I’ve just concluded my Narcos Marathon/Binge which ever you like, I cannot but draw some similarities to the gravity of the cocaine problem they had in Colombia with first Escobar and thereafter, The Cali cartel.
Just as The Cali Cartel ran a cocaine empire, Nigerian leaders have continued to run empires built simply on corruption. They are all mega rich, yet, there are no accounts of huge inheritances traceable to their family lines or even highly profitable businesses that may have been handed over from their forebears. The fact is, corruption has always been the means of everything they posses.
Just like cocaine funded politics and politicians in Colombia in the years depicted in Narcos, corruption has and continues to fund politics and politicians in Nigeria, no political campaign in Nigeria can claim to be innocent of this, we all saw the revelations of how PDP was being funded at our expense, the unfortunate part is that the APC led by the president himself must come clean on how it was funded too. The Cali Cartel’s Chief Accounted kept a coded ledger of payouts to politicians including as high as the presidency, one wonders who is keeping a ledger on the corrupt activities of those in government.
The unfortunate thing about this is that our corruption fighting agency heads are appointees of whoever is the leader, so accountability is nonexistence at the very top. So, there isn’t any possibility of the rise of a completely clean and dedicated officer like the agent in Narcos. He needed to push so hard for the truth only to realise that the Department he works for actually knew so much more than they are telling him. I’m guessing they never even wanted him to succeed but he did, bringing down larger than life cartel bosses and getting them imprisoned for life.
Just like in my country, the foreign powers are all well aware of the whereabouts of the stolen fortunes of Nigeria and those who have stolen them. They only give up those who may have died in power or are simply of not needed in the furtherance of their agendas. The American government, as depicted in Narcos knew that even the Colombian President got funding from the cartel, they knew that the minister for defence had been bought by the cartel just like the entire armed forces of that country save a few incorruptible officers.
Watching the Narcos series for me, was like watching my country in a mirror, the people of Colombia like us Nigerians didn’t know much better, they were just as gullible as we are now, thinking that the cartel was a benefit to them and their country, today in Nigeria, we worship corrupt public official just because we have tribal bonds with them; we shout and cry for help in rooting out corruption then when the whole nation eventually votes for someone who claims not to be corrupt and intends to wipe out corruption, we begin to cry foul.
Unfortunately, the president hasn’t helped himself at sustaining much of his personal integrity, he hasn’t been bold like the cartel fighters in Cali in dealing with our corruption problem. What is shocking though is the result so far achieved by the EFCC under PMB, apparently, over 400billion Naira has been recovered in less than a year? That sounds amazing until you realise the fact that the Buhari’s war on corruption has been largely toothless and lookwarm. So if being that lacklustre the war on corruption has achieved that much, why aren’t we looking to up the ante? Why aren’t we getting aggressive with this problem?
In Colombia, the head of the Cali cartel was the first to be put in jail why has the PMB’s administration not done that in Nigeria? Bring down a big hitherto untouchable corruption lord and send shockwaves to the corruption fibre of our nation. Robert Greene the popular best selling author stated in one of his books the 48 laws of power, “strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter” in other words, to scatter the sheep of corruption in our nation, we must strike the shepherd. The Buhari administration disappointed a few of us when it failed to constitute a special judicial panel to try and send most of our nation’s notable looters to jail.
The fight against corruption in Nigeria like that fought against cocaine and money laundering in Cali only requires someone so determined, incorruptible who’s willing to achieve results and can inspire a team of like minds in order for our nation to be saved.
**Victor is a UK based broadcaster and social commentator. He is also an award winning MC and Events Host