The moral debris of GEJ’s looted home By Louis Odion, FNGE

Ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nemesis of time (Kamar?)

Vanguard editorial, in my view, belongs in the heavyweight echelon
of Nigeria’s commentariat. The weight of its punch is to be judged not only by
the resonance of the message over the years; but also its economy of phrase –
the uncanny facility to say a lot in so few words, packing so much
into so little a space.

But its edition of August 3 must rank among those that fall
miserably short of the high value it normally espouses. In the comment
entitled, “Looting of ex-President
Jonathan’s home”, the newspaper
said every thing expected against the cops-turned-burglars and those who
trafficked the stolen goods.

The Vanguard Publication where Jonathan cried out

What would have been a fine argument
against yet another iniquity of man was however sullied when, in the next
breath, it openly sought to either deny anyone the right to outrage against Jonathan on any count whatsoever or make
a villain outright of those unable to express pity or empathy with the victim
on this matter. 

It wrote: “No decent human being can claim that what took place in …
President Jonathan’s house is excusable on any ground. All people of conscience
must rise up and condemn evil, no matter who is involved. The atmosphere of
hatred which seems to have seized the people of this country by the throat must
be made to give way to empathy for one another, as that is the only way we can
build a united, strong country.”
Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Uncle Muka Pemu
For effect, it reminded us of
the great sacrifice GEJ made to
secure democracy: “It was due to his
gentle and patriotic disposition that the nation experienced a peaceful
transfer of power from one political party to another in 2015.”
In the haste to
whip up sentiments, the editorialist, alas, missed the context and
the nuance of the great heist at issue.

Jonathan and the Buharis with VP Osinbajo on May 29, 2015

 To start
with, seeking to overplay Jonathan’s
2015 concession of defeat as reflected above is very cheap indeed. Care needs
be taken against overdrawing that goodwill account. His action then was the
most honorable thing to do at that moment, for which enough encomium has been
showered on him both within and outside our shores. 

But that can, by no means, now
amount to an entitlement to pity at all times. Nor can it possibly be
tendered as adequate inoculation against reproach or perpetual immunity
against public scrutiny. 

The Author, Louis Odion FNGE….Mad with facts….over Vanguard’s Editorial

Otherwise, we, given what is now
also known about the sordid aspects of the same past, risk enthroning a new
relativity of morality with the suggestion that gross ethical inadequacy be
excused in the throes of sentimentality or being captive to one memory.
Rather, the intelligentsia must be
seen as setting very high standards for the
society, holding all actors by a universal principle. Inherent in
that resolve is a commitment not to compromise values or lend itself to
those seeking to lower the society’s ethical bar on sentiments ranging from
ethnicity to creed. 
Two, there can be no
disputation as to whether Jonathan,
were he another ordinary Nigerian,
would be deserving of pity over this loss of valuables.

The Police Cops who cleaned Goodluck Jonathan’s house

While it may be true
that most Nigerians indeed lack true love for their nation as corporate
entity, they certainly do not hate one another at inter-personal
level, as can be verified from the instinctive response of the average Nigerian
meeting complete strangers at an accident scene, for instance. He is very
unlikely to turn the other way but play the biblical Good Samaritan – lending
a hand to those in distress. 

As a people, Nigerians are not incapable of pity when sufficiently aroused.

Sambo Dasuki….He looted with a different gusto…

In the present circumstance, the
truth is that Jonathan is definitely
not the guy next door. And if we can summon courage to face the more
inconveniencing truth, many – if not most – Nigerians today would argue GEJ
only just got a mini dose of the bitter portion the nation was force-fed with
under his watch as president. 
In a poetic reversal of role,
while the man from Otuoke
grieved over the loss of domestic valuables under police guard, his fellow
compatriots have not stopped bemoaning the mindless looting of their own country
while Jonathan was sentinel. 
On account of what is now known,

Can anyone believe her again?

those who wish to discount the GEJ
silhouette as only totemic of looting without limit cannot therefore be accused
of being uncharitable. The cost of plasma
TVs, refrigerators and bowlers is
certainly insignificant compared to, say, the $150m (N54b) of luxury
assets recently forfeited by

Jonathan & His Queen Kiko Tita?

