Patrick U. Akongwale|20 April 2017
I had a heated argument with Miss Marycollette Matiki days before the end of BBN, she's an aspiring writer and a good one considering her level of exposure. I felt someone of her level shouldn't champion a shallow show like BBN. Days later, I wrote a piece praising the business acumen of the creators of the show and her response was telling: "You too"? It's a Nigeria way of expressing shock about an issue, she's surprised that a "boring guy" like me found BBN interesting. Who wouldn't admire a project like that, BBN showed the creativity of the Nigerian youth even if I don't agree with the artistic depth. From the creators to the participants; it was a back-2-back hit quoting the popular Nigerian Musician Olamide. The TV ratings was higher than the English Premier League; unlike soccer that is watch mostly by men, BBN had a cross appeal: it was watched by the old and young; single and married; students and workers; Christians and Muslims.
Fast forward to last week Wednesday, EFCC raided a house and as usual provided digital evidence of money stashed in a highbrow part of Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. Most of us were happy, once again we have caught these thieves, online media houses made preliminary announcements claiming that the money probably belong to a recently retired Group Head of NNPC; some claimed it's part of Dasuki's loots. EFCC that is known for leaking news to media houses in the middle of investigations went quiet; given the position, PDP politicians such and Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom Wike had the room to start throwing accusations, they claimed the money belonged to Chief Rotimi Ameachi —an accusation they later have denied and promising to sue the duo to court for defamation and character assassination.
Later, Sahara Reporters changed their story line claiming that the money belong to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) —Sahara changed the story later claiming that their source in the NIA is claiming that he's not sure if the money belonged to the agency: that he can't confirm! I quietly knew something was happening, the EFCC & DSS that have shown a penchant for spotlight went numb as well. Till date, EFCC is yet to make an announcement regarding the issue; neither most of us that followed Efe and his friends as they struggled for 100,000 dollars in faraway South Africa. The case don't add up and most neutrals and PDP members don't believe the government side of the story, for the social media foot soldiers of PDP, it was a great week to see the ruling APC struggling to cover either one of theirs or to protect our national security apparatchiks. Conspiracy theories will come up, but only a few men will know the truth because the lower class in Nigeria don't even care about their plight, and are not interested improving their condition.
Yesterday, the government announced the suspension of the head of the NIA and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Lawal Balbachir. Balbachir, ironically was cleared of corrupt practices in January of this year by the Minister Of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation despite insistence by Senate that he should be sacked, he even rushed to court to seek an injunction not to appear before the Senate. We are yet to know the crime the DG of NIA committed or his role in the current scandal; we are yet to know if the Balbachir is part of the current racket.
My biggest lesson here is how the country united and follow Efe and his friends till the end of BBN, but, goes quiet when 50 million dollar is found in the private home of someone; how EFCC that initiated the raid sees no reason to give media briefing till date. We studied BBN but can't follow a story that involves our common wealth; want to occupy the National Assembly and condemn them as the sole problem of our country, can't pressurised the National Assembly to launched her own independent investigation into this affair.
Monseiu Saraki and his gang are probably afraid that Mr. President and the APC will renew/increase the intensity of his CCT Trial; Speaker Dogara is scared of the Executive since his budget padding scandal might be resurrected by Malami and the DSS; Emir Sanusi can't keep talking alone; the opposition PDP is chronically ill or dead. How a society that a Medical Doctor is taking delivery without hand gloves stays quiet when 50 million dollars that can raise a world class tertiary health care facility in a place like Ogoja(something that is overdue) is sleeping in someone's house and the government is quiet; most of us are waiting for the next episode of BBN since advocacy is not part of art down here.
Nothing surprised me about the civil right movement like the role Hollywood figures and studios played, in an era when the mainstream American society was not opened to the idea of equality and full civic duties for minorities, the Beatles and other Hollywood stars risked their lives and career to expand the reach of democracy. I look back and watch for the day our studios can run soap opera that portrays the "Real Nigeria". I will asked for a picture and even an autograph from the creators of BBN, but I will whisper to them —and plead with him to package something on Osborne & Andrew Yakubu Loots; I won't be too confident though, I understand that it's hard for art with depth to sell in a society that an unemployed youth don't know that channels like Blomberg or CNBC are on DSTV nor their contents.
Patrick Unimagbebia Akongwale
Is a Social Commentator