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Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Land of the Absurd ( I wrote this last week but did not have the time to put it up)

I hate to say this but here goes nothing: I love Nigeria. Why? I have no idea. It’s the only thing that gives me more headaches than the bush I’m keeping that I call hair. I make it a point of duty to keep up with the latest going-ons in the motherland (Thank God for 234next.com) and I must admit the way things are going is a source of depression. Reading of the heights people have gone in a bid to get their way without caring whose balls are broken (Figurative Language) makes me weep.

I have read and been told stories that have made me wrench but none stands as tall as the Dele Giwa story. To those who don’t know, Dele Giwa was a leading Nigerian journalist in the 80s. He was not only known for his writing style but was widely respected for his dress sense. The fact that M.K.O Abiola felt threatened by Mr. Giwa during Mr Giwa’s tenure as an editor at Abiola’s paper is a pointer that Dele Giwa was serious business. He was a measure of popularity at the time. I have heard people say “I can swear by my father’s name that any story written by a publication with Mr Giwa as editor was true”. This is a sign that Mr Giwa practised journalism the way it should be. Mr Giwa was killed on the 19th of October 1986 by a bomb laden letter that is reported to have had the Nigerian coat of arms on it.

It is an unknown secret that Ibrahim Babangida, the dictator at the time, knows something about this attempt to turn the press into cowards. Mr Giwa is believed to have had a piece of sensitive information that Babangida did not want revealed. A funny story I stumbled on over the internet says Mr Giwa knew about IBB’s (Babangida’s initials) cocaine dealership and this was what prompted IBB’s taking him out. While the truth is yet to be revealed, it is quite sickening that Babangida has built this larger than life image that makes it impossible for him to get punishment for his actions. The fact that Babangida remains untouched convinces me that Nigerian leaders are headed for a place that has H as the first letter without the letter N as its last. Gani Fawenhinmi who fought for Giwa’s killers to be brought to justice passed away earlier this year. What better way to honour Gani than to find Mr Giwa’s killers and make him smile from his view above. I’m pretty sure Gani, Fela and Mr Giwa have reunited in the Great Beyond and they would not be too pleased with the things going on in the Motherland. The problems they preached about are still the ones responsible for our stifled growth as a nation. The level of hypocrisy found in the Nigerian system is the worst thing on the face of this earth. How do you explain the fact that the Nigerian government has honoured Ken Saro Wiwa, Dele Giwa, Gani Fawenhinmi and Fela Anikulapo Kuti after indirectly and directly causing their deaths? If that is the way they look to rid themselves of the guilt they feel, they are very wrong. Olorun maje (Thank you D’ Banj). The best they can do is bring the people behind these deaths and those behind the deaths of people like Bola Ige, Godwin Agbroko, Funso Williams, Bayo Ohu, Tunde Oladepo, Omololu Falobi, Abayomi Ogundeji and Alfred Rewane if only to prove that crime does not pay and human life should not be wantonly wasted.
I don’t think Nigeria has had as much scandals as it has had in recent times. Charles Soludo as the Governor of the Central Bank was widely respected as an Economist who brought change with his bank reforms. But like all Nigerian politicians / administrators his exit has shown that what we were made to see was not the truth but just a smoke screen. The CBN, under Mr. Soludo, played "a pivotal role" in the award of a contract to Securency, an Australian firm now being investigated by its home government for paying bribes to top CBN officials amounting to nearly N1 billion. Now, Mr. Soludo is running to be the Governor of Anambra after being imposed on his party members by the leadership of the biggest association of con men in the world ( the PDP of course). James Ibori’s story does not need to be told. The man is an epitome of everything your father will tell you not to emulate. The fact that this man still walks the streets freely is a sign that Nigeria is the land of the absurd. It’s no secret that Ibori is Yar’ Adua’s godfather. I always had the idea that god sons always deviated from the will of their godfathers. Chris Ngige did it from Andy Uba; Chimaroke Nnamani did it from Jim Nwobodo. If Yar’ Adua is committed to the rule of law he preaches about leaders guilty of abusing their powers should be prosecuted.
“Birds of the same feather flock together” goes the saying. Yar’ Adua’s cabinet is proof that Nigeria is run by fraudsters and men of dishonour. Ojo Maduekwe is the butt of most jokes in town after his infamous Obama rant. Just like Jerry Gana of days bygone the man is equivalent to the prostitutes on Allen Avenue: always at the behest of the highest bidder.
Aunty Dora as Dora Akunyili is known seems to reduce the little goodwill she has every time she opens her mouth. At the moment she is the favourite customer of the columnists who find her growing misbehaviour out of order with the Aunty Dora we knew at NAFDAC. The father of them all, Michael Aondoakaa, is the most embarrassing political office holder Nigeria has ever seen. According to reports, Aonodoakaa who is known to have a deep hatred for the EFCC and its sister bodies has been at work to stifle the anti corruption bodies by making them seek his approval before prosecuting a suspect. So much for maintaining law and order, more like breeding dictatorship. The office of the AGF is believed to have cornered $2.5 million to secure the official gazetting of the Tinapa resort. He is also accused of granting a questionable concession to Bi Courtney Aviation Services to illegally acquire the General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. He has also been accused by the Metropolitan Police of London of being the Obstructor in chief to its efforts to prosecute James Ibori for corruption and money laundering. The fact that the NBA of which he is supposed to be a member indirectly declared him an embarrassment to the noble profession shows you that Mr. Aondoakaa has an ulterior motive in ensuring that law and order is maintained in our dear country.
I have long held the hope and belief that things can change if men of honour would take the required steps to put Nigeria on the path of greatness. I still hold this hope and faith and it will bring more than a million Aondoakaas to make me lose this feeling. Till these men stand up and be counted we will continue to crawl while smaller countries with less talent and blessings will continue to thrive and make fools out of the snails we have as leaders.

May God help us?

Cheers,
Manye

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