By: Israel Akinyele
The world monitors its progress independently. The idea of a United Nations assemblage, in the first place, was anchored on the need to collectively advance the positive cause of humanity, wherever they are domiciled. We often say no one is an Island to himself. This is very true and the multiplicity of international organizations’ in different disciplines is a loud statement of the preparedness of the world to synergize about peace and development.
I have closely monitored the altercations between Transparency International (TI) and Nigeria vis-à-vis the Nigerian military. I have listened or read the acerbic verbal exchanges between some Nigerian Civil Society Organizations’ and TI, induced by the latter’s now clearly fake report of graft in defence procurement contracts in Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammedu Buhari. And I discovered very disheartening official loopholes concerning TI’s operations in Nigeria. The details may not be necessary, but I still feel there is everything wrong with their representative in Nigeria, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani.
I am not a Northerner; I am not a Muslim and i do not even come from the lineage of soldiers. It means, I share no special affinity or anything in common with President Buhari. But I love him; I admire him and I envy his honesty, as a leader.
To say, President Buhari is a corrupt leader or would allow corruption fester under his nose is similar with seeking justice in devil’s temple. Lucifer does not pardon; he is not kind to anybody. His dark portrait we see everywhere is also a reflection of his infinitely wicked spirit and dark heart. So, the TI’s report which berated Nigeria on corruption, and by implication, President Buhari was really in bad taste.
It is easier to destroy than to build. The damage has been done and I think this is the time TI has to reflect deeper and possibly, tamper with their official organogram in Nigeria. I cannot dismiss the essence and impact of TI on the globe simply because a regrettable error was committed in Nigeria. TI’s alertness has assisted immensely in changing the attitude of despotic and corrupt leaders in the world, particularly, in Africa or developing countries. But I dare say, the fake report immensely injured the reputation and image of Nigeria as a nation in the comity of nations.
TI’s country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani’s belated rebuttal of the TI’s report on the alleged fraudulence in Nigeria’s defence procurements contracts is an indictment of its head in Nigeria for official negligence. It is self-indictment and an admission of incompetence to effectively run the Nigerian office of TI transparently as its name suggests.
Rafsanjani perused the report, before releasing it for public consumption. And he knew that his organization lied or in fact, misplaced facts, but he ignored all and proceeded to poison the minds of Nigerians and ridicule the Nigerian military, with all its innocence. If the name “Transparency” International means anything to the founders and officiators of the organization; if it means anything to any staff of the organization, then Rafsanjani would have resisted any temptation to publicize a patently false report because it is against their operational creed. He would have remained unbowed to the power of any dubious force to hoist a fabricated and false report of Nigeria’s corruption, where it does not exist.
But Rafsanjani shrunk in the face of reality to satisfy his dubious clients in the network of unholy alliances. What is clearly discernible is that TI’s messenger in Nigeria neither believes in the organization nor executes his job with commitment to sanctity. I am compelled to believe TI had noble intentions for Nigeria by the report which was configured to reflect the period of 2010-2015 of the previous administration. It is only on the precision of time frame that the report anchors its accuracy.
IT truly reflected the morass that became celebrated virtues of the last administration. The intendment of the report was to reflect the rot of the past, but applaud the efforts of the present administration of President Buhari in the anti-corruption war. But TI’s Rafsanjani vetted it, but misplaced time to look like today, suggestive of his inordinate alliance with anti-progressive elements and some banana NGOs in Nigeria bent on the total ruination and destruction of Nigeria.
This deliberate official negligence sparked the provocation in sane Nigerian civil society organizations’. They were pained at the profound twist of facts and massively moved against TI instantaneously after the report was released. It gladdened my heart to see the reaction of these Civil Society organizations’ against TI. It means Buhari’s campaign on #ChangeBeginsWithYou is really working.
I must say, Rafsanjani is TI’s mistake in Nigeria. By his willful distortion of the narrative of Nigeria through TI, he has greatly eroded the credibility of his organization and stained the reputation of an otherwise, credible organization. TI has no record of committing such gaffe anywhere in countries they have operated for years.
So, if TI is not mindful enough to right the wrong and address its conscious fallacy, by re-casting issues in the right perspective about Nigeria and the Nigerian military, with a public retraction and an apology, it is as good as singing their own dirge after digging the grave.
Like the social and political commentator, Philip Agbese, who featured alongside Rafsanjani on the AIT programme contended, there could be facts in the report from 2010 – 2015 under the Jonathan Presidency. But it is not enough and can never be plausible reason for anyone to constitute himself into a court of law to pass verdicts on issues before the court. I side him on this score because the Dasukigate arms procurement scandal is under the interrogation of the courts.
Wisdom does not come easy. I am sure TI has learnt some lessons from the wrong inclination and alliance with devious forces by their messenger in Nigeria. They must not be tutored on how to cleanse their house of the mess to throw on board, personalities who firmly believe in its sacrosanct nature. I mean, TI should freshly anoint those who can uphold its guiding principles of truth and fairness in its assignments’. Aligning with biased agents and whose sense of judgment is peripheral would keep provoking the sense of patriotism in Nigerians to defend their country against enemies.
I repeat; TI should begin to think of replacing Rafsanjani, before the messenger becomes destructively un-messaged. This is imperative, if Nigerians must consider their business and transactions’ in the country as anything serious.
Whilst, the intention of TI in that report might have been to add value to the war against corruption in Nigeria, but its country representative, Rafsanjani, who is their guiding light messed it up. Rafsanjani is no doubt, a bad marketer of their product, at least in Nigeria, by conspicuously aligning with evil forces, especially some NGOs that hold contrary opinions to the progress and development of the Nigerian nation. While TI might stay, if they repent and apologize to Nigeria, Rafsanjani must or should go.
Akinyele writes from Mafoluku, Lagos.