January 18, 2022

Allison Diezani’s Gate

Dieziani Alison Maduekwe

 

 

Published October 29, 2021

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) just exposed the vanity fair, of Jonathan-era high state officials, which has condemned millions of Nigerians to avoidable poverty.

It’s in seized assets, evaluated at billions of Naira, soon to be auctioned.  In this shocking firmament of grab-to-enrich-self-but-impoverish-others, Diezani Alison-Madueke, President Goodluck Jonathan’s Oil — and wonder — minister, was in a world of her own!

One of her bras — or was it a relay of bras — to be put on the block was reportedly valued at US$ 12.5 million (approximately N6.8 billion, by current parity)!  Imagine how many poor and vulnerable families, beneficiaries of the current government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT), would be covered by the cost of those magical bras!

Or, applying the principle that prevention is better than cure: how many facilities might N6.8 billion have put in place, to avert these folks slipping into poverty — many of them, penury?  And the huge social cost — in avoidable anguish — of that grim slip?

It’s indeed the satanic cost of a bra — or a pack of magical bras, visible or invisible!

Indeed, the Diezani stocks come with sobering shock, in all its audacious range of exotic greed, courtesy of the EFCC auction register: 125 pieces of wedding gowns, 13 small gowns, 41 waste trainers, 73 hard flowers, 11 suits, 11 invisible bras, 73 veils, 30 braziers, two standing fans, 17 magic skirts, six blankets, one table blanket and 64 pairs of shoes.

From invisible bras, to magic skirts, to fashionable veils, to Imelda Marcos-like fancy and endless shoes, Diezani had it all — and each and every of those items, allegedly sourced from sucking the common wealth, sentenced millions of her compatriots to avoidable poverty!

Though Diezani was the glittering Lucifer in that dark cosmos of graft and sleaze, she wasn’t the only player.  Another was the late Alex Badeh, Air Marshal and President Jonathan’s chief of Defence staff (CDS), whose village was even one of the territories that Boko Haram seized, at the height of their Islamist insanity.

Yet, all Badeh did — at least according to the EFCC case against him before gunmen killed him en route to his farm, on Abuja-Keffi road — was salt away crucial cash meant for arms and ammunition procurement, to acquire illicit assets.

Badeh’s two houses in tony Wuse 2 and Maitama, both in Abuja, are also heading for the block.

As always, the media are all titillation at this sensation of abnormal greed.  Yet, they do pretty little to tie-back the present mass suffering to the reckless waste of the past, dating back to 1999 under the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency; and that Jonathan was just the not un-guilty fall guy, under whose presidency everything collapsed!

If from Obasanjo to Jonathan the Federal Government had saved just 20 per cent of the composite greed of its high state officials, and spent such on physical and social infrastructure, the poverty today would perhaps be much lowered.

But, of course, the media have moved on from all that; and are too adept at lazy lowest-common-denominator reporting and analyses, to make that crucial link.

Still, thanks to Diezani’s bra — a sickly but fair metaphor of that era of brazen steal and reckless waste — it’s not complete amnesia, despite cheap media hysteria

 

Share this