Breaking News

Chips of the old block: The next generation takes over -1

By Dele Sobowale

“If your children are not better than you; then you must have fathered them in vain”. Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has finally opened the cases on the fuel subsidy fraud. Let me hasten to state that none of the accused persons is presumed guilty on this page.

Guilt or innocence will be determined by the law courts. However, it is pertinent to observe that if less than two hundred people, out of a population estimated at 167 million, mostly fools, are picked out for investigation and prosecution they could not have been too far from the scenes of the crimes that might have been committed.

Whether they were active participants or inadvertent victims is what the evidence will show. Nobody will mention Dele Sobowale in any scandal. At any rate, I am not so much interested in the alleged culprits themselves as what some of them represent in modern Nigeria – since the First Republic.

They represent the small group of families which since 1960 have been operating in the system of the ruling classes – north and south. And who continue to pass the privileges, they routinely abuse, to their off-springs from one generation to the next.

In the second part of my book PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED, a whole chapter will be devoted to those families who have been dipping their hands into the public till ceaselessly since the 1960s and 1970s till today. They do it either through political appointments as Ministers, Governors, Commissioners, top executives of major parastatals or Presidential advisers or by engaging in businesses which are almost totally government-dependent.

When that fails, they become top functionaries of the ruling political party at Federal and State levels. And, it is not just the NPC, NPN, and now PDP politicians who are engaged in this game of permanently feeding from the public treasury in one form or another. When part two of the book finally gets published the names of families, including so called “Progressives”, in the Southwest, for instance, topping the list of “I-chop-then- my-pickin-chop” will astonish Nigerians.

It is still going on right under our noses. Public service has elided into family-service everywhere. Even when regimes change, one discovers that the new owners of the manor just want to replace the outgoing people with their own set of “come and eat” gang.

To be quite candid, I was not shocked to note that the off-springs of a former (Christian) and an incumbent, (Muslim) National Chairmen of the PDP were there on the list. Neither was it surprising that the son of a Southwest, Muslim leader and PDP financier, appeared on the charge sheet. Perhaps the place to start is the Yoruba leader to illustrate the point.

Turai Yar’Adua and Dame Patience Jonathan

Decree 53 was the last decree signed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, in May 1999. It listed the loot recovered from Abacha and family as well as the National Security Adviser – Alhaji Ismaila Gwarzo. The only southern name was that of the Southwest leader. He was credited with N100 million loot found in his possession.

Abubakar left, Obasanjo came in and made all the noise about fighting corruption and gave the impression that it was only the Abacha family that was caught with their hands in the till. Nothing was said about “our brother”. Now, the son of a Yoruba, who is also a leader, is being accused of subsidy fraud. The less said about the Chairman of the party the better.

It will appear that nobody can be National, or even, State Chairman of the PDP, who, if he were to be thoroughly investigated, would not change his designer clothes for Prison-designed uniform. And I have evidence to back that up. But now the children are taking over; they have apparently gone to the biggest “bread basket” – petroleum sector…..

“Every country gets the government it deserves”. Joseph de Maistre, 1753-1821.

Robbing Turai to pay Patience.
A group of, mostly idle, wives of African Presidents gathered in Abuja last week Wednesday, July 25, 2012, to lay the foundation of what they call the African First Ladies Peace Centre. Representing several banana and banga soup republics, they failed to notice that there is no such gathering of elected officials’ wives on another continent – where the people left the Dark Ages eight hundred years ago.

xcept for the generous application of skin toners; our African free-loaders would all be dark – appropriate color for those who still live in the twelfth century.

What was of interest to me was the fact that the parcel of land, on which the Centre is to be built, had once been allocated to the Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation, a pet NGO of Mrs Turai Yar’Adua – the widow of the late President.

Now, providentially the wife of the transient, but incumbent President, could find no other parcel of land in the whole of Abuja but the one already given to her predecessor in office. That, to me, is not a peaceful gesture. It is, indeed, an outrageous insult. But, then, Nigerians deserve the insult. “Elect a joker and you get a lot of jokes”; especially bad ones.

Every Ananias eventually mates with a Sapphira.
In the haste to grab what was already given to a predecessor in office, it never occurred to the present occupant of the inner bedroom at Aso Rock that she might be establishing a precedent which might come to haunt her and her husband – who must know about the deal. She must go one day; another will take over. Will the parcel of land change hands again?

Just in case you are wondering why the presidents’ wives were not addressed as “first ladies”, the matter is simple. There is no such title in our constitution. Any idiot who likes can invest anyone with any title, but they should not expect me to join in the foolishness. I know only one first lady – that is my wife (and don’t ask me which one).

The title of the book is A-Z WORD: from the Quran. I personally read and edited it and will recommend it to all our brothers of both faiths since it is written in English. We need to reach across the religious lines to save our nation.

The problem is finance. If I have the funds, I would have paid for copies to be printed. Can you help? Any amount will be appreciated. If you can assist, please get in touch.  I wish all Muslims a fruitful Ramadan and many more years on earth. Amen!


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.