“Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, and the friends and associates of President Buhari , our former Mr Clean, have suddenly acquired the characteristics of a cult of dirty and shady individuals. Among the flaws of Buhari, which are now becoming legion, is his inability to engage competent people with integrity. Even when the crimes and great follies of his appointees have been exposed, he still hangs on to them and invariably gets tarnished with their misdeeds. He must be one of the few leaders in the world, except Donald Trump, who condone misbehaviour on the part of top government officials. It is really baffling how the man can go on deceiving himself and other blockheads who believe that he heads a government and political party consisting only of honest people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Permit me to bring to the notice of Fellow Nigerians some of those who had served Buhari and disgraced their offices without punishment. Some are still in the cabinet,
“Charity begins at home”, so we start from my own South West with two examples – Adeosun and Shittu – former Ministers of Finance and Communications. The former represented Ogun State; the latter Oyo State. The duo was found to have committed the same offence punishable by law with prison terms as a mandatory penalty. I have read a lot of things by supporters of Adeosun including her alleged great achievements. One such supporter, who must have had too many bottles to drink, even compared her with Dr, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Iweala got us out of debt trap in 2004; Adeosun in three years has borrowed more than any other Minister of Finance in history with little to show for the monumental debt. Where is the comparison? That only goes to show you how desperate her supporters are. Space constraints will not allow me to take on those commending her for efforts made. So, let me draw attention to two facts that have not been touched upon by Adeosun as her supporters and detractors alike.
The NYSC in Nigeria is similar to the American compulsory draft system for military service. Anyone, qualified to serve must do so or seek exemption. Since, the matter is personal and cannot be delegated, the candidate is the person who must show up in the draft office to request for exclusion from service. The request must be backed up with a letter or by obtaining a form and completing it. This is the first entry that must be in the file at the NYSC office. Mrs Adeosun’s cleverly written letter to the President and leaked to the media sought to play on our emotions without answering the question: did you file for exemption? Most likely, she didn’t. So, like anybody applying for a driving licence who obtained and returned no form to the FRSC or an applicant for visa who failed to visit the embassy for interview but received the driving licence or visa, Mrs Adeosun was old enough to know that what she was getting was a forged document. She did not follow due process for receiving exemption. Period.
“A secret is best kept with two people involved with one dead.”
Furthermore, she disclaims knowledge of the forgery, but again deliberately failed to reveal the name of the tout who procured it. We don’t even know if he is alive or dead. Based on street wisdom, I think he is very much alive. And, they both know that he is now a wanted man for crimes against the country. Adeosun cannot identify him and risk exposure. What if the man is arrested and testifies that she knew it was “Oluwole” exemption he was giving her? Madam and her gullible supporters might not know this but the FRSC can confirm that most people apprehended for driving with fale licences always claim they were duped and innocent. But, on these matters, you cannot cheat a honest person. Those who follow due process can never get into this sort of mess.
So, in my opinion, Mrs Adeosun is not totally truthful. In fact, her response demonstrates lack of remorse for a crime advertently committed years ago in the hope that it would never be discovered. She now has a case to answer. But, Buhari – who loves criminals in his corridors of power – will never press charges. After all, Kemi is not Diezani who is being hounded by this government.
“What does corrupting time not diminish?”Horace 65-8BC.
Unlike Madam, we have another NYSC dodger in the cabinet. The Minister of Communications, Wahab Shittu, SAN, also failed to serve. Again unlike Kemi, Wahab announced, with a straight face, like Ali Baba the comedian, that his self-service as a lawmaker can be regarded as equivalent to being a “Corper”. I once remarked on these pages that decline in legal education in Nigeria started years ago. In the olden days, Queen’s Counsels, QCs, were people who had a great grasp of logic. We “changed” from QC to Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and suddenly we are discovering that it is indeed true that the law is an ass.
How a honest man can equate one year’s service with NYSC during which those called are expected to earn low pay; do menial jobs; wear khaki and serve in some “God-forsaken” parts of Nigeria with going to work in designer suits, air-conditioned cars, earning unlimited income and never having to clean gutters as community service is a mystery which only Nigerian SANs can unravel. But, Shittu just told us that they are the same. And, he naturally remains in Buhari’s cabinet. Clever chap, he was the first to start a Buhari Support Group. He knows that the Boss cares very little about competence and character. All Buhari wants is loyalty. Thereafter, any crime is forgiven – even crime against Nigeria.
The next port of call is the South East. One of Buhari’s Ministers was a fake former Governor of Anambra State. I said fake because the man himself confessed to rigging the election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, first declared him winner. He was and remains the only elected Governor ever to be kidnapped despite the battalion of police officers guarding a governor; taken to a shrine and made to swear to continue to pay the man who bank-rolled his election. The matter ended up in the Presidency, with former President Obasanj, the Chairman of the PDP (now Minister of Agriculture), Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Ifeanyi Mba (the election financier) and “Governor Ngige in attendance. Audu Ogbeh is my witness because he wrote about the incident later.
Right there in Obasanjo’s presidency, Mba and Ngige confessed that the election was rigged. A patriotic president, which obviously Obasanjo was not, should have had the two arrested on the spot. But, he did not. However, I had been talking to a lawyer and he told me there is no time limit for prosecution od election offenders. Ngige, a self-confessed election-rigger, who collected unearned salaries and entitlements as Governor of Anambra State, spent state funds on litigation to protect a fraudulent victory cannot by any means escape charges of corruption – however it is defined. So, why is he in a government which VP Yemi Osinbajo claims has no corrupt people.
The three individuals portray the former Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Mr Lawal Daura, as being incompetent or complicit in the matters just discussed. No surprise here that Daura had exposed himself as unfit for the exalted office of DG-DSS. In 2017 Buhari was warned in an article titled DAURA/MAGU AS METAPHOR FOR SELF-INDUCED PARALYSIS that Daura will eventually further help to divide the nation under Buhari. A portion is reproduced below.
“If you work with glue, sooner or later you’re bound to get stuck.”
Leo Tolstoy, in WAR AND PEACE. VBQ p 76.
On an occasion such as this in our national life when unprecedented events occur daily, it requires two words of wisdom from down the ages to assist us in understanding the position in which we find ourselves. Mr Lawal Daura, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, and Mr Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have done what no two public servants have ever done before. They have divided the nation into two camps and just about have almost all of us at daggers-drawn on account of their well-publicized differences which has diminished the President of Nigeria as nothing else has ever done since we started experimenting with democracy in 1959.
That he has done that is not surprising. What is astonishing is the fact that the DSS should have been implicated in the Maina case, and it is now known that the service failed to expose the two NYSC service dodgers but the Ngige’s criminal case still outstanding. Was it incompetence or conspiracy?
“It was beautiful and simple as all truly great swindles are.” O. Henry, 1862-1910.
When the mind turns to the Minister of State for Transportation, Mr Sardi, and the scam called Nigeria Air, nobody can be in doubt that we now have an administration in which anything goes. Never mind the flurry of statements being made by Federal Government officials that the idea has not been cancelled – merely postponed. They always lie. The truth is there was no concrete plan to start an airline which could have been cancelled or postponed. Sardi just wasted or misappropriated reportedly N2.1 billion of public funds on a fraudulent idea. We have been robbed….
To be continued