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Friday, October 13, 2017


President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria: Can he bring the same smile on his face to the thousands of suffering Nigerians?

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria: Can he bring the same smile on his face to the thousands of suffering Nigerians?

Corruption, which is often described as an incurable disease in Africa has dominated Nigerian politics for decades, just as the country was dominated by military rule in the past. 

In 1983, when Shehu Shagari was overthrown, Muhammadu Buhari became the chairman of the new Supreme Military Council and Commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Like all the African Head of States, Buhari promised to fight corruption in the oil-rich country, but it’s always easier said than done. Massive corruption descended on Nigeria, affecting every infrastructure in the country without remedy. 

Buhari ruled for two years and he was overthrown in another military government and his fight against corruption became a dream of illusion. It worth to demand the reason African leaders during political campaign give promises to solicit for votes but once in power, they forget the people that voted for them.

The second coming of Buhari on Nigerian political scene is what many Nigerians and Africans, in general, don't understand. Even though two years was too short to do something significant but the fact that he couldn't do anything about corruption which has already crippled Nigeria's once-flourishing economy disqualifies him to run for a second term.

Buhari, who will be 75 in December, is now flanked by senators that are enjoying luxuries and state benefits at the expense of the suffering masses. It is utterly shameful and irresponsible that senators, after collecting car loans last August, are poised to collect 2016 Toyota Prado jeeps worth N4.7 billion, at a time when Nigeria’s economy is very bad and many are unemployed.

The corruption in Nigeria has no limit, spreading like a bushfire. Prominent and respected politicians are not excluded. Many are now facing corruption charges. Babatunde Fashola, former Governor of Lagos and Minister of State, who once transformed the city, above all helped to halt the spread of Ebola in Nigeria, is now in the center of a corruption scandal. 

He has been accused of misuse of finances, since stepping down as Governor of Lagos in May 2015. 

The arrest of a Nigerian politician who deposited millions of dollars of stolen money in UK accounts has raised questions about the role of British banks in corruption.

As governor of the oil-rich Delta state in Nigeria, James Ibori's salary was only $6000 a year, yet he managed to afford luxury properties, fleets of Rolls Royces, a Bentley and a Maybach, first-class travel, private boarding school fees and a private jet worth $20 million.

In April, accused of money laundering, Ibori pleaded guilty to stealing $80 million, although investigators believe he may have stolen three times as much. He was sentenced to 13 years.

Prior to entering politics, Ibori had lived in London, England with his wife Theresa. In 1990, the pair were convicted of stealing from a hardware store where Ibori worked as a cashier. 

The next year, he was convicted of handling a stolen credit card. By the end of the decade, having lied about his criminal record, Ibori was governor of Delta State and was re-elected for a four-year term in 2003.

In another corruption scandal, big tax breaks for multinationals in Nigeria has granted very generous tax breaks for major oil companies. Nigeria has lost billions of dollars because of a 10-year tax break given to Shell, Total and Eni, three of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies.

It is publicly known that a Milan prosecutor is probing the role of the CEO Claudio Descalzi, his predecessor and another Eni executive over their role in the Italian group's 2011 acquisition, in partnership with Shell, of the rights to a field known as OPL245.

The field has been estimated to contain as much as nine billion barrels of crude oil. Under the deal, Eni made a payment to the Nigerian Government of $1.09 billion (€844,000) to secure joint ownership of the block along with Shell, which had previously taken a forty percent stake and had begun to develop the field.

Most of the money Eni paid was subsequently passed on to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company believed to be owned by Chief Dan Etete, a former Nigerian oil minister. In an episode that has come to be regarded as emblematic of Nigeria's problems with corruption. 

Etete had awarded the rights to the block to Malabu in 1998, at a time when he was close to Nigeria's then-military dictator General Sani Abacha. 

'ActionAid' and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations SOMO, which fight for fair taxation of Western companies in developing countries. According to previous research, developing countries 138 billion dollars a year missing out on tax revenue benefits for multinationals.

In an appeal to the Nigerian parliament, they warn not to expand the tax benefits, such as the Nigerian government is planning. Especially The Dutch, French and Italian governments asked the Nigerian government to give Shell, Total Oil Company, and the Italian Oil Company ENI to have to accept excessive 'tax holidays' in developing countries, says ActionAid.

If African leaders will look around they can see that the entire African continent is a serious setback. Africa is behind in everything, yet none of the continents of the world have what Africa has. How long can this go on? When will Africa liberate itself from corruption? Can China's experience help Africa in any way?

Herewith, I would like to dedicate this article to all African victims of corruption and to all abused African women and children as well as orphans of Aids and Ebola casualties caused by criminal man-made Bio-warfare and medical products.

It goes without saying that I will also dedicate this article to the family of Fabio Fatusha, a leading underground person in Nigeria because they were victims of corruption as well and he has every right to fight the corrupt system.

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