When Former President Chief Matthew Aremu Olusegun Okikiola Obasanjo dropped the bombshell in May 2012 that the House of Assembly, our own hallowed lower chamber is filled with thieves and crooks, the House Leadership, through their spokesman was quick to respond, challenging Obasanjo viz:
“We actually feel that the former president would help the National Assembly and indeed also help Nigeria in the new spirit of transparency and openness by assisting the National Assembly by naming those that he knows in the national assembly as either rogues or criminals.
“That would help us to be able to sanitize the polity and we sincerely thank him for his role in Nigeria as someone who cares very deeply about the Nigerian state and how it is at the moment. And not just President Obasanjo , we also urge other Nigerians who are concerned about Nigeria to also in the spirit of transparency let us know whatever information that they have so that we can use it to check ourselves and to be able to make Nigeria a better place.”
Obasanjo did not have to speak.
Enter Farouk Lawan, the Kano State Representative, who has carved a niche for himself in the house as the Leader of the Integrity group. It was this group that saw to the end of the Patricia Ette era in the house, for inflated contracts and sundry offenses. Nigerians were excited with the freshness with which he prosecuted the Fuel Subsidy probe. To all those who saw the probe on Television, he was indeed a Virgin in the Maternity Ward!
Regrettably, our joy is being cut short. Events in the last few days, has shown that once again, the serious National issue, I mean the Fuel Subsidy Probe will end up being reduced to a mere political horse-trade, characteristic of the ruling party, an action we must resist by being focused.
We are now at the stage that there are accusations and counter-accusations. On one side is Femi Otedola, the suave Oil and Gas Baron, who claims to have gone to the State Security Service (SSS) when the Honorable leader of the probe panel asked him for a bribe. On the other side is Farouk Lawan, the Member of the House of representathieves, who claims to have gone to the Police when Otedola offered him the bribe.
Nigerians are more than confused, whether they are dealing with Thief A, Thief B or Thieves A and B. At this stage, one is careful not to exonerate either of these gladiators, but to ask questions that will expose the stupidity of their separate claims.
If Otedola made the move to bribe Lawan, why did he Lawan agree to go to Otedola’s house to collect the bribe? Shouldn’t the man who needs the favor make all the efforts? As the Yoruba saying goes … “The man with the bushy hair seeks the barber”.
Second, Why did Lawan, in presenting his committee’s report to the House, seek the amendment of the report by asking that the Xenon Oil – Otedola’s company should be struck off the list of the saboteurs? As claimed by Otedula, this happened the second day he (Otedola) made the down-payment of $620k our of the demanded $3m. If Lawan had his man ($1 bribe is sufficient), why not screw him all the way? Why bother doctoring the report in plenary, if not that he had his sight on the bigger $3m?
As for Femi Otedola, Why play along with Lawan and give out the bribe when there is nothing to hide? Why not call his bluff and wait for Nigerians to exonerate him. At least we all rose in his support when Aliko Dangote screwed him badly by manipulating the shares of AP remotely through some cronies.
Second, Everyone knows the cozy relationship between the President and Otedola. Pray, was the Presidency involved in the sting operation? If so, how convenient to kill the probe report using a willing stooge!
Nigerians knew all along that the National Assembly is the den of greedy Pregnant, Incestuous and holier than us all virgins. We were hoping they will give birth to a bouncing baby in the form of Jail terms for subsidy thieves. That would have made us forget the ectopic nature of the pregnancy, I mean the unjustified PMS pump price increase.
The last of the Assembly’s well touted virgins is still claiming to be a virgin because she was raped. Now that the pregnancy is coming to term, it is one giant of a baby, so much so, that nothing short of a caesarian operation will deliver it.
Let them hit at each other’s throats. On our own part, we must insist that the Subsidy probe report should be upheld, even if Lawan goes to Jail for his role in this bribe saga. Upholding the Subside probe Report is our business in this entire saga, not who is guilty or innocent. Let us ensure it is done.