• Friday, December 01, 2023
businessday logo


For Ekweremadu, Emefiele, Wike & Co: The tomorrow is now!

For Ekweremadu, Emefiele, Wike & Co: The tomorrow is now!

All the world is a stage and all the men and women are merely players. (As you like it, Act 2, Scene7)

In 2006, I opened a ‘file’ for those who experienced their tomorrow, or ‘the day after’; when things that were, stopped being; when the status quo antebellum( big grammar!) evaporated so suddenly. The tomorrow of interest to me then and now, is that period when somebody concludes a tour of duty and returns to ordinariness, when the wind blows and we behold the dirty, ‘nyash’ of the fowl hitherto covered by feathers, when people find themselves in the wrong side of the law or simply, when things are no longer the way they were.

In March 2006 ( 3rd & 8th ), I wrote a two-part treatise in that regard titled ‘Tomorrow will surely come’. Then, I had recalled the cases of Mbadinuju who was mocked by pensioners whose lives he made miserable as a governor, Ladoja who refused to swear in a validly elected LG Chairman but later found himself begging the court to save him from Akala and the G18( in Igbo-Ukwu, we have G17!), Tafa Balogun, a law onto himself who was later given the ‘kill-and-go’ treatment by people who were not qualified to be his orderlies, Captain Rasheed Raji, a former Milad evicted from his official residence by the Airforce, Baimayi and Mustapha, Abacha’s top men who ended up in detention, Bizmungu, Rwanda ex-president jailed for 15 years, as well as the sad cases of Saddam Hussien and Idi-Amin . I also drew the attention of my readers to the FINAL tomorrow, which we must all face whenever we died.

Since then, I have written two other related articles and have also recorded several of such cases. The country was awash with them when ‘Saint Buhari’ came on board in 2015, when people were forcefully asked to answer for their past by a government which eventually became the worst in all dimensions, including lawlessness, ‘Phariseesm’ and ‘lootocracy’.

Most of these were politically motivated, just as they are happening now. Olisa Matu was handcuffed , Dasuki was imprisoned and the key thrown away, the office of Namadi Sambo, ex VP, was ransacked, Nduka Obaigbena was arrested while Mrs ‘Design’ Madueke was on trial, in good health or in sickness.

It is not a local affair. Former Israeli PMs. Moshe Katzav and Ehud Olmert were imprisoned, for sexual assault and for bribery. They had many ‘comrades in prison’ including Ivo Sanader( Croatia, corruption); Adrian Nastase(Romania, Corruption); Albert Fujumori( Peru, Corruption and Human rights abuses), Alfonso Portillo & Otto Perez( Guatemala, Money Laundering and fraud), Hissene Habre (Chad) and Morsi (Egypt )

In all these instances, I was not jeering at those who fell out of favour. Far be it from me to celebrate others’ predicaments, because I believe strongly that the bell tolls for us. My intention was and is still to advise all of us (including myself) to take things easy when the gods have broken our palm-kernels for us because one day, the come may come to become, when the Persian-rug is rudely pulled off, while we are sitting on it or when we must have left the rugged office in the normal course of our careers.

Ike Ekweremadu had everything going for him. He was an ‘indigene’ of the National Assembly (a friend just described himself as ‘an indigene of government’, being a top-notch government operative for so long), where he rose to the rank of DSP (Deputy Senate President) and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament.

He was even a visiting Professor to one foreign University. He was one of the greatest movers and shakers in Enugu state, where he wanted to become the governor. He was indeed, an institution. Then one morning, parental duty called, he wanted to acquire an organ for his sick daughter and that was how everything scattered.

Father and mother, were thrown under the bus by an unfortunate combination of circumstances, and in a foreign country were everybody was (and is) equal before the law. So, from ‘see me in three day’s time when I return from UK’ he became a prisoner.

People berated him for doing the wrong thing knowingly since he is a lawyer; for believing literarily in the Biblical verse that ‘money answereth all things’ (Ecclesiastes,10:19), for failing to use his residency at NASS to improve healthcare in Nigeria, for forgetting that all the swagger and larger than life image were limited to Nigeria and for failing to learn from the experiences of Alemesiagha and Ibori.

