By Kola Animashaun
The extreme of opulence and want are more remarkable, and more constantly obvious, in this country than in any other than I ever saw. -John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States of America. He was everything: a diplomat, a Senator and Congressman like the Bush’s family, he was also a son of a former president- John Adams. Which means he had seen everything. So when he wrote the quotation above, he had seen plenty. Since his time, America had to build the bridges for opulence and the bridges of want.
Since then, Americans have moved from been millionaires to becoming billionaires and there are few of them on the multi-billionaires bracket. And they have made their “bucks” in a variety of ways in commerce; in manufacturing; in heavy engineering and so on.
There are others in entertainment. Many are making it in computers. The others are making their marks in the ghettos.
Down the ages, there might have been some Americans playing the fast one. But I doubt if there are a concentration of blue collar swindlers as we have in Nigeria.
They swindle Nigerians not in millions but in multi-billion naira. You ever hear of a chicken eating their kind? Yes, they do here. For instance, 39 billion naira was illegally diverted from a pension fund of government and they shared the amount aomng themselves. They also use withdrawals using multiple cheques with fictitious names- over 30 cheques were being used per day by the fraudster to withdraw from the banks.
And that is the tip of the iceberg. And they are using all sorts of tricks and in many ministries, parastatals and agencies.
The enforcement agencies have made some seizures. Another surrendered three luxury estates with 27 blocks of deluxe flat he built in Abuja.
Even the politicians tried their hands at cheating the people. They ask for bribes from virtually everybody under the pretext of oversight. You will wonder if the government did not provide for them. And it goes round to the governments of the federation.
It will be interesting, to see how the matter between the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and the House of Representatives Committee on capital market will end.
It was alleged that the house committee demanded for 5 million naira cash to help the oversight function of the SEC. The SEC grew suspicious when it demanded cash against the process of transferring money through the banks.
At the time I served at the local government there was some fine bara at the state assembly. They wanted you to pay for bills that will not be receipted.
When you consider that nearly 80% of the revenue goes to service the legislators and the civil servants and they are demanding kickbacks of various kinds you will see that income for whatever tier of government are much more less than the 20% you thought.
And the opulence of the civil servants (and that includes the politicians) is more obvious in this country. The want of the people is extreme and constantly obvious in this country than in any other. John Quincy Adam cannot be wrong on his observation.
Apagun “Killers will be exposed”
Apagunpote, Oluwole Olumide the Egba chief who was rumoured to have committed suicide, has been buried.
But controversy surrounding his death persists. Some people have said he was strangled before he was dumped into the lake at the Abeokuta Golf Resort. The autopsy has discredited the claim. It indicated otherwise.
Seyi Oluwole-Olumide, the deceased’s son said his father had not been troubled to commit suicide.
Our Tola Adeniyi, the Araba, a former Managing Director of the Times also said Olumide would “never commit suicide” as reported in the media.
Tola said “the secret of the killer would soon be exposed” So there was a killer? We would ask then: who was the killer? How did he fall without his shoes into the lake?
That was why the state government insisted on an autopsy on the deceased. Which clearly cleared the government of complicity. There was no foul play. Even if the family thought there was no reason to conduct any autopsy. It is to clear the government.
At the sermon before the burial, the Rev Olahuntoba Obaselu poignantly “enjoined everybody to be mindful of his tomorrow”. A pointer according to our correspondent, that the “burial….. was devoid of usual glamour attached to burial ceremonies of personalities”
Can we expect to hear Tola Adeniyi that the killer will manifest soon?