‘It is the function of vice to put virtue within reasonable bounds’ – Samuel Butler
Fools are known by what they say; Thieves, by what they do! A fool could even be taken for a wise wo/man if s/he allows silence to be his or her cannon fodder. The moment s/he opens his or her mouth to talk; all the doubts will be removed. Capacity for Foolishness can only be affirmed by expressed thoughts. It is in the thoughts so expressed while the character of a thief is often unveiled by the act. Doyin Okupe live in the palace. Palace where the only human ‘virtue’ so appreciated is perpendicular to how fat your Bank Account is. In the ‘ethics’ of the palace; intangible features such as integrity, character, honesty, forthrightness among others are no virtues. They are viruses that must be hunted down. They are vices that must be restricted to ‘quarantine camp.’ So, when Buhari, a retired General and a former Head of States attempted to project these intangible attributes as hallmark of a desirable leadership, Doyin, the Palace dweller shot him down. Indeed, Buhari should know that ‘poverty is not a virtue’. He should live large and learn how to paint the country red like a former Head of States he is. I guess I can help the palace dweller on another place to shoot his arrow; and the arrow could even travel beyond our shores to hit another former President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Even after serving as the President of United States, he had to borrow a money in order to buy a house in New York, which eventually enabled his wife, Hillary to vie for the Senatorial seat which she eventually won then. It takes quality of soul and depth of thoughtfulness for one to know that possession of wealth or material things is the least of virtues if it one at all. I do not blame Doyin for being ignorant of this. Attributes of virtues are not within his reach, more so that they are not criteria for dwelling in the palace where he lives. Some people were even absent when God was distributing virtues. They have genealogical lineage with with corruption and fraudulent way of living. Those who know the history of ‘Agbomagbe’, the local bank that metamorphosed into WEMA Bank would understand why and how money became god to the like of Doyin. It is in the blood! Why should I expect the loquacious palace dweller to appreciate the fact that in a society where workers are getting poorer and loafers and hanger-on are getting richer, wealth is something to be ashamed of? I can only hope he has returned the contract money he took from Benue State without implementing the contract, which should had prevented his appointment as a palace megaphone in a saner society. Recently at the palace where obscene 21 billion Naira was raised with the usual culture of impunity, Jerry Gana, the permanent representative of any government in power said that Jonathan is among the best presidents in the world. Smart old man; he did not state the global indicators he used nor the parameters he relied on to arrive at such sycophantic conclusion. The President of a country most recently rated by the World Health Organisation(WHO) as accounting for 177,000 of the 800,000 children under 5 years annually killed by pneumonia? The President of a country where Boko Haram has killed over 12,000 citizens ? The president of a country whose over one million of her citizens are internally displaced? The President of a country whose UN said over five hundred thousand of his population are now refugees in Chad, Cameroon, Niger among others? The President of a country whose over 200 girls and citizens kidnapped in Chibok over eight months ago are still with the Boko Haram? The President of a country whose economy is near collapse just about three months into oil glut and few months after they dubiously awarded the economy the prize of largest economy in Africa? A President under whose watch, millions of hapless youth trooped out into stadia to write Nigeria Immigration Service’s employment Test and couples of them died because of governmental indiscretions; and nothing happened to those who killed them? A President under whose watch gates of Universities and Polytechnics were shut for over nine months? A President under whose watch 2.3 trillion Naira was dubiously paid as Oil Subsidy to contractors and thieves, including the chief promoter of the infamous ‘Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria’? A President under whose watch the recently released Mo Ibrahim’s governance Index rated his country, Nigeria as one of the worst governed country in Africa? A president of a country that is still standing shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia as the world’s pool of Polio is one of the best in the world? The President of a country who according to UK Department of International Department with 25% of Africa’s extreme poor people and harbouring 10% of the World’s out -of- school children? The President of a country UNCEF described in 2014 as worst place for children? For Wale Oladapo, the so called Professor, I will not decorate his ignorance with dignity. If a ‘Professor’ does not know the different between a literate, semi-literate and illiterate, then, he is not helpable like a President who struggled to teach Nigerians that stealing is not corruption. The palace and the throne are living up to the affirmation of Sheu Musa that ‘officials are not only corrupt, corruption is now official.’ Am happy when the President recently stated that it is time for Nigeria to institute ‘Hall of Shame’ for criminals. Am happy because I know that he has a long list to draw from. The Hall may not even contain the list. The recent list of those who criminally contributed 21 Billion Naira to his campaign is a veritable raw material for such hall and a good starting point for affirming his seriousness. The Bullet proofed former Minister, the rats in Petroleum Ministry and the adjoining NNPC, The Pension sector and so many others are great bibliographical sources for the President’s proposed project. However, am also sad that our PhD holding President does not know that Nigeria he rules over already has several ‘Halls of Shame’. They are Prison Yards that abound around the country! Not the Senate where the thieving governors and criminals in the palace are being encouraged to seek asylum nor the Facebook where the like of FFK who is being pulled out of EFCC’s net in exchange for loyalty is seeking succour! Fellow Nigerians, if we refuse to dwell in the seat of these gangsters and plant our feet firm in righteousness, the palace of fools and the throne of thieves will soon become history. On this Christmas day, I can only enjoin you as in 2 Chronicle 32, verses 7 & 8 to ‘be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the King of Assyria (Nigeria?), nor for the entire multitude that is with him: for there is more with us than with him. With him is the arm of flesh (thieves fools) but with us, the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles’. Merry Xmas!
Gbenro Olajuyigbe is an Abuja based Human Security Expert and a Human Rights Activist.