It was and is a sad scenario, especially with the daughter still under the weather. Things got so bad that the University of Ilorin used his circumstances as a case study in a recent examination! I have not had any interaction with him and he is not in my ‘book of records’ (not because he is a Saint) but I feel for him and his family. All in all however, his tomorrow is NOW!

Emefiele (whose name literarily means ‘do not transgress’) became the governor after the tempestuous and imperial reign of Sanusi. He lacked the ‘professor-ness’ of Soludo and the brashness and do-your-worst tendencies of Sanusi.

True to his name, he tried not to ‘commit’, taking things ‘a little to the right and a little to the left’. However, it became obvious that he was captured, first by his erstwhile colleagues and ultimately by the president, the presidency or the cabal in the kitchen.

He replaced commitment to the nation and profession, with total obedience to the president and believed that everything was right and proper once ‘they’ were satisfied. He threw caution and commonsense to the winds and became the first governor globally to aspire to the presidency and even sought legal enforcement of his right to do so. He maintained multiple exchange rates through which ‘those who were’ fed fat on the yawning gap between the rates and printed as much Naira as the cabal wanted.

I think he suffered from the ‘invincibility syndrome’ which was why did he not run before May 29, especially given his running battle with the DSS, which is under the President but battles continuously with the President’s men! He forgot that ‘his president’ was no longer on seat.

Anyway, it happened and his tomorrow came, not surprisingly. And he was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Acts,8:32) but this time, I believe that unlike the Biblical lamb, he will open his mouth. I saw a video the other day of his sprawling mansion at Agbor. He was the MD of Zenith Bank and 10% of his annual dividends could underwrite that edifice.

There are others whose tomorrow has just come. Wike appeared at a function with a dress-malfunction; an embarrassment that one of his numerous PAs could have prevented before.

His beloved Fubara, has cancelled one of his contracts (100% mobilised) and opened some of the businesses which he imperially closed without regard to the law of the land. Of course, he was the law.

For Aminu Tambuwal, his successor started work by dethroning 14 monarchs and axing 38 Perm-Secs and DGs; Matawale’s house was invaded by security people who used to ‘doballe’ for him the other day and 1001 cars impounded and Ganduje’s successor is demolishing his physical and bureaucratic structures after reinstating the Kano anti-Corruption boss, Muhyi Rimingado whom Ganduje fired. Before long, these current governors will also become EXs but they will not learn from the experiences of their predecessors.

There is one Igbo song that counsels that “ugwu olu-oyibo” (the allure, the prestige, the accoutrements, the power and influence of public service) should be “worn” (like ornaments ) at the back, so that whenever it falls off, the person would go on with his life.

This contrasts with the person who wears his own at the forehead, who shows off his power and influence everywhere and every time asking: do you know who I am? When his “ugwu olu oyibo” falls off, readjustment becomes embarrassingly difficult.

There is this elementary adage that no condition is permanent, which we use to comfort the afflicted but forget to use it to remind those who are ‘on’ now that their sun would not shine in perpetuity and to bear that in mind in whatever they do or say. Tomorrow will surely come because power, and life itself, is transient!

Read also: Power, its abuses and Nigerian politicians

Goodnight Hassan A Mutiu.

On 27/6/23, we had a special ASUU-OOU Congress for one of our departed comrades, an ebullient fellow whose tomorrow came suddenly when he succumbed to the imperatives of a terminal illness . Hassan was a young, friendly and vibrant young-man who never carried his affliction on his forehead.

He did his job, socialised and always wore a smiling face despite of all odds. And then on 13/5/23, the bell tolled for him at the age of 46. Just 46! His tomorrow came. The outpouring of positive emotions and kind tributes by all at the special congress was enough for me to ask: what will people say of me when my own tomorrow comes?

And while mourning Hassan, two of my mates at St Joseph’s Awka-Etiti also travelled to the land of no-return. Emma Okeke( Saburo) and Cajetan Asuzu ( Caje-Pelle) within a week on 26/6/23 and 2/7/23. Their final tomorrows have come!