Sunday Trust online

Family Squabbles

The family that chops together stays united. Whenever a member of the chopping clan is excommunicated, the vaults of the family secrets are flung open allowing curious outsiders to see what’s behind the curtains. This inevitability of family squabbles, coupled with corporate greed, is the reason that enemies of the ruining party believe it would implode. Let us examine this from the microcosm of the lives of two characters with the same name – Emeka.

If the young man from Kogi State, who now wants to be regarded as the unsoiled part of the Integrity Group had not fallen out of the House by the gods of zoning, none of us would have remembered that unemployment minister Emeka Nwogu recently owned a company indicted by the Ribadu committee. Characteristically, he is now chairing a committee, which the uninitiated would expect to fire his own child. They have forgotten that in Naija, there is no Conflict of Interest clause in ruinership.

I was shocked that the minister quickly responded to allegations that his own child actually comes from his loins. Anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of paternity law knows that when a child has reached the age of maturity, his parents cease to be vicariously responsible for the child’s actions. For, whereas Emeka Nwogu formed, founded and registered Pinnacle Contractors; he divested himself of interests in the company the moment he saw that they would be bidding for oil contracts.

This is because the minister, who mostly dresses in white, knows the permanent damage that oil can do to his favourite colour even with the best brand of bleach. For anyone to then try to soil the minister’s white garments with the grease of a N2.7 billion subsidy scam is unfair. Especially now that he has the opportunity of implementing a white paper on what the company might have done or failed to do outside his will. Those who brook such linkage must be ignorant of the correct interpretation of colours. The honourable minister is incapable of any form of prejudice by nature and would not hesitate to pronounce Pinnacle Contractors guilty if indeed transparency means anything to people in government. Unfortunately, while the transparency document was being transported from Dodan Barracks to Aso Rock, the page where transparency was written flew out the window into a raging fire. All attempts by NNPC fire fighters to retrieve it proved abortive. Forensic experts say that any attempt to graft in the page would spoil the books and so, it is left empty.

Those who are calling for the sack of the minister should please tell President Jones who they favour to replace him. It is not enough to ask the president to sack someone on the mere suspicion of conflict of interest except you can prove with a Transparency International’s seal of approval that you will find a suitable replacement. TI has just released a damning report alleging that this government is 35th on the ladder of corruption, which, going by last year’s interpretation by President Jones is another endorsement of the perpetuation of the C-word. I wonder why basket mouth is leaking rather than thanking his boss, the president, for a job well done. Let’s hope a trophy or medal is given so that President Jones will have an opportunity to fly to New York.

There is no chance in hell that Pinnacle can be guilty of the charges levelled against it. Minister Nwogu has set the tone in his response to his accusers, this company is registered, and pays corporate and employee taxes with NAFDAC approved TIN code. The minister knows this, even though he is no longer involved but even when a daughter has been married to total stranger, a parent’s responsibility is to make sure they keep the family honour. Some clans would kill for family honour, but let me warn that this is highly not recommended in Naija’s business dealings. Lest some of you start making demands of those who have no honour: bad ideas. As for the whistleblower, Farouk Lawan was a whistleblower.

It is not my will to be embroiled in the testament of the second Emeka, the late Ikemba, because I am not involved except to say that where money and politics and ravishing beauty are involved only fools can expect peaceful resolve. For a thing of beauty, men would go to war as they would for money. While the controversy over the will is a welcome distraction from the national plague ravaging the land, we must remind the Ojukwus where we started, a family that chops together stays united. Those who know say there is enough to go round, but then we must always remember that in every powerful man’s will, there is every dependant’s need, perhaps not enough for individual greed. Biko, jikpa, oho!

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