So President Goodluck Jonathan doesn’t want to declare his assets? And he doesn’t give a damn about it? So the one that went to school shoeless is so sensitive to declare what mother fortune and sleight of political hand had trust on him in the few years he had been blessed to make his lift of the Nigerian treasury? And he was so audacious about it that he had to tell us he doesn’t give a damn about it? There is a contradiction here. Why wouldn’t he just tell Nigerians that the same god that imposed him on Nigeria has blessed him with the totality of Nigerian wealth and it is his to give to whosoever tickles his fancy? Why didn’t he just tell Nigerians that the commonwealth is his and whosoever cares to access his wealth can take a look at the vast estate that is Nigeria and whoever is not home with that ruddy fact can go to hell? That way, his audacity-which one of my friends typifies as the audacity of a fool-would have had better meaning than telling Nigerians that he doesn’t give a damn about declaring the assets he has acquired as President of Nigeria. Has Jonathan ever given a damn about the array of corrupt acts that have come to define his woeful tenure in office?
For the avoidance of doubts, I give no damn myself about that usually well talcumed but well relegated ritual called asset declaration in Nigeria. It amounts to nothing and leads to nothing in a country besmirched by total, overwhelming and unbridled corruption. Even when Jonathan was forced-deducing from his recent statement-by his late principal, Musa Yar’Adua to declare his assets, I took it as nothing because there was little to believe in the assets so declared. What is usually declared, as in the Yar’Adua/Jonathan effort, were usually an infinitesimal fraction of the wholesome loot public office holders purloin from the Nigerian treasury and nothing more. Even at that, a little scrutiny of the so declared assets would have led most of the declares to jail were we to run an enclave saner than the empire of thieves we have been burdened with in Nigeria.
It therefore becomes worrisome that a man that has not done any other meaningful work apart from teaching before Obasanjo’s mystic ken of roguery discovered him is so reticent to declare his assets. It is so bizarre that a man that the other day, whelped and made so much capital of the fact that he went to school without a shoe is telling us to go to hell rather than he telling us what he is worth. If anything, this fact and the clear indecorous manner it was rendered put an official seal to the reign of vermin, termites, locusts, thieves, vampires, scavengers, treasury cleansers and rodents, which the Jonathan regime has proven to be. That after some year’s brush in government, Jonathan cannot safely declare what he owns is a pointer that Nigeria needs a total cleansing and fumigation from the odious stench which rogue politics, prebendal governance and an official culture of sleaze has brought on it. Nothing best demonstrates the moral nuisance of those that pretend to rule us than the fact that a man that just happened on governance cannot safely declare what he owns after just a few years in power and speaks of the dire need for a thorough cleansing from the heaven of looters of thieves the country had been turned into most especially since the PDP criminality happened on us and most noticeably since the amoral and filthy Jonathan government wrote a sort of carte blanche allowing all manners of criminals free and unhindered access to the country’s treasury.
One must grant Jonathan some credit. He had never stated or pretended to be bothered about corruption. He had never made any road show of fighting corruption. If anything, he had shown perhaps the most tolerant attitude to corruption and public stealing amongst the bevy of ramparts that have taken turns to rape the country. His attachment to anti corruption has only been to the cosmetic extent that he has turned the anti corruption agencies from pretenders to anti corruption to comic frills as Nigeria sink deep in corruption quagmire. He presides over a regime that supervises multi trillion Naira scandals and is very much at home with this putrid scenario. He had shown perhaps the most protective inclination to known thieves and has even gone out of his way to keep them off harm’s way. Even when it means inflicting mass privation and torture on Nigerians, like in the ant-infested subsidy scam, he has not shirked from levying the sledge hammer on Nigerians so that his closest confidants, enablers and foot soldiers on corruption do not come to grief. He does not contest his blurred moral carriage and the ethical red herring that weighs down his regrettable regime. For a regime where corruption only competes with cluelessness, it is understandable why he cannot declare his assets and doesn’t even give a damn.
We must even give Jonathan some kudos for admitting he does not believe in asset declaration as he was forced to do the one he did by his late principal. He was being sincere and I place so much premium on that. He makes no pretence about his mission in governance which is to promote bizarre stealing and he is only lifting every scintilla of doubt from his commitment to ensure that nothing is left of Nigeria before he rounds off his tenure. We know very well that he has no compunction about rot and public stealing, which hangs on his government like a malignant tumour so he needs not tell us he doesn’t give a damn about asset declaration. He went through the discomfort of declaring his assets during Yar’Adua’s reign as a sort of political preservation. He is only showing his true colours now he is calling the shots. With the kind of amoral stealing that has gone under his watch, it would be a miracle if he can even take good stock is his assets before he rounds off his tenure. I believe what prompts that audacity is the lack of ability to even take stock of what he has made from the looters’ haven he superintends over at present. By making that unfortunate statement, he was merely living true to his name and the ethos of his government. He was telling Nigerians that they make such a hefty expectation by thinking he would wake from his long slumber and deal with corruption.
So, it is my opinion that we hanker less on Jonathan’s official confirmation that he is running an unaccountable den of rogues for that is what his refusal to declare his assets tantamount to. We should rather warm up to the fact that the PDP has, in the last thirteen years, done everything to grow public stealing and the urgent imperative is how Nigeria can free itself from the clutches of this cancerous virus with which the PDP is wrecking the country at present. I don’t know who cares about Jonathan’s assets declaration when he is presiding over a plunderers’ enclave. Our greatest desire as a raped and despoiled nation should be to cleanse this nation of the putrid mess Jonathan and his forefathers in PDP has made of it and this is the only way we can walk away from the doom we face with the increasing audacity with which PDP celebrate corruption and public stealing in Nigeria.
Peter Claver Oparah.