Walking the minefield of Nigerian issues


Is Nigeria a nation of Quota system, religious bigotry, and economic opportunism?

What you enumerate is the outcome of military meddling in an area they are ill equip t to handle. What matters now is that we cannot change things by becoming fixed in it. If not for ourselves but for our children this is the time to make changes. Unfortunately they are going about it wrongly yet again without waiting to understand that you do not solve a problem by adopting the same style that got you into it. The federal character is more character than federal but it should be the other way round. Mediocrity is not cured by University degrees.


On Government sponsorship of Religious Pilgrimages

‎"In Igbo adage when you don't have a place to put your hand you put it on your knee" This sums up the resort to less secular ideals such as religion and tribe and region when you do not have a secular constitution. Instead of looking upwards you look down, instead of production you consume, you share instead of gathering and you shed responsibility by asking the unemployed youths to seek self employment. Or other abnormalities like asking universities to be commercial. There is so much blindness struggling to lead able bodied men so it creates a favorable condition for its work. So religion has so much environment for mediocrity for it allows a civil servant to pray 5 times while on duty without query.


On appointment of 30 Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs

These are the finest of our lawyers but if they cannot help Nigeria change a bad constitution then the finest tag remains somewhat questionable. So here is a challenge, go out there and do not rest until you restore true justice to your country.

On how to tackle systemic corruption

You can see that this is why we have been crying for technocrats at the top so that at least we can begin to rebuild the broken civil and public service away from the damage of mediocrity. Only the superior trained and educated for a position can supervise the inferior not the other way round and no objective whether time bound or not can be achieved in a group without supervision. So you can see the futility of those who fight for their brothers or sisters to occupy positions they are not qualified for. The damage is what you call unemployment. What people get in Nigeria is not employment because their talents are hardly brought into use. It is a waste of time to find yourself employed inside those prisons known as the civil services in Nigeria because you get to keep the masses down and you can see that they are never happy or satisfied when employed or 'rich'. They remain beggars no matter how rich for riches is measured more in terms of contentment than money.

Still on corruption and its ravages

For the police it can safely be said that without egunje the force will not exist. Here the discipline enhance secrecy and makes it possible to keep the" returns" moving up to the highest level running into billions annually. Actually this innovation came handy when the Military called the shots but when they left and most of them changed into civil uniforms it was imperative that the strict civil service code of conduct would prove too elitist to these mainly unqualified occupants so their lack of understanding was covered up by indiscipline of the line staff yet they expected performance when harassed from the top. To bridge this gap each level sought its own funding and demanded fees for every letter that went down. They complained of money to buy files, sheets, biro, transport​t, and carry a gun. At that time they began to serve the highest bidders like companies and high net worth and issue individuals with their superiors looking the other way. Once in a while they are confronted with security issues they get together and issues defenses and diversions because this was far from their preoccupation in the first place. You don't need more I suppose.


Still on the bribery scandal in the Presidency

When you talk like this maybe you do not understand how deeply institutionalized this practice has become. It is safe to say that you are trying to shutdown the Federal Government by stopping bribery. This is the much vaunted Nigerian secret strength. How could you keep a civil service that has already collapsed for decades going if the ministries do not 'commercialize' revenue generation? Now put yourself in their shoes. You have a Ministry to run but you cannot plan for anything because nothing is ever certain to be punctual. The annual allocation comes late if ever and you cannot complain open because joblessness is not an option here. In fact you need to pay in about a quarter of the allocation upstairs to get it out. So to make up for the short fall you delay it in your bank account and allow other revenue sources for salaries. Such sources include 'returns' from services below such as fixed' fees' for appointment letters. If the salary and allowances is high as the ministerial position then the person pays a 'token' of 30 million Naira only. If the person is taking charge of a revenue point like NNPC then it may get to N100 million. This is seen as okay considering that this may be only supervision he gets for a while unless the need arises to get some donations for campaign or another.


On the prevalence of bribery

It is not just the Presidency but all departments of governance in Nigeria today have already collapsed but continue to be propped up by corruption and extortion. Corruption has eaten so deep that departments may not receive budgeted in time or at all and so the government allows them to commercialize and raise funds to keep running from anywhere. They devised the method of extorting money for every service. Since it is not in the regulation books there is a secret code imposed on all not to leak secrets. Any employer who does so is fired. Even new employees must cough out a percent of their salary in advance before they are employed or confirmed. The returns from all levels are pooled together to keep things going or to bribe higher ups before they release annual allocations or bribe the national assembly to pass without debate appropriations. The police of course depend entirely on their egunje while the upper levels can keep salaries in banks.


Does it mean GEJ hasn’t the total power yet after all this time in government.

Yes. Those who can sabotage his efforts are still in control of considerable power and want to use it against him to give the impression that he is not competent. So all you see in bombs and all are the visible sign of this situation. Don't you see the timing of these bombs? As soon as he inaugurates his cabinet they will span out to. Acquire more power and control through local deals and all then some stability is likely to come. A southerner governing a country dominated by northerners for so long in the face value will have to thread softly until he has established a legal control over such dissent as Boko Haram, sharia etc. For now the constitution is contradictory, the laws are same and the institutions are confused and unhelpful. So the first thing is to make Nigeria a secular no religion state and you can put up laws once again to check intrusion of religion or sectionalism. After that you can mobilize the forces to enforce them. In doing that those who cannot conform to the order will have to leave the forces or the ministries and then you have a cleansing by objective. Today you can only dialogue until you have power to transform justly.



*Mr Nworisara aspired to be President of Nigeria in 1992

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