Nigeria needs a visionary leader and a new model. The present sets of gladiators, which I refer to as “managers” and their enablers will either sink us completely as a nation or our beloved country Nigeria will sink them and be afloat.
This is a country that has become a huge joke and an epitome of social malady; a nation where the military is used for oppressive tendencies and extrajudicial killings as exemplified by the Lekki Toll Gate massacre of October 20, 2020.
A “bastardized” nation that has been crippled financially despite the huge amount of resources available. A system that permits plundering of resources and squandering of riches as exemplified by one of the gang of coupist. Repatriation of billions of dollars corruptly embezzled is still ongoing.
A system that encourages and enables criminality at the highest level of governance; a nation of fantastically corrupt mindless government officials; a materialistic society and consumerism. A nation that earned so much and shares it with a few people in government and their cronies. Ethically unfit and poorly policed.
A couple of decades ago, Lawrence Nomanyagbon Anini, popularly known as Anini The Law, sent fears and chills down the spine of many Nigerians – particularly residents of Benin city in the old Bendel State. He grew larger than life such that the myth woven around him was so deifying that people actually thought he was a god or some type of spirit being that he was imbued with the qualities of omnipotence, omnipresent and omniscience. To underscore his notoriety, especially the embarrassing registration of his presence in the consciousness of Nigerians right up to the Presidency, his dangerous and awe-inspiring exploits compelled then military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, to ask his Inspector General of Police, IGP, Etim Inyang, the very famous question: “My friend, where is Anini”?
As a matter of fact, it took the intervention of the military Head-of-State then, General Ibrahim B. Babangida in his now famous, “Where is Anini?” before he could be smoked out, unknown to a bewildered nation that the police, particularly DSP George Iyamu is neck deep involved by supplying arms and ammunition to the wanted criminals.
Similarly, the cases of the alleged international ‘fraud’ and illicit ‘drug’ fund involving Ramon Abass, aka Hushpuppi, Obi Cubana and Abba Kyari also depicts the rotten system we have found ourselves in.
History has an uncanny ability to recycle itself. It is on this note that I want to draw a parallel between the plight of the beleaguered Abba Kyari in the Hushpuppi-Abba saga and that of George Iyamu.
Anini, like the currently embattled Hushpuppi, made scandalous revelations about how he was aided by some police officers while in police custody. DSP George Iyamu was heavily involved.
George Iyamu was known as a tough cop who terrorized underworld figures. He also lived a prosperous life. The DSP was the owner of several lavish homes, exotic cars, and other valuables. In general, he lived beyond his means.
With Anini’s arrest, it became clear how Iyamu shielded and protected Anini and his boys, leaked police secrets to them, and provided logistical support, including firearms for their operations, among other things.
In the Hushpuppi-Abba Kyari episode, Nigerians were, once again, exposed to another iniquitous relationship between a notorious lawbreaker and a highly decorated member of the Nigerian police force 35 years later.
With the way and manner that the issue is being manipulated and the weekend show off by Abba Kyari and his friend Obi Cubana during the wedding of Maina Alkali, the son of the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba, the message is very clear, like they say in the local parlance: “Nothing go happen.” Indeed, nothing will happen because he has his enablers at the very top of the system.
In a situation like this, what message are we sending to the world and the younger ones? It is because the older generation consistently send the message that crime pays in Nigeria across to the young ones that, at 17 years of age, an average Nigerian wants to be stupendously rich overnight.
Do we blame them? Youths grow up seeing politicians, public office holders, civil servants, religious leaders etc. ride in the most expensive vehicles and live in big mansions.
They know all these are acquired through corrupt and irregular means. They are inspired to acquire all they see by any means too.
Clearly, Nigeria is now in survival mode. The earlier we see recognize the need for value reorientation, the better for all of us. As a nation destined for greatness, we cannot afford to continue like this, otherwise the verdict of posterity, the verdict of history and the judgement of God will be very harsh on us all.
Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI