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The Kano Prince and the Republic of the Absurd
The Kano Prince and the Republic of the Absurd
The jubilation that attended the eventual suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (SLS) in some quarters of the Nigerian community both home and in the diaspora is not unexpected. In fact, it has taken too long that I am yet to recover from the theatrical effects and the thrilling suspense generated by the unfolding scenarios which accompanied the whole development, which culminated in SLS suspension. It is not out of place to say that I have been once again “entertained” at no cost by the Jonathan presidency, who had in a manner not uncommon for his government eventually suspended SLS, thereby ending me weeks of wild speculation and daydreaming as to when the big-mouthed SLS will be removed. Did I just say big-mouthed? Oh yes! SLS is big-mouthed! One must have realised by now it takes only a big-mouthed fellow like SLS to confront one of the various crimes of the slow-moving Jonathan presidency, who is interested at nothing but clinging to power at all cost and who is not unwanting in systematically hacking down one by one perceived and suspected political enemies. The Kano prince became one of the lambs who must be sacrificed à la absolute crushing having dared the power that be by plunging himself in front of a dangerously advancing Goodluck Jonathan-speed-train. Who would not have guessed that such an adventure will indeed be fatal! I would have been surprised beyond redemption if SLS had not been removed before the end of his tenure as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)!
How would I have been able to explain to readers that there is a method by which events are run in this Republic of the Absurd? President Jonathan had not actually defied that logic in his handling of the staggering crisis caused by the missing 20 billion dollar revelation. He had only confirmed the logicality of illogicality. Let me inform herewith that this is a very plausible reaction in the theatre of the absurd. Do I need remind anybody that it is absolutely in place to suspend SLS? In fact, SLS should thank his star that he was not dismissed altogether. Whereas, it is totally not out of place to tenaciously hold on to a minister of aviation in the person of Stella Oduah, who by the virtue of a reckless purchase misappropriated public funds. She was found out to have forged certificates too! The president held on to her notwithstanding, only letting her go when he felt there was a possibility for a soft landing.
I even heard with one hear that SLS has had his passport ceased because he might run away! Some even said he dared run to the court whose order he had once despised! Very soon he will be interrogated by the Special Security Service (SSS) for purported crimes! He would be eventually brought before a court of law to face the crimes he had committed in the course of his term in office as governor of CBN, thereby ensuring he wont be able to run away even if he had contemplated running away! He would be jailed and in prison he shall rot! Have I even mentioned that many people believe, and that strongly so, that SLS deserved to be jailed?! Yes, this is a very common opinion. He is being served in his own coin. Thank goodness the God of Karma finally caught up with the Kano prince! These people could be summed up as saying: The chicken has finally come home to roost!
Welcome to the Republic of the Absurd! Here is a place where doing your job rightly is seen as witch-hunting enemies. These enemies then turn out to witch-hunt you too. Mind you, any tool is justifiable in the course of hunting you down, ranging from blackmail to outright assassination if it must be. Sometimes, crying blue-murder is also a just tool so long it will be effective in driving home just anything. Is anyone then surprised that SLS is now the acronym for anything despicable that the anti-SLS vanguard could find? They are all out to tell the world that the man is a bad-egg. How ridiculously clever! I just cannot stop laughing.
Please let me take a cup of water before I continue. I advise you go take a cup of water too before I finish my own cup of water. Meanwhile, let us even leave the missing 20 billion dollar alone for a while and attend to other matters. By the way, why do I even have to busy myself with the missing fund? Is it not just another peanut when compared to the monies daily misappropriated in Nigeria? Pardon me if I sound too careless!
I busied myself two days ago with friends and like-minded fellow discussing matters arising in Nigeria, while we treated ourselves to bottles of good German beer and pepper-souped goat-meat. Here is one of us talking:“…But come to think of it, who do not know that the President is simply not a PhD-holder. Even the President is aware that his qualification is just a joke. Yet we all address him by that title! But why are we this way for crying out loud!” How relevant is this kind of talk in explaining the logicality of the unfolding absurd developments in Nigeria? Very relevant. If a country peopled with over 160 million people would not be sincere enough to face it that her president is anything but what he claim to be, how then can we even start talking about anything serious at all? the basic matter is wanting, namely sincerity and credibility. Neither the president has brought this with him, nor do the people demand it from him.
