On Soyinka Vs The Abachas: A Letter to Gymber Cacandah


Dear Mr. Gymber Cacandah,

I have to write this, and it has to be delivered, as I’ll tell the postman, very fast, to wherever you are in Miami before this collective children of anger to whom Professor Wole Soyinka is a deity lynch me on charges of, or complicity in your, blasphemy.

You see, I delivered your “robust defence of the Abacha regime” as promised, and the vultures are hovering over me. They have said, having mistaken me for you, that I’m an unsympathetic oil mogul and uppity millionaire. In fact, some of your more desperate admirers, graduates of engineering trained at our academic abattoirs, have even sent “Laters of Applicashon”, seeking for a place at your oil firm, to my mailbox. One even wrote, “I like the way you rubbished that useless cultist, Soyinka. He’s so fool (sic) of himself”. You see, your intellectual buffoonery is so stimulating it gets the educated illiterates confused and jealous. Some of them let the fire of their anger consume them, simply because I’m a successful version of what they aspire to become: famous, influential and, dare I say it loud, brilliant. These haters are mostly writers who can’t write without a thesaurus, with the help of which they string together highfalutin words to bamboozle an imaginary but really long dozed off audience. If I don’t praise myself, they won’t, that’s for sure! They are hurt that I, a saint of note, shared your powerful indictment of this generation of hypocrites in my column last week. Even my beloved father, Pa Ikhide, that investigative blogger and father of intellectual outcasts, is considering adopting you now. Thank me whenever you return to Nigeria.

I didn’t exactly know about the deification of the Nobel laureate until an angered fellow, who sounded like a staunch member of Odua People’s Congress, bigoted and militant, wrote, “Would you,” and he meant me, “have written something like this about your Prophet Mohammed?” I shook my head. Some witches are speedily defeated when ignored. But that reaction gave me a clue about what you set out to do, which is, like your friend, Sadiq, demystify Soyinka, and highlighting that he is neither Jesus nor Muhammad but a mortal who could not even run ordinary Road Safety, a small government institution.

Wait, how did you know he was not a superman or Jesus or Muhammad? The newspapers reported that he left the General Babangida regime because the system was, beyond redemption, corrupt!

But on the many allegations you raised in your piece, Nigerians of my generation, particularly those too young to understand what you referred to as “the microeconomics of government” during the Abacha years, are interested in the actual facts.

First, who were the pro-NADECO activists, the exiles-turned-politicians who, having eventually got the chance to lead, according to you, only redirected public funds to their private offshore accounts? Can you oblige us with their names? We also want to know their newspaper houses which, also according to you, they use in countering witch-hunts and vilifications. You wrote that the judiciary has cleared Major Hamza Al-Mustapha of responsibility – “trumped-up charges”, you averred – in the killing of the Pro-NADECO. So, I ask: who killed Alhaja Kudirat Abiola? We also want to know all the “populist projects” you wrote that General Muhammadu Buhari executed as head of Petroleum Trust Fund for the Abacha regime. Wait, Mr Cacandah, would you show up if President Goodluck Jonathan, in his ongoing ploys to saturate the sentiments of this nation, decides to set up a committee to inaugurate a panel that will authenticate your claims? It might not be a national “conference”, or a “panel”. Would you stand, Mr. Cacandah, before an Abacha Ad-hoc Bureau set up by His Present Excellency. . ? I won’t be lending you my column again, you see. So, a bureau. . .

As much as I hold that you’re harsh in that unforgivably gloating commentary, I acknowledge your indictment of the anti-Abacha activists in power today: the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was once on death row and is understandably against the ghost of Sani Abacha, did not only pillage Nigeria, but even emulated Abacha in his self-succession bid, having invested taxpayers’ money in his infamousThird Term Agenda. He left power only after he too had inflicted his own injuries on this already scarred country, planting a malfunctioned puppet as President in his wake, and thus becoming the architect of neo-misery in Nigeria. As wise men elsewhere have said, Abacha’s greatest mistake was his untimely death; that nasty little mortality problem robbed him of the chance to hide his dirty linen like those before and after him have done and continue to do!

Generally, aside from taunting us for being members of the played class, which is a design of your class, the Cabal, your call for collective vilification of all who have run Nigeria – and yes, starting from the cannibal named Frederick Lugard – is not misplaced. But you have also offered up yourself as news material for our lazy journalists and bloggers who dismissed you as “Muslim”, “Northerner”, and whatnots – harmless labels – for patronising the Abachas. You see, even my own good friends who have praised me as the Edward Sa’id of Nigeria (Imagine? Hahahah!) turned their backs on me – now that they’ve discovered, in mistaking you for me, that I am, like you, a “Muslim” and a “northerner”. I don’t want to be seen as paranoid, but I have received a threat from some dangerous sea society people, though it’s still immature for a public announcement.

