Tuesday 28th March, 2017
Translate Language:::
Share

Addressing mounting impunity in the land

   Addressing mounting impunity in the land

There is no denying the fact that following the British amalgamation of its northern and south­ern protectorates in 1914 and their consequent independence from them in 1960, the ‘geographic ex­pression’ Nigeria is yet to attain its dreamt potentials – to the locals, nay their colonial masters. Hence the arrival in many a fora, follow­ing a studied tour of our travails ever since, that the greatest hin­drance to that achievement of the great nation of our dream remains the impunity with which wrongs are perpetrated in high and lows places of the nation. No doubt, this is made possible because the au­thors of these iniquities know full well that there would be no reper­cussions – come heaven or high water.
Yes, because time and again even when panels are set up by govern­ment following public complaints after another of them is uncov­ered, these come to nothing all the time. Even when these avenues for providing jobs for their boys – as these panels end up passing for – do come up with indictments, their findings are more often than not only swept under the carpet to the chagrin of the people. Dating back to the colonial days, the first, sec­ond, third and fourth republics as well as the military interregnums that abbreviated them, well-known scandals have waved and passed without any culprits brought to the book.
Yet, this has in no way dissuaded the people from trying. Perhaps, most pertinent in this regard is the fact that it is this never-say-die spirit that served to bring the pres­ent ‘corrective regime’ to power. Their campaign mantra aimed at bringing to a stop the corruption that was perceived to have ravaged the land for the more than the de­cade-and-a-half the previous party in power has occupied the helm of the country was what led them to electoral victory. As is still traceable from the populace, not an inch of support has been subtracted from the many in favor of their on-going anti-corruption war. Not even after the desperate attacks from its very few detractors who would rather the status quo ante returned for, no doubt, not unselfish reasons.
However, like some have had the temerity to posit, most of these impunities are mostly made pos­sible when people that committed those as heinous as high treason are let off the hookunpunished; only for them to want to incrimi­nate committers of minor offences subsequently. Specifically, time and again in this space, routine demo­cratically-elected civilian govern­ments have had cause to be toppled by an aggregation of our armed forces with the slightest fear of any repercussions ever after. Only for them to effectively ban the consti­tution and proceed to rule by de­cree – consequently imprisoning people for offences as mild as tres­pass, as it were.
While it is good that the ‘current­ly corrupt’ in the land are chased out from wherever they are hiding with their loots, we are also certain that it will be worth its while if oth­er offenders of even more heinous crimes against the nation are pen­ciled down for prosecution even centuries after they committed the offence. This way, a well-known major offender in the past cannot afford to come back reformed in the future to hound, perhaps, his former enemies. Indeed, it is most noteworthy that no less a person as our immediate past president, Mr Goodluck Jonathan, has reiterated the call for an end to the impunity on display in the land. Though his regime has recently come under flak for same, in a recent speech he gave to the members of the United States Congress House Sub-Com­mittee on Africa about such burn­ing issues like the Niger Delta and the ethnic and religious tension in the land, he unequivocally called for a change of heart if we want­ed to see an end to our troubles.Invited to give the address in his capacity as Chairman, Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, the meet­ing – according to his spokesman – was part of the effort to fulfill the foundation’s mission to ‘promote peace and prosperity’ in both our nation and continent. In the speech proper, Jonathan minced no words in identifying impunity as the fac­tor that contributes to recurrence of such evils like the current reli­gious violence ravaging Southern Kaduna in the recent past.
He stressed and we opine that if only those behind the previous oc­currences of religious and ethnic violence are let off the hook with no prosecution, indictment nor punishment, others are bound to be encouraged to follow their foot­steps. The ex-president also used the occasion to lend support to the recommendation by the 2014 National Conference organized under his watch for the setting up an Independent Religious Equity Commission whom it will be part of their duties to apprehend, ar­rest and prosecute identified per­petrators of ethnic and religious violence. All said and done, The Authority believes that the future greatness of our nation that we so earnestly yearn for can only be ac­tualized if those in authority are able to fashion out a way to end the rampaging impunity with which the country is being ravaged by all and sundry.

SHARE ON: