Joe Igbokwe, the ‘Abobaku’ of Lagos on the Loose Again – By Sulyman Buhari
The Yoruba concept of the Abobaku is a Yoruba phrase that translates literally as: One who dies with the King. This is derived from the culture of burying dead monarchs with trusted and most sycophantic aide(s). It is therefore save to say that an Abobaku is the one that though enjoys all the trappings in the king’s backyard while it lasts, but eventually ends up being buried with the king!
The concept of the Abobaku has come in handy with the behaviour of Mr. Joe Igbokwe, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.
Recently, Mr. Joe Igbokwe wrote an op-ed article titled – What is on Senator Saraki’s Mind? In the article, he had wondered what is giving the Senate President the confidence that he will stand tall after his trial and wished that friends, family members and associates persuade the Senate President to resign from office.
The writer is free to continually wish and hallucinate. He is not standing alone. Recently, other minions have taken to the airwaves to rant and agonise too. They are all familiar faces and voices that are, like rabid dogs, always set loose on any real or perceived enemy of the Lagos Mafia. Nigerians will recall that the mafia once mobilised one of these groups, it acronym sounds like charcoal, to attack and rubbish former Governor Raji Fashola. The sponsored group did a good job at rubbishing its target by pointing out series of alleged wrongdoings. However, after the mafia publicly dissociated himself from the media bashings suffered by his estranged godson and subtly ordered ceasefire, the group retired into its shell and has since maintained a dead silence. The question is; has the position of the group changed on the alleged wrongdoings of its former target? Your guess is as good as mine!
And this why it is necessary to put issues in proper perspectives. For Igbokwe, he did a poor job. He was so much in a hurry to deliver the hatchet job that he had to lie against President Muhammadu Buhari. The writer asked, “Did Saraki get the signal when President Buhari said he would have left the stage if he is Saraki?” For the information of unsuspecting Nigerians who might have been hoodwinked by the lies of the writer, Mr President made no such admonition. Attributing what the president never said to him smacks of dishonesty and desperation on the part of the writer. It was Senator Fatai Buhari, the senator representing Oyo North, that made the reckless and unsolicited admonition not President Muhammadu Buhari.
There is nothing that can be appropriately referred as overwhelming weight of evidence when you charge a personality for alleged false assets declaration and all the prosecutor had done in the court room is nothing but acting drama and telling folk tales about how the personality acquired loan from commercial bank or how money was allegedly deposited into his bank account. Is it not curious that the same set of people that orchestrated Saraki’s trial with ‘overwhelming evidence’ are the ones now goading him to resign?
Also, the issue of getting salaries after leaving office as governor does not arise again. The insinuation is dead on arrival. Attempting to raise a dead issue is like a physician thinking of injecting life into a dead body. It is about pensions, not salaries. The Kwara State Government has confirmed that the pension for ex-governor is N1.2m monthly. And what the heck is the writer’s headache when his sponsor gets over N2.5million monthly pension from the state he once governed. In basic arithmetic, N2.5m is more than twice what Kwara State Government pays ex-governors. As a matter of truth, the pensions received by the Senate President was not used for personal needs but rather disbursed to fund bursaries and scholarships for students. Nigerians should ask the man who gets N2.5m monthly pension how he spends his?
In the past, I have had reasons to react to some of the unreasonable comments and undeserved attacks fired by the writer at the personality of the Senate President and his office. I reacted because I was convinced that most comments and insinuations of the writer were seriously affected by either ignorance or mischief or both. He has consistently told and repeated the same layers of lies about Dr. Bukola Saraki. Although a friend and fellow party man, but it seems that he has lost his soul to the Lagos Mafia and he would write and speak anything to keep his job. Now that the writer has decided to go dirty, I am not willing to wrestle with him. The reason is that I am not good in the gutter. And since Igbokwe seems to have a good expertise in the piggy games, I can only leave him to his conscience, while also helping to refresh his memory about who, in fact, is the true convicted criminal.
No matter what the writer is sponsored to write about Saraki, it was not Saraki who claimed to have attended a primary school that never existed. It was not Saraki who claimed to have attended a college which the authority of the said college had denied as false. It was not Saraki that was dragged to court over certificate forgery. It is not Saraki that is the well-known biggest landlord in the state he once governed. It is not Saraki whose paternity is still subject of public controversies. It was not Saraki who made a plea to forfeit all proceeds from his drug deals to the government of the United States of America. It was not Saraki who had to forfeit over $450,000 being proceeds of drug trafficking to the American government. It was not Saraki who was tried for drug trafficking in the USA. It was not Saraki who coordinated the white heroin trafficking ring. It was not Saraki who sold his party to the presidential candidate of another party in 2011. It was not Saraki who bargained for soft-landing and snatched error-ful judgment after running foul of the laws of the land. It is not Saraki that is a drug baron. The list of what cannot be said of Saraki is endless.
Igbokwe and his sponsors are victims of acute megalomania and delusional fantasies. They believe they have the exclusive right to determine who gets what in this country. They believe they have the exclusive right to determine who sits as Senate President and how the job is done. They are utterly stainted and tainted with filth and impurity yet they seek to portray Saraki as tainted. They epitomise corruption while they deploy proceeds of corruption to paint perceived political enemies as corrupt. Anyone who is capable of selling his party to another party, few days to election, can be said to aptly represent the face of party disloyalty in Nigeria. The mafia has failed many times, the mafia will fail again.
The lying writer is advised to stop hecking and wailing as the Senate President is not contemplating resignation. He will not resign. Contrary to the writer’s advice, the Senate President has the backing of his friends, family members and associates to soldier on as Senate President. Nigeria belongs to everyone. So, however they try, Saraki will exhaust the remedies available to him at law. Quoting him verbatim, “the underlining philosophy of our legal system is that an accused person is presumed innocent until found guilty. Those who are contemplating calls for resignation want to circumvent the judicial system. They are obviously being sponsored by some politicians. I am not contemplating any resignation. I will surely have my day in court”. I cannot but agree with this statement.
- Sulyman Buhari, is the Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.