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Goodluck Jonathan, Omo Onile! By Pius Adesanmi

December 11, 2010

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is a chameleon. Last week, he was heir apparent to Alhaji Barkin Zuwo of blessed memory, keeping government money in government house in order to make his visitors happy. Only God knows for how long he’d been doing the Barkin Zuwo thing until Pastor Tunde Bakare and Mr. Yinka Odumakin became the gale that blew over the fowl’s ikebe, revealing a sordid anus.

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is a chameleon. Last week, he was heir apparent to Alhaji Barkin Zuwo of blessed memory, keeping government money in government house in order to make his visitors happy. Only God knows for how long he’d been doing the Barkin Zuwo thing until Pastor Tunde Bakare and Mr. Yinka Odumakin became the gale that blew over the fowl’s ikebe, revealing a sordid anus.

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This week, the President has shown another colour. We hear that he has become omo onile, selling houses all over the place. His address is not a paraga joint in Shomolu/Bariga or any of those places where omo oniles converge to sell the same land or house to ten different people. He lives in Aso Rock, Abuja, but has no shortage of customers in his new omo onile vocation.

His most prominent customers? You guessed right, the usual suspects: David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark and Dimeji Bankole. Here is how NEXT newspaper headlined the matter last week: “On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan approved the sale of the official residences of the presiding officers of the National Assembly. The Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives have all been given leave to purchase their current living quarters, presidency sources told NEXT over the weekend. The 2011 Appropriation Bill, which is yet to be brought to public notice, has already made N1.5 billion available for the construction of replacements for the yet-to-be sold properties.”

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This is no time to call a spade a digging object. This is daylight robbery. Pure and simple. There should be no mistake about this: the seller and the buyers of those houses are all thieves robbing the Nigerian people blind. They deserve worse than the Jangedi treatment. President Jonathan appears to have entered an alapata (butcher) mode in recent times, hacking and selling off our commonwealth to four moral derelicts and prurient intellects in the leadership of the National Assembly.

President Jonathan and the thieves to whom he is selling the commonwealth of the people of Nigeria must of course be extremely happy that Wikileaks has overshadowed this crime in progress. But they forget Ecclesiastes and its Nigerian resonances too quickly.  Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: a time to rig and a time to zone; a time to rule and a time to loot; a time to lose everything and a time of comeuppance. For the people of Nigeria shall one day witness the affliction of these wicked people. Some Monday for sure.
Of course you will hear that everything was done by the book; that President Obasanjo embarked on a monetization policy to save us some money; that only the leaders of the National Assembly have so far not benefited from the said policy; that the four men have in fact “tried” for the people of Nigeria by sacrificing what is due to them for so long. You will hear all the regular bla bla bla that our fiends in the rulership have perfected as they institutionalize legalized robbery.

Last week, I described the National Assembly as a gangrened proscenium “populated almost exclusively by school certificate forgers, Oluwole customers, University dropouts, active and retired political assassins, and puny election riggers.” What I failed to add to this description is that this motley crowd of Ali Babas congregate only to create legal frameworks and enabling laws for robbery. Hence, at no time in the history of our country have we been faced with the scenario of so much opportunity for perfectly legal robbery by so few.

Here is how we, at the editorial board of the Nigerian Village Square, described the phenomenon: “While Nigerians are fixated, and rightly so, on the familiar forms of corruption, a more insidious kind of sleaze is proliferating. It is the corruption of anticipatory stealing of appropriated and budgeted funds - a practice that permeates all levels of government in Nigeria. Across the country politicians and bureaucrats are fleecing the commonwealth by abusing the notion of democratic accountability, inverting the legislative process that is integral to it, and perverting the accounting procedures that are crucial to modern governance. Our rulers figure out how much they want and can steal, package it in a budget proposal, and lobby their legislative partners in crime to pass it through the formal processes of law making. Once it is legislated and hence legal, there is only one name appropriate for it: budgeted corruption. And, this is all within the bounds of legitimate political transaction in our serially abused democracy. Democracy was never meant to function this way – as an enabler of corruption. But the criminal creativity of our rulers is infinitely elastic.”

Budgeted corruption is how to explain the immoral salaries and allowances of the largely indolent members of the National Assembly; it is how to explain the impending sale of those official residences by President Jonathan. It is all legal. They have of course already budgeted 1.5 billion naira to construct new official residences. And those new ones will in turn be auctioned off at giveaway prices to the successors of David Mark and Dimeji Bankole as our brain-dead rulers continue the endless dance of Sisyphus on the grave of our hopes and aspirations as a people.

We must of course ask the questions that will never be answered by this brood of vipers. Always, we must ask these questions. How much is President Jonathan selling our property to the four buccaneers in the National Assembly? We need to know. How do the four men propose to fund their purchases? Of the four, only David Mark has had an illustrious looting career. He has been stealing from us for a very long time – as Minister of Communications and Niger State Governor in the 1980s. He is the only one who has stolen enough from the Nigerian people to be able to afford his official residence “cash down” until the harsh judgement of history and the Nigerian people descend on him.

This raises even more worrisome questions about Dimeji Bankole’s situation. He too is going to buy his own residence. And we already know how Chief Kayode Odunaro and Morgan Omodu, his media vuvuzelas, will rationalize all of this with a straight face. Their oga did not go out of his way to ask for the building, the president made and approved an offer. Bankole’s hands were tied because he couldn’t possibly say no to the President. Besides, everything is legal. I have heard spins of the sort from my two friends so often whenever Bankole’s hands are in the cookie jar that I could almost recite their rationalizations like my Hail Mary. Suffice it to say that Bankole got to the National Assembly only in 2003 and became Speaker in 2007- the effective date of his full membership of Nigeria’s lootocracy. If the young man has been stealing serious money only since 2007 and now enjoys parity or near-parity of purchasing power with his senior colleague in the Senate who has been stealing since the 1980s, what does that say about the scale of his corruption?

Oh, one more question: when does Omo Onile Jonathan propose to sell Aso Rock?

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