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

2 thoughts on “On Soyinka Vs The Abachas: A Letter to Gymber Cacandah

  1. “…this godforsaken rabble of victims united only in a desire to further victimise themselves…”

    I could only suppose you either didn’t mean it or I didn’t understand what you meant. I do not believe that Nigerians are a godforsaken rabble of victims united in a desire to further victimise themselves. They are a people caged in a system from which they need a leader to set them free.

    You sound very intellectually smart but my guess is that it’s not hard to imagine that the Nigerian people having been caught in this hellhole created by the military (I mean from Ironsi until Abacha) are inevitably preoccupied with the need, not only to provide for their present needs but also to make personal provission for their social security and so remain basically untouched by the events around them. A society without the structures in place for healthcare, education, social security and jobs with living wages will understandably be hardpressed to inspire loyalty in her people. The people in the West and indeed some parts of the Middle East and Asia protect their system because it works for them and their society. Nigerians will protect and work hard to protect a sytem that works well for them. They will get on the street or vote out a government that seeks to undercut or destroy it, but as it is, we have no such system.

    We need a leader who can offer us the tangible premise of such a society. A leader who can cut across the divide bequeathed us by the British, and make us believe that a system that works for everyone else as well as it does for the man in Aso Rock and the previleged few is possible in Nigerian. For such a leader, Nigerians will give their lives.

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