BT COLUMNIST: The Awkward Truth With Stanley Nwabia
When I saw a recent picture of former President Goodluck Jonathan arriving Kenya for a Safari trip with his family, my heart somewhat leaped for joy. Not because I supported his failed re-election bid, but because it felt good seeing him free from all the shenanigans associated with Nigerian politics. Coming on the heels of unverifiable corruption allegations leveled against him by the ruling party, this vacation seemed like a subtle message to his “haters” without uttering single word.
In today’s unfortunate political dispensation, Nigeria’s former opposition and now ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside some of its lackeys have struggled aimlessly to institutionalize hate against the person of Goodluck Jonathan and his party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They seem to have recruited all sorts of charlatans, including respected intellectuals to join this bandwagon of “crucify Jonathan, send him to kirikiri, he is a thief…blah blah blah”. No concrete evidence has been provided or comprehensive investigations carried out, just spurious allegations with wild figures from Mars being quoted as looted funds. We now have a sitting APC state governor and former ‘comrade’ taking up the vile responsibility of issuing allegations against the former administration, in spite of huge failures of governance in his own state.
Let me state here categorically that corruption has always existed in the Nigerian polity from 1960 till date, and the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan was not spared. However, any attempt by APC leadership to place Nigeria’s corruption woes solely on the door steps former President Jonathan and his PDP must be resisted by all Nigerians.
APC’s campaign of calumny has successfully brainwashed many Nigerians, especially certain impressionable youths who now attribute everything, including their inability to get girlfriends or boyfriends to corruption by PDP and Goodluck Jonathan; thankfully, many have not been deceived. A lot more Nigerians, young and old have opted to sit back and give Buhari all the time and support he needs to make Nigeria work-I subscribe to this as well. Unfortunately, the APC is abusing this window (and space) that most Nigerians have given in order to help them succeed.
Every other day, we are inundated with “Buhari will probe this and probe that”. In a seemingly desperate attempt at ridiculousness, the APC recently released a list totaling all monies that they claim was stolen by the former PDP administration. This was done perhaps in a bid to distract and dilute growing impatience and irritation Nigerians are having with Buhari’s slow pace and APC’s reckless noise. The verdict and message to APC and Buhari is clear, if you want to probe, GO AHEAD AND PROBE. Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic archdiocese of Sokoto, made this position clear to Buhari in an interview where he said “if you are going into the forest to catch a monkey, you don’t start blowing a whistle or beating a drum”. Bishop Kukah further urged President Buhari to follow due process in fighting corruption, and ensure other numerous economic problems facing Nigeria are tackled.
Regrettably, the APC unleashed its filthy media outlets and some of its ‘angry children’ to attack and twist Bishop Kukah’s admonition. APC’s propaganda machinery sent out a false narrative that Goodluck Jonathan had sent Bishop Kukah to ‘beg’ Buhari, many believed. It’s so sad that like an ‘Agbaya’, the APC has not yet realized that it is now Nigeria’s ruling party and should assume a father figure over all Nigerians regardless of divergent views or political affiliations. This desperate attempt to continually vilify Goodluck Jonathan in a desperate bid to erode the international goodwill he still enjoys is an effort in futility. Former President Goodluck Jonathan, by conceding defeat early, saved Nigeria from a potential cycle of bloodshed that could have erupted and engulfed the entire nation. Nobody can take that glory away from him.
Abeg, I am wishing Dr Jonathan and family, a lovely vacation in Kenya, though I believe their trip would have rounded up by the time this piece gets published.
Moving away from Nigerian politics to a few other trending topics;
ON SKIBII’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION
Okay, I must confess, I don’t know this artiste and I totally wasn’t interested in his story…next!
DON’T LOOK DOWN ON ANYONE, NOT EVEN VIC O
I’ve known about Victor Ncha Odu aka Vic O or a few years now. He is a talentless struggling Nigerian artiste based in Italy but proudly blows his own trumpet; not so different from many A-list Nigerian musicians of today. His unique personality has turned him into some kind of class-clown celebrity in Nigeria’s social media circle, but you know what? The joke is actually on the rest of us; Vic O has the uncanny ability to trend more than some of our really talented performers.
Over the years, I have learnt not to EVER look down on any one and I’ll conclude today’s column by sharing a personal experience:
One evening, sometime between 1998 & 1999, I was chilling at my friends’ house in Surulere and we decided to go get some Beer. There was this joint, a Bar within trekking distance from his house, the place was called Winnies (I think, not sure). Apparently, this was no ordinary Beer parlor. Nigeria’s ‘Nollywood’ movie industry had just taken off, Winnies Bar was a Mecca of some sorts where upcoming actors/actresses come to meet up with Producers and hustle for Movie roles. My friend and I entered the place, cigarettes in hand; my pal was muscular and good-looking, I was also a fine ‘yellow paw paw’ with long relaxed hair brushed backwards-Mafia style. Obviously, everyone at the Bar thought we were both important people; not knowing we were just bloody year two students from UNILAG.
Suddenly, this rather happy-go-lucky fellow ‘accosted’ us, he was a struggling actor, and he wore a white tight body hug with blue Jeans. This struggling actor introduced himself to us, marketed himself and laughed at his own jokes. My friend and I knew what was up and we played along. We also interviewed him, asked him questions, made sarcastic remarks on his responses and even ‘Yabbed’ him indirectly. This struggling Actor would just ‘hyper-actively’ laugh at our remarks, politely respond and laugh again. We weren’t sure if he knew we were making fun of him, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. My friend and I left Winnie’s bar that evening laughing our hearts out. We turned our experience with that struggling actor into the butt of all our Jokes. Most especially we found his name to be very strange and ridiculous.
His name was JIM IYKE.