Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Rapist Blames His Victims

Viewpoint illustration
Many a time, when a male rapist is apprehended, he mischievously blames his victim for his conscienceless manhood. He mouths inanities like, “She made me do it because of the way she was dressed”, or, “I did it to teach her a lesson.” Or, “her body was irresistible.”
Most rapists blame their victims’ dressings, conduct, body, outlook, manners and, over all, personality.
The rapist blames everything about the victim but himself because in his tiny mind, he sees himself as the victim of his coerced victim. And, no, a rapist does not rape because of any of those external factors. He rapes because he is a despicable scum of the earth. He rapes because he is a rapist.
I borrow the analogy of a rapist to illustrate the impertinence of Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State who was widely reported to have said, barefacedly, this past Saturday, that he –and the rest of the political elite he belongs to – steal because Nigerians do not stone them. In other words, the thieving gang that makes up Nigeria’s political class would not steal if their victims were not so passive. How simplistic and unfair an assessment!
We must note that this is not the first time Amaechi has blundered in his faux-advocacy against corruption. And that his “vision” is always preceded by public fallouts with his bellicose peers. In April, he said Nigerians were too timid for a revolution. His Arab Spring generalisation was consequent of his tiff with President Goodluck Jonathan. This December -having successfully “revolted” from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress but still having running battles with the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike’s acolytes- he expostulated the same logic; again, everything is false.
If we merely high five Amaechi for his simple-minded statements, he will continue to ejaculate his guilt conscience on our already battered bodies. No, this is an obscenity that merits censure.
We need to tell Amaechi –and everybody he codified into his “we” when he made the statement- that they steal because they are contemptible thieves; vile souls destined for perdition.
What Amaechi is saying is that politicians steal because that poor pregnant woman who might become a maternal mortality statistics in the next few weeks has yet to cast a stone at them; Amaechi posits that politicians steal because thousands of children whose lives have already been shortchanged by successive governments of Nigeria and who walk around ill-equipped for any decent future are not threatening him with stones; Amaechi says he is a thief because people leave their doors open for wheeler-dealer politicians like him to walk through; Amaechi is blaming the poor and deprived people of Rivers State who cannot even gain access to where he displays his majestic opulence for allowing him spend their money on a private jet.
If Amaechi thinks the average Nigerian is so passive and will never stone their thieving leaders, why does he -and other loathsome politicians- invest so much money on security? Why can he not walk the streets of Port Harcourt in the afternoon and see if he would not be stoned? In better countries of the world, politicians ride in public railway system along with common people without the fear of being stoned. Why cannot Amaechi do the same if he is confident about Nigerians’ docility?
Amaechi’s backers will plead he is speaking the truth about the attitude of Nigerians. To a large extent, they might be right to say Nigerians do not display enough civil vigilance to keep political office holders on their toes. Undeniably, the average Nigerian does not show enough outrage at the numbing degree of impunity that goes on in our so-called corridors of power. From the corruption inbuilt into the continued fuel subsidy scheme to the recent revelation by the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has “stolen” a whopping $50bn of oil earnings, Nigerians have not done enough to engage their leaders.
There is some truth to the fact that we are easily trampled because, well, we are either high on hope-dope injected straight into our brains by organised religion or we are simply weary of pushing because previous efforts had led nowhere.
But has Amaechi asked himself why the same Nigerians who fought the military governments have largely grown colder than ice water and do not exhibit fearless agitating spirit anymore? Could it be they are tired and they do not see any difference between options? I mean, what is the point of stoning the PDP when the APC –and the other locusts who may take over from them- are no better?
Has it occurred to Amaechi that what he called timidity is one of the (dis)advantages of democracy?
Democracy tends to attenuate citizens’ revolutionary zeal because its institutions ensure citizens do not have to resort to bringing down the entire system each time things are not going their way. That is a lesson Egyptians had yet to learn when they stormed the streets and deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
Amaechi seems to be positioning himself as the lone voice of conscience in the Nigerian wilderness but we are not fooled. He seems to have read the playbook of former president Olusegun Obasanjo –Nigeria’s original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Obasanjo has a similar incredible ability to play multiple personalities in the same drama. He can stand at the ruins of the house whose faulty foundations he laid whilst yelling, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” He does this without, surprisingly, being weighed down by the irony of the whole affair. One could say the same of Amaechi who, shortly before decamping to the APC, began hollering vociferously at the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over corruption. As if he suddenly woke up one morning and found that Nigeria was corrupt.
If he had not been a beneficiary of corruption, Amaechi would have made sense. But as a member of the corrupt ruling class who has neither given up his own position nor made any restitution, he needs to shut his mouth. And, fast too. Barking at repressed Nigerians will not do any shred of good. This cloying behaviour not only divests him of personal and moral responsibilities to the people he pretends to govern, it is shamelessly hypocritical. If you need to be stoned to do the right thing as an elected administrator, why then do we have to have a democracy?

Written by  ABIMBOLA ADELAKUN for punch newspapers 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

2015 And The Madness Called Igboezue Socio-Cultural Association(ISCA)

As the 2015 general election approaches, it is natural and expected that different groups spring up in search of political relevance.
Besides seeking political relevance, it is a known fact that the economy of the country is in shambles hence, the reason for daft political jobbers.

One such conglomeration of daft political jobbers is the Igboezue Socio-Cultural Association (ISCA), whose leadership recently threatened to sue President Goodluck Jonathan if he hails to contest the 2015 presidential election. Although mere reading of the position of ISCA on one of the online news dailies was regarded a waste of precious time, this write-up serves to remind ISCA what it truly is: a collection of daft political jobbers.

In a press conference in Abuja at the weekend, ISCA president-general; Prince Elochukwu Onyekwere told journalists that several letters sent to the President and the PDP urging Jonathan to run in 2015 received no response or acknowledgement, which led to their(ISCA) decision to seek an order from Federal High Court in Abuja compelling the President to Contest.

As if the foolishness of ISCA and its leadership was not enough, they decided to insult the collective intelligence of Ndigbo by stating:

" All aspiring Igbo politicians can wait for their turn after 2015. Our decision is the decision of the Igbos and we will not shift ground "

This is arguably the highest level of insult on the collective intelligence, will and the identity of Ndigbo for a political job-seeker, sycophant and brigand to claim that his myopic decision is the decision of Ndigbo.

To further erase any iota of doubt from the mind of the public who may be thinking he was probably high on some cheap drugs when he made those statements, Prince Elochukwu Onyekwere threatened to mobilize over 80 million people to stop Jonathan from returning to Bayelsa state should he decide not to contest the 2015 presidential election.

Given that the populations of Nigeria is roughly 175 million, one wonders how ISCA plans to mobilize over 80 million people (or anything close to that figure) to stop Jonathan from returning home.
To achieve this feat, ISCA would need the total support and population of the South-east (30 million), Southwest (40 million) and the South South (over 20 million).

One thing is clear - this warped calculations and misadventure by ISCA and its leadership portrays the image of political jobbers who talk before they think. It is quite regrettable that the leadership of ISCA is out of touch with the political realities in the country.

I call on all right thinking Igbo people and Nigerians in general to neglect this group of sycophants who has no political value whatsoever. The re-election of President Jonathan should be based solely on merit and his achievements in office. Any Nigerian who thinks (s)he can handle the office of the presidency better should feel free to contest as is the norm in every democratic settings.

Onyeagba Joseph C
(Mazi Joseph)

Follow me @FemiShine