Of 5% bargain-hunters & the London opera By Louis Odion, FNGE

Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, He & Colleague, Garba Shehu are not Part of London Opera

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Half a century ago, Major Kaduna Nzeogwu of the January
15 coup fame sneaked into the national lexicon the term “ten percenter” to describe
the size of kickback demanded by politicians and other public officers then
polluting the society.
Over the years, descendants of
“10 percent” would improve on their forbear’s technology by
graduating greed to stratospheric heights, so much that increasingly,
corruption in Nigeria was no longer
content with swallowing the entire barn of seedlings, but
“disappearing” the cache of cultivating tools like hoe and cutlass as
Today, in a bizarre twist, there is
a reversal of roles. Beginning from January, it is the supposed victim, the Federal Government, that now awards five
percent cut as incentive to whistle-blowers
on any loot located and unearthed. 

Late Kaduna Nzeogwu…The Man who killed the 10 Percenteers in 1966

And a bounteous harvest it has been.

Only last Tuesday came a salacious
report that N8.4b had been found nestling in an ECOBANK account, courtesy a tip-off by a whistle-blower.

Ex-Customs DG, Dikko, lost a plum property in Abuja & 17 Exotic Cars in Kaduna to Whistle Blowing Policy

Barely 24 hours later, 17 exotic cars were uncovered at a secret warehouse
allegedly owned by former Customs boss (Abdullahi Dikko), courtesy another whistle blower. 

Eco Bank…Holed in it’s Head Quarter is another looted N8.4 Billion Naira. Is it the Pan African Corruption Bank?

Weeks earlier, a staggering $151m
and N8b were similarly reaped within weeks the whistle-blower policy took off,
according to the Information minister, Lai
. Apart from another haul of mould-smelling $9.2m
dug out from Andrew Yakubu’s vault
in a Kaduna slum.

Andrew Yakubu the Slum Multi-Billionaire of Kaduna

The whistle-blowing process is
activated by furnishing the office of the Attorney General of the Federation or
any of the designated channels with the lead. This, in turn, is forwarded to
the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit
and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for action. 
Typically, Abuja has since been making a song and dance of the scheme as yet
another expression of a firm commitment to not only rid the land of sleaze but
also to raise its profile in the context of transparency and ease of
doing business.
Coming at a time of great financial
stress in the land, the initiative would appear like the proverbial manna from

EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu….Has a very big job up his sleeves as he battles Saraki’s Senate & Dogara’s House of Representatives

So, what perhaps remains is for Abuja
to let its town-criers add that the policy has, by default, availed citizens –
particularly the unemployed – a means to earn a legitimate living. 

Only the unpatriotic would not see
anything good in the latest gambit by the Buhari
administration to curtail graft in the land. But one’s only observation is
whether the time and energies presently dissipated celebrating the harvest were
not better utilized towards institutionalizing the policy. We are told a bill
had been sent to the National Assembly.
So, who are those obstructing it?

Buhari (Under Pressure to stamp out corruption) & Saraki (Still Managing Corruption?)


What happens where an informer
has been paid but the ‘loot’ owner gets a court judgment invalidating the
seizure? Any indemnity for such an outcome? 
For, in the absence
of a durable legal framework, the present arrangement is
perhaps only a shade better than a dignified racket.
This is certainly not how it is done
where the idea was copied from. In the United
, for instance, a bounty is not only assured the whistle-blower;
there are adequate provisions in the law to save their necks against possible
vendetta by those exposed. There is the 
Merit Systems Protection Board,
a quasi-judicial agency, that adjudicates whistle blower complaints.

Ex-United State President George Bush Snr. signed the Whistle Blower Protection Act into law during his regime

It draws oxygen from the Whistle blower Protection Act signed into law in
1989 by the administration of George Bush
Under the European Union, officials
are obliged to report fraud, corruption and other illegal activities under
Articles 22a and 22b of the statute
regulating staff conduct. In Britain
specifically, there is the Public
Interest Disclosure Act
(PIDA) of 1998 to protect whistle-blowers. 

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel…Her efforts for a Whistle Blower Policy blocked by Culture

Only in Germany do we still
encounter a reluctance on account of deep “cultural issues” despite
repeatedly attempt by Angela Merkel
administration to pull that through. There is a natural inclination to cloak
things up. A mentality vividly captured by the very author of the German
national anthem, the late Hoffmann
Fallersleben, who famously
declared that: “The greatest rogue in the
whole land is
, and will remain, the
So, what the Information minister
should be telling us at this hour – almost half time of the Buhari administration – is what concrete
steps are being taken to draft an executive bill to be sent to the legislature
for a law to back and institutionalize the policy.
Not until
that is accomplished could we possibly have the comfort that Buhari had created a durable structure
to sustain the anti-graft war and, more importantly, a guarantee that
succeeding administrations would not turn back the clock’s hand.

