(Liens en anglais/ links in english)
Pour Dr. Busch, Umaru Yar’dua est peut-être un honnête homme, mais il évolue dans un système politique corrompu qui l’a mis au pouvoir. La tâche sera donc immense si Yar’Adua tient à libérer le Nigéria de cette gangraine (à lire en anglais, plus bas).
For Dr. Busch, Umaru Yar’dua maybe a honest man, but he lives in the corrupted political system of Nigeria that put him into power. Therefore, the task to free the country from its disease will be daunting:
Umaru Yar`Adua may be an honest decent man and deserving of a chance to rule a country that didn’t actually elect him. However, the problems with Nigeria are not just the problems of finding a decent, honest president. The Nigerian Senate and Assembly (with a few exceptions) are packed to the rafters with thieves, bandits and chancers. Most of the governors were equally illegitimate and are up to their ears in corruption. That is no change from the previous Presidential regimes.
However, the government leadership, or lack of it, is not the fundamental problem. The civil service is contaminated at every level. Perm Secs and commissioners taint every tender. No service, however small, is delivered without some form of inducement or threat of punishment. There is no institution or authority which people can trust. Behind every civil servant is a clan of businessmen attached like leeches, sucking the blood of every contract awarded so that the project is drained of momentum and cash. The banking system, now expanded to world-class status, still depends on deposits from the NNPC cash flows for their liquidity and capitalisation. The image of wealth is a pack of cards. Nigeria used to be rich in agriculture; but this has died. It has died without power and water. There are vast reserves of minerals which stay in the ground because of lack of investment and the knowledge that commissions are greater on imported commodities than those produced in Nigeria.
The government’s partnership with the people is to provide education, transport systems, power, communication, health and clean water. The government has failed; and this failure is not theirs alone; it is the failure of the civil service, the parasitical businessmen who take 30%-40% mobilisation money up front and never complete the projects; the failure of the police and security forces to penalise criminal behaviour; the failure of institutions like EFCC to rise above petty political thuggery in support of a party agenda; and the failure of the judiciary in allowing unconstitutional practices and banditry to pass unpunished.
There are many people who complain about the failure of leadership of Nigeria’s President and the corrupt governors. There are few voices raised against the civil servants and the businessmen who make all this possible. Nigeria, unfortunately, like many other countries, gets the government it deserves. Yar’Adua may be a saint, the Annointed One, but unless the other problems are dealt with, his sainthood won’t be sufficient to help one poor Nigerian suffering the lack of services. This is why the question of legitimacy is so important. If he came to office as a result of Iwu’s jiggery-pokery then none of the underlying problems can be dealt with from a position of strength. If he had to compromise with the worst elements of Nigerian society to get into office then his hands are tied in dealing with this element.
Yar’Adua is decent, hard-working man who would have won if he had campaigned legitimately. This victory of his has made it virtually impossible to deal with Nigeria’s deep-seated problems. That is the tragedy of the last election and the curse of Nigerian politics.