someone to wrap my bag with extra foil. I know, thinking of it now that it was nothing. But I kept wondering what changed in those months. No, it wasn't the fact that people were no longer afraid that things were going to be different. It was that I was not angry. That is why corruption resumed at the airport. Again, I apologise. 

I promise to growl at every passing big man's vehicle, just in case he might be corrupt. I might even slam my head against every mansion I walk past. I will refuse to shake the Nigerian ambassador I am meeting soon, just to discourage him from being corrupt. 

Reading the news I just saw that you have arranged to see the Minister of State for Petroleum over his allegations of insubordination and corruption against the NNPC GMD. He wasn't angry enough. If he was properly outraged then the NNPC GMD would not have allegedly spent all those millions of dollars without seeking approval of the board. Outrage is important. 

In other news, I have to say that I find your dignified silence classy. You know how everyone said your Secretary of State stole money meant for IDPs and you said nothing. The airforce killed those people in Rann, nothing. The Kaduna State government together with the army admitted to burying 347 Shiites in Kaduna after killing them, silence. I want to be like you when I grow up, honestly. People always want you to speak as if they were foreign journalists. Ordinary Nigerians fa. Mtscheeeeuuw! Nothing like a silent dignified man. That's one reason why I like you. 

I hope you have begun saving money for the 2019 elections fa? Because now that you are well enough to run again, we don't want to be taken by surprise. We don't know if those Lagos people will support us financially like before. This time we have to have our own campaign funds. I am not sure how we will do this, but let us begin soon. Sai ka yi, mai gida na. 

Ps. As usual: let us release the Shiite man whose children we killed, please. I think it is time. 

Yours until 2023 and forever,


Elnathan John.  

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