Can this really be true? One-time Minister of Works, Ibrahim Musa Kazaure, ruffled a few feathers recently when he said Nigerian politicians who have held public office since 1999, are all thieves.
Kazaure did not stop there. He said no single public office holder since 1999 is clean, adding that they have been cheating the masses and have been equally responsible for institutionalising bad governance, which has led to the present state of things in Nigeria.
Kazaure, who started this while speaking on an international radio station, it is because of bad governance that things are not working in Nigeria. Speaking on the education sector, he said it is only in Nigeria that strike is still bedeviling the educational system.
Kazaure also said that in spite of the abundant human and material resources the country is blessed with, no single sector of the economy can be said to be doing well. He said Nigeria is where it is today because office holders did not do what they were supposed to do while in office, even when they had the perfect opportunity of making the country great.
Kazaure suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari should arrest all politicians since the onset of the 4th Republic in 1999, including himself, and that all those found guilty should not only be made to refund such stolen monies but should be thrown into prison.
The 68-year-old Kazaure, who revealed that stealing by office holders in the country is on a very high scale with the poor masses at the receiving end, said he was done with politics and would never occupy any seat in Nigeria again, even if he was given for free. He however did not state whether it was because of the stealing and corruption in the system that he was quitting politics.
The bombshell by Kazaure where he indicted politicians, including himself, is refreshingly different because it is novel. We are yet to see or hear anything like that and this is a welcome development. The matter should not be dismissed with a wave of the hand because it is coming from someone who knows what he is talking about, having been in the thick of politics and has held several appointments and an elective office.
Kazaure, who is from present day Jigawa State, was appointed Commissioner for Education in Kano State in 1983, at the tender age of 29. He was Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2007. He was appointed Minister of Special Duties by President Yar ‘Adua in December 2008.
Kazaure was made Labour and Productivity on February 10, 2010. His stay in the labour ministry was however brief as he left office on March 17 of the same year when then Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet. He was elected to the Nigerian Senate in the Third Republic. He served as the Majority Whip.
Considering that Ibrahim Kazaure is a responsible and sane man, with a stable character, his revelation that politicians since 1999 are thieves should not be swept under the carpet. The claim should be investigated by the Federal Government. All the politicians may not be guilty so the Department of State Service should first carry out discrete check on all of them and any found be invited for further questioning with a view to recovering whatever they may have stolen.
In addition, government should bar any of them found guilty from occupying any appointive or elected position for life. This will help, in no small measure, in cleaning up the messy political landscape of Nigeria.