Kleptocracy (sometimes Cleptocracy) (root: Klepto+cracy = rule by thieves) is a pejorative, informal term for a government so corrupt that no pretense of honesty remains. In a kleptocracy the mechanisms of government are almost entirely devoted to taxing the public at large in order to amass substantial personal fortunes for the rulers and their cronies (collectively, kleptocrats), or to keep said rulers in power. Kleptocrats typically use money laundering and/or anonymous banking to protect and conceal their illegal gains.
Kleptocracies are by and large dictatorships or some other form of autocratic government, since democracy makes thievery more difficult to accomplish and conceal. Kleptocratic states consistently tend to be politically and socially unstable, while being stably kleptocratic. That is, the political governance of such states typically consists of one set of thieves displacing their predecessors by subversive or violent means.
The economies of kleptocracies tend to perform badly, as the systematic corruption engendered by kleptocratic governance means that the economy is subordinated to the interests of the kleptocrats. Kleptocrats realize that they have more to gain from taking a large share of a stable or shrinking pie than from a shrinking share of an increasing pie. Economies based on the extraction of natural resources (eg. diamonds and oil in a few prominent cases) can be particularly prone to kleptocracy, as the kleptocrats simply tax the Ricardian rent. Historically, the socio-political environment associated with colonial rule - in particular the dominance of colonial economies by a small number of commodities - has been particularly conducive to the later creation of kleptocracies, especially in Africa and South America.
The creation of a kleptocracy typically results in many years of general hardship and suffering for the vast majority of citizens as civil society and the rule of law distintegrates. In addition, kleptocrats routinely ignore economic and social problems in their quest to amass ever more wealth. As kleptocrats do not attempt to build or maintain functioning states, or even maintain large security forces for fear of coups d'état, kleptocracies are generally incompetent in the face of social crises, and often collapse into prolonged civil war and anarchy.
Some observers use the term 'kleptocracy' to disparage political processes which permit corporations to influence political policy. Ralph Nader called the United States a kleptocracy in this sense of the word during the 2000 US presidential campaign. A more accurate term for this influence over a state is plutocracy.
The above definition sums up the true state of Nigeria since 1979 to date. And ironically it was the present head of state of Nigeria, President Olusegun Obasanjo who handed over to the corrupt leadership of President Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) that rigged the Presidential Election to defeat the late Chief Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo of the Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN). The coming to power of the NPN was the beginning of the reign of Kleptocracy in Nigeria parading in the masquerade of quasi-democracy stage-managed by the American Intelligence and British government. Because, both the American and British agencies were privy to the massive rigging of the Presidential Elections manipulated to favour their neo-colonial policies in Nigeria. And since 1979 to date, the plague of Kleptocracy has done collateral damage to Nigeria.
The beneficiaries of the kleptocratic regimes are now touted and celebrated as the richest men in Nigeria and decorated as the gurus of the economic growth of Nigeria. Criminals who should be in jail or even summarily executed for causing the untimely deaths of millions of the masses in Nigeria they left in penury and misery.
I will not repeat myself, because these contentious issues of corruption and misadministration in Nigeria have been thoroughly addressed on Nigerian Times since June to date. That is why I am not alarmed over the dramatic global kleptocratic antics of Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State who jumped bail in Britain and escaped back to Nigeria.
Governor Peter Odili of Rivers State is also looting the treasury of the state and he is still basking in the sun with his godfather President Olusegun Obasanjo who is using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to haunt his enemies and the supporters of his Vice, Atiku Abubakar.
I wish there are still true officers of honour in the Nigerian Armed Forces to do the right thing now. TO TOPPLE THE CORRUPT GOVERNMENT OF THE RULING PARTY IN NIGERIA.
Enough is enough!