Of course, I love that I’m being threatened, because I’ll gladly sensationalise that to fast-track my asylum application. I am thinking of coming to join you in your city, Miami. I’m tired of this suffering, this country that beggars belief, this country of herds of people who cannot take the time to read and understand and think, this pathetic excuse for an intellectual elite that exists in Nigeria to be ornamental, this godforsaken rabble of victims united only in a desire to further victimise themselves to the extent they can but never never to stand against the Cabal – comprising people like you, Gymber Cacandah – never never never to abolish victimisation. I am as angry as I am disgusted as I am tired. May God save us from us.

Yours sincerely,
Gimba Kakanda
Columnist, author of Safari Pants (poetry).

Ps: Please, you have to come to my rescue. Help me with some money! Wallahi my car broke down in Minna, and I don’t even have the resources to fix it. Boys are not smiling, sir. You see, I love your profound piece, that’s the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. In fact, I love it. Please, here’s my account detail: Gimba Aliyu Kakanda, 4196332015, Bank of the North. Of course, also like you, I love my fellow northerner, Abacha. Don’t forget to send the money, sir. Thank you.

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda on Twitter

In Defence of Sadiq Abacha


Abacha, our Abacha, the last of the true Generals and defenders against western imperialism, is dead and Nigerians, whose cowardice is both genetic and legendary, have become activists united against his ghost.

You see, our activists only pick a fight with the dead, they pick a fight with this dead soldier, because they lack the “street credibility” to mobilise the people against living politicians—merely to prove their bravery to their white sponsors who, they pretend they don’t know, are just manipulative imperialists exploiting the poverty expressed in their demonstrations of patriotism. Even those cockroaches who remained in the dark, unspeaking all through Abacha years, have now gained baritone voices, fabricating stories of their “involvements” and “engagements” in “pro-democracy struggles”, as they queue behind a frail old man, Wole Soyinka, to vilify Abacha and even us.

Yes, every family that didn’t use “Abacha stove” in those good years are now seen as accomplices in the fall of this country.

But why is everyone hating on us? When is it a crime to be an ajebota? So because our colleague, Sadiq Abacha, finally condescended, after persistent persuasions, to lecture your role model, Wole Soyinka, an asylum-seeking common writer whose schizophrenia is no longer a rumour, you’re calling for our heads? Is it our fault that your parents are not smart enough to get rich? That you used “Abacha stove” in those years was because you were poor and your father was broke. Your improved conditions today is a testimony that Abacha had given you opportunities to secure education, though understandably substandard, but still better than what’s obtainable at your schools now, which made you smarter than your parents.

It’s so interesting that Nigerians who were in their panties, all below age 10, in Abacha’s regime, are the most outspoken critics of his government today. They didn’t really experience the time, but are critics now, having been indoctrinated by the famously biased media representations of the South-romanticising Lagos-Ibadan press who are ever quick to vilify northerners that refuse to offer fat brown envelopes to their owners. Do not mistake your childhood naïveté for history, little tigers. You may consult your senior colleagues who were part of the two-million youths march organised by Daniel Kanu-led Youths Earnestly Asking for Abacha, that tampered with the blood pressure of CIA-controlled media moguls in the West.

Lazy journalism is responsible for all the Abachas have passed through in these past horrible years, and despite all he has done for the country. Is it not true, as Sadiq highlighted, that Inflation went from 54% to 8.5% under Abacha? Is it not true that our foreign currency reserves increased from 494 million dollars in 1993 to 9.6 billion dollars by the middle of 1997? Is it not true, also, that our peacekeeping operations were the hope of this continent? Things fell apart after the death of Abacha.

Today, you say that Abacha stole money, but can you tell me any Nigerian president or head of state, living or dead, that didn’t do the same? Abacha didn’t expect his death, which was why he couldn’t tie the loose ends of his offshore accounts. The others, before and after him, were lucky. How is the present any different from Abacha’s days? Did the presidency, under Goodluck Jonathan, not steal $20 billion? Did the security personnel, under Goodluck Jonathan, not kill unarmed protesters during the fuel subsidy removal protests? Did the presidency, in a democratic system, not suspend a CBN Governor by decree? You even say that Abacha killed Ken Saro Wiwa, but he was not the Judge who headed the tribunal set up to try Wiwa. You don’t even know what Wiwa did. If Justice Ibrahim Auta who tried Wiwa had no conscience, he wouldn’t have become the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. See? History is already pulling Abacha out of this lake of propaganda designed by NADECO leaders, former exiles-turned-politicians, who only succeeded in teaching us how to loot national resources with wisdom – through ownership of newspaper houses to counter political witch-hunts and vilifications.

