Opinion: Of crooks and the law of Karma – By FOLA OJO
For eight years, he loomed large as governor over a state called Plateau. And for that long, he plateaued above the law, taking domineering charge over unaudited security funds and ecological earmarks running into billions of naira. And much of it streamed down the sewer of corruption into his many private pockets. He knew the gravity of what he did. But,for him, so, what? After all, he was an elite member of the then-ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Power later changed hands. Like many of his crooked friends and contemporaries-in-corruption who are still roaming free; he sought a getaway from the retributory hands of the law. He switched political alliance and found honey in the new ruling party, the All Progressives Congress. That’s what they all do to escape justice. Still, his people didn’t care; they elected him a senator. But who can take cover from Karma when it comes with its hammer? Not even this Plateau State senator whose sins had reached a plateau and altiplano.
Joshua Dariye is a Christian, but when power came, he forgot God’s law of retribution.Sitting ‘iron-lady’ judge Olubukola Banjoko also knowsthat law too well. She ignored Dariye’s sobs and moaning, slamming him behind bars for 14 years for stealing over N1bn when he was governor. Cry baby Dariye bemoaned and bellowed in court as he begged for mercy. When KARMA knocks on a door, it comes with a hammer and knocks men down in judgment. That is the hammer of Karma. Who can escape its drama?
Working in any arm of government in Nigeria is an assuring pathway and easiest passage for any Tom-Dick-and Harry to haul in cool cash. You only need a high school certificate, fake or real, to be eligible to run for office in Nigeria. Gangbangers and yobbos in great numbers know the requirements, too. They become part of the mixed multitude trudging and tromping through the open sesame street of skullduggery and chicanery ruling over the wise. But, who do you blame? My people gave them a free-pass to misrule. It is also a free pass to purloin and pillage. Many Nigerian politicians are unlearned, never-learning, unhinged and unwise. They are very daring when debating money. Their overarching goal is to clinch political power and then plunder the till. God must help this country called Nigeria.
Readers, politicians don’t give a hoot about you. They discuss you and talk about your gullibility late at night in places where they regularly meet over red-wine and barbecued goat-meat. Their bottom line is MONEY and lots of it. They will lie to you like there is no tomorrow. All the talks about hope for Nigeria’s better tomorrow is a daydream with crooks in power. When you elect crooks, expect nothing good.
Our land is with filled with cryptically corrupt and critically crooked breathing beings.Senator Joshua Dariye is just one among millions of larcenists in politics, business and civil service. During his recent dramatic hearing he reportedly asked the prosecutor in anger: “Can you raise your hand and swear that there is a saint in Nigeria?”. Dariye’s bellow was more of a confirming and affirming statement than a question. Nigeria’s development and future have always been committed into the hands of crooks. Let us examine Electricity supply endeavor as a modest case study.
At a point in our history; our government spent $1.545bn on nine gas turbines for the generation of electricity. In the same season, another African country spent only $404m purchasing 18 of the same equipment from General Electric. It means that our Government spent three times more for fewer equipment. In Brazil, Geometric Power spent $12bn to generate 12,000 Megawatts. At that time Nigerian government had already spent $16bn to generate between 2,500 and 3,000 Megawatts of electricity. What happened to Nigeria till date regarding power? Gigabytes of missing monies have always been on a routine intercourse with terabytes of excuses why there is no power.
If the goal of any jewel of a journalist or savvy sleuth is to unravel the confusing and headachy stories surrounding every Nigerian government’s efforts to construct a viable electricity generating, transmission and distribution base in Nigeria; the sherlocks will not only be tried and tested, they will be tired out. Attempting to find out the truth is a dangerous suicide mission. A few who have tried to unravel the pharaonic corruption escapade have been killed. Some got sick and then passed on.Some got missing till today. Many have abandoned the country for a saner safety net abroad.
Characters involved in the power-generating and supply web in Nigeria are mean and menacing. They are tangled up in very violent occultic bonds that are tough to break. The most boisterous wind cannot reveal the lump in the rump of the cock of power supply in Nigeria. The heinie of the hen cannot be seen even if you look up-close. Pursuing the historical heap of heisting of government money by government people in collusion with mafioso contractors is chasing the shadow. It is like fishing out a needle in a haystack; or combing the Atlantic Ocean bed for a piece of razor. Chasing the reason darkness has replaced light in Nigerian homes and businesses is an odyssey in otiosity.
The exact figures of how much has been spent on the electricity charade will never be accurately determined. Even the presidency, any presidency, may not be able to fact-find the accurate figures that have been flushed down the rusty and stinking pipes of corruption. Former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala aptly puts it in her recent tome; “FIGHTING CORRUPTION IS DANGEROUS”.You bet, it is. Okonjo-Iweala has plenty of tales to tell. Fighting corruption in Nigeria is like the game of bull-riding. Make sure you write your will ahead of the dangerous roulette. You will either be fought rough by every means necessary, maimed in the ensuing melee or get life outrightly snuffed out of you.
Let someone remind the cryptically corrupt and critically crooked that there are many of us home and abroad who will not stop fighting them. Let them also be reminded that there is Karma, which they can never beat. So, if you are a thief, enjoy the moment while it lasts. But I can assure you, the freebie ride will not last too long. By your conscious and deliberate acts, you burrow a seed in the ground of times. In the inevitable season of harvest, the seed will germinate and grow into fruits. Its potency shall be revealed with blooming flowers or thorny chaffs. The kahunas in Nigeria must never forget. Dariye is now cooling his heels at the Kuje Prison. He must have become a firm born-again believer in what Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians about Karma:“Be not deceived; God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth; that he shall reap”.Punch