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Saraki, Police, politicians, thugs and failure of governance (2)

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By Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo

Last Friday RIPPLES shared the first instalment of the above. Saraki faces an inquisition as sponsor and patron of the notorious gang of Offa robbers, alleged to be his “Boys”, his thugs.

Saraki and Idris

To re-engage, first a hearty Barka Da Sallah to all Muslims ending the Ramadan Fast. I pray we imbibe and practise the discipline and piety Ramadan teaches.

During the week GMB scored a political masterstroke, recognising MKO Abiola’s anulled June 12, 1993 elections, declaring June 12 our new Democracy Day. He gave MKO a post-humous GCFR, reserved for Presidents. His VP Kingibe, an Aso Rock insider, also got a GCON.

GMB thus proved himself an adept politician with all the guile and cynicism of a Machiavelli. He saw and used the opportunity to save his shaky 2019 bid in the South, smartly manipulating the Yorubas and the whole South.

The only discordant note here is Kingibe, who benefited from the scuttling of June 12, becoming Abacha’s Foreign Minister, by dumping MKO. He is principal beneficiary of what he’d denounced in this Machiavellian play for 2019.

Now, to RIPPLES for the week. As I was saying on thugs and politicians: It is public knowledge there was a time ECOMOG Boys were used by top politician to get into government. He allegedly used the thugs and the BH to consolidate. Buji Foi, became SAS Commissioner on the BH slot. This is current political history.

In Kano, five, six decades back, the NPC and NEPU of the First Republic, had the very vicious NPC’s ‘Yan Akwusa and the Rundunar Samarin Sawaba (RSS) thugs, the Youth Vanguard of opposition Talakawa party, NEPU. The name, Youth Vanguards has since been adapted by Hausa as Yan Banga with all of the notoriety and viciousness of such party thugs. The new thuggery is now of the radio, by so-called “public commentators”. In Kano and other Hausa speaking areas these are, ‘yanJagaliya  or ‘yanBaka radio warriors. Though drastically reducing the sword wielding thuggery of the past, now libel and slander are daily radio fare. Failure of the regulatory authorities here, NBC and the police, underlines the pervasive failure of governance.

This week as we mark the Sallah, the annual Durbar tomorrow, marks the anniversary of the shameless public show of shame in my State of Kano. Thugs allegedly led by known public figures of the State APC Government at Hawan Daushe unleashed bloody terror on unarmed Kwankwasiyya nPDP APC supporters, leaving many stabbed, heads and limbs broken. All in full public glare. Yet, to-date, no one has been sanctioned. Not the security personnel, not the APC State Government politicians. Such a shameful failure of governance.

With 2019, around the corner, at the build up to recent LG elections in Kano, leading politicians proved that more thuggery is what to expect of our politics unless something is done, and urgently too, to stop it.

Cudgels, swords and club wielding desperadoes, thugs were recorded on State Television with National Assembly members, unfairly tagged  “Honorables”, and “Distinguished”, leading and encouraging them at public rallies. Of course the former PDP Kwankwasiyya Government in Kano, now at the receiving end, also had a similarly poor record. Recall its deployment of thugs in PDP politics to disrupt party events.

Is it any wonder that we now have the nation’s number three citizen, Senate President Saraki (ex-of-PDP) tapped as Patron of thugs nabbed for robbery and murder? We will continue to hear such unfortunate tales for as long as failure of governance isn’t properly addressed.

We will continue to have politicians of shady character leading us and recycling themselves in all parties. Both leading parties of the day, ruling APC and opposition PDP are equally guilty, because it pays; because the people, the “good guys” who vote and the good-guy-elite facilitators fail to pull together at elections. We will keep on having these fallouts, deflecting attention from the basic role of government for as long as the institutions, we should rely on, in particular the police, remain mere serfs of any criminal in power.

In Britain sometime in 1991, a common policeman on the beat arrested a minister for trolling a prostitute. He had to resign, something our men (and women too) of power hardly do, no matter the shame they bring their families.

About the same time, Prime Minister Thatcher too had to pay a fifty pound-fine for driving without a seat belt. That seething scandal dominated the airwaves, on the local and international press for weeks. She was carpeted by the media for arrogance, even after paying off the fine.

Here, the-Saraki-and-thugs-as-robbers-tale assumed such a frenzied dimension only because the thugs got caught in a bloody robbery, massacring over 30 people. The furore however smacks of hypocrisy by all concerned. Granted, ex-Governor Saraki is “implicated” as patron of these robbers who double as his thugs. But that is a common practise of politicians. I doubt if there is any sanctimonious top government politician who can escape similar involvement with thugs today.

But, it is unlikely any politician with the keys to the treasury will be personally involved in such base robberies. Even the actual thug attacks are normally not done with politicians leading, save for a few extremely irresponsible and bloodthirsty loonies and psychopaths amongst them. Higher forms of robbery and thieving, cleaning up the treasury for their hedonistic pleasures is their own style. Their style is for Magu’s EFCC and the ICPC to address and curtail.

Everyone involved with politics knows full well the diabolical relationship between thugs and politicians. Though a practicing politician, I don’t support such thuggish lunacy. It is clear the police don’t and won’t ever have enough manpower and tools to secure all who need security. We have to learn to be really civilized if we are to escape the vicious cycle of bad and failed governance that spawns such thugs and their mentors.

The vicious cycle we need to break, begins with rejecting bad politicians who’d never let go, so long as they know our votes don’t count. It doesn’t matter what party, region or religion they claim: Bad is bad, good is good. No cosmetics or sermon of change can change these.

On Jail for ex-Governors, they can run but can’t hide . .

Last Wednesday (13/06/2018) JOSEPH IGIETSEME  <>  wrote an apt piece on NaijaObserver@yahoogroups: “I’m sure some of us have been following the recent court judgements that sent some past Governors to several years of jail time.

“More will SURELY come; they can run but can’t hide! I’m sure these and upcoming successful prosecution of corruption cases in Nigeria will silence ethnicists who have been yelling “selective prosecution” to cause distractions and shield their folks who have raped our common heritage treasuries: no good schools; no good roads; no steady electricity; no clean water; no national airline; no reliable mass transit transportation system; no nothing, as the American would say!

“These people hustle for public offices, promising public service, but actually to perform “Personal Service” at the expense of society and rest of us… they Must Pay…”

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