Let me borrow an instance of how serious this is from series of events regarding academic titles and claims among German politicians and office holders since the Guttenberg PhD-Scandal. Guttenberg was former minister of defense in Germany. He was eventually relieved of his title and was forced to resign from office. In fact, he left the country in shame, having claimed and held on to a title he did not deserve for so long a time! That he even dared the German people and press claiming he was not a cheat was a slap too much for the people to bear. He could not look the people in the face thereafter. After the Guttenberg-Scandal, many others politicians were relieved of their PhD titles after being discovered that they got it via fraudulent means. They did not only loose their title, they also lost their robust political offices and cabinet posts, if they held any. Some politicians, even though had deservingly gotten their PhD titles via years of research and good scientific work, in fact refused to be addressed with a title preferring to disregard any titulation altogether. This is how serious a lie can be in an atmosphere where reason and common-sense are important tools in governance. Let us come back to Nigeria and apply this logic in explaining our situation. Here we are in a country that is yet to deal with the lie of a president who claimed to hold a title he did not own. How on earth does one expect the politics of such a country to hold on to a man like SLS who is bent on exposing the ills and crimes of politicians and corrupt profiteers in the system? Really, this is asking too much from Nigeria and her politics. Have I even forgotten that we live in a Republic where the absurd competes to upstage another absurd. This explains well the logicality in the illogicality of President Jonathan’s decision to remove SLS.
So far, reactions to the removal are all over the place on various social media. There are those for and those against the removal. This is to be expected. Readers need not be told that I am apparently against the removal. Going by the fact that it is expected that there should be those who see SLS removal as a justified action, one cannot but be surprised by reasons given from such camp. Looking at it so well, one would realise that many of the anti-SLS front were only gloating in what they see as a good riddance to bad rubbish. I bet SLS must have stepped on some very big toes, and heads too! I pity the poor Kano prince! But how on earth is it bad business for a governor of a central bank to expose that over 20 billion dollar was missing, only to be turned upon by the president and his men because they saw him as a threat to the government? Suddenly, there appeared a report which indicts SLS of gross misconduct, abuse of office and irresponsibilities. Sincerely, I have nothing against prosecuting SLS if indeed he had messed up in the past. After all, we all want accountability and this is exactly what SLS is all out to achieve, but to say that the action of President Jonathan in the suspension of SLS has thrown open many questions, one of which is the credibility of claims in the said report which indicts the Kano prince, is just too obvious that even a blind person can read through the lines with no aid of a braille! I dare say that the Kano prince is being witch-hunted in attempt to discredit his anti-corruption moves and campaign for sanity in the Nigerian banking and financial system!
Going by the reactions and outbursts on social media by foes of SLS, many of whom he had made in the course of his tenure as CBN governor, it is clear that President Jonathan and his handlers have once again achieved their goal. They wanted to divert attention from the missing 20 billion dollar by any means, which include, but not limited to discrediting the person of the lead vanguard in the missing money revelation. SLS was suspended because a document whose claim against the Kano prince is at best questionable. Come to think, we all saw this coming! Yes, we all saw it coming! Though we all know it will be absurd to dismiss a man for saying what is true and correctly backed up with figures and facts, yet we could bring ourselves to believe it when it eventually happened, so much so that many seriously think it served SLS right! How else does one bring logicality into an illogical situation in not via the reaction of the Nigerian populace in this regard. Another illogicality had just been confirmed in the Republic of the Absurd!
I hope I have not yet dabbled into talking about the missing 20 billion dollar, because I seriously want to talk about other things, hoping that by so doing, I would be able to justifiably explain why it is absolutely logical for the money to grow legs and wings, which enabled it to disappear into thin air! Well, if you don’t know yet, Dr. Okonjo Iweala, the Finance Minister disagrees with SLS on the missing amount. She is of the opinion that much less is missing. SLS insists though that so much is actually missing. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) does not find the development funny at all and has since attempted severally to boost its image via mud-slinging and other dirty maneuvers. It has not yet worked. I guess the suspension of SLS has finally done the magic. At least, the attention has been diverted away from the corporation and the missing money. What a miracle for the NNPC.
