In time past it was regarded as impossible for a governor to be arrested in the territory I was thrown into by nature; Nigeria. The thought that the Inspector General of Police can be arrested and jailed was as feasible as the thought that a pastor can refuse calling for a Sunday service offering. It was good as a myth to conceive the possibility that a Senator can be charged for corruption, that high level government officials and contractors can be brought to book and demanded accountability. It was just too difficult to imagine happening in the Nigerian territory because of a long standing culture of impunity. Corruption and the law had a special inseparable relationship like milk and tea, Pastor and offering, fish and water.
But one day, a man came to feed us with a different reality. He contrasted our reality and began a wild conflict with the status quo. Through him, it was introduced into our reality that an Inspector General of police could be handcuffed in the glaring view of the parrots. Governors were arrested, tried and jailed, the guilty legislators joined the criminals behind bars, Ministers, top office holders were given reception and reservation in the custody of “special landlords”. His feats, however controversial, but it was short-lived. The man Nuhu Ribadu showed us that it is possible to go to jail for stealing public funds and we now know it is possible.
Nuhu Ribadu cannot be accorded with warmth in such a place where disorder was the order of things, a land where corruption sacked conscience and to not loot in office is to not love your friends and family. He was refused a soft landing; you cannot undertake the feat of trying to educate a pig with cleanliness without her smearing some dirts on you. Nuhu Ribadu learned this in the hard way. We all know his ordeals, he escaped assassinations. For if he was not attempted to be assassinated, it only meant he never did fought any war on corruption. But he was fortunate; he escaped to a faraway land where he could gasp a breath of fresh air. That man remains the most unappreciated public servant in the history of this nation. 2011, Nuhu Ribadu gave the Presidential sit a shot after his return from exile. But we know the fate of men who register enmity with the enemies and the assailants of the people; neither the people whom they desire positive change for or their assailants will grant them easy favour. Not in a place like my country, Nigeria.
Yes his methods were controversial but successful and reputable when he was the helmsman. In our vary eyes, the commission and vision which he led is now a harlot in the arms of pot belly voracious men. The fearful dog which once barked and everyone took cover is now sick of toothache and of course she has weak bones. We await her burial next year.
Not to be distracted by the revocation of Nuhu Ribadu’s tale and the fall of the commission he presided in sweet old days. I am most keen on the Charley boy versus Governor Rochas Okorocha of Rivers State. Charley Boy, the son of the late judicial luminary, Justice Oputa, I learned “embarrassed” the governor at his father’s burial. As reported in the Nigerian Media, he sauntered to the podium where the governor was granted speech and snatched the microphone from his hands, insisting on the protocol that no politician be allowed to speak in his father’s burial. What I am disturbed is what the media defines as “EMBARASSING”.
Just the other day, the convoy of Speaker of the House was insisted to follow protocol on the routine security check at the venue he was billed to speak. In trying times like this where bombs can set-off anywhere and masked men with destructive tools are having their fill, the sight of embarrassment is myopic in the oversight of security. How is the Security operatives insisting on doing their job an embarrassment? What if the Speaker’s car was wired with explosives and unknown to him? Won’t it be a bigger embarrassment if he walked past security operatives just because it was the Speakers car and then later on it is everywhere in the news? I think we deserve what we are getting in this nation. Very terrible to read that he was tendered an apology from one of the “ogas on top”. To insist on protocol is now something to apologize to? We are a sorry bunch, I am shamed.
Back to Charley boy and the Imo State governor. Charlie Boy like Nuhu Ribadu has began a new trend which I hope will soon be followed. The insistence on protocols is not an embarrassment unless to those who had no intention to respect protocol. Besides, Charley Boy is conveying the irritation of the ordinary Imo citizen. They are all angry with their governor whom they call “The Emir of Imo”. To be given such a title to portray the despotism as democratically elected governor, is a horror. If the microphone can be snatched from him, it is only symbolic of the impatience of the Imo citizens to snatch his tenancy at the government to another man. When protocol is broken, it must be corrected. Failure to do that is to open doors to mediocrity and disorder, and Charlie boy shut the door at executive disorder; it is not an embarrassment.
People want to get things right in this country. Nobody wants to be accorded some special sympathy to act without check mate. Leaders must be put on order when they misbehave; that is democracy. Well done Charley, well done Imo state, may this fire of revolution never be apologized for or quenched.