I was still trying to figure out what happened in Zamfara State when Mace thieves decided to invade not just the Senate, but our public space.
Without wearing balaclava or any form of disguise, they walked down the aisle of the Senate confidently and grabbed the Senate’s symbol of authority, dashed through the door into waiting vehicles and sped off. They knew we could and would do nothing. They knew we would make noise, scream and throw hefty adjectives at what they had done and then we would move on. They knew the Sergeant-at-Arms was a woman, unarmed, easily harmed.
They knew all they had to do was dress well and confidently walk side-by-side a serving senator and voila, they’d have legislative immunity. They also knew, curiously that the Sergeant-at-Arms and all her lieutenants, all the police aides of the senators, members of the House of Representatives, (109+360, do the math) all the uniformed un-uniformed men and women, security agencies in the National Assembly, would not alert those manning the gate to close the exit. They knew. Did you just gasp? Let me rephrase that last part.
The Mace thieves knew that all they had to do was grab the mace and run. They knew no security agent would stop them. They knew nobody, repeat, nobody, would alert the National Assembly exit and entrance gates to stop them. Yeah, they knew the gates and the gatemen were theirs for the taking. So, they simply strolled in and strolled out. Smoothly.
Recall those were the same gates vigorously manned to prevent then Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from making it into the Green Chambers and become the Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Recall too that those gates were firmly shut to ensure senators of the Eighth Assembly didn’t pick a certain set of leaders. But on the day the mace thieves came calling, all gates were flung open. Nobody alerted the gatekeepers. Nobody stopped the escaping thieves. The thieves did not have to scale any fence or climb shut gates like some lawmakers once did.
Suspicious movements. Suspicious actors. The whole thing reminds me of the story of the dancing mammy water. All everyone can see are the dance steps, the goddess’ drummers are deep down at the bed of the sea. A strange death cannot just come into a compound unless it has inside help. Those brazen thieves knew all those proverbs and they did justice to the rhythm of the hidden drums. The drummers must be thoroughly pleased with how things turned out. And the icing on the cake was where the stolen mace was found. Under a bridge, a flyover, near the Abuja City Gate! Every one clap for the Nigeria Police. Good job guys. Didn’t I see a checkpoint around that place the last time I was in Abuja? Yet, it was one observant citizen, who found this precious national jewel and said hey, isn’t this the Mace I just saw stolen on national television? Great job, Nigeria Police. What would we have been saying if the Mace was never found? I bet the thing was not even insured. Calamitous. Clap for our policemen again. Didn’t they give the thieves a hot chase? Didn’t they shoot into the air to scare the fleeing thieves? I trust them, very conscientious folks.
Now, me I won’t mention any names. I do not know the name of the senator who led the Mace thieves into the Red Chambers. I cannot go and carry another man’s load on my head while dragging mine on the ground. A senator who could smoothly lead the thieves right to the Mace is a dangerous dude. The policemen, who ‘arrested’ him and issued a statement that made no reference to the senator is also belong to a force that should be feared. And then the judge who granted the senator an injunction restraining DSS, Nigeria Police and even Bakassi or Egbesu Boys from harassing him is a fearful man. You see why I said the mammy water’s drummers are deep inside the river?
However, let us put it on record that the thief can get away with thieving for days, one day monkey go go market he no go return. Why a full-grown man whom we have been reporting for almost two decades would do what he did last week is still a mystery. Personally, I have been editing and passing stories on this fellow since 2006, if my memory serves me well. He had attempted to be governor many times. Imagine if he’d made it to Governor’s Office! A Senator who resorted to thugs to help his cause, what would he have done to the Speaker of his House of Assembly if the latter didn’t ensure the budget was passed on time? I see him grabbing the mace and flogging the Speaker to stupor.
All the reputation this senator had garnered over the years, he put them together and fed them into a brand-new shredder in front of millions of Nigerians, indeed in front of the whole world because now, every time his distinguished name is googled, this sad story, plus photos, of his involvement in the Mace thievery will pop up.
Now, a few words for the ruling APC: this is not 1950 when all you had to contend with were two newspapers and one television station. Nigerians are watching APC on 3D. The pap-seller whose pap we already said is dirty will do well not to further discourage us from buying by reducing the size of every wrap. Nigerians are already looking at APC with ‘bad eyes.’ Displaying thieving dexterity on television will worsen an already bad situation. It is bad enough that there are factions in every state chapter of the ruling party, the party does not need to end the way it started this session of the Senate. A party that is being accused by opposition of having unclean men in its ranks should not gum up the works by stealing things in the market place.
Old men should not be caught cradling baby goats.
From my mail box
I have been asking, “Who will bell the cat” vis-à-vis the dangers facing Nigeria. Let us think more of T. Y. Danjuma’s signal. If we don’t urgently come together to objectively discuss and aggressively embark on ending the inherent dangers of the dual cankerworms of religion and tribalism/ethnicity, they will sooner than later consume Nigeria.
-Prince Adams Gbenoba.
Funke, thanks a million for positively analysing TY Danjuma’s recent utterance and citing your personal caning experience, as a child, for wrongdoing by your dad, to prove justification of his action. Those who see Danjuma’s statement otherwise must be, simply put, haters of telling the truth.
I have been a regular reader of your column. Your piece on “Paternity Swap” is superb. Some women can be very dangerous
Madam Funke, thanks for your piece on TY. The explosion was from the innermost part of the general. If he didn’t say it no one else would and if he said it then it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Let he who has ears hear what the general has said. We are dying and may soon go extinct.
-Oko O.S, PHC
Funke, one of the hallmarks of a good leader is the ability to say the truth at all times. I was impressed with TY Danjuma’s philanthropic gesture to schools and the less privileged in the society. Unlike IBB who denied his media assistant who innocently conveyed the message of his boss, TY bared his mind on the state of the nation. Just as you admonished in your conclusion, let us all look beyond Danjuma’s explosion and learn the lesson therein.
– Kayode Raphael Ololade, Surulere Lagos (07066886181)