If you multiply hypocrisy by incompetence and divide the product by impunity, the answer you get is a failed Federal Republic of Nigeria led by the aged pensioner, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, if you add idleness and vainglory to immaturity and subtract the
result from common sense, two wantoning kids touring a sand castle is what you get as the final answer.
But this is not the time to diminish the joy of the northern General and his presidential family who recently threw a bureau de change party for the baby of the clan, Hanan, and called it a wedding, in Abuja, the seat of power.
I won’t be a killjoy and act like many Nigerian spoilsports who are equating the criminal mutilation of currencies during the wedding of Hanan, the daughter of the anti-corruption saint, Buhari, with the sickening display of questionable wealth by my hero and former senator from Kogi State, Comrade Dino Koledowo Melaye. Koledowo is a name which Dino has rightly earned, I think. Koledowo means ‘build a house for money’.
Of the 200 million approximate Nigerian population, a huge proportion is calling the attention of the toothless, sightless and rudderless Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to the childish display of unexplained wealth by the popular jester and Pirate of the Caribbean, who had lived with bats and snakes atop an Iroko tree for 11 hours, jumped from a moving vehicle and hidden in his palatial sanctuary – all in order to save Nigeria’s democracy.
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I’m neither a fan of tithe advocate, Bishop David Oyedepo, nor am I as godly as Nigerian-Romanian broadcaster, Daddy Freeze, whom many had mistakenly thought was the 13th Disciple, until the video of his wining and dining with International Tiff Tiff, Hushpuppi, surfaced online. Though I’ve neither wined and dined with Dino nor carried a camera phone after him, I’ll quickly justify why I’m casting my vote for him against Buhari in Nigeria’s evolving reality tragedy which I titled, ‘Born Poor, Get Wealthy Anyhow, Stay Wealthy’.
I know that the generality of the 21.7 million unemployed Nigerians are unhappy about Dino’s incessant wealth worship but the 84 million registered Nigerian voters are disappointed with the shambolic performance of Buhari, whose screaming achievements include the inability to manage his domestic crises from hitting newspaper cover pages, consigning women to the bedroom and the kitchen, indulging his son, Yusuf, to own and ride multimillion naira powerbikes when fuel scarcity had grounded the country, and permissively releasing the presidential fleet of planes for Hanan and her camera and cosmetic bag to live happily in the sky.
Some angry Nigerians are also calling on the anti-poor tax agencies in Nigeria to dust their dog-eared tomes and head to the haven that Dino Koledowo built in Abuja for an accountable tax evaluation of his Solomonic riches. These Nigerians believe the government would make good money in tax if the senator is made to truly give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Some even wonder that if Dino, a single term senator, could be that filthy rich, how rich would serving and former senate presidents, deputy presidents, principal officers and principalities that have made the Red Chamber a thoroughfare to obscene wealth be? Some say Dino didn’t engage in underhand dealings. They argue that Dino must be receiving divine royalties for the work he had done in heaven before he was sent to earth to rescue the Nigerian masses.
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Well, by the time tax evaluators arrive at Dino’s palace in Abuja, they’ll meet me there gidigba, hobbling behind the great Ajekun Iya crooner with my eyes popping out, mouth ajar, hot air puffing down my nostrils and sweat breaking on my brows in the air conditioned paradise as I covet Dino’s exquisite home and shout, ‘Dino, my mhen! Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!’ like brand new ambulances that pitiful Nigerian public hospitals never had.
Seriously speaking, when Nigerians accuse Buhari of hypocrisy, clannishness, corruption, incompetence, perfidy and looking the other way when family and friends foul the Constitution, they have numerous unassailable cases to prove their argument. I’ll recount a few among a countless number of examples.
Abi what’s more corrupt than Buhari’s silence over the corruption revelations that unfolded at the House of Representatives probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission? What’s more clannish than Buhari granting better-life amnesty to ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members when the tears of anguish are yet to dry on the faces of Christian victims who get next to nothing from his government?
Mujin Aisha, what’s more perfidious than your suspicious reintroduction of the explosive waterway bill to favor Fulani herdsmen by giving them Federal Government’s backing to access all lands and waters across the country for free?
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Sai Baba, please, I want to know what’s a better definition of hypocrisy than the flouting of crowd control and social-distancing guidelines during the burial of your Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the wedding of Hanan while non-powerful Nigerians who break COVID-19 regulations are arrested and punished? Baba Zahra, what’s the hallmark of incompetence than Nigeria, despite her human, mineral and natural resouces, emerging the world’s capital of poverty and the global kingdom of terrorism? General Buhari, please, pardon my effrontery if my questions pinch your jackboots; I’m a cowardly bloody civilian only emboldened by the inability of your 400,000-member army to quell a fractional number of insurgents, sir.
I trust Nigerians haven’t forgotten the 2017 bombshell by World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, who disclosed during a press conference in Washington DC that, “In my very first meeting with President Buhari, he said specifically that he would like us to shift focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that…” What’s this if not baba nla tribalism, sir?
Neither have Nigerians forgotten the sight of the bullion vans snaking into the Bourdillon residence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the eve of your re-election nor Governor Umar Gandollar stuffing his agbada with illicit dollars and EFFC’s criminal failure to investigate Lagos Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, over damning allegations of corruption, among many other examples.
Dino is, by far, a better character than you, General Buhari, because he calls a spade by its name. Dino doesn’t pretend to be a saint. He doesn’t defend his source of wealth. He doesn’t put up a stern face to appear disinterested in riches while his bank accounts and that of his family members say otherwise. Dino looks you in the eye and tells you he’s stinking rich, you may go and jump into the lagoon if you want. Dino says his mind and flaunts his toys as pacifiers to his restless soul. Dino has got balls.
Buhari hasn’t. He’s a coward who tells the World Bank president his innermost wishes but can’t face up to the country and broadcast the conversation. He lacks the competence to save Nigeria from daily bloodshed but will rather foist incompetent kinsmen as security chiefs, despite the growing number of soldiers falling to the bullets of Boko Haram.
In Sri Lanka, murder convict and member of the ruling Podujana Party, Premalal Jayasekara, has been sworn in as a member of parliament, despite protests by the opposition.
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The Nigerian justice system is on the road to Sri Lanka with the way President Buhari is condoning lawlessness by relatives, friends and powerful All Progressives Congress members. Nigeria may not survive its consequences.
I believe in the injunction of Proverbs 22:15, which says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” I also believe that the mind of a child is like a tabula rasa. I believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I believe in Dino. I believe he can redirect his frolics into creative energy.
I don’t believe in Buhari.
Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist, columnist with the Punch newspaper, and a guest writer on Info Daily.