Monday, 20 May 2013
Governor Wamakko's 'Bulala'! By SOC Okenwa
Can you spot any difference among these high-profile reprobates: James Onanefe Ibori, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha, Lucky Igbinedion, Timipre Sylva, Peter Odili, Chimaroke Nnamani? Can you guess what these fallen 'big men' in Nigeria have in common? Well, I guess you guessed right: these are disgraced ex-Governors who have the blood of stolen money running in their veins! The detailed embezzlement of resources put in their care for their self-aggrandisement runs into billions if not trillions of Naira, millions if not billions of dollars! Politics is what it is in Nigeria -- a game of death and blood -- because of wily characters like these men listed above whose fiendish cupidity defies any reason.
While Ibori, the bunkering murderer of justice in Nigeria, is serving his term in a British prison, Alams bolted away from one yonder breaking his bail conditions. Lucky Igbinedion was lucky enough to have negotiated a settlement out of court in the much-deprecated scheme in which a convict pays his way out through "plea bargaining"! Don't forget he remains the son of Osawaru Igbinedion the randy billionaire in Benin City! Nnamani and Sylva and few others are still keeping dates with the courts while Odili (whose wife is a legal expert) simply obtained a perpetual injunction (a la Bassey Ikpeme's anti-June 12 ABN-instigated midnight ruling) barring the EFCC or any other anti-corruption agency for that matter from ever arresting or questioning him about his 8-year 'sleazeful' stewardship in Port Harcourt!
Across the 36 states that make up the federation you have governors whose mediocrity is not different from what obtains at the centre in Abuja. With the exception of a few states like Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Jigawa, and Rivers the governors of the majority of states from east to west down south and up north plunder their states' treasuries at will, impoverish their people, murder them by the thousands on bad roads and in ill-equipped hospitals. In a clime where accountability is virtually non-existent (with the legislature drawn into the looting game) it is not impossible to imagine the likes of Gov. Wamakko in Sokoto still thinking of the animal kingdom and how best it would have been fitting enough for him and his ilk to be 'kings' and 'queens' in such primitive enclave.
Today there seems to be a fierce 'competition' lately among the 'excellencies' over the purchase of jets and private planes. Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi (a gentleman whom we had thought to be of moderate taste) has since taken delivery of an exorbitant 'executive bird'. Following him was the Akwa Ibom jolly-man, Godswill Akpabio, who took possession of his own jet recently. Before these gods in states' government houses joined the 'jet-owning generation' we were used to 'prosperity' pastors and bishops procurring private jets for their mundane comforts: the Adeboyes, Oyedepos, and now Oritsejafors! One is surprised that no Nigerian Governor or 'man-of-God' has thus far paid out millions of dollars for holiday in the moon!
Now the governors, swimming in petro-dollars (a la Yakubu Gowon who, as an executive simpleton, had declared naively to the bewildered world during his gory martial reign, that Nigeria had money but never knew what to do with it!) and bereft of any development agenda other than mouthing the much-vaunted 'transformation' and devicing avenues for looting of public funds, are not only going for jets but estates abroad and what have you. Some of these governors pretend to 'govern' their respective states but wait patiently every month for the federal allocation which they embezzle and distribute to their mistresses and cronies. That is how Nigeria works!
Late last month a disturbing report had appeared online concerning executive recklessness and impunity in Nigeria. According to the report the acting Managing Director of KEDC, a subsidiary of the PHCN, Mohammed Adamu, had declared in a press briefing he organized in Kaduna that the Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko, had invited their Business Manager, Gwiwa Business Unit, Sokoto State, Moses Osigwe and two other staff of the company Isyaku Daura and Nuruddeen Mohammed to his personal residence over the issue of lack of power supply to his hometown, Wamakko, as a result of a failed 2.5 MVA transformer.
But as the men arrived the Governor was said to have accused the staff of 'deliberately' denying his community of power supply! And as the Business Manager was trying to explain away the situation the Governor (perhaps furious that he was not doing the explanation in Hausa or Fulani) pounced on him reaching for his horse-whip (commonly called 'bulala' in Hausa language) and lashing him to a pulp! The executive aggressor also instructed two hefty mobile policemen to continue with the beating until Mr Osigwe fell on the ground and became unconscious! Alhaji Wamakko reportedly ordered the MOPOL guys to beat up Daura and Mohammed as well-- leaving all three in an unconscious state!
