Naija Notes: The Rot in the Senate

by Toni Kan Onwordi

Been a while.

Ever heard of Caligula aka Gaius Ceasar Germanicus? He was a Roman Emperor who became the embodiment of debauchery, wickedness and irresponsibility. He did not only marry the worst prostitute in Rome, he carried on an incestuous relationship with his sister, Drusilla and led the empire on an orgy of violence and sexual depravity.

Worst hit were Senators of Rome, whose wives he turned to whores. Do we need a Caligula in these parts? Judge for yourselves.


For those who missed my missives from the motherland, a little explanation: I was down with chicken pox and typhoid fever. But now I’m back. No more chicken.

While Naija Notes was on compulsory leave, a lot happened in the polity. OBJ escaped the impeachment threat, and Anyim it seems was caught with oil on his fingers. Naaba is facing opposition from his own men and Anenih has been singled out as the most dangerous man in Nigeria.

Now, to take a breather from the gloomy news, 90 beautiful damsels flew in last week from all over the world to brighten the landscape.

Now the details.


When IBB mentioned the term Evil Genius in an interview with a newsmagazine, he inadvertently dropped his much beloved moniker Maradona for a more appropriate but not so flattering one: The Evil Genius.

Now, in the wake of new revelations coming from the Senate, IBB may have to find a new sobriquet. Francis Arthur Nzeribe has become the new Evil Genius. As I write this I am sure that Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim breaks out in sweat every time he hears the name Nzeribe.

Well, Nzeribe who was suspended from the Senate for daring to accuse the House of corruption has let loose a foul smell that is threatening the Upper House. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) led by Justice Akanbi is set to probe not just Anyim but those Senators who collected N3m each to stop OBJ’s impeachment.

The money which Nzeribe said he collected with 83 other senators (Anyim allegedly got the lion share of N60m) was shared out in Senator Mantu’s house.

The latest gist coming from Abuja has further soiled Anyim’s image. Photographers sent by the ICPC to get pictures of the sprawling mansion Anyim is putting up in Asokoro, were stopped from carrying out their duties by plain clothes police men attached to Anyim despite the presence of a CSP in their party. It took the arrival of reinforcements to get the situation under control.

The whole thing is getting “curiouser and curiouser.”


And still talking politics and lawmakers, OBJ has vowed to re-present the Anti-Violence draft bill, which was rejected by the lawmakers.

The bill is intended as a deterrent measure for the 2003 elections, which is expected to be “bloody”. Under the provisions of the bill any politician who instigates violence will get his comeuppance immediately or at the end of his tenure.

The bill intends to withhold all immunity from political office holders leaving them open to prosecution at the end of their terms.

Guess what the lawmakers did? They threw it out.



Anthony Anenih was a policeman in his former life. These days, his day job lists him as Minister of Works and Housing but those in the know say he is OBJ’s oddjobs man. The man who can fix and unfix virtually anything.

Well, it seems the fixer may need some fixing after all. What happened? Tony Anenih seems to have opened his mouth too wide. It all began in Benin when Lucky Igbinedion was anointed by Anenih as the PDP “candidate not aspirant” for the Edo State government house. On that occasion, Veepee Atiku Abubakar and PDP stalwart, Samuel Ogbemudia joined Anenih in anointing Lucky Igbinedion as PDP’s choice.

Well, Anenih took things a bit too far when he reached for his anointing oil again in Port Harcourt. His pronouncement that all the PDP governors as well as the President and VP would be automatically nominated for second terms drew the ire of not just those waiting in the wings but that of Mr Audu Ogbeh, head honcho of the PDP.

The fire is still smouldering and the jury is still out on who will win this one. Meanwhile OBJ is rumored to be contemplating a change of guards in his cabinet and Anenih’s name is believed to be on it.


And now to some cheering news. A bevy of scantily clad beauties swooped down on the nation last week giving us cause to cheer and ensuring CNN had some good things to say about Nigeria, at least for this once.

Beauty queens from 90 different countries are here for the grand finale of the Miss World pageant. The event had been shaken by boycott threats over the death sentence handed down to a single mother by a Sharia court.

The coming of the beauties who have been feted severally by the FG as well as Rivers and Cross River states is a much needed PR opportunity for Nigeria which has been haunted by a spell of bad news in the international media.

Now, let the party begin.

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