The race is not for the swift.” That proverbial wisdom of the great King Solomon came into play in the Lagos Marathon where young men and women had to sacrifice speed for distance. While Governor Akinwunmi Ambode set the athletic figures in motion last weekend, hardly did he know he confronted the nation with a figure of speech.

Long distance, by its nature, calls for endurance, managing the borderline between athletic and lethargic. The opposite – the 100 metres race – inspires the fleet-footed, the blood afire, the eyes alert, the heart beating like the petulant wall clock. The first is an eagle, the latter a meteor. When Ambode was sworn in, he entered the position with the temperament of the long-distance runner. But he got badgered. The traffic. The crime. The chaos. His accent. Anything.

But patience outlasts. Now like a torch light through a fog, the path ahead is clear to many. The cacophony has subsided. Not out of a rush, but out of a methodical working of government. So we see that while one man spent N4.6 billion to placate priests under Jonathan, about the same sum gave Lagosians helicopters, cars, boats, motorcycles and automated gadgets. Result? Crime rate cascades, traffic sanitises, etc. Now Oshodi prefigures a modern 21st century park-and-ride. Road transport workers now bow to a republican ethos, rather than the old, manipulative barbarity. Roads are looking up; some dark alleys are lit up at night. The narrative continues.

But the marathon that Lagos birthed beckons the national stage to a more intricate matter. Some are saying that law should give way to impunity. They are not saying it in that language but when some commentators are caviling at the courts for releasing Dasuki, they are ignoring the power of law in a democracy. Law is a slow grinder but, to paraphrase poet Longfellow, it grinds small.

The debate is one of the few where you cannot question the nobility of both sides. Those who call for law want justice. Those who are impatient with the law want to punish the thieves of our patrimony. The war on corruption has revved up the rage in the streets. But it is still a muffled indignation. The Naira figures were stunning, but as billions top billions, we are losing our capacity for shock.

For many Nigerians, there is no need to try these men. Just jail them. Former Chief of General Staff under Babangida made a public comedy when a business titan was being tried. “We are going to jail him,” he announced in a press conference. His media adviser, Nduka Irabor, crouched towards his ears and noted that he needed to be tried first. In an apparent deference to the advice, Augustus Aikhomu bellowed, “Yes, we shall try him and jail him.” Under the military, it was a laugh act. Impunity bustled in their veins. Even then, we realised the folly.

It seems this is what some are calling for. I have wondered over DasukiGate. Have we heard from Dasuki? What if Dasuki merely acted on instruction, and what are the details of instructions? Do we convict without being convinced? The worry of many is the corruption of the courts and our lordships. But there is a double standard here among many Nigerians. The courts have not been innocent for a long time. Some are calling of mass action in place of the law. They have stopped short of saying it, reflecting the impotence or lack of rigour of their ideas. They seem to say “we want the law, but the law cannot work.” Is that not a recourse to impunity?

This brings to mind the new sorry tales coming out of Ekiti polls. New revelations from Tope Aluko have not only reflected the failings of our electoral system, but also the shortcomings of our judiciary. More importantly, they show that many are in office who should have been in jail. The courts fail us. But the mob cannot replace the courts. Neither should official impunity. The Buhari administration was the product of law. It cannot overthrow that same process without enthroning hypocrisy. In a democracy, the quality of the law prospers on equality before the law. In an earlier article on this subject, I noted that only a movement against corruption can make the anti-corruption drive work. It is still a Buhari move, not a mass sentiment. If it is a mass sentiment, it is a muted and callow one at best. The people support Buhari, but they are not sure how to help him other than to encourage him to break the law. He said the judiciary is his headache. It has been the headache of this democracy for a long time.

Those Marxists and civil society mavens who are angry with the law, should focus not on Buhari but the bench. They should encourage open disgrace of judges. We should also encourage mass protests against unpunished electoral criminals. The Ekiti elections that ousted Dr. Kayode Fayemi as governor ignited lines of prescience from then Lagos Governor and now three-in-one minister Babatunde Fashola, SAN. In his takeaways, he showed how imbecility is accepted as official result. He endured many flaks then. We all know better now that Fayose’s victory has been disgraced in public.

That is the sort of society that emerges out of impunity. No society has prospered or even prospered for long on impunity. Even in the age of the divine rights of kings, the English under Oliver Cromwell led a revolt that led to a chain of events that brought England back to the full virtue of political liberties, especially after the Glorious Revolution. After the phony glory of Lenin’s coup, Russia grabbed Gorbachev’s coattail out of the impunity of almost a century. Putin is still harking back with agony. Chinese writer Mo Yan recounts the consequences of the Cultural Revolution in his excellent novel, The Garlic Ballads. Its economy groans today because it is at pains to open the country to the virtue of law instead of law and order.

