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Nigerians in Diaspora: The Rescue Agenda
Thursday, Dec 20, 2012
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The year 2012 is gradually fading off. It has been fatally uneventful
especially for Nigerian masses. While some nations are recording
success and breakthroughs in all areas of human developments,
countries such as Nigeria continue to struggle with its status of a
Different scholars and experts have offered suggestions on how to
move Nigeria forward. Regrettably, most of the suggested solutions
and recommendations were neglected, while the selected few
appeared inappropriate and incongruous. This situation has led to
the belief in some quarters that Nigeria’s greatest problem is the
incorrigibility of its leaders.
Many articles have been written and published on corruption and
bad governance- the duo bane of Nigeria’s socio-economic and
political progress. The recommended solutions to the power that be
on how to combat this epileptic barrier attracts no concern or at most
minimized, because the government and its cronies are the same
people that perpetrate and facilitate the atrocity that retards the
growth of the nation.
The recurrent political status-quo has engendered new waves of
crime in the nation. Innocent citizens are being kidnaped for ransom;
people are targeted for elimination, religious cleansing and tribal
genocide continue with no end in sight. The government that was
elected to serve the people has made itself the peoples’ master and
continually starves rather than serving the people that elected it to
office. Daily three square meals are no longer an affordable option
to most Nigerians, good and reliable health care delivery is elusive.
Good road networks and rural development and integration are no
longer listed in the axis of government concerns.
Government no longer alleviates the suffering of the masses; what it
does is to rape and plug them into further impoverishment.
Presidential transformational agenda is reneged and the states of
hopelessness permeate the atmosphere.
Nigerians at home are frustrated and are at the verge of surrender
to the nation’s political fate. Poverty played significant role in this
submission. A man who is unable to feed his family will evidently
focus on survival strategy rather than paying attention to the details
of government’s perversion. Poverty enables corruption; and
corruption breed bad governance. Nigerian politicians recognize that
a hungry man would pocket his ego for monetary gains; hence they
are able to buy their way into office. Politicians bankroll themselves
into elective office knowing that such investment will be recovered
with gains as soon as they are sworn into office. This is the circle of
political and socio-economic impoverishment that characterized
Nigerian nation at least in the last four decades.
But time has come for the tide to turn. Nigerians in diaspora need to
stand up to the rescue of the mother land. Political apathy or
apolitical syndrome must stop. Formation should be made of an
organization that will advocate for a new Nigeria with people-
centered government. Governments that will serve, not rule.
This organization will have as one of its primary goals a concerted
effort to influence the government of their host countries to put in
place policies that will discourage corruption among Nigerian
politicians and government officials. It is an open secret that most
western nations are enablers of corruption in Nigeria. They tongue-
lash the behavior in the open but endorses it in the hidden. Over
95% of the stolen money find its way to the countries of the west,
most especially USA, UK, France, Germany, Canada and recently
Saudi Arabia and Dubai. Many of these politicians and government
officials traffic large sum of money to the west, where they safe or
spend it on real estates and other valuables that has no direct
impact on Nigerian economy.
In the United States, you could be a suspect, and a “friend” of the
police or FBI if you buy and pay with cash for any article that worth
$10,000 or more. You may have to provide several information
about your financial vitae before you could be off the hook if
deemed innocent. But these African thieves brought cash in multiple
of thousands of dollars and the government look elsewhere
maintaining criminal silence and double standard.
Pressure should be exerted on different host countries to check-
mate any Nigerian political leader or government officials who
“import” money from abroad. Such officer should be compelled to
disclose the source of such funds and its purpose. Immediate
contact should be made to the foreign embassy of the guest visitor
and he or she should be prosecuted if unable to give credible
account of the source of the money to the full length of the law.
According to William Shakespeare,” there is no art to find man’s
construction in the face” (Macbeth). This is why membership of the
Nigerian Diaspora Advocacy Group should be open to all, but its
leadership should be vested in the hand of few credible elected
patriots, who has been tested and could be trusted. Unfold events in
the Nigerian community abroad has revealed that many Nigerians
who resides abroad has been infected with corruption malaise.
Some will go to any length to lend support and conspire with any
government officials to defraud the nation. Others have become
machineries through which tax payers money are siphoned to
foreign banks. They turned themselves to errand boys of mischief,
belittling their professional status and undermining acceptable ethics
and moral standard.
Nigeria has been beaten but not broken. It should therefore be a
collective responsibility of all Nigerians home and abroad to ensure
that the nation did not fall flat to the greed of those that supposed to
nurture it. The cronies of leadership that has ruled Nigeria in the
last four decades has plagued the country into depression as a
result of their greed. History indicated that none of Nigeria
presidents to date willingly or wittingly desire the office of president,
they became the president by accident. (I addressed this problem in
my article published in 03/27/2009. http://www.nigeriansinamerica.
It does not require a rocket science to proof that when a nation’s
leadership is consequential of accident of history or cooption of the
privileged few, the result or quality of governance will be the type
that Nigerians has suffered to date.
Nigerians can no longer tolerate or accommodate this inadequacy;
hence turning the tide is an expedient obligation at this time.
Corruption should be fought at home and abroad. Efforts should be
made to influence the legislative arm of government of the western
countries to initiate policies that are not corruption friendly especially
to the Nigerian political leaders and their money laundering cronies.
This will send strong message to all corrupt leaders; maybe it will kill
their greed and discourage them from stealing the tax payers
This is a task that must not only be done; it must be seen to be
Tunde Ali is the President of Citizens for Good Government &