The (dis)Honourable Speaker of the Nigerian federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, is the fourth man in the constitutional hierarchy. That is, he is the fourth most powerful man in Nigeria right behind the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the President, Muhammadu Buhari. Since power intoxicates in ‘Naija’ politicians covet power and authority deploying every means imaginable, legitimate or illegitimate, to attain their objectives. Besides, given the lucrative nature of political business in our embattled country there could be no other venture as rewarding as politics.
Speaker Gbajabiamila’s academic brilliance is not in any doubt whatsoever. He possesses a rich educational background and delivers his speeches eloquently. But his past sojourn in the United States of America poses a problem that cannot be swept under the carpet for partisan politics’ sake. He belongs to the ruling APC party and therefore connected to the system that dehumanises us all. He is a Lagosian and therefore a ‘student’ of Asiwaju godfatherism. Of course, he owed his speakership position to his closeness and loyalty to the Tinubu organized gang in Lagos.
When he was vying for the speakership of the lower federal legislative chamber his inglorious fraudulent past surfaced and featured online but he went ahead to clinch the top job despite the protestations from opposition elements. Pray, how could someone capable of altering his identity be allowed to vie for and occupy a national office? Where were the DSS agents during the electoral process? Or they were busy chasing after journalists and the opponents of Buhari and co?
When Femi ‘Gbaja’ was in the US he reportedly swindled someone of some twenty five thousand Dollars in 2007. He was subsequently tried and found guilty. He accepted to repay the money and did pay it back. But after the reimbursement Mr ‘Gbaja’ withdrew the money back and fled back to Nigeria closing down his legal profession! Acting smart he decided to discard the ‘Gbaja’ surname he had borne all along and opted for the full version of same, Gbajabiamila.
The American identity fraud involving Gbaja or Gbajabiamila could be likened to another one linked in the past to the former Senator and Minister, Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro. While sojourning in the same Uncle Sam many years ago Obanikoro had changed his name to Onikoro Mohammed Musiliu Olatunde. He abandoned Onikoro for Obanikoro when the identity scam blew open.
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Obanikoro has since been rehabilitated politically with charges of fraud dropped against him. He is now a member of the ruling party and lives opulently like ex-Senator Dino Melaye. The same privileged treatment applied to the former Governor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva who was once docked for economic fraud. Now, he is Minister in the Buhari administration!
When the vociferous opposition alleges that the Buhari regime is not fighting graft objectively we tend to agree given the fact that the anti-graft campaign seems to favour the ruling party big men. Ibrahim Magu and his goons only go after members of the opposition if only to please the man on the presidential throne.
Few weeks ago the flamboyant Speaker reportedly took over 300 special guests to Dubai for the elaborate celebration of his mother’s 90th birthday bash. Alhaja Lateefat Olufunke Gbajabiamila is a very lucky woman to whom the Supreme Being has shown immense love and kindness. She is indeed one in a million!
In Nigeria where the average life expectancy falls below 50 years it is a blessing from above for someone to be bestowed with longevity of such magnitude. (dis)Honourable Gbajabiamila thus shelled out a whooping 500 Million Naira to fete his aged mother in a big way far away from home!
Spending such colossal amount for just a birthday tends to interrogate the conscience of a sound mind. Why taking the bash to Dubai and not Kaduna, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Enugu or Lagos? Did it make economic sense in a nation wracked by diseases, poverty and terrorism? Consider what such millions of Dollars could do in Gbajabiamila’s constituency if deployed towards providing basic amenities or rehabilitating the indigent of the society?
Tragedy struck in the United Arab Emirates glittering city when Ms Ejiro Emokinovo, lead vocalist of music group, Veentage Band, flown to perform for the VIPs died suddenly from complications arising from a surgery. But the party went on despite this loss of a human life.
Between Gbaja and Gbajabiamila, therefore, a question of fraudulent legislative personality is posed. And the answer remains as simple as asking my young daughter to spell and define Nigeria and her ‘zoological’ national complexity. Or asking a lunatic for his opinion over our much-vaunted unity!
Seriously speaking the answer to the poser could be located in the fantastically corrupt politics Nigeriana. Lo, criminals and swindlers have ‘democratically’ taken over power in our blighted political space. And they are smiling to the bank while we die from Boko Haram superior firing power, Corona Virus or misery.
Behold, folks, things, instead of getting better, are poised to get worse. A harvest of gloom and doom await us as we strive blindly to make sense out of the federal contraption we call a nation.
Let the tears flow, ladies and gentlemen! Sorry is the appropriate word for our terrible situation. Sorry!
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