Friday 18 April 2008

Nigeria: Senator frogjumps her back wall

A new interest in Nollywood
I am no particular fan of Nollywood, though in the 70s we got caught up in aspects of Bollywood and Sinowood (Bruce Lee, the noises and the kicks), neither do I watch much Hollywood, the last time I was in a cinema was just about a year ago.
I must however say that some scripts, which are inadvertently appearing as news from Nigeria, are looking like we would be getting a major blockbuster very soon starring the thespian qualities of the histrionic Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello at her most melodramatic – I am enthralled.
Senator Obasanjo-Bello happens to be the daughter of the erstwhile President of Nigeria, and it seems she is getting embroiled in every kind of shady deal, which brings the name of Nigeria and the “office” of an elected representative into disrepute.
Cleared but not really cleared
Recently, the Nigerian Senate cleared their own from culpability in the squander of funds from the Ministry of Health; she happens to be the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health.
We have been told that 10 million Naira was given to the Senate Committee for a junket retreat in Ghana. The Director of Administrator in the Ministry of Health, Dr. H. B. Oyedepo who has been talking to the EFCC says it was 20 million Naira – so there is a little business of searching out the real truth and why the doubling or the halving of the money.
The great and desperate escape
Anyway, the EFCC have been after the powerful senator and on a visit to her home to invite her to appreciate the comforts of the commission, news reaches us that she made for the back garden and scaled her wall to escape those menacing EFCC clutches.
The senator would contend that she is no fugitive and we are being regaled with a sob story that she is now afraid for her life.
I’ll tell you this much, if I ran to my backdoor and scaled the wall of my garden, not only would I be afraid for my life, I would be in danger of losing it with a 7-storey plunge.
I cannot believe that such a highly placed politician who has been besmirched with claims of corruption and is protesting her innocence would resort to such desperate measures usually reminiscent of illegal overstaying refugees trying to escape the capture of immigration agents.
Her father’s daughter
The senator has form and she goes on the defensive by claiming, “There's a very huge anti-Obasanjo sentiment in the country now and honestly the behaviour is not normal.”
I could almost sympathise but the truth about the matter is simple, I know that many of us hold our family names in such esteem that we would be all too reluctant to be involved in anything that would bring shame to the family.
That inclination comes from a life of honesty, rectitude, integrity and pride instilled in us by our parents, which would have been instilled in them by a culture that could not countenance the concept of being brought to shame. We hold those values dear, no matter where we are in this world, the few who stray sometimes completely lose their way and end up foul of the law.
Some of the children of President Obasanjo do not seem to have been privileged to acquire this kind of parental guidance, the Obasanjo presidential term seems to be a litany of entrenched corruption, smoke screens of fighting corruption and the complete abuse of process.
A coward exposed
The example of Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello shows that she has followed after the abuse of power rather than the desire to maintain a reputable family name, which others would do by keeping a low profile.
She now feels she is a victim of harassment; that is just so pathetic – she would make us believe she has done nothing wrong - whilst she has peddled influence with impunity and she is now reaping the results in being wanted by the anti-graft agency for a number of questionable activities. Unfortunately, daddy does not seem to be able to pull the strings to exculpate his daughter.
What is most revealing about this saga is this, having been involved in a number of shady deals and transactions; she is unable to face the music and consequences of her actions. This is typical of people who have gained power through nepotism and abuse of process such that they know nothing of the responsibility they are given and when the going gets tough they are crybaby cowards.
If this does not sound like the makings of a Nollywood thriller, I challenge you to come up with a better plot.

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