Diezani
and co to US authorities alone. To say nothing of estimated $15b
(N5.4t) systematically stolen through Dasukigate.

Jonathan in a tete-a-tete with his ‘Lotter-in-Chief ?

 

Funny enough, when the likes of then
CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
were crying out that the national exchequer was being bled to death, Jonathan took it upon himself to parlay
every national platform to vigorously defend Diezani as hapless victim of those playing malicious political
games.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi….Raised attention of country men to the fraud at NNPC

When you occupy an enviable office,
he once philosophized on a national television in her defence, enemies tell fat
lies to pull you down. 
So, if some citizens are now unable
to bring themselves to pity Jonathan
over the Gwarinpa  burglary
as the Vanguard editorial surmised,
it must be understood in the context of a nation still unable to come to terms
with the mega heist under his watch, the lurid details of which continue to
unfold with stifling pungency both at home and abroad. 
In the statement to the police, he
lamented his home was “completely
stripped
bare”, underlining
an epic betrayal of truth. Policemen asked to guard a home chose to become the
thieves themselves.

Jonathan: House looted beyond control….

But once the marauding vultures had
been upbraided and chased away, it will be time to censure the mother fowl for
exposing her chicks to danger in the first place. By Jonathan’s own admission, the theft was only discovered last month.
The truth he was obviously too shy to share is that the property in question
was lying waste as he lives elsewhere in Abuja.
That apparently left the door ajar for the evil cops to systematically clean
out the four-bedroom duplex over the months.
Of course, in a society where
estimated 60 percent of the population is thought homelessness and many more go
to bed on empty stomach at night, that is not the sort of secret you want to
let out.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi: A Bold & Daring Banker turned Emir…

So, had the media not become awash
last week with “sensational” claims of what went missing, it is
debatable if Jonathan would not
have preferred to hush things up to avoid eyebrows being raised or some
hard questions being asked. His statement on the theft would then seem to be
motivated more by a desire to debunk the “exaggerated” claims than a
willingness to give self up for scrutiny. 
Obviously to deflect initial reports
suggesting “36 Plasma television
sets and 25 refrigerators”,
the former president detailed the haul to
include only 6 flat screen TV sets, toilet seats, 3 refrigerators, doors and
one gas cooker. His statement was however conveniently silent on the reports on
“bales and bales of babanriga wears
and designer suits with his names embroidered on the inner linings”.
Without being induced, some
witnesses have already volunteered accounts of what really happened.

Dieziani: Once upon an oil Power?

One Mallam Shuaibu has been named as one of
the buyers of the stolen items at the popular Pankera Secon-hand Market,
Abuja. One account said each suit was
auctioned for N5,000. And what a boom
time it was in that corner of the market for a long time before the secret
leaked. You would see locals of all nations and creeds trying assorted bowler
hats on display and “woko” Ijaw
jumpers of many colours in the open before making a pick. 

Not surprising, the four cops
implicated in the shameful conduct have since been dismissed by the police
after an orderly room trial preparatory to their being formally prosecuted. The
same way Ibrahim Bagobiri, chairman
of the Pankera Market, has been defenestrated by members for allegedly partaking
in the receipt and disposal of the stolen goods. 

‘Mr. Jonathan, did you loot your country?’ Sen. John Kerry seems to be asking ex-President Jonathan

From media pictures of the crime
scene, it is easy to feel anger, vengeance in the clinical severity with
which the policemen-burglars violated the haven where Jonathan once dined and slept. Literally, what remained was for the
brigands to excavate the floor tiles and the blocks to complete a furious
plunder.
Though no one can tell for sure how
long it took them to finish the pillage, since they were reportedly posted
after the former president quit Aso Rock,
it is perhaps safe to assume they had taken charge before the slime of Dasukigate began to seep out by the
twilight of 2015. 
Dazed by the stories of grand
larceny that began to circulate, chances are that the unscrupulous policemen
themselves only saw Jonathan’s
personal effects and household goods as their own fair portion of the
elephantine loot. Ordinarily, no one would wish to be left out when the
proverbial butchered elephant is being shared. 
It is clear Karma had passed through Gwarinpa with
all its mystical stealth.

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