Monday 14 April 2008

Nigeria: Senate safety from blame not guns

That Teflon girl

The Nigerian propensity for a junket and partying knows no limits as we hear the Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello has been let off by the Nigerian Senate.

Her Senate Committee on Health took 10 million Naira of funds off the Ministry of Health for a retreat in Ghana when that along with another 290 million Naira should have been returned to the Treasury on the orders of the President.

This is what led to the resignation of chief officers of the Ministry of Health and the unfortunately scalping of that most respected academic and healthcare professional, Professor Adenike Grange.

Rules and dues

Apparently, Senator Obasanjo-Bello broke no Senate rules which we are told tally with rules in United States and United Kingdom constitutions and because the money has already gone towards their retreat, it cannot be returned to the Nigerian purse.

The rules might tally, but in those countries, they have democratic accountability, judicial oversight and anyone who besmirches the name of the parliament or Congress by mere association would with dignity step down from a position of authority.

As all things in Nigeria, it might just end there because the culture of impunity and collegiate of banditry that props up fellow miscreants allows for all to play the same rotten game and get away with it.

We can only hope that she not yet out of the crosshairs of the EFCC because this lady has form in very many shady matters.

Gun of a chief

Meanwhile, the Senate President, Senator David Mark who might well have to go back to the electorate soon to re-contest his seat has been celebrating his 60th birthday, troops of titled and lettered chiefs, bloated politicians and power brokers would be in tow.

The Olubadan of Ibadan had another chieftaincy title to dole out for favours yet unknown which saw the Senate President conferred with the title of Aare Onibon of Ibadan.

Aare would be the equivalent of an English peerage some sort of arch-chief, commander-in-chief or generalissimo and the Onibon part, I would suspect means he is the custodian of the guns of the city.

Anytime I hear someone has an Aare kind of title, I am always suspicious of something about to happen.

A requisite sacrifice

A mobile policeman, Sergeant Akinola Tajudeen happened to be at the ceremony to help keep order and he blows of his head accidentally at the investiture of the custodian of the guns – in Nigeria, there is more to it than meets the eye, this one almost makes one believe that one should never consign to conspiracy what can be attributed to incompetence.

There seems to be four versions of the event in the same news story, not that it matters; an unfortunate human sacrifice is as much a successful chieftaincy initiation, no questions about why a mobile policeman in a civil setting should have a gun without the safety catch on.

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