Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Chief Olabode GeorgeWhen things happen in our own unique Nigerian way, you find yourself doing a systematic check on yourself just to be sure that the fault is not from you. What has happened is of course absolutely crazy and you’ve got to be sure that it is the occurrence and the people who orchestrated it that are crazy and not you.
This has become such an impulsive ritual that even when Bode George got his Nigerian Sentence during the week I had to do a massive check with myself and fellow Nigerians to be confirm that it wasn’t me that had gone crazy. And even as I write I pray earnestly that at worst the ridiculous sentence is for real because it’s highly possible that in the books Bode George is an inmate at the Ikoyi prison while indeed he’s somewhere in Europe living large and garish. Or to make it a little real he could decide to live at home in the island and sneak into prison at dawn so that amebos can see, hangout with the wardens in the cozy parts of the prison and sneak out again at night. While we may not be able to reverse the sentence and give him what he truly deserves for being such a brazen fraudster, we can only hope that the little he gets goes to him. Thus, in as much I oppose oppression of any kind, I’ll break my own rules and hope that Bode George and his accomplices get to go through the initiation rites other convicts go through during their early days in prison; the beatings and bullying that others go through on arrival. Don’t ask me how I got to know about the prison rituals I lived it many times in Jos Prison as an official of the University of Jos when the National Association of Nigerian Students was worth the name attached to it. And I know about the SSS detention centre in Shaginsha Lagos, I have been a guest of the SSS underground cell in the middle of nowhere on the outs skirts of Abuja. I have had a taste of several police detentions. I am so proud of the trauma as they testify to a sacrifice we have have to make for our nations. But I feel pain that Swagger man Bode will not see the prison we saw, he will never partake in the ritual of a new comer. He will be in a “special cell” in Jos Prison it is known as “B ward” Bode’s alter ego Olusegun Obasonjo spent some months in that cosy cell. I onlyt could admire it as I stroll around the yard of the colonial Jos prison in those days. I feel sad. The big mans cell in Nigeria is home away from home. Uncle swagger Bode will be laughing at us all. The common man steal bread in Idumota market, we shout “Ole! Ole! Ole! And get him a “necklace” (used tire) we get petrol and roast him alive. Powerful men like Bode George Is to spend 913 days for stealing N84bn at the rate of N92m per day. Nigeria ! One country ! One law for the mighty another for the less priviledge. What an outrage but then “half justice” is better than none, at least we can call him Olabode George. GCOFIPN (Grand Convict of the Federal Ikoyi Prison of Nigeria). Kudos to the brave judge.Olabode George is a key player in the destruction of our country and a mastermind behind the misrule that now creates most of the criminals we have in prison today. That’s why it is only right that he gets a taste of his own medicine. For years men like Bode George have maintained their stranglehold on the nation; wheeling and dealing, unleashing terror on the people like predators on the prowl in some lawless jungle. Even predators in the jungle live by their rules. They are not wasteful. They don’t kill what they don’t need! Terror is a violation that not only aggrieved groups or persons are capable of committing against a others; leaders like the thieving manipulating George, irresponsible Yar’adua, con Ibori, and their ilk before them do rain terror on Nigerians killing them with poverty, lack of adequate health care and the basic necessities of life that any good government must provide for the people. The EFCC must give us reasons to believe that this is indeed a conviction in spite of its deficiency and not just another smart way of kicking dirt into our eyes. Our politicians and their cronies in government are deft at insulting our intelligence and getting away with it while we sit back grateful for the charade they just acted before us. Isn’t it possible that this conviction is just a decoy that’s supposed to appease us while an even greater evil is being done somewhere? The burden of survival is depleting our sense of history and we quickly forgive and forget because we’ve got no mental/moral energy left to fight. The EFCC must prove to Nigerians that this gawky victory is not a ransom for others awaiting trial and definite conviction. We must be able to see the way forward in all this; yes they go to prison but what about the money they got through the scam? Will the money be recovered? How will it be recovered? What is being done to recover it? While we will try and encourage ourselves to get over the fact that a man gets a two and a half year sentence for fraud that’s worth billions of naira it is important those who by fraud or by merit now find themselves at the helm of affairs in our great country to realize the fact that Nigerians are waking up! Waking up to the call for complete change in the way our great country is managed. People will be held accountable for their deeds; even after they are dead and gone! As the tears of suffering Nigerians whose lives they cut short to enrich theirs fall on the ground, even the dust they must return to will war against them!
Kayode Ogundamisi