Alhaji Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko is the very symbol of what is wrong with Nigeria. He and others like him have become small gods in public offices and because they did not get to power by dint of hardwork or by any transparent electoral contest based on particular ideology but on an effective PDP rigging machine and concomitant godfatherism they arrogate power of life and death to themselves and behave as if they would never go six feet below. But the late Gen. Sani Abacha was meaner and more barbaric but he still kicked the bucket courtesy of some sophisticated imported Indian whores!
When Ikedi Ohakim alias "Ikiri" was the executive Governor of Imo State few years ago, it is worth recalling here, he was reported to have flogged silly (with 'koboko') a human rights campaigner in the person of citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha just because the anti-corruption crusader was detailing and publishing Ohakim's systematic looting of Imo State's treasury! Then we had raised our voices in condemnation of such brutal exhibition of sadism by an 'elected' executive but nothing happened to Ikedi because he was a Governor in Nigeria, a Nigeria where the rule of law only exists in the imagination of the authors of the constitution! Ohakim is now at large enjoying his loot!
Just few weeks ago the Governor of Taraba State Danbaba Suntai was involved in a fatal air crash and presently he is recuperating from his injuries in a German hospital! The man is said to be an avid plane-loving pilot who sacrificed everything to be able to fly himself in executive helicopters and jets. His 'passion' for the air and perhaps, gravity, must have pushed him to want to fly himself often avoiding the roads in his state he has neglected constructing or repairing. He cared more for the air than the earth -- something that could be attributed to perennial 'go-slows', accidents and security challenges associated with the roads!
It is only in our country that a Governor can wake up one morning and decides to go sight-seeing in Dubai, shopping in London; keep a flirtatious date in New York with a 'Jezebel' and hop onto the executive jet for Paris to have a 'deserved rest' from doing nothing other than issuing orders and signing inflated contracts and pocketing security votes every other month! With the compromised legislative arm failing spectacularly in its task of holding the randy or thieving Governor to account power then becomes a personalised thing with personality cult a 'religion' worth adhering to!
Before that fatal air crash involving Gov. Suntai and his aides we had never heard of any great leadership character possessed by the aeroplane-loving executive showman nor seen any stellar performance of the Governor that translated into some improvement in the quality of lives of Tarabans. What we heard was that he 'cornered' enough money to be abe to build an airstrip in his hometown where he would be flying to and fro! You see, the truth is that Nigeria is daily producing some schizophrenics in power circles! Unless something drastic is done (perhaps heeding the recent revolution call of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo) we may continue in the diffident trajectory that leads us to nowhere.
Governor Wamakko has shown by his unbecoming 'bulala' attack that some beasts still inhabit certain government houses in Nigeria. The governor whose Sokoto state is the home of the Caliphate and therefore a Boko Haram terrorist target must, as a matter of vocation, consider returning home to his village to be a cattle-rearer or a farmer. As a cattle-rearing nomad he would have all the freedom in the world to administer horse whips to the beasts of burden without anyone raising any eyebrows! The question is: why become a politician when you know you are very good at flogging and horse-whipping? Why not become a boxer, a wrestler or a brute instead? Or, better still, a Dangote cement trailer driver as he has strong-enough muscles? (After all, Gov. Wamakko cannot claim to be better academically than the PhD holders seeking for elusive employment from the Dangote Group as truck drivers!).
Governor 'Bulala' Wamakko must be forced to resign (though honourable resignation does not exist in the Nigerian dictionary) or be impeached by the state house of assembly. But here again there is a problem: impeachment of any Nigerian erring governor is always a complicated affair; in fact it has never occurred on merit unless instigated by the federal authorities or their anti-graft agencies! The demand by the national labour congress for the Sokoto Governor to apologise publicly or risk strikes cannot be said to be good enough. Wamakko deserves nothing but exit from state executive power. Besides, the victims of the 'bulala' themselves should file a civil suit against their tormentor -- immunity or no immunity.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of SaharaReporters