Thursday 11 October 2007

HRW Report - A must-read for all patriotic Nigerians

A democratic deficit

A number of mentions of the Human Rights Watch report on Nigeria 2007 have been made on television recently with the interviewing of Ojo Maduekwe the Nigerian Foreign Minister and Wole Soyinka the Nobel Laureate in the last few days.

Whilst there are many who would go on the defensive when Nigeria is criticised, it is important to review the criticism with the view to learning something useful from the perspectives of others.

A number of blogs that I frequent have already commented on aspects of the report, and from what I have read, anyone who has had the privilege to exercise a democratic right in Nigeria should and must be incandescent with righteous rage at the way some so-called godfathers have peddled influence for their own ends.

Biography of a mob

The report which reads like the biography of leaders of an irate mob is utterly disconcerting at best and extremely outrageous at worst, the summary of the report begins with “Nigeria is mired in a crisis of governance”, an understatement - the compilers have more than enough evidence to maintain that stand without prejudice.

The broad areas of analyses in this report covers political violence and quite a few aspirants were eliminated through assassinations mostly in Western Nigeria; corruption exemplified in Godfatherism (sic) where potentates of corrupt and suspect means believe they own Nigeria or parts of Nigeria with the electoral demographic at their beck and call; and entrenched impunity through the abusing of the rule of law and separation of powers along with the lawlessness of law enforcement.

All these topics receive scrutiny that cannot be discounted, as some of this information would be joined to portfolios that would help determine if Nigeria is a safe and secure place in which to establish partnerships for political, social and economic development.

Adedibu and Uba

The report then provides 4 case studies, but none makes my blood boil more than the ones about Oyo State where the political thuggery of Lamidi Adedibu looms large and Anambra State where the whole extent of corrupt aggrandisement is so contractually documented, it must be investigated and brought to a trial in a court of humanity somewhere in this world.

In both cases, self-appointed Mandarins of menace who for all sorts of reasons have clout derived from nefarious and malevolent coercion in the persons of Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Chief Chris Uba have believed themselves to be the patrons of state from whom all power emanates such that elections are meaningless because they have the means to produce the results they intend.

Selling your soul to devils

All that is required is some figurehead sycophant who can be a puppet executive governor to be manipulated according to the whims and caprices of these rotten thugs.

What is so disturbing is that these criminals are propped up by a coterie of stupid followers who despite their education, literacy and knowledge of the basic codes of democracy to demand rights that are essential conferred on the executive government in the mandate they receive to govern their state.

Regardless of the means by which anyone assumes office, the incumbent is sometimes beholding to interest groups and patrons to whom they must defer but to have these patrons expect to select and appoint people to government is totally out of order and an exhibition of unparalleled egregiousness.

Supporters of Alhaji Adedibu castigated the governor for not giving his patron access to 25% of the state treasury and not allowing his patron to appoint commissioners and other gravy train appointees who would do the bidding of the patron. The governor eventually got impeached.

Oyo State represents a case of some “gentleman’s agreement” where one of the partners did not follow through on what were the expected actions.

The contract

To forestall this kind of situation where a partner could renege on an agreement, the mendicants in Anambra State drew up seemingly binding contracts.

In what is typically bandits trying to be respectable doing atrocious deals, we find a copy of the agreement signed between Chris Uba (Godfather) and Chris Ngige (Governor) where he commits not to run for more than one term, not to the electorate but to this cretin in a Memorandum of Irrevocable Undertaking – it beggars belief.

Then he is supposed to have sold his soul to his mentor who bankrolled the election and called his mob into action to steal the mandate. The Governor was to exercise and manifest absolute loyalty to the person of Chief Chris Uba – one would think Chief Uba was some god, not many worshippers offer that kind of commitment to God except when they are in liaison with agents of the devil.

A governor as the patron’s servant

He was not to run the government of Anambra State as his personal business but requirements further on in the contract showed that he was to run the government as personal fiefdom of Chief Uba.

A meeting was convened where Chief Uba as the caucus leader assumed authority as the omnipotent commander of all affairs concerning the state with the governor probably not even able to appoint his own cook.

The witnesses to this agreement of the dishonourable included three doctors of whatever, a chief and a Senator Sir Ikechukwu Abana (A title almost reminiscence of a typical Nigerian busker) who seems to have his hands in every uncomely deal in that state.

When the dog of a governor refused to do his mater’s bidding, he was kidnapped and forced to submit a resignation, it had Chief Chris Uba literally waving the paper of the agreement for all to see claiming to be the wronged man.

The culture of impunity

It is impunity par excellence that anyone can be involved in such a corrupt, shady deal and still expect to maintain respectability anywhere in this world – it counts for nothing in Nigeria, they go on to do worse things because the conditions in Nigeria allow for people to get away with murder and by praised for their exploits.

These are no Godfathers, they are agents of the devil, gangsters and pirates who have no respect for anything for the good of humanity talk less of Nigerians and the people they would have us believe they lead.

People like Adedibu and Uba should be languishing in jail, stripped of any dignity and respect they may have and made to do time like common criminals in the medieval times, they are not worthy to be Nigerians and their names should be etched in the tablets of ignominy as a lesson to others who decide to follow their corrupt ways.

It is the duty of an patriotic Nigerian to objectively read and review the contents of the Human Rights Watch report and really decide if this the Nigeria worthy of our aspirations or one which is in need of a revolution of the mindset, ideas and common purposes.

The choice is sure ours to make.


Criminal Politics – Violence, “Godfathers” and Corruption in Nigeria – The Report (PDF)

Criminal Politics – Violence, “Godfathers” and Corruption in Nigeria – The Index (HTML)

The summary and recommendations (PDF)

The agreement between Chris Uba and Chris Ngige

Ijebuman - Criminal Politics - a report by HRW

AfricanLoft – Human Right Watch Reports on Nigeria

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