In the modern era, the First World War ended with the streets exploding with calls to punish the Germans till their “kids squeak.” The Versailles Treaty handled justice cavalierly. It led to the Second World War. The Nuremberg Trials redressed the mistake in the open with fair prosecution even though the world was witness to Nazi butchery. Apartheid ended in South Africa not by subjectivity but by subjection to the law. De Klerk was South Africa’s clerk of change by law.

The answer is to organise mass movements against the judges and line up scapegoats. It should be carried out as an urgent matter for justice. All the civil rights gains in the United States were sown on the streets and media and reaped in the courts. The U.S. justices also resisted the change. But once the streets screamed, the courts yielded. That is the way of democracy. Buhari is coming round to this virtue even ahead of the irascibility of the ideologues. Witness the new draft laws he sent to the National Assembly.

The looting of our treasury was massive, but justice must come with imagination. It is, like the work of Allan Sillitoe, the “loneliness of a long distance runner.” We need first to make the law work by holding the bench to account. I won’t ape Shakespeare who said: “The first thing we do. Let’s kill the lawyers.” We cannot do it in a hurry, however angry we are. A Yoruba proverb says, words are the key to unlocking mysteries. Governor Ambode gave us the figure of speech to recover all the outlandish figures and punish human figures who wronged us – the endurance of a marathon. As an African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go fast, go together.” That’s how Americans succeeded in the Progressive Era in the turn of the 20th century. We also can. But the law alone, the bench alone, the president alone, the EFCC alone, cannot do it.



They Say We Should Stop Talking About Corruption…Peter Claver Oparah

Funny bunch. They say we should stop talking about corruption. They say we should stop talking about the wreckage they did here. They say we should not talk of the bizarre brigandage they superintended. They say we should stop talking about yesterday but should talk of today and tomorrow. They say we should keep mute over the vicarious damage they did to this country just yesterday. They say we should stop complaining about their sordid acts of Byzantine stealing. They say we should stop going after them and their loot. They say they need less distraction to enjoy their good fortune and we should rather look for our loincloths where we took our bath on March 28. They say we should close their chapter for now and pretend their egregious wastage never happened. They say we should talk less of their debauchery. They say we should not look back and they are wont to remind us of what happened to Lot’s wife in our effort to recall the expanded rot of yesterday’s vultures’ feast. They want to hush us. They want to gag us. They want to outlaw us from crying after they mercilessly whacked us. They want to bring to early foreclosure the putrid mess they did just the other day.

The say that the present anti-corruption war is a ruse because the country is not corrupt. At best, they say the country has become corrupt since Buhari came in as theirs was sparkling and without dent. Oh yes, we are ‘de-marketing’ Nigeria by talking of corruption. We are driving away the legions of foreign investors they brought, just by stealing every kobo in sight, when we talk of corruption. No, it is blasphemy to say Nigeria was corrupt, at least when they were here. They ask us who told us that Nigeria was corrupt. They said we are wasting time probing their impeccable records. They say we are just making up tales of looting just to explain the fact that we audaciously sacked their God-sent era. They say we are merely witch-hunting them. Yea, they have become witches but they say it is heresy hunting them. They say they did us a world of good by robbing us blind; that they were merely keeping our wealth in custody for us and that we should stop complaining but rather thank and garland them for being so magnanimous. They have tried every trick to get a recalcitrant country to parry its attention from their sordid mess and rather face the man we elected to clean their mess. Though they pretend they have no conscience but they betray a deep pinch by what remains of their conscience whenever we remember or narrate the ghoulish acts they did to our country. So is it not better they get us to criminalise any discussion on corruption so that they can enjoy a little peace? Oh yes, we must cease talking about corruption so that the corrupt can find some comfort.

Anti corruption? They say their foot! They say we are just raising a heck for nothing. They say we are just wasting precious time when we should rather leverage on their elephantine achievements to go to the moon. They say we are just making a mountain out of a molehill by looking and talking of their misdemeanours. They say we are just chasing shadows looking for stolen heist among the angels they are. They say no money was stolen in Nigeria under their watch. They say those who are confessing so pruriently on how they ate yams are just being hypnotized to confess crimes they never committed. They say all the petrifying details and confessions we are hearing today are acted scenes meant to entertain us as no such things happened under their immaculate leadership. They say they ran a clean and impeccable era and that by talking and klieg-lighting their acts, we are just wasting precious times on nothing. They say that the international community are shunning us because we keep talking of their corruption. Yes the international community are mumufied and zombiefied dummies who know nothing and see and hear nothing. So the less we harp on the audacious sleaze of the past 16 years especially in the bizarre past six years, the better for us as a country. They say we are committing treasonable crimes by letting the world know the depth of the corruption they did here before the present regime came. They say the world has resolved not to patronize us should we adamantly keep reminding of their nefarious acts which they feel will serve our best interests if we keep the details under the rugs and rather concentrate on mugging Buhari for defeating them in the last election.

