Our dishonorable legislators: Was Obasanjo right?

by Ahmed Dodo

It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity” -Francis Bacon

About few weeks ago, the chief commanding officer of Ota farms and erstwhile president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo came out boldly to tell the world that the Nigerian legislative arms of government made up of members of the national assembly were nothing, but a bunch of rogues and fraudsters in power. Obasanjo had said; “Integrity is necessary for systems and institutions to be strong. Today, rogues, armed robbers are in the state Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly. What sort of laws will they make?

And as usual with any statement from the former controversial president since he was forceful sent parking from Aso Rock, Nigerians, especially the legislators took a hard sweep on him, calling for his mulish head. In fact, I was among those who initially was skeptical about his statement, but today I can confidently tell you that I have recant my skepticism and right now beginning to see a ray of light in what Baba Ota tried to opened our veiled eyes to see and recognized the true identity of those dishonorable men and women purporting to represent our collective interest.

To be honest, I was never a fan of Chief Obasanjo in and out of office, but I might again change my posture if what is currently brewing at the lower house is found to be true at the end of the day. I don’t know if I might write an apology letter to the old man and tell him that, like many other Nigerians, I have long been blind to the double face posture of our legislators. Truly if the now dishonorable Farouk Lawan evidently collected the $3million bribe as being alleged by one of the chief’s boy Femi Otetola come out to be true, then Nigerians I believe have no option than to openly apologized to Baba Ota and beg for his forgiveness, even if it warrant us to prostrate, as exemplified by his erstwhile vice -president during his solo mission to Ota farms some years back.
Right now Baba’s words are metamorphosing into true, as Mr. Integrity, Farouk Lawan’s chicken seems to have come home to roast. Still fresh in our minds is the scandalous double faced dishonorable Ndudi Elumelu Power Committee fraud and the many lies he and his committee told Nigerians. And right now Nigerians are realizing that another member, this time a long serving element of the National Assembly has long been playing a double agent on them, deceiving us and manipulating us with his false integrity group and at the same time eating with the devil.

I am still finding it hard to believe that the petite looking Mr Integrity could drop so low for a $3million bribe, despite his reputation and fire-brand anti-corruption posture. It is sad that Farouk Lawan could slop so low and disgraced his position as a federal law maker and chairman of a House Committee. It is a disgrace that this man who was known as a champion of anti-corruption be little his integrity and allowed himself to fall into a cheap sting trap in this modern age of Information Communication Technology.

Right now the House of Representatives is reported to have suspended him and stripped him of all the positions he had hitherto held on to fraudulently, but how many other double faced dishonourable legislators do we still have left in the lower chamber? I mean as rightly stated by Baba Ota, how many rogues and armed robbers still exist in the National Assembly? Do we still have other double face legislators like Ndudi Elumelu, Herman Hembe and Faruk Lawal, eating fat on tax payer’s money and at the same time stealing us dry and secretly collecting millions of bribe from men like Femi Otedola and co? Funnily Femi Otedola has been left roaming freely about and making boastful noise. I am sure he would have been cooling off his rich feet in detention by now if it were to be in a sane and just society, since as the giver of bribe, he is assumed to be corrupt too. Right now nobody can give a clear cut answer to the many unknown bribes he had long been dishing out to other legislators in the national assembly. What we seem to have is a thief trying to catch another thief. Or who among the giver and the taker is the real thief, since Odetola’s company is accused to have stolen huge sum of money from the Nigerian people through the oil-subsidy disgrace.

It is more than ten years away since the return of so-called democracy in Nigeria, but a trip around the thirty six states of this country, would only revealed a political jamboree and massive looting of the people’s money and assets by some of our flamboyant politicians and their cronies. It has actually been more than ten years of looting, corruption, deceits and underdevelopment. All we see in the states and National Assembly are hot expensive debates, ineffective bills, and grammatical jargons, jamboree committees and abandoned recommendations.

And to quote our now soothsayer erstwhile president, Chief Mathew Aremu Obasanjo on the judiciary who many have long seen as the savior of the common man, he had this to say: “The judiciary is also corrupt. During my tenure, many of the corrupt judges were removed. Some are still there. If the Judiciary becomes corrupt, where is the hope for the nation? Justice, no doubt, will go to the highest bidder. The judiciary did not see anything wrong with a former governor but the same set of evidence was used to sentence him in the United Kingdom.”

Could Baba Ota be right again, just as he came out to tell the world about the rogues and armed robbers parading themselves as legislators in our national and states assemblies? Would our image battered judiciary shame him this time on his bold statement that “The judiciary is so corrupt” and for once do the right thing by prosecuting those found guilty in this current bribery saga effectively? Would they see something wrong in our elected or is it selected legislators fraudulently collecting bribe and coming out to deceive the Nigerian people and the country’s integrity?

The fact that Chief Aremu Obasanjo is said to also have stained fingers, should not make us respect his patriotic whistle blowing statement, after all, a devil you know is said to be better than the angel you don’ know.

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