Naija Notes: Attack of the Democratic Clones

by Toni Kan Onwordi

I finally got to watch a George Lucas movie. For some funny reason I had resisted the urge to watch any of the Star Wars movies. Sci-fi has never been one of my passions.

But as these things happen, I got an old copy of Vanity Fair last week and a large chunk of the pages was devoted to the stars of and story behind the latest in the franchise; Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

The best part of the movie for me is where Master Jedi Obi Wan Kenobi tells Anakin Skywalker, “She is a politician and so not to be trusted.”

What has Star Wars got to do with Naija Notes? Simple. Obasanjo and members of the House of Representatives are politicians and so are not to be trusted.

It appears that I goofed when I said in my last posting that the tension between the Reps and the president would cool off before the middle of the week. I guess I didn’t contend with Ghali Naaba’s tenacity. The man has got OBJ where it hurts and he is not about to let go.

I also goofed when I said that OBJ has learnt not to shoot his mouth. The man fooled me. On Sunday August 25th OBJ addressed the nation. What would have been a media chat became a nationwide broadcast. He addressed issues of national importance but failed to attach much importance to them. His reference to the Rep’s call for his resignation as joke roiled many including Audu Ogbeh, Chairmann of the PDP.

Well, OBJ has since amended his faux pas. He said it was a joke that went too far. Amendment or not, for Naaba and the rest, the emphasis is on joke and they seem determined to prove to OBJ that this is no joke.


Sharia-mania is raging in the North. While the world has risen in stout condemnation of the death penalty passed on Amina Lawal, the Katsina and Niger state governments are bent on underlining their barbaric nature. Another couple has been sentenced to death in Niger for adultery.

Their case is a funny one. The lady’s father made the report and saw his daughter and her lover sentenced to 5 years imprisonment plus a N15,000 fine. Obviously not satisfied with the “lenient” sentence, the father took the case to a sharia court, which gave the correct sentence. But after the death sentence was handed down the father became remorseful.

As the din of condemnation rises, let me quickly add that this sharia thing is flawed. There is no where in the Koran where Prophet Mohammed expressly decreed that an adulterer should die by stoning and the Koran actually says that for the charge to stick there must be at least 3 or for witnesses who saw the male organ enter the woman’s.

Bur for our Shari-rists here in Nigeria, seeing the product of that alleged affair is enough proof.

What we have in the North is a serious case of blood lust and until someone is actually killed, that lust will not be assuaged.


NEPA is at it again. For those of you who are abroad and are thinking of coming home, this is for you. Ensure you come along with a power generating set or extra cash to buy one soon as you land in Naija. There will be 3 months of power outages beginning Sept 1, 2002. NEPA says inadequate gas at its Egbin thermal plant is behind the development.

What a crock of you know what.


And now this one liner: Naija has been voted the 2nd most corrupt country in the world.


Mike Adenuga, the man who calls his palatial Ibadan mansion, Gold Diggers’ Palace is set to keep an auspicious date with history. He has up till 5pm of Friday August 30 for his company Globacom to pay up the remaining $180m being the balance of the $200m he bid to become the owner of the Second National Operator Licence. If he doesn’t pay up, history would have repeated itself a la January 2001 when his company CIL lost the $20m dollar deposit it paid after the GSM auction. The NCC had ruled that his balance of the $288 CIL bid for a GSM spot came after the deadline.


And to close let us return to those vermin. Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, was roundly disgraced in Adamawa state when the pilot of the presidential jet which conveyed him to Abuja refused to fly him to Bauchi, arguing that he had instructions to fly Anyim straight to Abuja. Peeved, Anyim had stormed out in tow with fellow Senator Jonathan Zwingina.

Well on Monday Zwingina was the one who moved the motion on the floor of the Senate urging the Senators to open up their enquiry into constitutional breaches committed by the president.

A coincidence, abi?


Let me leave you with another quote from Star Wars. Out on a picnic with his forbidden love, Amidala, Anakin tells her. “We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problems, agree on what’s in the best interest of the people and then do it.”

Someone has said that Nigerian politicians find it difficult to transit: consider 1983, 1993 and now 2003 looms. Maybe they are just clones of the past leaders. Who knows.

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