They say we should just focus on how Buhari is destroying the Naira- yea every known wailer is now a forex trading Mallam, keeping us abreast of the daily happenings in this interesting Naira-Dollar slugfest. They make no attempt to tell us what we are selling in the international market as to buoy the Naira against the dollar as they are not telling us of how a country whose treasury was cleansed the way they did can maintain a strong currency when the sole product that financed their licentiousness is going for free. When we talk of their wicked inability to save for the present rainy day when the dollars were freely flowing, they remind us that it was not their duty to save for another man to spend. Theirs was to loot, steal, plunder and eat for all of us. All they are saying is that the Naira must be brought at par with the dollar by fire by force and that Buhari must create trillions of jobs and make the economy strong after their gluttonous feast. How he is able to do that should be his headache but we should stop distracting them by talking of their corrupt acts or even probing their acts. It was neither their lot to create jobs nor save for the future so we should stop looking at their horrible stewardship. The past is past and should be treated as such. No looking back, they remind us.

They say we should be talking of how ‘nothing works’ since Buhari displaced their divine era and replaced the feel-good days when they ate on our behalf and ensured that we dance for their selfless sacrifice of pocketing the commonwealth on our behalf. They say we should rather be talking of how Buhari has not created zillions of jobs since oil is almost going for free and they are won’t to remind us how they packed millions of jobless Nigerians in every available public space, extorted them of N1,000 each and ended up trampling tens of them to death in the quest to recruit 3,000 nebulous immigration jobs when Naira was averaging $120 per barrel. They say Buhari should do better than their impeccable record, after all he promised change and was audacious to topple their bazaar-laden era.

They say we should ask Buhari why he has not brought the same Naira that started its tumbling when they were feasting on a providential oil boom, when the heavens were raining in the dollars while they were busy sharing it among themselves. They say we should get our clubs, sharpen our arrows and bows and target Buhari and his men for audaciously toppling their God-sent era of freeloading. One of them recently reminded us that they were called ‘share the money’ for good reasons-that they shared money to go round while we are no longer sharing money in an era of change. They say we should not ask where, when and how the rain started beating us and that we must be the dummies they take us to be and not pretend we don’t know that Buhari inherited a very healthy economy where they firmed our reserve. Yes, they emptied our foreign reserves into their pockets when oil was gushing raw dollars so why can’t the Naira gain strength now that oil is almost free? They emptied the excess crude reserve to campaign for a continuation of their divine, share-the-money regime just that we were so naive to reject them. They turned the oil industry to ready ATM machines so as to prepare us for today. They shared out defence budgets so that we can be self reliant in defending ourselves and not look for others.

They turned NIMASA, NPA, Customs, into cash cows because they felt the country needed super humans like them to prosecute their dream of writing Nigeria into the richest and biggest economy in the world. We should know they were magicians who woke up one morning and told us we were now the biggest economy in Africa- a feat they achieved through mass stealing, total unemployment, comprehensive infrastructural breakdown, so why are we complaining? Why are we looking back when we should look forward and tap on their magic to take our rightful place as the richest economy on planet earth? Why are we talking of corruption when we should be talking of the unprecedented prosperity they unleashed us in six dizzying years through what we call corruption? Why are we making up cases of corruption in a regime angels practically relocated from heaven with a mission to transform Nigeria to the greatest and richest country on planet earth? At least they have succeeded in scripting Nigeria as the richest country in Africa and they needed to achieve the feat of the richest economy in the world in the added years for which they brazenly shared excess dollars to get the citizenry to preserve them in power. They ask whether we never saw the array of private jets and state of the art automobiles that littered the Nigerian space while they were here. They ask if we never saw the legion of curious billionaires they made with our oil money. They ask if we never saw the array of jobless locusts that suddenly became proprietors of private universities when they were here. They are genuinely irked that Buhari has stopped these fonts of prosperity while inundating the world with tales of their corruption which they say never happened.

So they don’t understand why we are mis-targeting when we should aim rightly. They said we should unleash our anger at Buhari for exacerbating the hunger and want they banished from Nigeria by stealing and sharing the money amongst themselves. They say we should set upon Buhari and his government for chasing rats in form of anti-corruption war instead of unleashing magic on Nigeria in the face of global economic meltdown and of course, their uncensored orgy before Buhari came. They want us to ask Buhari why the Nigerian economy is not thriving in triple digits when strong global economies are ebbing. Do Nigerians not realise they erected enough bulwarks to prevent the Nigerian economy from such fractures the fragile economies of America, China, EU periodically experience? Why are Nigerians not directing their anger at Buhari who rather than liberalise stealing and corruption to grow the Nigerian economy the way they did, is plugging all rat holes through which smart Nigerians access the national wealth and mop up properties all over the world, buy private jets and make names as the richest people on earth? Why are Nigerians not targeting Buhari for stopping the culture of blessing the big boys and girls, the big party chieftains of their beloved PDP with state resources to bless other fortunate ones? Why are Nigerians looking their way and the ways of their fortunes instead of asking Buhari to stop his nonsensical war on corruption?