The judiciary has cleared Major Hamza Al-Mustapha of trumped up charges of responsibility in the killings of the pro-NADECO, so why are we pointing finger at the ghost of Abacha still? Our soldiers who were the toast of every pop singer and apple-offering Indian dame in Abacha days are now being used for experiments in guerrilla warfare by ordinary Aboki terrorists. Shame! And if Abacha were a bad person, General Muhammadu Buhari, the only morally upright elder in the country right now wouldn’t have served under him, overseeing implementations of populist projects as head of Petroleum Trust Fund.

See, let me tell you something, those miserable countrymen overseas, who have turned Abacha vilification into a career, in their campaign to defeat him, his ghost that is, are not honest with you. They’re doing so to justify their continuous stay, long after the death of the General, in those grand European and American cities where, from washing dead bodies of lower-class white people, they have acquired education and even managed to secure small jobs, validating their claims of “living large”. I have seen them, misery wrinkled in their faces, in my many holidays outside Nigeria.

Everyday they upload photos on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram with accompanying captions “Chillling tinz”, “YOLO” and even “Life is Good…” to introduce us to their realities which are blurred by photoshopping. Those tax-evading asylees and migrants are everything but comfortable. Their life is a lie, a fraud that gets them attacking the Abachas. They were there on claims of persecution by Abacha. One, a famous novelist, has been going from campus to campus, Harvard to Princeton, telling the white people that he, an incomparable genius, was on death row in Nigeria and that he had seen prisoners nailed on ceilings from their penises, thanking his gods, the white men and their liberalism, for rescuing him, away from Abacha, away from Babangida, away from Buhari, and making him a better person. But, wait for it, unholy shame, my good friend, a freelance investigative blogger has exposed him: your novelist has never ever been anywhere close to a police counter, let alone a maximum security prison. But he still vends those fabrications to make a living in America, to demonise you and your country. Yet you celebrate him!

I know, my dear countrymen, you do not understand the game of this army of pretend activists overseas, who have scammed us all, used you as foot soldiers of their fabrications. This is not fault of yours, I blame it on your schools. Did you actually know the three classic laws of thoughts before reading Sadiq’s powerful letter to Soyinka? Instead of thanking Sadiq for that free tutorial, you’re cussing us. For what? Is it also our fault that, having graduated from schools where you shared classrooms with lizards, the laws of thoughts seem like obscure lines from Shakespeare’s unpublished play – The Incomprehensibiliad? Why must we always be the scapegoats of your failures? Were you there when our parents were looting your treasury? Who are your witnesses? Those silly things you see in the media are sponsored. Not that I expect you to believe me, anyway. You’re all incapable of thinking without those abstruse rants of your sadistic journalists and columnists, which is why we’re organizing a party to celebrate brother Sadiq’s victory this weekend.

Sadiq didn’t address his letter to you for a reason. He knows you lack the intellect to comprehend the microeconomics of government, and even the Nobel laureate himself was correctly taught elementary philosophy to enhance his cognitive abilities, before he was intellectually taken to the cleaners. I love how Sadiq deconstructed your Soyinka, an overrated professor who has no PhD. Shame. Our friend, a certified ajebota, Salihu Dasuki Nakande got his PhD at age 24. The paragraph below, a necessary education for you and your amnesiac professor, is what we call knockout in boxing:

“You say, with the weight of your sense of history and the authority you possess on national issues that ’a vicious usurper under whose authority the lives of an elected president and his wife were snuffed out‘ referring to my late father, you must be growing old, or you would rightly recall that that president elect you refer to did not die while my father was alive.”

Busted. This historical revisionism alone is enough for the forfeiture of his Nobel Prize. Thank you, Sadiq. Let’s re-educate these emotionally petty, ignorant, hate-mongering, angry young men being played by the Establishment. See you in Miami shortly. We love you, bro!

Gymber Cacandah,
CEO, Cacandah Oil & Gas.

Ps: If you think I was not an ajebota in Abacha years because you knew when Ya-Kulu was sending me to go get chaff at Dogo Mai-Injin’s place, God is watching you. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda on Twitter

Sanusi, Ribadu and the Nigerian Amnesia


I was hanging out with a friend, a very informed businessman and one of the last species of optimists who still postulate theories that Nigeria is not exactly messed up, when, as every grumbling citizen would do, I asked for his views on the suspension of the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. His response was sharp and apt: “What would Nigerians do even if that report of missing $20 billion is discovered to be exactly so?”

At first I thought he was merely being petty over a national tragedy, but on honest consideration, I realised he was just being blunt. That, perhaps, was the first time he ever gave me an answer like a typical “true Nigerian”. His optimism disrobed, and all he could utter was a question whose answer is known to every comrade from Bayelsa to Borno: nothing! And, as though he had heard my unexpressed response, he revived my memories on the the state of corruption in the oil industry exposed in Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s report as Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Task Force.

