Sunday, March 4, 2012

SaharaTV on Convicted former Nigerian Governor: James Ibori

James Ibori, the former influential governor of the oil-producing Delta State of Nigeria, recently pleaded guilty of corruption charges in a London court. Which is a stunning development, given the history of this character; a history that says so much about the culture of corruption in Nigeria. A man who had been convicted TWICE in British courts for stealing managed to find his way into money and power thanks to the military dictatorship of the 1990s. This same man would become governor of one of Nigeria's richest states and one of the most powerful politicians in the land--a defacto king-maker in Nigeria's most powerful political party (don't ask me how come the constitutionally required vetting every electoral candidate goes through never redflagged him). If there is one more reason to feel sorry for Nigeria, consider the fact that tens of people--mostly London residents from this man's part of Nigeria--often showed up at the London court to demonstrate their support and to declaim the legal process. Against the overwhelming evidence of this man's criminal past and sordid political dossier, these characters, and even certain journalists declared him innocent; a victim of political persecution. Even on the day he pleaded guilty, these shameless "ordinary" people still showed up for their man. That, to cite Achebe, is the trouble with Nigeria; no matter how corrupt a politician or civil servant, s/he still often commands the respect, adulation and sympathy of many from his state or ethnicity. It does not matter than it is these same people that have suffered from the predatory practices of these jackals who run that country.
So here is my toast, rendered without any postcolonial irony: For having done what the Nigerian legal system seems totally unable and unwilling to do: LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!

Watch this!

No comments: