Your father was appointed a Minister by the come and chop party. It is not quite easy to discern how he got to this favourable position of knowing the powers that be in the People Destroying People Party. But he had been prominent in using his (up till now) unquestionable financial resources to help the party that came to power. He also got the approval of the Silly Stealing Senate anyway.
In less than 6 months, your father has become richer that he could now buy a house in North London. He paid cash and didn’t even go for a begging mortgage. Everyone in your family felt so elated. At last! You can now pack away from the Okota Layout where you have lived for the past 10 years. You will no longer just visit London; you now have the privilege to be a resident.
In no time, you and your siblings have relocated. Your contact address has changed. Since you like to pose, you show your face every 3-6 months in Lagos and Abuja. In your absence, your friends talk about you a lot. Do you know Jide has moved to London? He is living there now with his younger sisters. They all go to school in London now; their father bought a house there. Them don hit! The news that filters into your ears make you feel bloated like an overblown balloon. Your shoulders are high.
Your tastes for cars have changed in Nigeria and in London. The change is for better and to show class. You like to show yourself more now. In fact, you are getting tired of London and sharing a house with your siblings in the UK is no longer interesting. You ensured that in the next couple of months, your father secured a new apartment for you in Yankee. You have changed school to the US so that you can live near Musa and Gideon.
Musa’s father, Alhaji Sabo, is a top man in the Finance Ministry. He works closely with the central bank. Gideon’s uncle, Mr. Okoromadu, is in the oil and gas business. He is well known to the president. The president has the Petroleum portfolio under his stinking arm pit. You have something in common with Musa and Gideon and you regularly and mutually rub shoulders at fora made possible by endless minglings of the rogues and thieves in power which the Nigerian system provide for and nourished in fact.
If your father didn’t become richer during and after his Ministerial service, I am sure that you will disown him as your father. You will tell him to his face to go to hell! You will ask him what he was doing when his mates were making it. You will tell him to pack out of the house that your father built and that he should go to his own father’s house. You will let him know how he blew the chance of a life time: to own bank accounts, houses and cars in Switzerland, the UK and in the US.
You will tell your father the history of Africa and Nigeria. You will ask him if there is any poor man in the families of Yar’Aduas, Azikwes and Awolowos. You will ask him if he is blind and he cannot see the houses that NPN members built in the 1980s. You will ask him if he was afraid of looting. You will recite names of your heroes, Uba Ahmed, Umaru Dikko, Akinloye, Akinjide, Shagari, Babangida, David Mark and Gbenga Daniels. You will quote that Jakande said that you can “eat” and still let the people enjoy your tenure. You will even tell your dad to visit Obasanjo’s Farm again. At least he was there in 1998. You will mention the names of all these people and much more. The only thing you will not do is to call them by their real name: looters. This is the only name that is resonated in your conscience because your concept of a Nigerian politician is typical.
So, now you are so happy and contented. Your father has stolen parts our common wealth. He has taken his share of the National Cake that belongs to your family. Your friends and former neighbours are talking big about your family. You are so happy to be settled in the States. Provisions have been made so that you will settled there permanently and your bank accounts are so fat that you can go on for many years or all of your life time without doing so much work. Your father is a wise thief, he now has profitable investments and he is on board of a number of companies. He owns much of the shares in these companies too.
What is your concern with the unfortunate people? People who cannot position themselves in strategic positions to get good postings in government. Your father was actually the Minister for Planning and Housing. He has planned very well for you and he has given you houses at home and abroad. Your father is an accomplished man. He is the father of your dreams.
In your opinion, those who are complaining about corruption in government in Nigeria are people with bad belly. You are almost certain that they will also steal when or if they have the chance to serve the people. So, now that it is the turn of your family; you must excel. You have sat down with your father on my occasions and strategize how you can carry out all his nefarious activities without been detected by the Financial Crime Commission. As the eldest son, your father trusted you and you have helped him to cover all loop holes.
As a principle, your cycle of friends is very selective and your discussions are very unrevealing. Even as your father settles to life again outside the realm of governance, he still has your trust. You have organized everything for him. Only your mother is living in Nigeria now, the rest of you prefer to live abroad. Soon, she will have no choice. Your father wasn’t bothered about the new government, he had enough: he is made for life. No need to lobby.
Well, this is Nigeria and we have seen these things for more than 45 years: self-enrichment to the detriment of the larger society. Many people have escaped to enjoy their loots. Some are very courageous, they tried to come back and some actually succeeded in their comebacks. You have used David Mark in your example but there are still a lot of them around. Some of them even denounced democracy at the most important point of their life history. But again, as you are well aware, this is Nigeria. We forget easily; we are also very resilient. You can slap us as a country and walk free. We don’t mind how much you steal. Our hope is in God and we know that the oil will never finish. Maybe one day self, EFCC will remember you and your father.
May the Glory of Nigeria come, soon!