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Berlusconi goes to prison

By Denrele Animasaun

“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man”                                                                                                                                                                 -Bertrand Russell.

It seems the Teflon Don is finally getting his judicial just desserts or so it seems. On Monday when the Italian prosecutors demanded that the former Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, should be handed a prison sentence as well as a life time ban from politics, outside the court building the judgement was greeted with equal measures of cheers and jeers.  Such reaction is typical Silvio he, often divides the emotions of Italians over the years and it seem that whatever he does or says, he gets away with it.

My Italian friend however, is not convinced she is sceptical and feels that Silvio has got away with so much in the past with his numerous scandals, bribery and misdemeanours because he has control over most of the major media. Silvio, it seems controls a lot of what is reported about him, should he have been “an ordinary Italian” the state would have locked him up a long time ago and thrown away the key.

My friend still thinks the Don will not serve the eventual four years prison sentence handed to him nor the five year ban from public political office. The bonga bonga sex scandal  was one too many and  it seems that  the  Don could  not  shake it off, so the judgement may finally close the political  door to  what have been his domain for over two decades in politics.

Berlusconi
Berlusconi

This man has become a parody of a statesman, an embarrassment and the antithesis of what decent Italians expect from their elected public figures and this time, money may not buy him a get out clause.  Nigerian Politicians should pay closer attention as this may be their eventual destination, it may be not today but sometime in the future, they may receive similar custodial sentence and money will not buy them a way out. Worst of all, it will be a great fall from grace only, and then their humiliation will be complete.

Aare three times over.
Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein; and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause shares in its burden. And Allah hath power over all things.-Surah 4 verse 85.

Yesterday, Biola Ajimobi, a senator of the Federal Republic and governor of Oyo State, was conferred the title of Aare Atunluse of Ibadanland. That was his third and it has its own romance. The first is that the Aare title is the third and they were bestowed on him by three first class Obas. The first, in 1995 by the late Attah of Aiyede-Ekiti, Oba Joseph Adeleye Orishagbemi; the second, by the late Olubadan, Oba Adeyemo Opeyinde, the following year and this time around by the reigning Olubadan, Oba Odugade.

The second romance had the same title – Aare – a war title; the second was attached to gold(Wura): he was a golden boy; this time around he was “knighted” for his work in Oyo State.

But why ‘Aare’ specifically? It has to do with his antecedent. His forebears were Aares. Hence Oke-Aare in Ibadan. Biola did not choose the title in Aiyede-Ekiti, Kabiesi Attah did; the same was true of the two Olubadans.

Biola must have followed my examples: I am Sotofaiye of Aiyede-Ekiti- a throwback to my professional work in the press.

At 46, he had accomplished as managing director at National Oil. At that age, he had acquired his first Aare title and another followed a year later. And then he had turned his attention to politics becoming a Senator of the Republic and he did not shame me. His records are there for all to see.

Now, even the detractors concede to him that he has changed the face of Ibadan and the entire State. And there are many more in his bags of tricks.

Of course, he did not do it alone. He has his political associates and executives to thank. And there is his wife who complements him beautifully.

Those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves.
-Sir James Barrie
Biola, may you live long in good health and in accomplishments. Oye a mori ooo.
-Kola and Dupe Animasaun.

Oga drop something……..
“The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means”

-Georges Bernanos
I learnt late last week that a friend was a victim of an audacious crime. As he recounted his ordeal-one that I am sure must be familiar to a lot Nigerians by now.

He was dropping his friend around eight in the evening to her home as they drove close to the gate of the property, the gateman quickly opened the gate to let them in. As he drove into the compound they were closely followed by six armed men, they forced their way in and at gun-point, they proceeded in relieving them of their personal belongings.  At gun-point, they took them into the house and robbed them some more. They did the same to the neighbours and they rode off using my friend’s car to cart off their ill-gotten loot.

What happened next was my friend called the police. And the police came (yes, that was shocking), they took an incident report and pass on the details on their radio so that the police can be on the lookout for the stolen car. The car was found (yes, I was shocked too). The police then came into their own, when they  asked  my friend to  collect his recovered car and then they dropped the clanger: they told him” Oga, you have to drop something.” So a bidding war ensued, a final price was agreed :N50,000 before he was allowed to drive away in his car.

Many people rejoiced with my friend that his life and that of his companion were spared and that his car was recovered but no one was hurt or injured. Is it me or am I missing the point? That we seem to have misplaced priorities and we rejoice that someone had just been viciously robbed and exploited by the marauding police: -that is what we have come to expect? What was more worrying, that none of the people commiserating with my friend did not show any shock at the police corrupt behaviour instead, they shared and swapped horrific police stories each more shocking to me than the previous. Is protecting and serving the public definitely not the duty of our police force?

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