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Thanksgiving or a raid on the treasury?

By Dele Sobowale

“A sucker [fool] is born every minute”. P.T. Barnum. If it takes God’s Own Country a whole minute to produce a dunce, then Nigerian mothers must be dropping them every second. At Unijankara, we are getting fed-up delivering lectures to Fellow Compatriots who refuse to learn street wisdom – which is our 100 level Course. Like the suckers they are, they fell for two stories, on the same subject, both for the marines.

First, the wife of the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Incorporated disappeared, into thin air, for several weeks, giving rise to speculations that she was seriously sick. The Chairman/CEO immediately got his two echoes, called Special Assistants, to disclaim the story about illness. No, we were told, Madam is quite fine; just resting somewhere; but nobody was allowed to see her. So far so good; even when we all knew they were lying again. Lying has become official policy number one this time around.

President Goodluck Jonathan (l) singing a hymn with his mum, Mama Eunice Jonathan; Executive Secretary Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and other worshipers during a Church service to mark the Good Friday at the Aso Villa Chapel, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
President Goodluck Jonathan (l) singing a hymn with his mum,  Eunice Jonathan; Executive Secretary, Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr. John Kennedy Opara and other worshipers during a Church service to mark the Good Friday at the Aso Villa Chapel, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

Four months after, Madam returned, looking quite fine, as a matter of fact. Immediately, the echoes told the suckers, “see we told you she was all right”. Again, so far so good despite the fact that we suspected that it was all a con game.

Then a month after her arrival, Madam suddenly announced that she had indeed been at death’s door all the time she was abroad. According to the new version of what happened during those four months of absence, she now claimed that she even spent seven whole days discussing with St Peter, at heaven’s gate, whether she could come in or not. In the end, she was sent back to the hell called Nigeria. Pity.

By now, Unijankara staff and students were alerted that something suspicious was about to happen. So we took her statement to our forensic laboratories for analysis. Lo! And behold, we found the clue. Madam had, during her revelation, spoken about her properties being sold off by people she trusted, who thought she was dead. We wondered why Madam did not simply call in the IGP and the Attorney General to go and get those who stole the properties. At least that is what any other person whose property had been misappropriated by others would do. One bright faculty member, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided the answer to that puzzle.

According to the fellow, who is a future Dean, the wife of the Chairman did not call the cops because she did not want Fellow Nigerians asking how she obtained the properties in the first instance. So, the next thing was “how do you recover the properties?”. Answer: hold a fund raising party; but call it thanksgiving. That way, Nigeria Incorporated foots the bill and cool cash tumbles in to replace the lost properties.

Sources, speaking under conditions of anonymity again, said that the fund raising, sorry thanksgiving party cost the nation N500 million. General Gowon was there; so were the liars who told us Madam was only relaxing for four months at, perhaps, the French Riviera. One of them once worked for a newspaper whose motto is “Conscience nurtured by truth”. At Unijankara, we know definitely that “it was a swindle, as simple and sweet as any really beautiful swindle is”.

Oh well Life goes on.

“The more you look the less you see”, Professor Peller, the Magician.

Most Nigerians have probably forgotten that the Madam, who went AWOL for four months, in addition to her other public duties, is also a Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State. She, a few months ago, swore in the Governor, or was it the Governor swearing in the Perm Sec. Ordinarily, the Perm Sec stands while the governor seats. The Perm Sec, along with Commissioners and other Perm Secs would go to the airport to meet the Governor.

And, the Perm Sec will send in a medical report and ask the Governor for permission to go for treatment. Since Bayelsa State has not yet passed the law making rumour mongering a crime, let me tell you a rumour. The Super Special Perm Sec, who was engaged less than one year ago, went away for four months and for a long time the government of Bayelsa State knew no more about its Perm Sec’s whereabouts than the man on the street.

Come to think of it; what sort of a government is that, where a Perm Sec is reported by her husband’s trusted spokesmen to be having a good time abroad, for four months, and she was not sacked? Even a state government in a banana republic can do better than that. The hapless governor was also invited to the fund raising, sorry again, thanksgiving party, after the story about holiday turned to treatment abroad.

If a man fools you once; shame on him; if twice, shame on you”. You fell for the sob story, “I have no shoe” in 2011; I am sorry for you. Now after a N2 billion St Joe’s Cathedral and a N6 billion Deaconry, in a bush somewhere, all we need is for one contractor, to go and donate a shoe factory. After that, it will be time to bid our friend goodbye.

LAST LINE: Given a choice between Obasanjo and Jonathan, as the only two candidates, I will vote Jonathan. At least, the Church, the Deaconry, the University and the Airport, at Otuoke belong to the people – even though funded by donors who may have their motives. By contrast, the Presidential Library and Bell’s University, established by Obasanjo, belong exclusively to Obasanjo and his descendants. That is SELFISHNESS! Baba Iyabo has no lesson to teach GEJ on ethics.

“PDP is all about entitlements; we compensate those who lose elections”, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman of PDP. For those who had made the mistake of believing that PDP and Jonathan are two different entities, the Chairman of the PDP has finally made clear, what clear-eyed observers of the political scene had long realized. The PDP is not a political party established to foster the welfare of the people of Nigeria. Instead, right from the start, it has been a conspiracy to raid the national treasury for the benefit of its members.

Bamanga Tukur, an octogenarian, who cannot be taught any new things, is strongly wedded to the belief that a political party should exist only for the benefit of its members. Frankly speaking, they don’t give a damn about the rest of us. And there is another old man, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BOT, Chief Anenih cares only about how his party.

We must say ENOUGH.

Tempus fugit, and, if you have not completely buried your Latin under mountains of eba, amala, booze and other things best left unmentioned, still means, “time flies”. We all left dear old Igbobi College, fifty years in December. So our class’s 50th Anniversary comes up in April. Please contact Segun George, KSJW, our class President to find about the arrangements. More to the point, we need your donations, starting from N100,000. Segun’s number:  0803-3013349.

P.S. Condolences are in order on account of our dear late ELIJAH JOE, aka Deacon Ayo Ositelu, who was a member of the planning committee for this event until the end.  May his soul rest in perpetual peace.


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