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It would appear that Nigerians have come to expect their public officials to engage in corruption, profligacy and all kinds of public immorality.
It would appear that Nigerians have come to expect their public officials to engage in corruption, profligacy and all kinds of public immorality. Elendureports.com has reported many stories of corruption involving Nigerian officials and members of their families. While we have been applauded for bringing these acts of corruption to light, some of our readers are tiring from these stories.
Enyi Onyekwere, a Nigerian US based civil engineer, a few days ago told Elendureports.com, "Everybody knows they do it. We all know they are corrupt, so itís no big deal. All people are looking for is somebody to tell the story and thereís where you come in." This attitude, though in the minority, has been described as part of the reason Nigerian public officials commit criminal acts with impunity.
Elendureports.com has uncovered evidence of another Nigerian Governor involved in criminal activity. The Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, purchased a house on June 1, 2004 in London. This property was purchased one year after Mr. Bafarawa was sworn-in for his second term as the Governor of Sokoto State.
Purchased for two hundred and ninety-five thousand (£295,000.00) pounds, the property with title number NGL836183 is located at 9 Radnor Place, London W2 2TF. The entire sum of nearly three hundred thousand pounds was paid for in cash. One month after the purchase of his London home, specifically on the July 7, 2004, Bafarawa granted an interview to the Hausa service of Voice of America. During the interview, Bafarawa chided President Obasanjo for accusing State governors of corruption and misappropriation of public funds. In response to a question on the subject, Bafarwa said, "Let him start with himself."
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa is one of the major sponsors of the last Independence Day celebrations in New York. One of the organizers Elendureports.com spoke with said she could neither confirm nor deny his involvement in the Independence Celebrations as she didnít have all the facts before her.
An associate of Bafarawa, speculated as his self-appointed successor was recently arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. According to the NEWS, a popular Nigerian magazine, Umarun Kwabo, Chairman, Sokoto Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, was arrested by the EFCC based on a petition by a top member of the rival Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ibrahim Magaji.
According to the petition by Magaji, Bafarawa and Kwabo conspired to loot Sokoto State through inflation of contracts and channeling all major contracts to companies belonging to Kwabo and Bafarawa. Kwabo who was arrested in August, and later released, was also accused of colluding with the Sokoto State Governor in money laundering schemes. The Sokoto State Governor is also having problems with his Deputy, Aliyu Wamakko.
The political elite in Sokoto State regard the Governor as a barely literate man who ascended the Ďgovernorship throneí through unfair means. This group includes the Deputy Governor who has been in a running battle with Bafarawa. Their fight may not be unconnected with the 2007 presidential and governorship elections. There are speculations that Bafarawa is a staunch supporter of the self-acclaimed evil genius, Ibrahim Babangida, while Wamakko is in Vice President Atikuís camp.
The Deputy Governor is also peeved that his boss has not been enthusiastic about his ambition of becoming governor of Sokoto State come 2007. Hence, there are speculations he may have given the EFCC the ammunition they needed to go after the Governorís chosen successor. This high stakes gamesmanship continues to change as the days go by. However, the questions on the minds of many Nigerians are: Why are our so-called leaders buying up other countries? Is it possible they donít believe Nigeria will be there after they leave office?