Lest I talk too much about the NNPC and the missing money, I want to return to the issue at hand, which is an attempt at explaining the logicality of illogicalities in the Republic of the Absurd. A very good friend once said: “Why wonder that a mad person bites at a tree! What else will confirm his insanity if not such. You would best be careful to avoid such a fellow because he might end up biting you because he took you for yet another tree to be bitten.” I hope we have not forgotten too quickly the removal of Justice Salami of the Appeal Court. This is just how it played out. President Jonathan saw the judge as a threat and he promptly removed the judge. I bet SLS knew too well that he was treading on not too-friendly grounds since he chose to spearhead the campaign for the missing money. He must be aware that he will soon be bitten. Voilà! He has been bitten!
Those of us who are shocked that SLS was finally removed, are only temporarily shocked. We recovered quick enough, understanding that we had not been expecting a different tone to be piped from Aso-Rock. How could we have been permanently shocked when the president had only applied the logic of illogicality which reigns supreme in the Republic of the Absurd? Our temporary shock was only a reflex one. We momentarily reacted with shock because President Jonathan yet again confirmed one of our cardinal beliefs that politics in Nigeria is uniquely Nigerian, i.e. it thrives solely on the other side of reason and common-sense. I hope the joke in the name of reported indictment upon which SLS was removed is not lost on those who think SLS is long overdue for removal, thus jubilant when President Jonathan finally gave the nod for his suspension. Whatever the crime of SLS is said to be, it must be clearly said that this is a man who has been made a sacrificed on the altar of expediency. According to SLS, the letter of suspension was not even appended by the president. It was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)! Had we not been operating under illogical context, the suspension is invalid, but here we are in our republic where a governor of the CBN is effectively suspended without the consent of the president, theoretically speaking! What an absurdity!
Actually, the fate of the Kano prince is the fate of the Nigerian people. The Nigerian people are being short-served and short-changed on a daily basis. They are been slapped very hard in the face, yet they turn the other side of the cheek for more. In fact, many preferably celebrate their tormentors and readily whack the likes of SLS who stand up for them. Of course, it puzzles the mind, but the puzzle is not without explanation if placed within context of absurdity. I can imagine what sort of reactions the sacking of a man like SLS would generate in another country with unshakable democratic ideals, where the rule of law reigns supreme and selective justice has no place in the government. In fact, SLS would not have even needed to talk about a missing money, because no money would have been missing in the first place! In fact, nobody would even have thought of stealing so much money after all.
To face the fact, we are our own tormentors. This explains the whole absurdity. We celebrate and indict the wrong folks. We produce, elect and appoint the wrong politicians and office holders. We encourage inexplicable and out-of-reason choices and promote people of questionable characters. We have role-models unworthy of being looked up to. We harbour thieves and work for them so far they now use the stolen public property and money to create jobs. We wish we are the thieves, who got away with these thefts. We prosecute small, big, common and stupid public and private thieves, who let themselves get caught and we let go those who we feel are too big to be touched. We vote for a president who we all know will not survive his term of office because we felt we had no choice in the matter. Under our watch, a President Goodluck Jonathan was voted as well as rigged into office because we felt he was the better of the two evils presented before us. We are a country, who outdoes himself in negative feats, dabbling from one political turbulence into the other. We are a country with no electricity! We are a country where nothing works. We are a country where 20 billion dollar grew legs and wings and flew away unaccounted for, and yet many jubilate the indictment of the man who revealed this truth. We are a country led by a president who can hardly tell us what he exactly wants for the country, yet we see no reason to remove him. We are a country, where the so-called progressive opposition is only interested in power so much that it deems any alliance justifiable in wrestling power. We are the very embodiment of absurdity!
I can bet my shirt that the next absurdity is lying in the corner already. It will only take a number of weeks, if not less, to come by it. I urge us to wait patiently for the next round of performance while we watch and “entertain” ourselves with the fate of the Kano prince in the Republic of the Absurd.