Barbados and Nigeria – Two Of A Kind When Politicians Don’t Even Know What Corruption Is

A few weeks ago as quoted in The Nation News (link here), Senator Lynette Eastmond was all aglow at an “African Sensitisation” workshop about establishing closer ties with Nigeria and the rest of Africa. “Africa should now seem less distant to us in the Caribbean. We, in Barbados, must begin to feel the urgency and utility of an enhanced relationship with Africa,” she said.

Senator Eastmond might be correct: Barbados and Nigeria seem to have a lot in common – at least when it comes to politicians. Today I was reading Chippla (a Nigerian blogger) who was commenting that Nigerian President Obasanjo and other politicians just don’t seem to know what constitutes corrupt behaviour.

Says Chippla…

One is however left wondering if (Nigerian President Obasanjo) saw nothing immoral or wrong about a sitting president, and a public officer, buying a significant number of shares in a conglomerate that in turn had been busy buying up publicly traded companies. By acquiring millions of shares in TransCorp, Obasanjo seemed to be telling the very people he governs that he finds it quite difficult to discern what constitutes a corrupt practice. Furthermore, according to renowned Nigerian lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, Obasanjo violated the “Code of Conduct for Public Officers” as stipulated in the Nigerian constitution.

gline-clarke-barbados.jpg

Could It Be That Barbados Politicians Just Don’t Know What Constitutes Corruption?

And it suddenly occurred to me: it is the same situation with the Gline Clarke scandal. We have a Barbados Minister of Government who lives in a home built on land that was expropriated by his own government, and serviced by his own Ministry of Public Works… and the Secretary of his political party rushes to say “There’s nothing wrong here.”

Dr. William Duguid, Secretary General of the Barbados Labour Party commented on the Gline Clarke scandal, saying…

“I have made a few enquiries and have been told that this is not his house but belongs to his special female friend where he spends alot of time.”

Fellow Bloggers,

I hope that with this simple submission I will be able to put this issue to rest. I have spoken to Minister Clarke about this matter and he has informed me of a few facts.

1. The land at 37 Lower Burney is owned by a private citizen and not Minister Clarke.

2. There is currently a mortgage on the property held at Barbados Mortgage Finance.

3. The owner is Minster Clarke’s special friend and he does spend alot of time there.

4. This land was bought by the crown to do two things re site people from the City ( Murphy Pasture) and sell to other people seeking to purchase land.

5. There are over 200 lots in this area which the Government has developed for sale by putting in the infrastructure some time ago.

Clearly from this information there is no wrong doing here.

Clearly from this information there is no wrong doing here.”

Despite citizens’ calls for answers about whether Gline Clarke has any money invested in the home, and observations by neighbours that the Minister and his “special friend” are, in reality, defacto man and wife living together permanently at the home since it was built, Minister Clarke continues to hide behind his woman and his political friend.

Is the continuing silence by Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke and his politician friends a sign of guilty contempt – or ignorance?

Story Links

Barbados Government Minister Gline Clarke – House and Mercedes On Expropriated LandBarbados Free Press

Defining Corruption: TransCorp Nigeria – Chippla’s Weblog

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

7 responses to “Barbados and Nigeria – Two Of A Kind When Politicians Don’t Even Know What Corruption Is

  1. West Side Davie

    Transparency International says that the PERCEPTION of corruption is low in Barbados. Seems to me that is more an indication of a good PR campaign than the truth!

    What you say FYI? You trying to say everything be ok in Barbados? That it is ok the minister clarke live on land his government took? That what you say?

  2. Jane

    One should read the Country Survey as well as the CPI.

  3. Rumplestilskin

    I am surprised that you expect an explanation. For a Governm,ent that has psent …gosh knows upwards of $200 million…(but how much more..how are we to know?) on GEMS…and still going, without ANY public reporting, no issuance of valuations vs purchase price for properties (let alone the concept), no audited financial statements or statements of expenditures, both captial and operating, no statements of TO WHOM purchase monies and operating expenditures were paid (which is the LEAST that should be expected by citizenry of their Government on a project such as this)….do you really expect any explanation on anything else?

    Obviously, the citizenry are too ignorant to know explanations if given, thus Government should just go ahead, spend …spend…spend…and ignore us.

    Bah humbug….

  4. FYI

    Oh gosh,no!
    Your reaction is exactly what I intended.
    I agree entirely..that this index of perceived corruption
    (pretty much the only way it can be ‘measured’)
    shows how good Barbados is
    at maintaining the veneer of respectability!

    How on Earth B’dos managed to get all the way up there(mid-20s?),
    -with Trinidad and the way Down There(mid-50s?)..
    – is beyond me!
    I woulda thunk that T’dad mighta be within 5-10 points of Barbados,nuh?

    How much FTM did we pay to get the high ranking?

    (FTM?? – Free Taxpayer Money?)

  5. Jane

    I could not resist passing this on –

    Kleptocracy (sometimes Cleptocracy) (root: Klepto+cracy = rule by thieves) is a pejorative, informal term for a government that is corrupt in its management of public funds in the sense that its management is designed to primarily sustain the personal wealth and political power of government officials and their cronies (collectively, kleptocrats).

  6. FYI

    Oh cool! Now we know what to call it.
    So…Kleptrocracy is pretty much what I refer to as post-Colonial Wess Indyan Government…every single one of them,
    from Jamaica to Guyana, with no exceptions!
    Question: How long can Kleptocracy last?
    Until a nation is drained dry? – and then what? a sort of Guyana post-traumatic syndrome? or are they still firmly in the grip of ongoing Kleptocracy?