Manifestos and transparency -By Jaachi Mbachu

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Manifestos and transparency -By  Jaachi Mbachu

 

My dear Nigerian family, I want to begin by expressing a lifetime’s worth of gratitude to Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, all the fallen soldiers of our armed forces, and indeed every Nigerian that has gone out of their way to care about the lives of other Nigerians – most at times at the expense of theirs. Especially difficult to do so in our today’s Nigeria where almost nobody values heroes. I don’t have the words; may God Almighty bless and comfort your families. God will never forget.

I hope to use this medium to succinctly highlight in my opinion, arguably the most important pair of catalysts to the highly needed saving that our country needs – an APT MANIFESTO AND TRANSPARENCY. I understand that our country has a myriad of major challenges, inclusive prominently, a shaking deficiency of empathy. However, I want to talk about Manifestos and Transparency today. Of the two, almost all our public office holders and aspirants who mean well for this country have ignored the latter. I beg them to reconsider, most especially as 2015 approaches. When an apt manifesto and transparency combine, they are quite unstoppable. Transparency helps you easily dispel corruption in government, and without corruption, a great manifesto has a great chance of actually happening. It is difficult to embezzle funds when everyone can see the affairs of your government.

As a political aspirant, you can be considered transparent from your antecedents or a strong current action to affirm your transparency(my focus). Let’s take Former Vice President, His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar ,to stand as an example for the 2015 aspirants. He has a good plan, but a lot of Nigerians don’t trust him to make it reality. You can’t blame heartbroken Nigerians that have had innumerable aspirants over and again, give equally eloquent manifestos and did not deliver. I have a feeling that his plans are also genuine, so I am saying; let him think outside the box. Let him find a way to earn the confidence of everyone. Same goes for any aspirant at any level who has developed an apt policy plan to save us from completely burning down. I am hazarding this; Let him “sign a binding agreement” (Make it an agreement of no return on his assumption of office. Or something like that) with the best unbiased financial crime commission in the world. I very strongly suggest Transparency International (if they offer that kind of service), as auditors of his entire government starting from top to bottom. (It is a no-brainer that whilst EFCC and ICPC have done a great job, our woes in that area are beyond them). I want to emphasize again on “sign a binding agreement’’. This is because it is easy to make another promise to involve them in your administration and default later.

This is an unrefined suggestion, I am giving a somewhat layman’s view to it – however my point is straightforward. We unavoidably need to overhaul the financial crimes department of Nigeria so that our country can live again. It is a move that will make the electorates and people who have lost all interest in Nigeria all over the world to arise and stand with an aspirant till the end. The character and antecedents spanning decades of the officers in Transparency International is unbeatable. They have helped shaped different parts of the world for the better; this is the kind of salvation our financial crimes commission and our dear nation as a whole needs. With them coordinating our financial records, we are sure you or anyone in your government will find it a herculean task to misuse funds. Ergo, everyone in your government will have no other option than to do what was said in your eloquent manifesto.

Still on him as an example, in his policy document, our former Vice president talked about giving our indigenous financial crimes commissions an independent financial base. I consider it a good plan but inadequate for the magnitude of the corrupt activities in our country today. This is largely because they will still be made up of mainly Nigerians with stakes in this country and with little antecedents in the act of transparency in public service. I am not denigrating in any way our gallant country men, but I think it will still be easier to still pierce through them and create holes in their organization, as opposed to when supervised by a body like Transparency International. Nobody is perfect; however when you have a very precarious situation like ours, the very best of hands is desperately needed. Any political aspirant that really needs a win in 2015 should make Transparency the wallpaper of his or her campaign. There is really no need talking about any other thing, as even a primary school kid can attest that corruption is Nigeria’s most prominent problem. If you are planning to provide jobs (We practically produce nothing for the world with our massive human resource), develop infrastructure, etc. please involve Transparency International in your campaign or a better agency. If you don’t, then I don’t think you are bringing anything new to the table. You are just reminding us of failed promises spanning decades. But if you do, watch the entire country and world stand for you. Watch your excellent policies become reality unhindered by any corrupt mole in your government when you eventually assume office.

A lot of our countrymen and oh a lot of children have died, missed out on childhood, felt mind-numbing hurt – we have hit rock bottom. No words can suffice for the conundrum we are in. I beg all 2015 aspirants running for the Presidential, governorship, senate etc. Our country needs smarter policies and genuine intentions to overcome this heart wrenching time of our existence. Think about what I have tried to say and if possible, please come up with something even better than a partnership with Transparency International. Wipe our tears and do what we desperately need you to. God will never forget your kindness to Nigerians.

 

 

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