By Chiadikaobi Obasi,
Followers of the late great South African legend, Lucky Dube, will be conversant with the title of this article. However, for the uninitiated, Monster is one of the tracks in “Respect”, Dube’s last album before he was “assassinated”. I had played the track many times years ago but the full comprehension came reverberating not long ago. This song has reminded me of the desperation among the political desperados in Nigeria.
As if history is not replete with many good men that went ahead to become “monsters”, many who come after them chose not to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors or countrymen. A fable tale had it that the tortoise had gathered his seven children after supper one day. He thereafter asked them one simple but sensible question: “how many times will you experience adverse situation before you learn?” He sought for their opinions beginning with the eldest (Oka) who told his father seven times without blinking of the eye. Oka may have arrived at his answer because they were seven in number (excluding their parents). To each of the answers given by each son, the tortoise commended the respondent for his ingenuity. His commendation got the sons jittery, for within them, they knew that all is not well and only one or none may have got the answer. However, the tortoise continued until he got to his last son who told the father that he will learn from the mistakes or experiences of others. For this answer, the tortoise replied, “You are my son in whom I am well pleased.”
Since 1998 when Nigeria started this democratic journey to date, many monsters have been thrown up in its political landscape. These include but not limited to Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Gov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso, Chief Theodore A. Orji, Chief Mike Aondoaka, Gov. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu etc.
Unfortunately, these monsters cannot shed their spots just like the leopard. Gov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso no doubt started well as a governor, a minister and thereafter, a monster. By renaming ‘everything’ in Kano or adding a new prefix to it, his “kwankwasiyya” dynasty has earned him a rightful place in the inglorious club of “Monsters”. He has elected to play God but just like everything about life, he will fade like the lily; like Daniel Kanu of the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA) fame. He is the father of all the active monsters in the country today.
Former Gov. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state (Talba) is another on the rank of monsters. With a vast background in the public sector, he took up the pleasant appendage, “Chief Servant” to beguile many unsuspecting Nigerites and Nigerians. One had expected him to be an exception owing to his ‘retinue’ of self-acclaimed achievements. Now Nigerites know the best as the much-touted ‘Chief Servant’ has ignominiously graduated to a “Lord Master” before Sen. David Umaru showed him how clean politics should be played.
Abubakar Audu, the former governor of Kogi state could have won “the father of all monsters” title if former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had not joined the race. Audu as governor renamed almost everything in Kogi after himself, chief of which is the state-owned university (which he renamed Abubakar Audu University) Ayingba, many roads and streets (the grapevine had it that cattle, goats and fowls had his name appended on them). However, like many monsters before him, he has since found himself in the mire where Monsters live. The Monster cap was later handed over to Ibrahim Idris who succeeded Audu as governor but could be snatched by Gov. Idris Wada or the man that would come after him.
If men could realize that reasoning is done with the brain and not the mouth or feet, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, the former governor of Enugu state and later senator may have realized that power is ephemeral. While riding like a colossus between 1999 to 2007, his praises almost became the state anthem. The ‘Ebeano’s (referring to Nnamani) rise from obscurity to ‘prominence’ left much to be desired as many unresolved killings happened in the state under Dr. Nnamani. And two years after his tenure, the people of Coal City have seen through the dummy of deceit that was sold to them. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani (Chi-Boy) a medical doctor by profession has gone down the drain with the toga of ‘Monster’ trailing him. It seems that his successor, Gov. Sullivan Chime who has earlier refused to wear that ‘befitting’ crown has of recent accepted to wear the infamous crown of shame. What with his recent ignominious senatorial ambition and anointing of his sister, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo.
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the then Action Governor, has since been left in the cold. What with the dismantling of his political structure, the Progressive Peoples’ Alliance (PPA), the estrangement of his erstwhile godson, Gov. T.A. Orji and many other of his political woes? The crowning of Kalu as “Action Governor” was as insincere as the kingmaker, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The commercial city of Aba; the state capital, Umuahia etc have partly heaved a sigh of relief when “One Monster Died” but it was short-lived when another greater ‘Monster’ was thrown up in Gov. Theodore Orji.
Chief Mike Aondoaka SAN, was the former Minister of Justice under the late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua but later chose to be a god. The funny aspect was that for the first time in Nigeria’s history, an elected Vice President was ‘taken command’ from a political appointee. It had to take the Senate who adopted the Doctrine of Necessity to save Goodluck Jonathan from the fangs of the cabal headed by the (dis)honorable Minister of (In)justice. His successors, Odein Ajumogobia and Bello Adoke like the baby tortoise, have truly “learnt from the mistakes of others.”
Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, the medical doctor-turned-politician got elected into the infamous League of Monsters by his ineptitude, lack of vision and savvy. Under his administration, ignoble killings took place chief of which was the murder of the then NBA Onitsha branch chairman, Barnabas Igwe and his wife, Abigail (and their un-born baby) by state agents and the thousands of killings by state-backed Bakassi Boys. However, the governor chose to hunt for rats while his house was burning. With a backlog of unpaid arrears and salaries to teachers and health workers, he was more concerned with wearing the toga of “Oderaa” and a second tenure ticket. Although no monster has risen again after him in Anambra, it is hoped that Willie Obianor will not choose to go back to Mbadinuju’s stool.
Monsters are not made without the support of kingmakers. The head of the kingmakers is no other person than Chief Tony Anenih. Whoever has had cause to disagree with the sons and daughters of Chief Anenih will never forget the Esan chief in a hurry. Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu will lead the testimonies. Thus, Chief Tony Anenih is worthily qualified as the Lieutenant of the Monster kingdom.
Finally comes the’ father of all monsters’, the Nnukwu Mmanwu of the Monster kingdom, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. He signified the evil genius who pelted stones in the forest and came out to ask, ‘who dunnit?’ With a penchant for unguarded statements, insulting whoever opposed him and disgracing him/her at the appropriate time, Chief Obasanjo is hundred percent qualified to wear the crown of the “Grand-Master General of the Monster Kingdom”. He is in everywhere how and what a monster should really be.
The reality of the whole thing is that almost if not all the monsters had never risen to ‘stardom’ without the assistance of feeble minds. The million question is, how many monsters will be made/born in order to make Nigeria a better place?