It is a dog-eat-dog world out here. But does it have to be? Arranged in alphabetical order.
A Rapist in Government?
Commissioner for Water Resources in Kogi State, Abdulmumuni Danga, brutalized and allegedly raped a lady for calling him out on Facebook. The lady, identified as Elizabeth Oyeniyi, had urged the commissioner on Facebook to assist his sister and family financially.
This post did not go down well with Danga, who kidnapped Elizabeth from her home with her three-year-old son and sexually harassed her multiple times. He was suspended from work and five months later was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja on a seven-count charge of rape.
Buhari the Unbothered
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Presidents of South Africa and Ghana have addressed their citizens severally while taking lead roles in the national response. must be nice for the citizens.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed a taskforce led by Boss Mustapha and promptly took a back seat appearing intermittently to receive recommendations and to extend or call off lockdowns.
This reckless behavior of posturing like a monarch born to rule instead of an elected official carried on to other burning issues of the year like the #EndSARS protests and missing boys in Kankara.
COVID-19 Palliatives are a free for all
Amid the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria over police brutality, mobs of citizens overran several government-owned warehouses and looted food and other relief materials that were supposed to have been distributed during the earlier lockdown declared by the federal government.
CA-COVID, a private sector coalition had collected tens of millions of dollars’ worth of aid for coronavirus victims and given it to the government. The materials made their way into the hands of politicians who cornered them.
The devious outing at the Lagos State House of Assembly
We got a peep as to the shoddy quality of representation that we are getting at the Lagos State House of Assembly when a public seating seeking to understand the #EndSARS movement and how the protests were hijacked by looters nationwide.
Instead of taking the opportunity to side with the people of Lagos state who sent them to Alausa to represent their interests, the legislators mounted the platform one after the other to put up cringeworthy performances meant to placate their godfathers. Desmond Elliot, Mojisola Alli-Macaulay and Speaker Mudashiru Obasa did the worst of the worst.
How to get away with corruption? Fainting spells
The acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, rather than give a credible account of his stewardship, convulsed and lost consciousness as a House of Representatives committee probed allegations of financial mismanagement and fraud at the commission. Months later, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, on the run since at least 2015, collapsed in court where he is being prosecuted on a 12-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.
Justice for Don Davis
A pained mother, Deborah Okezie, posted a video on Facebook where she cried out that her 11-year-old son, a JSS1 student of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, was sexually molested by his seniors when her son was switched from his hostel to another hostel filled with senior students.
She alleged that her son was frequently starved and beaten up by the senior students. The principal of the school was suspended but that wasn’t where it ended. Okezie alleges that the state Commissioner for Education, Enobong Mbobo invited her to a meeting only to threaten her life and intimidate her into dropping the case.
Kidnapped boys of Kankara
More than 300 schoolboys were missing for nearly a week, after an attack on the Government Science Secondary School Kankara in Katsina State while President Buhari was visiting the state. Government’s response swung from one embarrassing gaffe to the other before the military about a week later succeeded in rescuing 344 of them.
According to officials, Boko Haram was not involved. The boys were kidnapped by bandits masquerading as the Islamist terrorist group. No one believes a word coming from government quarters obviously.
Kogi State’s dismal COVID-19 response. Cross River too.
As the nation joined the rest of the world to mount a suitable response to the covid-19 pandemic, a couple of state governors made the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s already challenging work even more distressful.
In Kogi state, governor Yahaya Bello existed in a Covid denial state for months frustrating scientific advice and intervention efforts. As a result, loads of diagnoses were missed and lives were lost. Ditto Cross River and Akwa Ibom states where the commissioners of health chose to put political interests over public health imperatives.
On October 20, between the state and federal governments, armed officers were deployed to the Lekki toll gate center where they opened fire on people who gathered to protest police brutality and demand good governance.
According to Amnesty International, at least 12 people died with many more injured. The government did not just stop at this, they avoided responsibility for the trauma and deployed the state machinery against active citizens.
Government officials seized passports of people involved in the protests, blocked account numbers and put some citizens on no fly lists. Shame.
There’s trouble in the NDDC
2020 was the year that the Niger Delta Development Commission was exposed as a cesspit of very corrupt activities, enough to send everyone involved in its management in the last decade straight to jail.
Former Acting boss of the commission, Joy Nunieh after her removal was involved in a messy back and forth with minister of the Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio. Nunieh claimed that Akpabio had harassed her sexually. Her home in Rivers state was eventually put under siege and it took the intervention of Governor Wike to rescue her from Akpabio’s intimidation.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.