In trying to cover up or solve a problem, humans inadvertently create a bigger one that eventually ruins everything.
The events that led to the Watergate scandal in the US started in June 1971.
Till date, political scandals are suffixed with ‘-gate’ in allusion to that scandal.
If ever there was one person destined to be US President, it was Richard Nixon who from childhood had a mother who would read the Bible to him and impress it upon him that if he ever found himself in a position to help Israel, he must do it without hesitation.
Nixon rose in politics from being a Senator to being Vice President and then losing a presidential race then losing a gubernatorial one before eventually winning the presidential election in a close race in 1968.
Three years later, a scandal began to happen to his admin.
The 8th of June, 1997 was a Monday like today and it was on this day 22 years ago that General Sani Abacha died.
The mainstream verdict on Abacha in Nigeria has always been clear but since some people decided to extol Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, let me do same today, for Abacha.
It is perhaps an exercise in foolishness but with small hope that foolishness may cure foolishness in the same way that when one responds to sarcasm with equal sarcasm, the instigator sometimes gets serious - except there's a fixed agenda.
For context, I start with a book I read
I bought a book under Ojuelegba Bridge many years ago and it is one of my most prized today, Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear.
In it, he explains that victims are forever imbued with an ability to quickly identify threatening situations and persons and save themselves.
For someone whom the whitewashers are so desperate to immortalise to us as a very private person, Abba Kyari is the most well-known Chief of Staff in any Democracy admin or military regime in Nigeria since 1960.
Tell me Chiefs of Staff in the past you know, so powerful as Kyari.
If you’re an avid political watcher, you might remember a few Chiefs of Staff from the past but none near powerful or influential as Abba Kyari.
That man wrote an open article to foreign countries a week to the last election, using finesse to say what El-Rufai crudely said.
One of my personal values forbids me from speaking ill of the late (and I won’t) but some of those same values insist that we never let history be rewritten in our time, that we hold a standard of public office aloft for future generations and that we put Nigeria first, above all
Saw a couple of tweets from someone yesterday and I’ve been wanting to do this thread for a while now to talk about something I rarely talk about publicly and more so on social media Spirituality, Faith, Religion and so on in relation to a generation younger than mine.
I’ll start by saying I believe in the existence of a dimension other than that which we can see.
I believe in the existence of Divinity and I am a Christian, by birth and by choice.
But I believe everyone must chart their own spiritual journey by themselves and for themselves.
So let me say clearly from this point that I have no problem with anyone believing as they would - I respect you as human and affirm you on your journey towards finding your own spiritual beliefs.
But I have a problem with social media culture and your spiritual process.
Villagers on their way to the farms one early morning saw the tortoise sat on the back of his in-law pinned to the floor.
They asked him what happened and he said his in-law owed him a huge amount of money for over 15 years and had failed to pay.
“That’s too much and for too long - this one is a terrible in-law!” The villagers concluded, “deal with him very well. This in-law doesn’t wish you well at all, what you’re doing is very much justified.”
And so the tortoise felt vindicated and the villagers left to their farms.
By evening as they returned, they saw the tortoise on the back of his in-law, pinned to the ground.
They asked him what the issue was and he told them the same thing - in-law was owing him a huge amount of money and had failed or refused to pay for such a long time.
Pastor Poju Oyemade preached a message at the crossover service of 2009/2010 about changing the direction of your life and made a brilliant allusion that has been on my mind in observing the Bernie Sanders campaign flounder.
I think this particular lesson is worth sharing.
Many things went terribly wrong with Sanders campaign but the most astounding for me is the sheer inability of the campaign to change course when problems were sighted and that Poju message dealt with that on a personal level - so this is political but has personal lessons.
Political campaigns generally have two major problems:
1) Campaign is blind to incoming problems, usually because the rank and file are too optimistic or
2) The campaign sights incoming problems but is unable to adapt to them, and this second problem for me is the worst.
There’s a place every political aspirant wants to get to and in other engagements, it’s mostly described as “The Flow”, in politics it’ll be something like “Untouchable”.
I think Bernie Sanders is just almost there right now, but most definitely also is Trump - Untouchable.
The Flow in any engagement is a state of heightened but enervating intensity in what you’re doing to a point where almost everything is shut out and works just...flows.
The parallel in political aspiration is a point where nothing against the candidate seems to go against them.
Only few politicians ever in history have attained it - off the top of my head, I can only think of Trump, Jawaharlal Nehru, possibly Awolowo, definitely Buhari, Aminu Kano almost, and now Sanders giving us an example of how to get there.
He was admitted to study Civil Engineering at Howard University in the US but he came back to Nigeria with music on his mind, much to the distaste of his parents but he quickly joined various music bands, eventually ending up with another old music great, Bobby Benson.
Bobby Benson’s music was quite refined and appealed to the Nigerian elite of that time, more of Jazz and Orchestra - both genres of music which heavily influenced Highlife in its early days.
But Benson had a very reputable hotel and night club on Ikorodu Road with top clients.
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s homily at the funeral mass of Seminarian Michael is one for the ages.
It speaks truth not only to power but also to the powerless, calling for deep and sober reflection by any human capable of rational thought.
May history be kind to him.
He explains the efforts made to secure the release of the deceased from his evil captors, the tortuous process of hope dashed and revived then finally cut off.
Such a tragedy is no worse in pangs of pain than others experienced but this one is symbolic in many ways.
The Catholic Church worldwide is directly bereaved in a way, maybe no more than the deaths of even priest in the past in the same gruesome manner of Boko Haram but there’s a lot about this particular one that shocks even a numb mind awake, with all the senses demanding action.
Buhari is directly responsible for this idea of "North/South" and I dislike it - there's no South and Nigerians already understood this by differentiating SW from SS from SE.
But to him with his pre-colonial mindset: everything below the figurative River Niger is South.
Regions were broken down into states under previous admins in recognition of ethnic minorities and differences - the Ekiti anthem is a tribute to Freedom from being lumped with Ondo into one state - and they're both Yoruba.
Theres no "South" in the sense of their being a "North"
And even the North has vast minorities but they were mostly conquered by Uthman Dan Fodio and then Ahmadu Bello managed to force a united political bloc many decades after.
That there is NE, NW and NC today happened only as recently as in the build-up to the 1983 NPN elections.
The judgement removing Gov. Emeka Ihedioha from office as Imo State Governor and installing Hope Uzodinma in his stead is a travesty of justice that defies all judicial logic.
The Supreme Court is final but not because it is always right; it is only right because it is final.
In other words, the Supreme Court as peopled by humans can be wrong, but being the final arbiter in judicial matters, appeal of their decisions can only be made to God, or in a Democracy, to the People as the ultimate power-bloc in any Democracy - we’ve seen this before.
Two major points have been dwelt on publicly - the number of votes cast for each candidate in the Imo gubernatorial election, as well as the total number of duly accredited voters.
That alone is enough to shock anyone as to the spurious outcome from the Supreme Court, but...
As far as the Law is concerned, Amotekun exists de facto already: all SW Governors have publicly announced it as a joint security effort.
If AGF Malami is unhappy with it, he should sue the Govs to court for interpretation, and not just them but all 36 Govs - he cannot proclaim.
Under Chief Bola Ige as AGF, there was a disagreement on who owned offshore oil wells between the FG and littoral states - he sued the 36 states to the Supreme Court and I can't remember how the matter ended.
Attorneys-General are not final arbiters on constitutional ssues.
De jure, the argument that there exists no laws backing up Amotekun can be made but de facto, pronouncements have been made and publicly too.
If the SW Govs back down now on the altar of political solidarity, it'll be a bigger setback to the principle of federalism.