By Anthony Kila
Yes, I agree we must put issues into perspective. In so doing, we cannot but conclude that in the ongoing prosecution of the former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki over the the diversion of up to $2.1 billion of public funds is not corruption, it is treason. Details coming out of the saga go beyond looting of public funds. It is not just about the extreme case of abuse of power but the betrayal of fundamental trust and that of a country.
The unraveling treason in Dasukigate targets a lens on the Nigerian life. What comes up goes beyond the man. It also involves how people, organizations and offices betray themselves and, what and who they ought to stand for.
Let us be clear, as at the time of writing this piece, no one has been convicted of any crime so all we have at hand are speculations and allegations. The courts will decide who is guilty and who is innocent. Although, my personal outlook to politicians and public office holders, in general, is that everyone is guilty until proven innocent. For the sake of decency however we shall not treat anyone as guilty here. Hence, we continue to talk of the Dasukigate as a saga in which we see how stealing is not corruption but treason of minds, offices and ideas.
If you are reading this piece you do not need to be lessoned on what Dasukigate is about. It is everywhere you mention Nigeria. A closer look will however reveal some shocking details. The first thing I discovered is that technically there is no Office of the National Security Adviser.
The Constitution does not mention it and no legislative Act approved such office. Yet, newspapers refer to it, even official memos of the government offices refer to it and even call it ‘ONSA’. That in itself is grave; for in reality someone has created such a powerful office with no legal foundation or justification. At best it is an illegal office, at worst it is a parallel power to but set above the ministry and minister of defense as well as the chief of the defense staff.
Yet amongst those that were sidelined no one protested, no one spoke, no petition, no memo seeking any clarification whatsoever. The silence of those who knew what was going on was not only deafening but also very dangerous. There is no other way to put it. The silent ministers and officers betrayed their offices, the Constitution and their dignity as leaders and citizens. Their actions could have saved some money from being diverted and maybe even some lives.
If the episode we read about the Dasukigate is anywhere near true, you can easily understand me when I say the then Security Adviser could have easily executed a coup d’etat.
For most people, Dasukigate is about money. So let’s talk about money. The famous Abacha loot was earmarked for infrastructure and development. Our very vocal former minister for finance and coordinating minister for economy personally wrote to seek approval for the diversion of part of such funds from infrastructure and development into the bottomless pit of Dasukigate. Yet she never suspected anything nor did she inform the public and she did not follow up on how the money was spent.
If I were a youngster and could choose my parents, I would choose former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan as my mother and former Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as my father. With those two as parents you can have sex, drugs, ‘rock n roll’ at home every day, at any time and they would not suspect anything at all. None of them noticed a Father Christmas in the Dasukigate days.
In all this, my favorite ‘victim’ is the chap that testified/confessed in a written statement that he did not get a single kobo from the Dasukigate Father Christmas bounty. He simply did as he was told. The man is not alone. It appears the CBN Governor and those that acted for him simply did as they were told. I am very worried for those that simply ‘did as they were told’ because the law is very clear about doing what you are told when you know it is illegal. You cannot say ‘I didn’t know it wasn’t illegal’ since ignorance is not an excuse.
By the way, I would be keen to know what the very conscientious and consistent Justice Adeniyi Ademola now thinks about Dasukigate. He is the judge that granted Sambo Dasuki bail on self-recognition in September and later in November ordered that his passport be released so ‘poor Sambo Dasuki’ can go abroad for medical treatment.
In the middle of all this chaos, the bygone ruling party, PDP, had nothing better to say than to ask for a wider probe that will include all Presidents starting from 1984 and to include the funding of the APC. Total nonsense! They say “you are a thief”, you say “yes, but I am not the only one”. PDP needs some honest people to stand up, apologise and ask any indicted person to defend him/her-self. The party needs to assert: The PDP is not a bunch of looters but a national party of ideas. If the present leaders cannot make such statements, then it is time for the young ones who genuinely believe in the ideology of the PDP, whatever that ideology is, to kick out the present leaders for betraying the founding spirit and takeover the party.
Join me if you can @anthonykila to continue these conversations.