Skip to main content

Crime Scenes By Pius Adesanmi

February 9, 2017

Nigeria is a crime scene that nobody remembers.

The young man says his uncle is in charge of some forthcoming lecture in Lagos in July or thereabouts and is seeking my permission to suggest my name to his uncle as the guest lecturer.

Somewhere in the chit-chat, he drops a little detail. They are even thinking of approaching Senator Andy Uba to attend the event. They have not approached him but they plan to do so. Why he thought that mentioning Andy Uba would raise the profile of the lecture he is selling in my estimation is beyond me but I can make some guesses: Andy Uba is a crime scene he has forgotten.

Now, this is an upright young man. I approve of him and consider him one of the folks I am privileged to mentor in the hope that there just may be enough Nigerians in his generation to pick up the pieces and rescue the doomed nation.

The trouble with Nigeria is that she is a crime scene that is always forgotten because every generation is removed by time and age from the said crime scene. You are either too young to be conscious of the crime scene or as you grow older, the crime scene recedes in your memory and you don't remember.

The dilemma of the crime scene is the reason why the young man mentioned Andy Uba to me so approvingly. Today, he is scandalized by Abba Kyari's corruption and is a member of the social media army that has been pillorying President Buhari for turning a blind eye to that matter.

Without doubt, he would have the same attitude towards Andy Uba if he knew that there is a direct line of Villa corruption succession from Andy Uba to Abba Kyari via Tanimu Yakubu and the late Oronto Douglas.

My young mentee was approaching his teenage years during the Obasanjo years. Too young to have had any consciousness of the Obasanjo crime scene. Today, he is old enough to know but we do not do history and memory in Nigeria. So, all he is aware of is the crime scene of Abba Kyari. He is unaware of the road to Abba Kyari.

He does not know that Andy Uba is the beginning of that road in our Fourth Republic. It was with Andy Uba that the practice of a super-corrupt, hyper-powerful domestic Villa aide started in the short history of the Fourth Republic. The practice of converting a particular aide to a Presidential majordomo started with Andy Uba.

While he was busy falsifying his educational qualifications somewhere between Canada and America, Obasanjo found him and turned him to the dominant Villa chihuahua of the day. It was said that he would sometimes be in the toilet taking notes and receiving instructions while Obasanjo pooed and he dared not cover his nose.

In fact, the rise of Andy Uba as Obasanjo's chief domestic corruption poodle put paid to Femi Fani-Kayode's courageous struggle to occupy that position - a position he might have been able to occupy in a second Jonathan term absent Oronto Douglas. 

Andy Uba carried the day and became the personal supervisor of Obasanjo's corruption rackets - including using the Presidential jet to ferry looted cash to America ostensibly to buy tractors for Obasanjo farms.

The paradigm that was set for Andy Uba by Obasanjo would guide the Yar'Adua/Tanimu Yakubu dynamic, the Jonathan/Oronto Douglas dynamic, and now the Buhari/Abba Kyari dynamic.

The Buhari/Abba Kyari crime scene is enabled mainly by the fact that we have forgotten all the previous crime scenes preceding it. 

This problem with memory and history is why it is perfectly possible for a bright young chap who resents corruption to condemn Abba Kyari and speak approvingly of his ancestor, Andy Uba. All he knows now is that Andy Uba is a Senator of the Federal Republic. He does not know that Andy Uba is a crook plenipotentiary.

Forgotten crime scenes enable crime scenes of the moment by giving the insurance of time cleansing to the current actors. Just as there is a generation of Nigerians who are unaware of Andy Uba's antecedents, the Buhari/Abba Kyari crime scene of today understands perfectly what the future holds for it if it stays the course. Ten years from now, perhaps there will be a Governor or a Senator Abba Kyari being cited approvingly by Nigerians in their early 20s.

Don't forget that Andy Uba is now even a respected member of President Buhari's APC.

In Delta, Okowa will fete returnee criminal, James Ibori, in a church service because a previous crime scene in Nigerian Christendom - criminal Bode George being feted in a Christian church upon his return from prison - has been forgotten.

Did Bode George do thanksgiving?

I'm not sure. I've forgotten.