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The thief who saved Nigeria’s image By Pius Adesanmi



Wike cautions against attaching soldiers to politicians

I have been following the ongoing Wikeleaks by Sahara Reporters with the corner of one ear. After Fayose and Obanikoro in Ekitigate, Governor Wike still did not “borrow himself brain” to understand that in the age of social media, don’t utter it is the medicine of I don’t want anybody to hear it. Don’t do it is also the medicine of I don’t want anybody to know about it.

So he uttered it. So he did it. And Sahara Reporters has been serializing leaked audio tapes of how he mobilized the boys, bribed electoral officers, and also threatened to kill electoral officers who fail to deliver after chopping.

This is of course the usual Nigerian scenario in which the tree of one crime falls on the tree of one crime falls on the tree of one crime falls on the tree of one crime falls on the tree of one crime, creating a gigantic maze of overlapping and interconnecting crimes and criminals. You don’t know where to start.

In this maze, I think we need to single out and praise Ms. Betty Apiafi who represents Abua-Odua/Ahoada East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

She has been identified as the lone female voice in the Wike tapes. We are selecting her for honour here not because of her gender but because of a refreshing dimension she has brought into the ecology of criminal political corruption in Nigeria.

Go back to the tapes and listen carefully as she makes her case to Governor Wike for more “mobilization funds” .

“Oga the thing tight o. Because of our boys, it’s tight”, she pleads as Wike tries to argue that she does not need more “mobilization funds”.

At this point, she begins to make a brilliant submission based on data, statistics, and other empirical details. She points out to the Governor that she has seven wards and thirty-five polling units in her local government area and she is basing her request on supplementary bribery funds on that data.

She is reeling out these statistical details with scholarly rigour. Her voice, pitch, and delivery are the stuff of a Nobel acceptance speech.

Never in the history of political corruption in Nigeria have I witnessed such sophistication. Such finesse. Such grounding of crime and corruption in empirical support. If you go back to Fayose’s tapes in Ekiti, do you hear any talk of data and statistics?

No. All you hear is billions and division and sharing of billions in the crudest fashion possible. Fayose’s is the Nigerian standard template. No matter how educated Nigeria’s political actors are, the sharing of the booty is where you meet them crude and nude, no intelligence, no sophistication. They will just be mentioning and sharing and tearing at billions.

Go back to Farouk Lawal’s video? Any sophistication? No. He is just stuffing the dollar bills in his cap in the crudest fashion possible. Since 1999, you can cite instance after instance after instance, it is the same crude scenarios in the mentioning and sharing of booty by Nigeria’s contemptible rulers.

Just when I was about to conclude that I will not encounter one refined and sophisticated thief among Nigeria’s political leadership in my life time, enter Ms. Appiafi to save the day.

She has made the case that Nigeria’s political leaders may all be thieves, not all of them are crude thieves. There is at least one refined thief among them who doesn’t just believe in crude stealing but in stealing backed by proportional empirical figures from her constituency.

Soon, it will be Christmas. The politicians will fan out to the countryside from Abuja and the state capitals with your own share of the loot. Ask them, Oga, did you just collect the Ghana must go or did you factor in the number of wards in our LGA?

Do you know the number of people in whose name you have stolen these funds?

Prof. Pius Adesanmi

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