Nothing perplexes me in the Nigerian question and indeed mystifies the soul of many a citizen, than the incredible assertions on our Head of State, as the most powerful individual and office within the realm of excessive powers of a chief executive. Because, according to that very loud school of petulant social activism, those breed of individuals who only shout but cannot implement; a Nigerian president approves everything, signs everything and nullifies all.
Indeed some have ascribed to that office the power of life and death, on any person proclaiming the country's citizenship. In fact, the much contentious immunity clause, which shields an executive official from prosecution, was directly lifted from the early eras of the British Kings and Queens, who are always exclaimed by many, as angelic souls that could do no wrong and where they to do anything unlawful, the throne immediately legitimises it by legalising the infraction. Thus, I find the wonderful inference about our leaderships, as weak individuals who could not do much, to tackle the development challenges afflicting the polity as a pure fallacy.
Except a few weeks ago in the village of Fadan Kagoma, at the burial ceremony and internment to mother earth of the former Governor of Kaduna state, Sir, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stood to deliver a eulogy and homily on the deceased politician, it was a most exhilarating speech that deeply touched on the responsibility of a leader, to maintain a life style that is simple, honest and trust worthy, which were virtues friends and foes of Yakowa easily ascribe to him.
Indeed, it was at such a juncture the nation's chief executive sadly pontificated; "Present civil service directors have more houses than Dangote." which is clearly and openly alleging fraud against civil servants and directly an indictment on the corruption interdiction agencies, while indirectly, it is a condemnation on his government's resolve to tackle embezzlement of government resources.
Because Aliko Dangote was recently listed as the richest African in the world, thus to have mere salaried civil servants owning more houses than him means the public entrusted institution of social delivery itself is a den of thieves.
But, what could have inspired the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to express such rage and outwardly communicate his exasperation in dealing with matters directly within the purview of his official duties? Because by virtue of his constitutional powers, as leader of the executive arm of the government, who by law the leaderships of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and indeed the Nigerian Police Force are answerable to. It is unfathomable that such an individual could not be enabled to enforce the law, in checking the corrupt and illegal excesses of subordinates that have broken their oaths of office, breached their employment terms and dipped their deceptive hands into the collective patrimony of our common wealth.
Perhaps more confusing is the fact that such a statement should have properly emanated from the mouths and lips of the much vilified social activist community or even the journalists, whom the government officials are always wont to derogatively say, could only criticise but without any visible means of implementing nor executing policies, because they are not leaders.
It is incidents like this which belittle the eminent office of Nigerian president, either as an institution that is complicit by exhibiting social disapproval of an evident criminal activity or an administration highly bereft of effective communication mechanism, which allows an intemperate leader to make public presentations without a script, while at the extreme level, confirming the clueless derogatory term ascribed to him as contextual incontrovertible truth.
For a nation internationally acclaimed as having a notorious reputation on corruption, it is highly counter- productive, when its chief executive officer acknowledge the existence of bribery as an admonishing jest, while not enumerating a clear and focused effort at quashing such cankerworm. Because it is such a situation, which immediately plays into the hands of bodies like the Transparency International, that group of individuals saddled with the task of aggregating corruption perception index in the world and what better way to confirm the status of a nation as criminally fraudulent, than the affirmation of its leadership on the corrupt nature of its civil service.
In fact, for the international community to take the Nigerian nation seriously as a democratically run republic adhering to the rule of law, it is incumbent upon of the anti-corruption agencies to seek audience with Mr President for the names of his directors owning multiple houses, which must have been illegally acquired. Anything else and the country remains a laughing stock among the comity of nations.