Two damaging reports on the country by two reputable international organizations in less than one week is simply not too good for Nigeria.

For the Transparency International, corruption has worsened in the country since the coming of the Muhammadu Buhari administration never mind the noise the regime is making about waging war against corruption.

According to Transparency International, since 1996 Nigeria had maintained an average of 119.14 position ranking among  the corrupt countries of the world, until 2016, one year after Buhari assumed office, when the situation changed, with Nigeria’s corruption perception index  climbing up to 136th position and capped it with 148th  position in 2017. 

The implication, according to the organization, is that instead of  corruption abating in Nigeria, it is becoming worse than what it was before the Buhari administration came to power. This, no doubt, is not a good recommendation for an administration that came to power riding on the back of fighting corruption.

The administration did not however take the report very kindly, but rather than seek to find out what actually went wrong and how to improve on the situation, blamed it on two of its nationals, who it alleged, had links with Transparency International, and thereby influencing the report.

It may be necessary to recall however that in 2005, during the  regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo, when there a similar adverse report on Nigeria by placing the country on 152th position, up from her average position of 119.14 since 1996, Obasanjo did not pull down the roof. Rather, he bent down and succeeded in bringing down the rating to 120th position the following year. 

Buhari should have taken cue from this without letting out his attack dogs to begin to blame his perceived political opponents as responsible for the poor rating since this will in no way change the global perception about Nigeria on corruption.  

Following on the heels of Transparency International report on Nigeria is the indictment on the Nigerian military in its war against Boko Haram insurgency by the Amnesty International in its just released 2017/2018 report.

According to Amnesty International, 4,900 Boko Haram members were held in Giwa Barracks in an overcrowded facility where 340 detainees had already died of diseases and dehydration. It further stated that 167 civilians were killed by the Nigeria Air force when an IDP camp was hit at Rann by a Nigerian Air Force jet, while twelve members of the Indiginous People of Biafra (IPOB) were killed in Umuahia by the Nigerian military.

Reacting to this report,  spokesman for the Defence Headquarters, Brigadier General John Agim, said the allegations were “ill conceived to frustrate the on going US-Nigerian anti-terrorism cooperation”.

While describing Amnesty International’s allegations as “largely unsubstantiated”, the spokesman claimed that the report was “geared towards weakening the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) at ensuring peace and security in the country”.

It further claimed that the “body in Nigeria could have been sponsored to frustrate conflict resolution efforts towards peace and positive development of the nation. The deliberate falsehood peddled by AI could cast the nation and its security apparatus in bad light”.

The world is now a global village. As such, we no longer have isolated countries that claim to exist on their own and could do anything as they liked. Everybody, every institution, and every country is being monitored to ensure that whatever they do conforms to international best practices. 

Thus, it is not a figment of imagination, but a fact which had been widely reported, that the Nigerian military killed a number of IPOB members when it invaded the country home of their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in Afara-Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, in September last year, under its code name, Operation Python Dance. Since then, the Nigerian military is yet to account for the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu.

Similarly, Amnesty International may not be far from the truth to report that Boko Haram detainees were being held in overcrowded facilities since even our prison yards and police cells are usually overcrowded and human beings packed there like sardines. 

So, instead of picking holes in the Amnesty report, it should be a wake up call on the Nigerian military to ensure that they abide by the internationally accepted norms of dealing with local dissidents and for the Nigerian authorities to improve on the facilities in their detention camps, police cells and prison yards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *