Ekweremadu: The joke is on Buhari, when shame takes flight!



What would President Muhammadu Buhari be discussing today with his colleague Presidents and Heads of State in England as they converge on the country for the coronation of King Charles 111? Would he be aware of the stolen glances, muffled conversations, snide comments, hidden laughter and benign sympathies?

What if one of the bold British reporters walks up to him to pop that important question – Sir, what do you think about your country’s former number six citizen being sent to prison when you’re here? Would he consider it insulting or would he simply dismiss it with the simple answer – do the crime, do the time!?

No one needs to wager a bet that the President would not be perturbed by the implications of what is unfolding before his own eyes in the UK. Of course it would be difficult to ascertain how come the sentencing of Ike Ekweremadu, Nigeria’s former Deputy Senate President, for such a high crime of organ harvesting, would be happening at the same period Buhari is in the UK. It might well be a coincident or planned to be so. But give or take, the important thing is that the optics. Does it look edifying in anyway?

No matter how it might be waved aside as just a course of events, it is difficult to see how it would be divested from the menu of discussions within the diplomatic circle gathering in London, if not officially, privately. Even as an ordinary citizen, the publicity given to the incident is enough to generate a fair interest, not to talk about a nation’s top citizen – a former number six citizen.

What a diplomatic calamity! Which other President outside Buhari would be proud at this time, standing shoulder to shoulder with other world leaders with such an obscene and ugly scenario playing out before him, in which a top citizen of his country is being dressed in orange dress and being led away to jail, before his very eyes. Only a Nigerian President would suffer such a shame.

Yes, the argument is being made that the British court is no respecter of persons and therefore impervious to Ekweremadu’s status. It is also being argued that the date had been scheduled and could not be altered because of the coronation. But must Buhari be at the event? What is there for him or Nigeria to gain as to make it imperative to be subjected to such an international insult?

In other words, would he claim not to be aware of the implication? Assuming he did not advert his mind to it, would his advisers not have told him? Must he attend the king’s coronation, if it would present an opportunity to throw mud in his face? Must he be in London at this time?

Naturally, this would not be the first time. Using a big event to deliberately smear Nigeria or accentuate its fault, seems to have become the standard in Britain. In May 2016, while foreign leaders were arriving London ahead of an anti-corruption summit held by the UK government, David Cameron, seized an opportunity of an event at the Buckingham Palace, to celebrate the 90th birthday of the late Queen Elizabeth 11, to describe Nigeria as “fantastically-corrupt.”

Though it seemed an unintended faux pass – an off-handed statement made in a private meeting – but many vast in diplomatic circles, suggest that the video clip accompanying it, was deliberately leaked to achieve a major purpose, in the well-orchestrated scheme to demean Nigeria.

Incidentally, to many people, who had assumed that Buhari would have fumed with righteous anger at the deliberate slight by a fellow leader, and probably made a well-deserved protest, were amazed about how he gave more impetus to the obvious insult in his benign retort that he would fight corruption.

Today a more intriguing reaction is coming from the larger Nigerian society to the Ekweremadu saga. Countless number of compatriots, rather than see the hidden implication, have practically rolled out the drums to celebrate what they believe was a victory. One of their “enemies” is down.

He is corrupt. He thought it was Nigeria. He deserves what he got. If he had invested the money he stole in building a befitting hospital, he wouldn’t have been in this mess! On and on, the blame game goes on. But what they fail to realise is that the fate Ekweremadu just suffered has a ripple effect, like throwing a stone into an open market.

They seem not to realise that it may have a direct link to why a Peter Obi, or Wole Soyinka or Yakubu Mahmood with green passport, would be pulled out of a line a the Heathrow Airport in London or JFK in the US and delayed for hours, while their counterparts from Ghana, Togo, Zimbabwe or even the smallest nations in Africa are given easy passage.

Why would the same people not see that the same Oyibo people they are quick to eulogise commit far worse crimes in Africa without consequences. Ekweremadu’s case was attempt at organ harvesting, which is against the law and therefore he had to go in for it. But who punishes the white man for the horrendous atrocities they commit across African countries?

The suggestion is that crimes, local and international are embedded in the African genes only. But do not even look crimes like the slave trade, pillaging of commonwealth of colonised countries and other atrocities centuries ago. Those may have receded far at the back of history. What about many recent events that are still very fresh ?

