• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Resilience [forging ahead] (12)

2023 presidential election: Can we get it right?

Resilience Television scored a bull’s eye when it devoted prime time to the remarks made by the former Secretary of State of the United States of America, John Kerry at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland on January 22, 2016:

“When Nigeria’s President Buhari took office last spring, he inherited a military that was under-paid, underfed, and unable to protect the Nigerian people from Boko Haram.

And one reason is that much of the military budget was finding its way into the pockets of the generals. And just this week, we saw reports that more than 50 people in Nigeria, including former government officials, stole $9 billion from the treasury.

Still in the United States, my friends, we continue to prosecute corruption and we live with a pay-to-play campaign finance system that should not be wished on any other country in the world. I used to be a prosecutor and I know how hard it is to hold people in positions of public responsibility accountable. But I also know how important it is.

The fact is there is nothing – absolutely nothing more demoralizing, more destructive, more disempowering to any citizen than the belief that the system is rigged against them and that people in positions of power are – to use a diplomatic term of art– crooks who are stealing the future of their own people; and by the way, depositing their ill-gotten gains in ostensibly legitimate financial institutions around the world.

Corruption is a social danger because it feeds organized crime, it destroys nation-states, it imperils opportunities particularly for women and girls, it facilitates environmental degradation, contributes to human trafficking, and undermines whole communities. It destroys the future.

Corruption is a radicalizer because it destroys faith in legitimate authority. It opens up a vacuum which allows the predators to move in. And no one knows that better than the violent extremist groups, who regularly use corruption as a recruitment tool.

Corruption is an opportunity destroyer because it discourages honest and accountable investment; it makes businesses more expensive to operate; it drives up the cost of public services for local taxpayers; and it turns a nation’s entire budget into a feeding trough for the privileged few.

And that is why it is imperative that the business community of the world starts to demand a different standard of behaviour, that we deepen the fight against corruption, making it a first-order, national security priority.

It’s why we are now providing technical assistance to more than 25 countries to build online business registration sites, which helps to reduce red tape and opportunities for graft – for the bribery necessary to get the permit, to get the local zoning, to get the land, to get the go-ahead. It’s why we’re expanding our law enforcement programs that send judges overseas to share best practices. And it’s why the U.S. Department of Justice has successfully returned $143 million since 2004 and is litigating now more than a billion dollars’ worth of stolen assets. It’s why we are working with businesses to spur reform and civil society groups whose investigative work on the ground is vital to strong law enforcement and justice. And it’s why we are developing stronger intelligence on kleptocrats and their networks on those who were using targeted economic sanctions and visa restrictions to deny bad actors the profits from graft.”

It was followed by a very moving rendition of the song: “I’d rather go blind” Lyrics; “Something told me it was over (yeah)
When I saw you and her talking
Something deep down in my soul said, “cry, girl” (cry, cry)
When I saw you and that girl walking around
Ooh

I would rather, I would rather go blind, boy
Than to see you walk away from me, child, no, ooh

So you see, I love you so much
That I don’t wanna watch you leave me, baby
Most of all I just don’t

I just don’t wanna be free now, ooh, ooh

I was just, I was just, I was just sitting here thinking
Of your kiss and your warm embrace, yeah
When the reflection in a glass that I held to my lips now, baby (cry, cry)
Revealed these tears that are all on my face

Ooh-ooh

And, baby, and, baby
Baby, I’d rather be blind, boy
Than to see you walk away, walk away from me, yeah
And, baby, baby, baby, I’d rather be blind, boy
Than to see you walk away, walk away from me”

Being Sunday, the television station was eager not to stress its viewers. Hence, it settled for what it termed “short cuts” and “quick takes” such as:

Front page of “Sunday Sun” newspapers of June 7, 2020.

Headline: “Anxiety, fear grip Nigerians as economy shows weak signs”

· Organised Private Sector [OPS] leaders proffer solutions.

Added to this was the sermon by Pastor Tunde Bakare who was the Running Mate to General Muhammadu Buhari in the year 2011 Presidential Election under the flag of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Headline:“2023 Presidency: Why I want Buhari’s job” – Tunde Bakare.

· I’m Keeping My Powder Dry

· Speaks on

o Buhari’s five years in office

o Tinubu’s 2023 Presidential ambition

o Zoning

o Corona virus pandemic

o Churches and lockdown

o Boko Haram War.

Read also: Financial Resilience: Strategies to thrive amidst rising costs

The reference to coronavirus was dedicated:

“The Coronavirus ravaging the world, is there any spiritual angle to the pandemic?

“If you read Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, it says “if you obey and hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and obey His commandments, these blessings shall pursue you and overtake you.” And in verse 15 downward, up to verse 58, “if you would not obey me, I would add extraordinary plagues, sickness and diseases upon you.” God has proved to the whole world He is the owner of the planet. With one virus, He has gotten the attention of the whole world. Now is the time to look within and say, have we violated God’s commandments or have we been destroying the earth so that the owner is resetting it? Coronavirus is real. You can see the devastation even in western world where they have adequate or near adequate infrastructure. When this one hit us, it caught everyone unawares and the Nigerian government is trying its hardest.

The years of diverting resources meant for the healthcare sector, meant for infrastructure and development have now caught up with us because we just do not have enough resources. It is about power or hospitals or other infrastructure to combat. Neither all! Everybody is staying at home. The earth is having a vacation.