Allow me take you through the Nigerian hall of f(sh)ame, an esoteric class reserved strictly for people with brazen predilection for crime and everything that is wrong and certainly a league that boasts of heavyweights like James Ibroli, Ibrahim Badamgida, (Un)Lucky Igbinebiom, Petre Odidi, Padrisha Etteh etc. has got to earn our respect.
So this week I present to you…the five bad boys of Nigerian politics!
First on the list is Bad boy Reuben Abati, the Special adviser on Media and Publicity to President Jonathan. This guy is a material for a serial politician, in the mould of the Legendary Ojo Maduekwe (mind you, Ojo has been involved in more than four governments at the last count and currently serves as Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada). You have to be a pathological liar to excel in serial politicking and Abati has all but shown he lies for fun. Not quite your regular ‘cute dude politician’ though but where he falters in looks, he does make up for it with outright ‘badness’ and trust me, Abati is baaeed! I mean, whoever attempts to administer amnesia on 170 million people? Well, only Abati. Only Abati would spend 10 years casting untold aspersion on the government (including the present one) only to be offered the job of spokesperson by the same government. In one fell swoop he jumps at it and then gives you that ‘why-you-lookin’-at-me-that-way’ look whenever he’s on his usual praise singing spree. This requires a lot of artistry and stage management and Abati perfectly fits the bill, having been a theatre arts (all round best) graduate himself.
Many people have likened me to Abati…he schooled at the University of Calabar and I was raised in the same city, he never spared the government of the day, something I do too…there are many other similarities like the big and bumpy head that we both have (except that I like to think I’m a lot cuter than him though).
I’ve been asked by many people what I’d do if I were similarly offered a job by the government and I think that’s a dumb question to ask. It’s simple…’when you get there, learn from Abati for crying out loud!’ Exhibit good table manners and don’t talk while you’re eating. When you’re done, then you can start talking (like El- Rufai).
Next is Bad boy Babangida Aliyu, the self-styled Governor (sorry Chief servant) of Niger state. A smooth talker any day! This guy can sell oil to Nigerians. Don’t call him Governor when next you see him as he prefers to be called ‘Chief servant.’ Aliyu makes it to this list for wanting the President’s job. In these days when politicians are learning wisdom, loyalty is the way up but Aliyu would have none of that. For 6 years he’s been Niger state’s Chief Servant (and c’moon! Don’t be so naive, he didn’t say servant hood meant he’d be the state’s lowest income earner or that it would stop him from pilfering! It’s just a name and everyone, like Edo’s comrade governor has got a name too.) So the Chief Servant wants to be a ‘chiefer’ servant by taking a higher job.
Aliyu is a classic ‘very good bad guy’ that the popular pop crooner, Banky W once sang about.
He has since publicly dissociated himself from the 2015 presidential elections. Having seen the way the Oga at the top has been dealing with all the guys he perceives are against his 2nd term bid the Chief Servant had to smartly claim he had never, will never, shall and can never desire to be president in 2015…very good bad guy indeed. I kinda have a feeling this Chief Servant has more in his bag of tricks in the coming months though.
Our next bad boy has to be Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers state Governor. He’s the bad guy that once wielded the big stick. He was the boss until one cold night right inside the President’s bedroom. In his usual dare devil manner he had earlier had a brush with Oga’s wife on one of her visits to Port Harcourt. When Madam got home that night, while she was feeding Oga with his favourite Bayelsan starch delicacy, she told Oga what had happened and Oga just had to fall for his dame’s hypnotic charm. There and then, Amaechi’s trap was set and it was only a matter of time before the bad boy would fall into the trap and fall into it he did. The beginning of his end came when he started toying with the idea of contesting as a running mate with a fellow bad boy Babangida Aliyu; he complemented this with several incendiary comments which he made about the presidency. Now this bad boy is in a mess, he’s incurred the full wrath of his Oga at the top and is slowly being stripped of all his powers (and private jets too.)
The fourth in this hall of infamy is the one and only Diepreye Alamieyesiegha! So we have Abati, Aliyu, Amaechi and now Alamieyesiegha (Alams for short). This one is the granddaddy of them all, a cat with nine lives. He’s used just 3 of those lives and he’s 61 already! He’s what I call a ‘Bad guy gone worse.’ He once made good use of his robust mid region when he disguised as a lady and escaped being prosecuted in London. The guy is so baaeed the Federal government is yet to put together the exact amount he stole as Governor of Bayelsa state(yeaah, he stole that much, why is he the granddaddy after all?) and a few months ago, he was granted official pardon by the president for crimes he committed against humanity. Apparently he intends to make his political come back into the senate after he was wrongfully ‘persecuted’ by the government leading to an 8 year absence from the fun and so as a bad guy that he is, he influenced his own pardon and all is set for the return of the boss.
Score: 15/10… Lol
The last and possibly not the least is Farouk Lawan, I call him the good guy gone bad. He was one of the fiercest anti-corruption crusaders in the House of Representatives and what a breath of fresh air he seemed! But alas, Mr. Integrity was enmeshed in a shameful $620,000 bribe scandal. The Integrity Stalwart had been appointed to chair the house committee on fuel subsidy and was actually charged with the task of probing the activities of the companies during the subsidy era but a few months down the line, it was Mr. Integrity that was being docked for asking a bribe from Femi Otedola and in bizarre fashion, his cryptic conversation with Otedola was recorded and exposed. Before we could say ‘Ibrahim Lamorde’ Farouk was in soup with EFCC. This is a clear case of ‘do it but just don’t get caught.
I hope to do a sequel to this: ‘the 5 bad girls of Nigerian politics’ and in my ‘spirit’ I hear Diezana…Diezano…it sounds like Diezani Allison; I’m not sure but let’s see…