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April 16, 2013 | Feature Article

Amnesty: Redistribution Of Income To Avoid Jungle Justice

Boko-Haram
Boko-Haram

Our best brains, children, old, young men and women wallow in wasteful administration of resources as we watched billions a.k.a. amnesty, naira spent on foreign trained militia competing for Presidency. Boko Haram and MEND fight for power as MASSOB and OPC sympathizers still fight over the Nigeria/Biafra war that ended more than 40 years ago.

Whenever we fail to play by the rules and give privilege to those that flaunt rule of law, young men and women follow the lead of recruiters of virtue. But if we call for the same jungle justice on their agents demanding amnesty for their thugs, we are branded. We either pay for good education, provide jobs and meaningful African identity or suffer the consequences of passing crumbs to avoid jungle justice from our trained ethic militias.

There was a coup in Nigeria blaming ten percent kick backs in the sixties and Anikulapo Kuti sang about his party's slogan of – you chop I chop. Yet in the year 2013, we have pardoned hard criminals looting us blind and competing ethnic militias demanding that Government begs for amnesty for their mismanagement. As pen robbers get away petty criminals complained of unfair lynching for stealing money; food to feed their children.

Amnesty is for survival of the fittest given by pen robbers to trained militias. It is a basic tenet of life that parents must provide and plan for children or face result of neglect. We are living in a social experiment where our young women and men are left to the mercy of local and foreign recruiters seeking political power. Naturally the easiest obtainable are the criminals, local and international prostitutes in exchange for meager survival.

Nigeria deals severely with petty thieves, no doubts. But they pardon and grant amnesty to money grabbers in millions and billions while the armed terrorists have to display their trade to get educational opportunities law abiding young men and women should be getting. Many even get free scholarship to overseas training. Consequently, the more opportunities they get, the more others are encouraged to join their gangs.

You can't tell the difference between terrorist and Area boys in the family. A lady asked his own brother to send her share of rent from their mama's property in Nigeria to US to pay her daughter's school fees. He asked her if she is not gainfully employed. Moreover, as an Area boy now, she dares not come home for money. She threatened to hire one of Kill-And-Go police to scatter his head. He sent the tuition, fast. Area boy refused to die!

Here we are with Nigerian styled rule of law. Many of us predicted jungle justice a long time ago when we got to the stage of an Attorney General and more police getting killed without repercussion. We started begging embezzlers for their loot back in return for a percentage to keep. Some people actually thought this was the only viable solution. We are told plea deal for looters is not new in most countries since no one can prosecute all.

They donate in their names, created factories, schools and hospitals in neighboring countries and abroad so that children or ethnic militia can be sponsored with foreign currencies. Some of the ethnic militia came back to Nigeria telling us stories how they met in these countries during training. Nobody dared confront their named sponsors.

It finally ate into our judicial system where you do not have to run away from our laws. Just sit pretty in the Country and pay prominent lawyers to shop for judges to get bail and eventually freedom. Instead of running abroad where you will face criminal charges of money laundering and certainly get jailed. It means that if you can find your way back to Nigeria, you can be rehabilitated with “international” pardon. Who is next?

When our politicians tell us that in terms of population, our Nigeria is relatively poor, they mean in terms of services that need to be provided to individual citizens. But the cost of farm subsidy, kindergarten, primary to tertiary education is cheaper than cost of Amnesty. Most Africans are surprised that many Nigerians do not have adequate access to those institutions to keep our youths occupied, well trained and gainfully employed.

Most societies realize this and they keep their citizens occupied from cradle to old age to prevent or reduce antisocial behaviors. No matter how well the society tried, there would always be anti social behaviors to varying degrees. So as we provide educational and vocational opportunities, so is the rule of law to quash greed. Even then, avenues are provided for redress in case of overzealousness by law enforcers.

While well cultured countries argue about how to trim the increasing amount spent on big farmers subsidies, social and health services on the children, poor and elderly before it consumes most of their budget, some African countries are looted by leaders with little left for agricultural and social services at home but import food and die abroad in the best hospitals. Apart from terrorist training, Asari goes abroad for medical checkups.

The greatest countries in the world like USA, China, Russia and Great Britain take their law enforcement seriously and it showed in the amount of people in their criminal justice system including prisons. Indeed, freedom taken for granted in many places has its limit in these great countries. United States still leads in the number of people in prison per thousand. How many Boko Haram, MEND, MASSOB and OPC can we bribe?

There were some riots by youths recently in Britain and they were brought down by overwhelming force and severely punished in special courts; in most cases way out of proportion to the crime they committed. How many revolts and riots do we want to count in the USA or Russia. In China, there is zero tolerance for revolts. These countries are not only sending messages to those that flaunt their laws but to potential offenders.

Not only are institutional reforms limited in Nigeria, those in existence are ineffectively funded after money grabbers have had their gluttonous fill. Whatever is left is shared by a few while many go without. So some African countries are not surprised that their richest patrons of good schools and factories owners are children of embezzlers and terrorists. Our administrators lack foresight on the use of resources, so militias know.

Farouk Martins Aresa
Farouk Martins Aresa

The author has authored 473 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: FaroukMartinsAresa

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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Author: Farouk Martins Aresa
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