“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” – George Orwell
Never has a nation been so ravaged by corruption. Nigerians suffer terrible maul from the deadly claws of the looters. The cruelty of man is much colder. Our people are suffocated and starved. The thieves only left the carcass in the treasury after their vicious hunting.
For years, fighting corruption is like beating a dead horse. Thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari who gave the war on corruption a beating heart. Now revenge is being served warm. Not minding we’ve lost everything to corruption, the sympathizers, friends, close allies, and extended families of corruption, believe Buhari’s approach in fighting corruption is totally insane. The times demand Buhari’s “undemocratic” surgical removal of corruption from our society.
The titillating revelations by the Jonathan National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki, have legally and morally hooked Mr. Jonathan to the holster of corruption. The memory of corruption from the Jonathan years conjures invocation of doom in our national psyche. With the United Arab Emirate (UAE) list of names of corrupt Nigerians that reads like alphabetical soup, the war on corruption builds to a dramatic climax. Indeed, the soporific effects of corruption on Nigerians has altered the very existence of majority of Nigerians. With an errant embrace, we become infected by corruption. With each new revelation, the past becomes the prologue.
The names from Dasukigate and the names on the UAE list are like corruption grenades ready to explode anytime. Once the Corruption Explosive Devise (CED) is detonated, we should expect collateral damages from the war on corruption. I have deliberately chosen the Big Four – the Big, Fat, Idiot Doyin Okupe, ex-danfo driver and star Ekitigate Ayodele Fayose, the ATM Sambo Dasuki, and toxic hypocrite Femi Fani-Kayode – out of the madding crowd of looters – because of their prominence and high visibility in the Jonathan administration and a PDP run state government.
A former South Korean President, Roh Moo-Hyn (2003-2008) committed suicide for allegations that his family accepted $6 million in bribes during his term. Though Mr. Roh never accepted wrongdoing, he left a suicide note for his family and the press which read: “I am indebted to too many people… Too many people have suffered because of me… And I cannot imagine the suffering they will go through in the future.” That was in South Korean. In comparison to President Roh’s sense of remorse, most of the people accused of corruption in Nigeria are devil’s incarnate. No remorse. No shame. This is Nigeria!
In Nigeria, public officials accused of corruption hide in disputed details. With arrogance bluster spiced with a dubious game of figures and figments of imagination, they argued their innocence. They resort to familiar, tired template for defending their kleptomania: their political enemies are behind allegations that they have helped themselves to the public till. You’ll never see these thieves use the opportunity of their “enemies attacks” to declare what they own or don’t own and how and when they acquired their assets. Where clarity is desired they respond with evasion.
Let’s meet the interpreters for corruption maladies. Pay attention to their tenuous defenses.
“I’m Doyin Okupe, the Big, Fat, Idiot. I’m the erstwhile senior special assistant on public lies and propaganda to former President Goodluck Jonathan. I’m a renowned salesman of delicacies of lies and poison. Half my brain is tied behind my back. My specialty is political propaganda, and lies. My stance is distortion. I once described Mr. Jonathan as the Mandela of Africa. In fact, I compared him to Jesus. During the Jonathan regime, I escaped arrest and prosecution for stealing N886 million (about $6 million) meant for road construction projects which never took place. The money was diverted for my personal use. I also served as the German Shepherd for Mr. Jonathan.
“I was accused of receiving N18.2 billion Dasuki. I never got along with Colonel Dasuki retired. In fact, he twice told me to my face that he will get Alhaji Gulag and myself out of former President Jonathan’s administration. I had no knowledge of their bidding for contracts from the office of the National Security Adviser, I was not informed when they were awarded any contract neither was I in the know of what and when they were paid. I have not benefited financially from the proceeds of payment for the said contract neither can any money be traced to me, or any of my family members or associates.”
