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To Ibrahim Magu: May your road be rough

Ibrahim Magu
Ibrahim Magu

I have hardly been to a movie theatre in three years.

Even with COVID-19 lockdown and unlimited access to YouTube content, I have hardly spent an hour watching any of the 50 movies that Nollywood is reputed to churn out every week.

Before you think I am from another planet, always remember that I am a full-blooded Nigerian.

Although Nollywood producers are said to generate $590 million annually, only drones watch movies.

The Nigerian socio-political terrain is filled with willing and unwilling actors called to break a leg.

Until you get queasy, there are no dull moments as unending drama unfurls in the Nigerian theatre of life.

Drama after drama

Two examples would expose the absurdity of drama in my dear nation.

In what part of normal have you heard of a snake swallowing $100,000 in cash?

Who would pay to watch a movie in which monkeys left banana grove to swallow $194,000?

Nigeria has produced global playwrights, but none has had the clairvoyance to forewarn us about the absurdity that other people’s corruption evinces in our eyes.

In neither of the cases named above was Ibrahim Magu, the mini-czar of Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption module featured.

Magu does not war with domestic thieves in a country where mega pen robbers crisscross the political landscape with both their immunity and their integrity intact.

Therefore, when news filtered Monday morning that Magu had been ‘arrested’ and dragged before a Presidential panel, I laughed at the theatrical imagination of the reporters jostling for the value of our COVID-19 loan with their fertile imaginations.

The only thing that was certain was that the rooster disengaged Malam Magu from the warm embrace of his lovely wife and children.

He took a shower, dressed up, ate his breakfast and stepped out to the convoy of cars ready to take him wherever his protocol officers directed.

In Nigeria, big men don’t drive themselves, such acts are infra dignitatem to their official position.

Somewhere in the thick Monday morning traffic, Magu’s escorts saw a star from the villa re-directing them to the presidential villa.

Magu would have loved to go to Police Headquarters where his heart was headed, Villa drones do remote sensing.

At the Villa, Magu declined the tea he was offered and instead was ushered to a waiting area until the empanelled committee set to interview him was ready with their long questions.

Of course, Magu called his lawyer who did not have the day’s entry pass to the villa but passionately waited for further instructions.

Magu is a Nigerian.

It’s a requirement to head the EFCC for now.

Things could change if General Buhari could fly to London to shake hands with his friends in Scotland Yard.

With all its anti-corruption gra gra, the EFCC could not prosecute James Ibori or send him to prison.

It was not smart enough to nab Madam Globe, Diezani Alison-Madueke before she sneaked to London where she has remained ever after. The EFCC arrested her jewelry.

Were our corruption-impermeable general not been sentenced to self-quarantine, even MI6 would have helped Abubakar Malami find the dent he was seeking to nail him or assist in finding a suitable replacement.

After all, seeing that the last assembly did not endorse Magu as the substantive EFCC head, the new rubberstamp was never even asked for its opinions.

That should have told Magu to seek redeployment to SARS or FARS before jeopardising his commission, but he didn’t.

Of course, Magu’s supporters were not taught the history of Nuhu Ribadu’s journey through Tunde Idiagbon House, nor were they aware of the reason Madam Farida Mzamber Waziri’s name got missing from the national awards list. When humans ignore history, it repeats itself like a deja-vu!

Magu may be an anti-corruption czar; he is most probably not blessed with the gift of discernment.

If he were, he would have learnt that Abubakar Malami doesn’t particularly like him and openly asked to replace him. In the scheme of things, those who Malami could not save are cast into the APC’s lake of socio-political fire, which burns with sulphur and brimstone – the first death!

Monday’s villa drone detour should surprise no one.

It is just another scene in the many acts that make most Nigerians averse to spending precious time watching other people’s make believe in movie theatres.

The story of the EFCC and its leadership over the years is the story of the sponge – we sometimes need them.

When we do, we use them, hang them to dry but once they start taking more detergents than they deliver clean plates, we dump them and look for a better scourer.

Rather than join the crowd of casual observers crying more than the bereaved, I peeped into the late Tai Solarin’s favourite prayers in times like these and said to Magu – Oga sir, may your road be rough.

I hope he enjoyed the ambush that took him to the Presidential Villa.

What goes round usually comes round.

Those that Magu ambushed lately should be having their last laugh, but I won’t join them, simply because we don’t belong to the same club.

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