"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into this country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war […] I want peace." ---William T. Sherman, 1864
Until we accept where we are, we can't move forward...
Being called a failed state is not about life being brutish, or about countries being poor, or about a country being free from corruption.
A "failed state" refers to a country where the government has little, very limited, or no impact on the daily lives of its people, countries where to all intents and purposes, government is not functioning.
Think of Pakistan, where bin Laden could hide for years very close to a military base without the government having a clue, a place where another country (the US) can launch an operation without informing the state...
Now, let's localize it.
With the exception of the Nigerian Army (who once again brushed the police yesterday), what other national institution functions well in Naija? NEPA? Police? (Boko Haram will have a word about that), the Judiciary? (ask Brother Dimeji), FERMA? (check almost all Federal roads), NPA? (check the queue of ships waiting at our sole working port), Universities? public schools? NNPC? refineries? NCC? NITEL?
When you have a state that doesn't exist to its citizens, that is a failed state.
I wanna be a Senator so fucking bad Buy all of the chics I never had I wanna be on the cover of ThisDay Style Standing next to Patience and Jona "Wazzup TY?" Cos everytime I close my eyes I see my face in shining lights A different ashi every night I swear Oh no, Naija better prepare For when I'm a Senator...
As things stand, the BA flight from Abuja left at 0845. I believe that right now, Mr. Bankole has just crossed the Mediterranean and is over the South of France. French Riviera to be precise, where he will probably end up with his loot. You see, he is a subject of the English Crown, and I sincerely doubt that those bungling EFCC operatives be able to put together a case for extradition...
I hope I'm wrong.
Edit: I was wrong thankfully. The man is still in Naija, and has agreed to surrender himself on Monday.
Back in early 2009, a close friend of mine paid a visit to a major Peugeot vehicle dealer in Abuja, and as is the case up until now, the Peugeot 407 was prominently displayed in the showroom. He got in and asked how much one of the Comfort Automatics cost. He was provided with a brochure which told him that the cost of the vehicle was N5.1 million. Asked if there was a discount, he was told that there was a 3% discount on bulk purchase, which brought the price of each unit down to about N4.9 million.
For those who may not remember what all the hullabaloo was about, it was reported back in 2008 that a contract to purchase of 280 Peugeot 407 salon cars as “committee” vehicles for the members of the House of Representatives had been inflated by around N480 million, and Festus Keyamo, the firebrand activist lawyer stormed the National Assembly in possession of certain documents and confronted the members of the House with their fraud. He was called all sorts of names, well nigh physically assaulted, and there were loud calls for probes. After a lot of noise was made, and a lot of ink spilled on the pages of the newspapers, the matter was promptly forgotten, and the actors paid their wages.
From the figures that were given, it was clear that the fraud was in fact far greater than Mr. Keyamo had claimed.
Bear in mind, dear reader, that the prices given my friend were dealer’s price. The House of Reps purchased their vehicles directly from the manufacturer, so all the little additions dealers build into their prices should have, and must have been absent. For starters, 280 cars is by any standards a very large order, and must have attracted a massive discount. Factor in that a Peugeot 407 from the manufacturer cost around £15,700 in 2008 (N3.2 million at the exchange rate then) and the scale of the fraud simply boggles the mind. There was in fact a standing discount of £2,100 on every 407 purchased. When you factor in that, you got a price of £13,600 or N2.85 million for each and every 407. Now, factor in an order of 280 cars to a vehicle manufacturing company eager to please government officials and looking to regain its position as the official car of choice, and factor in your own imaginative discount.
When you multiply that amount by 280 cars, you get N775.6 million. In TOTAL. Subtract the above sum from the N2.3 billion claimed as spent on the cars, and we get the tidy sum of around N1.524 billion having made its way into private pockets.
Now, let’s go off on a tangent, and assume that each car did in fact cost the Dealer’s price of N4.9 per vehicle. That would still leave us far short of N2.3 billion as we come in at around N1.2 billion for 260 Peugeot 407s.
But they didn’t go to a car dealer, they went directly to the source. Leaving aside the fact that there aren’t 280 Committees in the House of Reps, and that the same House of Reps had already purchased a fleet of buses for the Committees, and assuming that the decision to designate the cars as “Committee” vehicles was merely a means to circumvent the directive of the Executive that there would be no purchase of official vehicles for House of Reps members, the scale of greed involved here is almost unimaginable.
And to the “explanation” that they had to place a rush order for the cars which they say justified the price, I must respond: “Was the Peugeot factory closed?”, “Had they stopped manufacturing the 407?” and “How in the blue fuck does Peugeot hear you want 280 cars and not give you a discount?” Somebody in that office would have touched the ceiling with glee. And when we add in (and I must reiterate) the fact that Peugeot are looking for a way back to the glory days when virtually all government vehicles were supplied by them, they would have all but kissed the feet of the House of Reps members with joy.
Then there are the rumours about Ini Edo, Gbemi Saraki and the NITEL building...