Here comes the ex-danfo driver and star Ekitigate Ayodele Fayose the self appointed spokesman of PDP. “Hi! My name is Ayodele Fayose the ex-danfo driver and star Ekitigate. The once disgraced and impeached governor of Ekiti State. I rigged myself back to governor’s house by means of Ekitigate election rigging plan conceived and birthed with the help and approval of President Jonathan. The Ekitigate video is available on YouTube and other social media outlets. The EFCC once indicted me for stealing N416 million public fund belonging to Ekiti State. I also converted N1.4 billion meant for poultry projects for 16 local government areas of the state. No poultry was built in the four designated centers in the state. I’m responsible for the deaths of Tunde Omojola, who vied for the Ifaki Ward II council membership, Dr. Ayo Daramola, nine students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Aseweje, Ben Ogundana, Dapo Osunniyi, Kamoru Folorunsho, Ojo Sunday, and several others. President Jonathan gave me the protective cover against all criminal prosecutions in all the cases.”
“I’m not among those lily livered Nigerians that will deny their assets anywhere. They are in the federal government and they should have access to all information both in Nigeria and abroad. I therefore challenge them to check books on owners of all properties in Dubai. If they trace any house to me in Dubai, the federal government should make public all details including pictures, location, and title documents. The government should also confiscate such property and I am ready to waive my immunity to be prosecuted. No amount of their falsehood and propaganda can silence me… the $2.1 billion arms deal is a scam because all that they are just doing is brandish figures to deceive Nigerians and demonized the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and those opposed to his dictatorship in the All Progressive Congress (APC). Till today, the amount they have charged people for stealing is not up to N10 billion and $2.1 billion they claimed was stolen is about N600 billion.”
“Hellooo! My name is Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) Jonathan’s National Security Adviser (NSA). You all know me by now. I’ll not bore you with a long winded introduction. I’m the ATM for the Jonathan reelection campaign. The $2.1 billion earmarked for my office to fight Boko Haram terrorists were shared among several PDP big wigs to ensure the March 28 presidential election was successfully rigged in favor of Jonathan. I challenge the federal government for disobeying court order. The government has no moral and legal rights now to prosecute me having been in contempt of three high courts that admitted me on bail but which were not obeyed. I rest my case.”
“How are you all doing? I’m Femi Fani-Kayode, the toxic hypocrite, the famous son of the notorious Fani Power. I’m known for my Satanic Verses on issues. I also deal in oversize evangelical claptrap with stubborn myths to confuse the uninformed and gullible Nigerians. I’ve never been an impressive moral personality. I’m known for my cantankerous marginal ability. I’m a political hermaphrodite. I never missed any opportunity to show case the plague-spots in my character. My personal and public life reveals much. This is false… that I received N1.7 billion from the office of the former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki. I have never received one kobo from President Jonathan’s government. I have never been in receipt of any public funds and neither was I the beneficiary of any payments in cash, transfer, cheque or otherwise from any government official during the tenure of President Jonathan. On behalf of my co-looters, I declare all accusations as persecution, selective, one-sided, unfair, biased, prejudiced, and a personal vendetta against our great leader Mr. Jonathan and our great party PDP. We’re not guilty!”
It is only in Nigeria that you’ll see politicians and public officials with all brazenness construct a wall of resistance, defense, and intimidation to justify public looting of the treasury. The phony invention and reinvention of lies of these interpreters of corruption maladies have become a nauseating comedy.
Rather than admit guilt, they resort to bland pontification. They recoil into a shell of infantile infatuation and with willful imaginary concoct lies. It’s not surprising therefore that their defenses read like praise worship of a known armed robber at his funeral eulogy. The Buhari corruption war is the most overexposed in the history of corruption of our nation. The nightmares from the corruption frontline portend hard times ahead for the thieves. They are reeling in panic and their hearts are jumping out of their chest.
We got them – real good!
Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?
Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.
In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.
In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.
“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.
In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.
As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’
Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.
The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.
On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.
“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.
In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.
With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.
The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.
Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.
Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.
PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.
• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.
• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.
• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.
Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye
We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!
So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.
Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A
Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.
The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?
The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.
He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….
The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.
Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”
It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.
My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.
Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.
Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth
By Fredrick Nwabufo
Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.
I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.
The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.
“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.
In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.
In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.
Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.
As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.
‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.
And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.
To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.
So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.
But Sanusi was still talking.
Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.
I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.
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