On Abacha’s Loot and the Unbridled Insolence of his Offspring
January 2, 2014
The recent forfeiture notice served on the scion of the Abacha clan, Mohammed, by the government of the United States over funds held in various U.S banks owned by the late dictator came as no surprise to most of us, even if the amount involved, $500 million of stolen money is quite mind-boggling. It is already a well-known fact that Sani Abacha was probably the biggest looter of all those who have been fortunate enough to rule Nigeria, fleecing us in billions of dollars with a most unrestrained purposefulness.
However, when news like this one breaks, a new chill of re-realization engulfs the mind, a new anger erupting within one at the height of malfeasance seemingly innocent people are capable of carrying out when graced with the seat of utmost power.
One thing that we should be grateful for is that at least a lot of this stolen money is finding its way back into our national coffers, even if they end up being re-stolen by those who are in power now. We also know that it’s probably only a fraction of these stashed loots that will ever be recovered, with more than enough expertly shielded from any possible scrutiny or investigation.
This much was attested by Mohammed himself who recently boasted that even Aliko Dangote doesn’t possess as much wealth as the Abachas, though that’s only a notion from his demented imagination. But this asinine boastfulness over money they never worked for, which rightfully belongs to the people of Nigeria, tells its own story of how this lineage has been eternally delivered from the claws of lack and want.
This perhaps informed the arrogance and effrontery that was displayed by Mohammed’s younger siblings, Gumsu and Aminu, who recently publicly berated no less a personality than our only Nobel laureate in Nigeria, Professor Wole Soyinka. The internationally renowned literary genius had rejected a bogus award bestowed on him during the centenary celebrations by the government of Nigeria, considering it an insult upon his person to be lumped together with the likes of a tyrant like Abacha for a national award. Well, Gumsu, Abacha’s daughter and her brother Aminu didn’t take Soyinka’s derogation of their father with a light heart at all, as they jumped up with vehemence and took to the social media to lambast the revered playwright.
While it is understandable for any child to stand up to defend his or her father’s name, even if the name is already deeply enmeshed in the mud, but then, this ought to be done with some semblance of tact and decorum.If not for circumstances, Abacha who joined the Nigerian Army as a mere recruit would never have been fit enough to tie the shoe lace of a Soyinka, a literary guru of international renown. This is not to mention the wanton brutality Abacha meted against his political enemies (anyone who opposed his rulership), countless people murdered in the broad daylight. But then we know it is only natural for his children to see their father as a saint, being completely blinded by the trappings of power and stolen wealth. Wole Soyinka himself was hounded out of the country, escaping through the Benin Republic borders on the back of a motorcycle, only returning home after the timely death of the diminutive, yet deadly dictator. So, was Soyinka right to make the statement he made about the late dictator? Absolutely yes! Were his children justified to come after Soyinka the way they did? They only displayed their lack of proper home training by calling the octogenarian statesman names, all in the defence of a name they think they still have in their deluded minds. A name that has gone down the annals of our history as the worst of all Nigerian heads of state till date.