Me too, I don’t understand. Why can’t we simply invite them to come on again and unleash their miraculous wand on our distressed country? Why can’t we re-invite them, with apology for our mistakes, and ask them to continue from where they stopped on May 29? Why not let us hearken to them and stop talking about corruption so as to tap from their good fortune? Do we remember that their leader was goodluck personified and that he even became known in some global circles as ‘fortunato?’ So why can’t we cease the searchlight on our brightest and best and save the country by having them come back to continue the steady march of the country to a world superpower? Why not let us admit that we committed a grievous crime by sending them away on March 28 and that we committed a more gregarious crime by asking them questions about their stewardship when we knew they were beyond reproach? Why not let us remove corruption from our lexicon and find ways of even legalizing since it brought the country so much good fortune when they were here deifying and worshipping it and telling us that stealing is not corruption? Why should we dwell on their corrupt acts when by that, we are de-marketing the country in the international community who so much love them that they won’t bear to hear their spotless names profaned in the name of fighting corruption? Why not let us save ourselves their blitzkrieg, quench their present senseless wailing by rather arraigning Buhari and his men for the audacious guts to replace them, proceed to destroy the country’s economy and the Naira through his nonsensical fight against corruption? I am being bought. I am being seduced and of course, I am being led to believe that they are indeed making sense.

— Oparah wrote from Ikeja, Lagos. E-mail: peterclaver2000@yahoo.com





1.The Catholic Church under any disguise cannot suppress truth. I am also aware the Catholic Church is not a democratic institution. And the Catholic Church under the Catholic Bishop of Abuja Metropolitan See, Cardinal John Onaiyekan is dead and lack direction.That is why some Pentecostal churches led by 419 Pastor Oritsejaofor and his Pentecostal bandwagon blindfolded ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his govt. with fake prophesies that led to his downfall.

The Catholic Church should have congratulated Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillus Anthony Ebenezer Mbaka for his courage and divine prophesies against ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his fetish wife,Patience as against fake prophesis of the Pentecostal churches led by known 419 Pastors now bowed to shame for deceiving ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his corrupt govt.

Mbaka is a man of God with a strong character of divine conviction whether you believe or hate him, as many Christians did during the last election because of ignorance. God blesses whoever he wants.


a. Where were the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria under Cardinal John Onaiyekan and all the Anglican Bishops of Nigeria when PDP under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his govt. were looting Nigerian monies with impunity.

b. Where were the the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria under Cardinal John Onaiyekan and all the Anglican Bishops of Nigeria when Pastor Orijisaofor bought private jets with stolen money with the connivance of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in a dubious circumstance.

c. Where were the the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria under Cardinal John Onaiyekan and all the Anglican Bishops of Nigeria when PDP under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and his govt. were ruling Nigeria like Ali Baba republic.( I Steal, You steal God no go vex.)

d. What were the views of  Catholic Bishops in Nigeria under Cardinal John Onaiyekan and all the Anglican Bishops of Nigeria when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan defined corruption as not a crime. Of course,David Mark, an Abuja based strong catholic and all the 419 Pentecostal Pastors clapped for him.

The whole circumstance and conspiracy against Mbaka,the founder and Spiritual Director of a Ministry within the Catholic Church known as Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) are just mere jealousy and greed of the highest order sponsored by Abuja politicians close to Cardinal John Onaiyekan . Mbaka is gifted, creative and clever; he is without any doubt a liberation theologian. To liberate Nigerians including Catholic Bishops in Nigeria under Cardinal John Onaiyekan,419 Pentecostal Pastors and all the Anglican Bishops of Nigeria from the Ali Baba republic under Mumu ex-President Goodluck Jonathan

2.100% correct. And Abati lack the moral right to condemn Mbaka because he Abati, went to Aso Rock to enrich himself and forgot how he was using Guardian newspaper to fault past regimes. An opportunist.

3.Nice reply to Abati and his abatilisation of honesty .

4.Yeye article. But you Abati and Mama Peace took your campaign to him. Bunch of losers. Free Fr. Mbaka jor!

5.Reuben wrote this article with all sentiments he could find. He applied sarcasm to most of the article. So he had time to say this about Mbaka? I’m waiting for him to write same article about Ayo Orijetsafor!