Author, Louis Odion, dazed by the activities of the London Opera

A corollary to the desired legal
infrastructure will be a resolve to revisit the issue of fiscal federalism.
When the huge sums so far harvested from whistle-blowing are added to the
colossal figures cited in Dasukigate,
it is obvious that there is so much to steal in Abuja. By the current revenue-sharing formula, the Federal
Government gorges on 52 percent of
the nation’s earnings. While the 36 states and 774 councils with far greater
responsibilities scrounge on less than 46

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Let it be recognized that it partly
this climate of glut that, in turn, feeds humongous larceny against which FG
now ironically offers 5 percent “commission” to salvage. A more
sustainable approach to cure the affliction is simply dismantle the structure
that turns Abuja to a bazaar.

‘Sir, please, when you get to London, always try to put a call directly to me or else…’ Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina seems to be telling his boss in Abuja before his exit to London

In a way, Abuja’s culture of
flatulence would also seem illustrated by the ongoing zig-zag from PMB’s
medical camp in London where the
notion of “awaiting result” now appears redefined as a euphemism for
indeterminate presidential holiday. 
Before now, the mention of “awaiting result” would
probably remind you of no more than the impressionable young adults in the
neighborhood – the soon-to-be-undergrad – anxiously awaiting the results of the
qualifying JAMB or WAEC exams.

‘If i leave, two of you should let Osunbade rule’ President Buhari seems to be telling Dogara & Saraki while handing over on his way to London

The phrase however acquired a new meaning three
weeks ago when, on the eve of the expiration of PMB’s initial 10-day holiday,
his handlers casually announced an extension to enable him “await the
results” of the battery of definitive tests.

Thereafter, mischief-makers took
over. There was the pernicious rumor of death. Then last week, someone
concocted the fable of “penis surgery”.  The social media
virtually went haywire following the report that “Muhammad Buhari”
had undergone a medical procedure in the “private sector”. 

Members  London Opera:  Saraki & Dogara visits Mr. President in London during his Long Term Holiday

Coming when the only one widely
known by that illustrious name was supposed to be on “medical
vacation” in London, many did
not wait to read the body of the story before concluding that, ha!, the jigsaw
puzzle had finally fallen in place.
It took hours before the purveyors
of the “fake news” (apology US President Donald Trump), apparently
now ashamed that it was a case of mistaken identity, began to roll back. It was
eventually established that the Muhammadu
that underwent penis surgery is actually a four-year boy who earlier
suffered the misfortune of having his manhood cut by a wicked relation.
But, truth be told, the flourish of
“fake news” against PMB thus far would seem a bye-product of his own
errors of commission and omission. Again, his publicists looked and sounded
reactionary last Tuesday in another bulletin announcing yet another holiday

President Buhari & Senate President Saraki….Making a hard laugh of the London Opera?

From the initial “awaiting result”, we are told the
president had heeded advice by his physicians to “rest well”, till
God knows when.

This shifting narrative will only
feed rumour mill the more. It is actually a self-inflicted ridicule. To be
sure, I do not think any reasonable Nigerian
would begrudge PMB for taking ill. What irritates is seeking to hush things up
or make a subterfuge to a question otherwise requiring a simple answer. A more
honest correspondence making it clear at the outset that the president needed
medical attention duration of which would be determined by his doctors would
have saved all this embarrassment. 
Then, the mishandling of the softer
issue. It is easy to see why things appear to be falling out of hinge.
PMB’s two chief media handlers, Femi
and Garba Shehu, are holed up in Abuja while their principal is cocooned
in undisclosed location in London and
fiercely shielded from the public.
Assailed relentlessly by a pesky
public at home, the duo, ordinarily seasoned media managers, have had to resort
to all sort of improvisations to manage an obviously awkward situation. It is difficult
to tell how much access the duo have to their boss. From experience, I can tell
that they can’t perform magic if they too have to depend on third party to
source facts to compose releases. 
One can illustrate with the
photographs of Aisha,

First Lady, Aisha Buhari….Also visited husband in London only to return home for her birthday Opera in Abuja

the First Lady,
and Sai Baba that made their way to the media a fortnight ago.
In one, the wife, apparently perching on a side stool, was shown sidling to a
rigid Sai Baba on the couch. The second picture was even more
prudish: wife standing almost mechanically beside her husband, each bunching
her/his hands and placing same gingerly on their lower tummy. Like starry-eyed
pupils awaiting the teacher’s inspection at a Sunday school. 

But imagine if, for a change, Sai
 had instead been shown placing an arm lovingly on the shoulders
of his devoted wife. That is enough to cause a national sensation at home and
maybe afford PMB a diversion he badly needs at the moment. By now, public
attention would probably have shifted to the “loving Buhari”. The
same way a make-over of bespoke Tuxedo and posh bow-tie had helped tweak public
perception of him ahead of the 2015 polls.

Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina finds self in a big fix over boss’ London Holiday dilemma

Surely, this is not the hour to envy
Femi and Garba. The “Abiku” (spirit child) has turned the once
revered native doctor to a laughing stock in the community.


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