Raising her head up to look at me, Asabe seems to have an angry expression on her face before she began to speak:
‘You know what Bint, I entirely agree with you about political advisers being ghost workers. That’s what they are, honestly. They do not earn their keep, like ghost workers they are just being paid for doing nothing.’ She blurted.
‘What happened to make you agree with something I said over one year ago?’ I asked.
‘Well, look at the story that’s promoted on the cover of this newspaper. It says that the EFCC had turned down the money offered to it by the governor involved in the dollar-bribery scandal. Do you think this would happen if that governor had a single functioning advisor who is sincerely earning his keep? It is now obvious that His Excellency is surrounded by people who don’t mean him well, otherwise they would never let him commit such a folly.’ She declared.
‘Yes, it’s certainly an ill-advised step. I mean even without advisers, I’d expect an experienced politician like him to know when not to be generous to people or institutions. So how can you just wake up and decide that though you are in the middle of a corruption investigation, you still feel that the sector that needs your generosity most is the one that comprises the country’s two top anti-graft agencies, the EFCC and the ICPC? It would naturally seem like bribe to most people.’ I opined.
‘But these two aren’t the only institutions the governor was generous to, he also agreed to pay the new national minimum wage, without complains or threats of retrenchment, which makes the workers in his state among his favourites people. But I agree that to give money to EFCC and ICPC, when you have a monumental corruption scandal hovering over your head is indeed the height of folly. And this is where I blame his advisors. For sure this isn’t a step any governor would take all alone. He’d have to consult someone, even if it’s only one person. Why didnt that person try to stop him?’ She demanded.
‘The way I see it, His Excellency was getting euphoric over the applause he got from workers. And his confidence was also returning after all the questions being raised about the authenticity of his alleged bribe videos, particularly the theory that Deepfake technology can do anything with a person’s image and make it look like he was doing things he had no notion of doing. In the accompanying euphoria, the governor did what the Hausas call ‘b’ata rawarsa da tsalle’ he spoilt his beautiful dance moves by jumping. Now he’s got the world wondering how innocent he could be, if he could think of bribing the main anti corruption watchdogs of the nation.’ I observed.
‘It’s truly unfortunate but I think it’s a divine intervention to expose him further. I mean a man who claims innocence of the charges against him and also alleges a grand conspiracy, should not be taking the steps he took before now. First he sent his commissioner before the state assembly investigative committee when he could easily go there himself, then he went to court and tried to stop the legislators from going ahead with the investigation, and when that failed he took the matter to court by filing a case against the journalist who was releasing the videos. All these are not the actions of a man with nothing to hide. So the fact that he took this jumpy dance step and ended up rebuffed by the EFCC is simply in sync with the rest of his actions since the release of the videos.’ She concluded.
‘I wonder what he’ll do next, now that the EFCC had effectively told him “No, thank you!” I said, looking directly at Asabe.