Nigeria is known the world over as a rich land in natural resources. She is equally reputed as producing small minds as leaders and experts in fraud and forgery. With huge deposits of oil and gas in the Niger Delta region Nigeria ought to be competing with the Asian Tigers or even America in societal developmental trends but the truth is that she is still lagging centuries behind with poverty decimating majority of its population. The funds stolen by public officials (from governors to ministers to the former presidents/dictators) had it been channeled towards infrastructural development would have turned the landscape into African America.
In Nigeria God blessed us with huge mineral resources deposits and arable land that multiplies fruits and foodstuffs (when planted) in harvest time. Yet hunger stalks the land with millions of our people going to bed hungry and others dying from curable diseases for lack of money to buy drugs. The tragedy of our nation lies in our disorganization and individualism of those in positions to cause a definite change. They cause change only in their wealth profile leaving the people pauperized and worse off than they met them! That indeed is tragic enough. That is the crux of the matter. How do we effectively police those who toy with our patrimony? How do we arrest the drift towards degeneration?
Late 90’s my sister was sponsored to go to
Few days later we were filled with terror when she called to announce, crying, that she had been deported. The visa we had suffered to obtain at an exorbitant price was judged by the Greek immigration officials to be fake! We went to see the man who arranged for the visa but he had changed base, nowhere to be found! We consoled her leaking our financial wounds. Sister Lovina cried and cried and refused to eat or drink anything for days asking no one in particular why she could be so cruelly treated. Then as a young activist in the Ivory Tower I never knew much about ‘Oluwole’.
The ‘Oluwole’ forgery factory in
‘Engineer’ Nathaniel Ilube was an easy-going unassuming man whose gait betrayed no desperation in life or any dangerous ambition. For years he was the Director-General of then Bendel Broadcasting Service (BBS) in Benin City Edo State. On more than one occasion I had seen and observed ‘Eng’ Ilube at close quarters in BBS headquarters performing his official functions either playing executive host to Executive Governors or Military Administrators (including Senator Tunde Ogbeha who militarily administered
For years fake ‘Eng’ Ilube issued commands, gave orders and delegated responsibilities to seasoned and unseasoned broadcasters in BBS, some of whom were more educated and experienced than he was! Then suddenly his world crumbled as the bubble got burst one fateful day. It was 8pm headline news on the BBS TV and I was home tuned in. Nathaniel Ilube had been finally exposed: he was never any Engineer but his peers and friends gave him the title for his natural ‘engineering’ prowess. Whatever that meant! And the sobriquet stuck with time and he cleverly affixed it to his name. Ilube was remorseful for having betrayed those who trusted him and had lobbied hard for him to be so employed undeservedly.
Nathaniel Ilube was and is not alone. Today in
The worst case happens to be one Uga man named Andy Nnamdi Uba. Former President Obasanjo’s ‘house boy’ has been proven to use loads of fake degrees to bamboozle the unwary into according him the scholarly respect he deserved not. It has taken detective Sowore of Sahara Reports and Prof. Okey Ndibe to challenge Andy Uba to prove his chains of degrees but the former imposed governor of
During the month of Ramadan a member of House of Reps was reportedly deported from
The get-rich-quick sy
ndrome and the quest for success are driving Nigerians crazy making them desperadoes. In examination halls we cheat, in our daily lives we corrupt everything and everybody, before Reverend Fathers we tell lies of love, shouting ‘I Do’ even when we do not understand the true meaning of true love. Quite contrary to what late General Abacha had tried to tell the world in one of his international image-laundering programmes while in power “Not In Our Character” I think it is in our character to do reprehensible things and do the wrong things. Even Abacha the messenger was the very irony of what he was propagating!
The problem of forgery and perjury is a huge one confronting our nation-state. Unless we all resolve to embrace the core values hitherto held dear then no solution can ever be in sight. For a start Andy Uba should step forward and shame the likes of Okey Ndibe throwing mud at his image by making public his CV. By so doing we will take on Prof Ndibe and attack him until he tenders an unreserved apology. Otherwise the American-based lecturer will be vindicated and those attacking him presently should go take a jump at the