Gov Suntai and His Tale of Absurdities By Waheed Ogunjobi
Much as one tries to mind one’s business, focus on one’s daily occupation, and as such desist from paying much attention to contemporary issues, certain disturbing echoes emanating from the polity called Nigeria always provide one with one reason or another to comment on such blatant disregard for decency in a supposed sane society.
The news of the return of ailing Taraba State Governor, Dambaba Suntai, who was involved in a jet crash about a year ago filtered in a few days ago. And just as one was about to start appraising the situation to determine the kind of concern one should express for the ailing Governor by way of sympathy, one was greeted with the disturbing news that the Governor, who cannot even walk un-aided let alone speak since he has not uttered any statement nor address the press since his arrival, has purportedly written a letter to the Taraba State House of Assembly conveying his readiness to resume his duty post as Governor.
One was then taken aback by a return to absurdity, reminiscent of the show of shame and brigandage that surrounded the health issue of the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Recall that the issue concerning the health of former President Yar’Adua was shrouded in secrecy such that the nation was governed by proxy while Yar’Adua was lying helplessly on the hospital bed in far away Germany, and the Vice-President then, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was never given access to him, neither was he allowed to act in his stead until the news of his death finally put paid to their intrigue and treachery.
After much reflection on the Taraba issue, I concluded within myself that such an absurd situation can only happen in Nigeria and Nigeria alone. If not in my country, where else? Does this country or its leadership class still have any sense of decency going by ongoing theatre?
The manner and swiftness with which the letter of intent purportedly written by the ailing Governor was sent to Taraba State House of Assembly upon his surprising arrival show a high network of conspiracy by principal actors, Suntai and his cronies, regardless of the sensibilities of the ordinary Taraba people and Nigerians.
It is sure that the dramatis personae are acting out a script already prepared to supposedly bamboozle the about 150 million Nigerians and ensure that Governor Suntai, a man said to be in a terrible health condition, continues to lay claim to being in control, while his cronies ride roughshod over the state and continue to feed the nation with falsehood and stagemanaged leadership.
Of a fact, if a patient suffers brain damage, it may take longer time to get the brain repaired and back to functioning stage. Medically, people who are in a coma or a minimally responsive state may remain dependent on the care of others. How can someone who probably needs prayers from all of us tell us that he is ready to assume the post of Governor of a state with its attendant huge responsibilities, when it is obvious that he is not ready for such challenges in his current state of health.
How on earth do people love money more than themselves? Are we also sure that the decision to wrest the control of the state back is that of the ailing Governor whom we are not sure is fully aware of what is happening around him? Is it not another scheme by the people surrounding him to ensure that they continue to enjoy the perks of office in his name? Where else can this orgy of foolishness thrive, if not in my country? Nigeria!
Of course, where else can we have an interplay of absurdity in all spheres of activity, even at the highest level of governance, or have we forgotten so easily the electoral brigandage committed during the recent election of Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, where 16 members are claiming superiority over 19 members?
Closely related to this was the show of shame that followed in Rivers State where five dis-(honourable) members purportedly impeached the Speaker of the House of Assembly in a brigandage manner. All these are happening in a supposedly democratic setting and sane society!
After ruminating over the scenario, I later concluded that Suntai and his cronies should not be blamed for foisting such arrangement on the entire nation, since there is a good precedent in former President Yar’Adua’s controversial health matter. The lawless Rivers State lawmakers should surely not be blamed since they equally have good precedent in their senior colleague from Ogun State who wielded the “extra ordinary power”, so to say, with 11 lawmakers displacing 15 lawmakers. What a show of shame!
Nigeria is a country where everything goes and anything can happen and it never bothers our leaders that with such issues playing out, Nigeria will not only be a laughing stock in the comity of nations, but no one will ever take the nation, its leaders a la its people seriously on any matter whatsoever and this will continue to take a negative toll on our development.
One still recalls vividly the kangaroo judgment of a Nigerian High Court Judge, Tahlba Mahmud, who awarded a sentence of two- year imprisonment with an option of fine of a paltry sum of N750,000 to the former Deputy Director of Police Pension Fund, John Yakubu, who owned up to the embezzlement of N27 billion of the over N33 billion pension fund scam.
How can anyone exercise control, when those at the highest echelons of leadership also display kindergarten-like stance in some of their actions. I wonder what is really wrong with some of our leaders and even the led and why everyone has decided to run viral throwing caution to the wind without ever thinking about the implication and negative effect on the polity called Nigeria.
Where else can this one happen except in Nigeria where corruption is daily swept under the carpet, while others commit heinous corrupt practices with impunity. The bribery scandal involving a top member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, and business mogul, Femi Otedola, is unresolved, yet no one hears any news on the development. Is it not Nigeria?
Expectedly, reports coming in said the man at the centre of the Taraba saga, the Governor, has purportedly dissolved the state cabinet. As we are yet to see the end of the drama, it is expected that civil society groups and other interest groups will take up the issue appropriately, since those in the highest echelons of authority have decided to look the other way, probably being part of the big conspiracy.
•Ogunjobi wrote in from Abeokuta, Ogun State via firstname.lastname@example.org
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