That Nigerians even exhibited shock at the Sanusi Report hurt me as well. The stench of corruption here is strong enough to asphyxiate even a foreigner who only learns of our legends on CNN. If concrete evidences are what we’re waiting for to occupy this government, didn’t we get the documents of Stella Oduah’s looting? What did we do? Didn’t we follow Abdulrasheed Maina’s pension fund scam? What did we do? Long before that, we watched the theatrics of fuel subsidy thieves and how impunity became their badge of honour. What did we do? Corruption is now a state-approved crime against the Nigerian masses, so much so that even our purported angels are being lost. Hon. Faruk Lawan might still be “Mr Integrity” if not for the cameras that captured his complicity, in his “pursuit” of subsidy thieves. But did we continue from where we lost him?

Our mistake as patriots is expecting the people who blew the whistles that called our attention to mismanagement of funds to continue in their risky quests to rescue the stolen resources. We are already about to forget about Sanusi Report the same way we allowed Ribadu, who exuded audacity in indicting even the President, to be politically ostracised by the enemies of our country. There wouldn’t have been a Sanusi Report, in fact the suspended CBN Governor would have become an enemy for remaining quiet in a warped system, if we had adopted the Ribadu Report as the Constitution of our agitation for change before he spoke out. For Ribadu Report gave us all we needed to be angry: the wasting, on extra-budgetary purposes, of our money to illegally acquire and pay for things that benefit only the Vagabonds in Power. We lost billions.

And if we’re really not a bunch of forgetful activists, we must remember all exposed in Ribadu report: $1billion in signature bonuses, discrepancies in payment by the NNPC, and debts from oil companies unaccounted for by NNPC and Department of Petroleum Resources; N700.5million in loans to Sao Tome & Principe on instruction from the presidency; N2.23billion chopper for the president and a purported sponsorship of the World Cup; payment of N2.421billion to a foreign company, Royal Swaziland Sugar Company; underwritten N521million expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (N250million the agency told the committee it spent on court cases involving the ministry). The Ribadu report also exposed that the NNPC was being used as illegal lender to presidential committees, ministries and parastatals. For instance the corporation claimed it incurred about N20billion on the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security, based on instruction from the presidency … The list is endless, and traumatising.

If Sanusi had an illusion that, beyond our cyber-venting, Nigerians who could not budge on the scale of frauds exposed by the former EFCC chairman, would really take to the street to stand by him in his rebellion against a system for which he had been a poster-boy before the cookie crumbled, now that would have been tragic in capital letters. In many quarters, Sanusi’s stance during the fuel subsidy removal protests, especially his reckless remark that “Those speaking now on the internet and Facebook and Twitter and newspapers are not workers but middle-class elite who use PMS in their smart cars…”, is a reason to not pity him. We were in the street in January, 2012 to convince the government that its predecessors have built a socially disastrous system in which living without subsidy is a harsher hell, and he insulted our sensibility with elitist excuse that the masses are not affected by the removal, refusing to understand that the masses mostly depend on generator sets for electricity, refusing to understand that a rise in the price of fuel is a rise in the cost of transportation, and this means a rise in the cost of every everything: an inevitable inflation. I applaud the audacity of the suspended CBN Governor, even though I know his “whistle-blowing” was a futile exercise in a nation where rights to demonstrate grievances are seen as forms of activism, reserved for a few.

The Nigerian is an amnesiac person who loves political dramas for the fun of it. We have formed a dangerous system in which we leave the struggles for the redemption of the country for the people in government, hence our heroes are just the people who rebel against an incumbent government they’re no longer in good terms with. While it’s advisable to not dismiss the revelations of rebels who expose the wrongs of a government they once served, let’s not fail to remind them of their complicity in the creation and fostering of experienced difficulties. We’ll soon be consumed by our “listen to the message, not the messenger” principle, with which expired devils are made saints for vilifying their successors or on falling out with their accomplices. The messenger matters. It’s morally insulting to join an oppressed people in speaking out against a trend you didn’t try to stop while you were still relevant!
Not that it’s not wise to accept the “wikileaks” and rebellions of expired devils, but are we setting a desired precedent to check the reigning oppressors? This is the tradition that gave Obasanjo, Architect of the Miseries of Modern Nigeria, a platform to become a political hero having blown up an opportunity to become one when he was relevant.

Let’s build a society where a reigning devil will be sure that he’ll never, even if s/he attempts to polarize the people, be welcome anytime s/he’s no longer relevant in the establishment. We all know that Nigeria is being looted, every day, every minute, but we’re wingless canaries, singing a familiar tune, transfixed . Even Satan will be venerated as a misunderstood angel if he has a chance to TALK to these Nigerians in a “the message, not the messenger!” advocacy. May God save us from us.

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda on Twitter