“Uncle, last weekend was aexciting.” “How do you mean, Chucks?” “The wedding parties sir.” “Oh! You meant that Nigerian film? But it’s ‘The wedding party’ not parties. So, you went to a cinema to see the film?” “No sir! I am talking about the wedding in Minna last week Friday and the one in Lagos on Saturday.” “Oh! I see.
The IBB’s daughter’s wedding in Minna and the one by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s son and baba Ijebu Kessington Adebutu’s daughter in Lagos. Two society weddings of two Generals and former rulers. It was a busy weekend for our politicians and another opportunity to unwind by our lawmakers who appear to be busy doing nothing.” “Uncle, what interested me was the quality of guests at the two weddings.
IBB’s daughter’s wedding had more of a tightly-knitted coterie of powerbrokers and captains of industry in attendance compared to former president Obasanjo’s son’s wedding.” “Oh, you are wondering why the difference? “Well, people have the right to decide whom to associate with and what social event to attend and which not to attend. But the two events revealed something about the two leaders. Expresident Obasanjo and IBB are two of the three wise men in Nigeria. The third being Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami.”
“Sir, why did you call them the three wise men in a country of over 160 million where we have men and women who can conveniently raise their heads in all areas of human endeavours?” “Well, that’s the kind of myth and mystery the trio have created around themselves. Each time we run into trouble caused by the political elite, don’t you see how the three wise men come together to create the impression that they are the only options left for us?” “Ok sir, back to the wedding parties and the attendance…”
“Yes, baba OBJ as he’s fondly called by his admirers should have an edge over IBB and Abdulsalami having ruled as a military head of state and later as a civilian president for eight years – a position IBB desperately wanted but could not get.
His desideratum informed the use of the title military president instead of head of state, a nomenclature in military whenever a military man is at the helms of affairs. So, like I said, OBJ is supposed to have an advantage but IBB is more of a political juggernaut and obviously the politicians’ choice, which reflected in the quality of attendance at the Minna wedding party. “But for baba OBJ, it was like a case of ‘Dem no like me, me no like them. Dem be my enemies, me no be their friends.’
You don’t expect our lawmakers to attend baba’s son’s wedding. You know he is always harassing them, calling them names. So, they will feel comfortable with IBB more than with OBJ. “By the way Chucks, are you familiar with that lyrics: ‘Dem no like me, me no like them..?” “Yes sir, I have listened to that song on a radio station before…” “Do you know the musician who sang it?” “No sir!” “It was first sang by Clifton George Bailey, better known by the moniker Capleton, a Jamaican reggae and dancehall artiste in 1991 and our own Ras Kimono later remixed it.”
“Thank you sir!” “But I am sure you know ‘Living Things’, the song that has the lyrics: ‘Ki nsa ti lowo’ (just for me to have money.” “Uncle, that is 9ice…” “And what’s nice in a song that encourages young people to get rich by all means no matter how dirty the source is as long as it’s neither theft nor robbery? Why will the three wise men not continue to present themselves as the only options when our youths are not showing enough promise that they can be entrusted with leadership?
“What’s ‘Wire, wire…Money order…O le je come and marry?’ Can you imagine a song that encourages fraud being played on radio stations and we have National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)? I was at a wedding party the other day and I saw a lot of youths dancing in ecstasy without been mindful of the lyrics. Such gibberish and uncouth noise should not be played in public.” “Thank you uncle. You have made me to have an epiphany about that song and I agree that there is nothing nice in that 9ice’s song.”
“Chucks, do you know that the rich also cried at the Minna wedding party?” “No sir!” What happened?” “They were held up in traffic.” “Ok, those who came by road. Well, it’s understandable going by the crowd who didn’t want to miss the wedding party.” “No, young man.
There was traffic in the air and at the airport. A lot of dignitaries could not taxi and on time and those who did could not disembark from their aircraft because of the number of aircraft competing for space at the airport at the same time. Over 30 private aircraft were at the airport.
The airport authorities even resorted to ‘drop your passengers and go’ of a thing to resolve the logjam.” “Were you in Minna on that day sir?” “Do I have to be there to know what happened? Well, a big man who was at the party said they were held up in their aircraft for about 45 minutes because of traffic at the runway.
He said there was no basis for people to come with that number of aircraft except because they wanted to show-off. Even some governors who are owing salaries still found money to junket in private jets and the Minna wedding party was another opportunity to grandstand. And even those who have no genuine means of livelihood also flew in private jets to Minna. “Many politicians prefer to grandstand on hot button issues rather than enact tough policy changes that will translate into good governance.”
“Sir, I listened to some of the top politicians that attended the wedding while they were being interviewed on the premises of IBB. One of them said the majority of them saw the need to honour IBB and the venue was like a rendezvous for them to meet old friends and more importantly realign ahead of the 2019 election.” “Chucks, the politician who said that was right.” “Another one described IBB as bridge builder…” “Young man, just take that as a joke at the wedding party.
That proposition sounds paradoxical but I must also admit that the said politician is entitled to his opinion just as I am entitled to mine.” “Sir, could the wedding party have been an opportunity for the General to then oil his political machinery ahead of 2019?”
“There is nothing to oil now. Some of his loyalists tried it in 2007 through ‘Project 007,’ which they launched with great élan. IBB was also attending functions in different parts of the country then except for the South West. Alhaji Mubashiru, the younger brother of late MKO Abiola, was also appointed as the arrowhead of ‘Project 007’ in the South West, yet the vaulting ambition of the General was a mirage. My own understanding of building a bridge of unity is the election we had on June 12, 1993. That was the day we set aside our religious and ethnic bigotry.
It seems we have lost that unique opportunity, thanks to the powers that be under IBB that fell that bridge.” “Uncle, I learnt distinguished Senator Dino Melaye was also at Minna and that he was carrying something that looked like books or documents.” “Maybe that was his book. You know he launched a book titled: ‘Antidote for corruption (sic) a few days ago.'”
“Sir, it was at the event that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Sarki, attacked anti-corruption agencies and said they are more interested in showmanship.” “Chucks, the Senate President missed it. We have never had it so good since the anti-corruption war started.
EFCC has between January and April secured 62 convictions including a former governor of Adamawa State, Bala Ngilari, Ontario Oil and Gas chairman, Walter Wagbatsoma and his MD convicted of N1.9 billion oil subsidy fraud among others.
The same agency has recovered: N78 trillion, $185 million, £3.5 million, €11,000 ‘stolen’ money and N128 trillion interim forfeiture.” “But uncle, I think Dino is smart. He did newspapers’ compilation that talked about corruption and he suddenly became an author and millions rolled in at the launch.” “Yes, but I expect him to be smarter.”
“How sir?” “He should have contacted Don Jazzy for a remix of his ‘Ajekun iya ni o je’song and allow Clarence Peters to shoot the video. Do you know how much he will make doing that? Besides, he would have been saved from the embarrassment of the grammatical blunder in the title of his book.” “Sir, you mean he should leave a serious business like lawmaking?” “Chucks, who has their lawmaking hepp?”