Saturday 18 July 2015

Nigeria: Deploying the Piggyback Exculpation Device

Behind every man
Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the erstwhile President of Nigeria who was democratically pensioned off in March 2015 has some very powerful women in his cabinet.
Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources from April 2010 until May 2015 and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Federal Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy from July 2011 to May 2015.
Whilst these women apparently had the chops to hold their positions without fear of sack and redeployment and could be said to have maintained the highest confidence of the president that they were hardly affected by the many cabinet reshuffles during his tenure, the perception of what they might be up to as regards the welfare of Nigeria left a perception of perfidy.
I didn’t do it
First in June, Mrs Alison-Madueke, popularly known by her first name Diezani protested vehemently with a clear conscience that she had never stolen a single kobo of oil money. In another news story yesterday, it was revealed that Okonjo-Iweala or NOI as we know her had handed over to the new president, Muhammadu Buhari a list of corrupt deals approved by Jonathan.
Since NOI held the purse strings, it would uncharitable to suggest a woman who once held one of the highest executive posts in the World Bank could have been co-opted into a corrupt enterprise by the seemingly unassuming erstwhile president, but what do we know.
Who stole the maize?
However, I have a little story, two very hungry boys walked by a maize farm where the corn cobs were ripe for harvest and they hatched a plan to go into the farm and get some for themselves.
The bigger boy piggybacked the smaller boy who also had a bag slung over his shoulder and they walked into the farm shielded by the height of the maize. The big boy did not touch anything whilst the smaller boy did all the plucking and put the maize in the bag and the made away to roast the corn for supper.
The farmer later found the leftovers and did a quick take that the corn might have come from his farm. As he corralled the boys for questioning, they both had a very plausible story and more or less got away with the theft.
The big boy protested that he did not steal the corn, whilst the smaller boy swore that he never set foot on the farm.
Piggyback Exculpation Device
I call this the Piggyback Exculpation Device because whilst the theft was well planned the plausible stories told meant without much interrogation the thieves will be exculpated.
That gave birth to the tweet I posted in June about Diezani and now with NOI also singing like a canary about what machinations for suspect inquiry Jonathan’s cabinet go up to, methinks these women are deftly deploying the Piggyback Exculpation Device of offering plausible stories to be left off for possible bad behaviour.

Now, I hope whoever hears their story is less than satisfied and meticulously picks apart the whole saga to ensure everyone and anyone who has been involved by omission or by commission in the so-called corrupt enterprise that seemingly was the raison d'etre of the Jonathan era is brought to book.
No one should get away scot free, not ever again.

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