Remember it was the white man that arranged hazardous wastes packaged and dumped in Koko, Delta State in 1988. It was the same white man that in 1996 illegally used some 200 children as guinea pigs in a vaccine experiment that killed 11 of them and left the rest with various degrees of deformity, including paralysis, in Kano.

Today, not only are some rare artifacts from Nigeria and Africa are decorating many public and private museums in their countries, they are still stealing and carting more of them till date. It is still the same white man that have made their homes havens for child trafficking and prostitution, despite what is there in the open.

You wonder today why not a single dime enters the public till in Nigeria from production and sale of oil, when each day, shiploads of products leave the shores of the Niger Delta to foreign destinations. You don’t need to look deeper to see the imprimatur of the white man in the heist.

Were it just economic crimes alone, it would even be better. It is far worse! They have to kill and maim – in thousands and millions – to achieve their purpose. This is the fatal fate of countries like Congo Democratic Republic (DR), the acclaimed richest enclave in the world in terms of mineral resources. In such places, there is a pattern. Once deposits of mineral resources are discovered using satellite imagery, the next step is to arm vulnerable local youths with guns and drugs and off they go killing each other while they land with their helicopters and mining equipment to steal the minerals.

That is why today the people of Zamfara in Nigeria’s North West bury their dead in tens and hundreds, while reporting the frequent landing and taking off of some flying objects, loaded with gold and other precious minerals, while the official story is that it is all about herdsmen and their cattle.

How many people died in Iraq where the world was told of a certain Saddam Hussein was storing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), only to discover that it was a personal beef and disagreements over mundane issues? Today, what is left of a once proud and beautiful country are relics of the past as the present is buried in misery of biting poverty – people hitherto swimming in opulence now dying of hunger in the midst of continued slaughtering in the streets by religious fanatics or other criminals.

What about Libya? This was a country so rich that on the attainment of 25, a man is ushered into his well-furnished home on government account, where studying from cradle to the highest level of educational attainment is free of charge, including foreign training. This was a country where citizens practically enjoyed a land filled with milk and honey in real terms. But what is Libya today? A wasteland of drugged, gun-bearing youths killing each other on the orders of warlords created by the leadership gap after the mindless blitzkrieg unleashed on the country by the white man.

Now, what has happened to the culprits in these monumental wastage and massive carnage. George W Bush who has long admitted that Iraq was a mistake, has since retired to his ranch in Texas enjoying the status of world leader. Barak Obama, David Cameron, and Nicolas Sarkozy of US, UK and France who teamed up to commit that heinous crime of killing Muommer Gadaffi, are today strutting about the globe in like manner and being accorded red carpet treatments as statesmen by their hosts, when their places should be in jail for causing such human calamity.

So, talk about crimes! It has the colour of Africa. How much have you heard further of the sexual offences case of Prince Andrew, of the British royal house? Through the backdoor channels it has been settled quietly without fuss. But the case of Ekweremadu, a father trying to save his daughter cannot be settled. Of course, before Ekweremadu, was James Ibori, a former Governor. Again, Nigerians rolled out the drums as they’re doing today in celebration. They celebrate because they believe what Nigeria could not do by putting the former Delta State helmsman behind bars had become possible elsewhere.

Before Ibori was the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former Governor of Bayelsa State, who was lucky to have escaped back to Nigeria after being arrested in London for money laundering. Even the late Chinwoke Mbadinuju of Anambra State, escaped by the whiskers of a cat. His own crime was that he was seen with his traditional elephant tusk. His saving grace was that the tusk turned out to be fake when scientifically examined.

Else, he would have been ferried from the airport where he was caught straight to court and jail. Of course there would have been joy in the land, because like Ekweremadu, Ibori and Alams, Mabadinuju was not smelling roses with his people in Anambra at the time, coupled with the fact that all public officers in Nigeria have enemies who would always wish the worst to happen to them.

So, like every other world leader, Buhari would have his space at the gallery to watch the event of Saturday, May 6, 2023. There would be handshakes, patting on the back, exchange of banters and pleasantries. But the joke would be on him. In the private places, out of earshot, he would be the butt of diplomatic jokes. Then Nigeria will sink further. Then the citizens would taste the outcome – at airports, in foreign lands and elsewhere nationalities take prides of place. That’s the tragedy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Exit mobile version