Ik Muo, PhD
I will Start this intervention on a sober, regretful and apologetic mood because my prophetic and predictive credentials have failed me woefully; ‘they just fall my hand’! How can an economist, management consultant, banker, entrepreneur (who is supposed to be imbued with entrepreneurial alertness), management expert ( who should readily discern the environment) and a Spirit who sees here and hereafter fail to see what happened just a few weeks after my well-received predictions? Who did this to me? Is it my village people or my fellow spirits? Is it the witches and wizards who have suddenly populated our climes after they were cast out from various churches and covens? Why did I not see the party delegate-ship coming? I apologise to all those who had rated me highly as a prophet or who were misled by my prophecies!
A few weeks ago, I surveyed the environment and concluded that the surest way to hammer in 2022 was to join SARS(State Aided Robbery Syndicate), of which the DISCOs are the quintessence (Ik Muo; How to hammer in 2022: I will join SARS: BusinessDay; muoigbo.blogspot.com). That was after I had considered pastor ship, masquerading, vintage homes, and even auctioning myself piecemeal. Later,l I decided to join the presidential race, for which I have already made some significant milestones. Somebody had offered to campaign for me free in the South-South and assured me of 5m votes (Now that I am OBIdient, I have directed my self-appointed South-South Campaign Director to transfer my 5m votes to Peter Obi). The fundraising has been very impressive. However, when I saw some contestants like the childish one from the Confluence State, the area-boy Governor from Rivers and his saintly brother who built a rail to Niger Republic without any in the South-South( both of whom have not done anything beyond being in government in the past 20 years), some shaky grandfathers and several fresh EFCC alumni (class of 2021/2022), I started having second thoughts.
However, I just realised that I have wasted my 3Ts all along; I should have been a delegate! This is how I came to this sudden realisation. In 2020, OOU designed an online programme and I went to school, did the recording and on my way back, my car engine knocked… Just like that! I think it was the same people following me from the village. The cost of a ‘new’ engine was N1m+ and thus I settled for my mechanic who assured me that it would be done . Sure, he did it but after 2 months, it developed another ‘small fault’, which another mechanic worked on for almost 2 months and then, the engine collapsed again. I called the original mechanic who worked on it again and gave it a certificate of excellence. By then, my spirit had grown cold and following the increasing difficulty of travelling down East, I decided to sell the car, use the proceeds to buy another tuke-tuke to be domiciled in the East so as to avoid the need to drive home always (self-driven or driver-driven). So, I asked the mechanic to take the car to Lagos because I had started doubting his competence. The day we went to Lagos (I went in another car!) I noticed that he was crawling and when I enquired, he said he was not in a speedy mood. The following day the seller came to pick-up the car and discovered that the engine was sounding funny and when we checked, it had knocked again. I started another process of reclaiming the car, which lasted for months. By the time I finished working on the car, I had invested more than the cost of a ‘new’ engine and I sold it for far less than what it had cost me to repair.
Where the story got interesting was that what I realised from the sale of my good old prestigious 4Runner could barely buy a keke (tricycle) not to talk of any type and grade of 4-tyred vehicle. The exchange rate of the Naira and the various charges introduced by the customs people have made it impossible for ANY vehicle to arrive Nigeria for less than N2m and thus, the cheapest new-old car in the market is about N2.5m. I have combed all the nooks and crannies of Lagos, from importers to retailers and… no nothing. In fact, the car-search and haggling got so much that the car-dealer had formed the habit of disappearing anytime he sighted me approaching his office! You can then imagine my shock when I saw one Chief Agworo, whose latest occupation was ‘delegate’, launching a Toyota Camry Spider in the Delta Axis of Nigeria the other day. The car currently cost about N5m depending on its age, grade and general neatness! He was being celebrated by people whose future and fate he had sold to the highest bidder at the wholesale market at Abuja. And here am I haggling form one car shop to another to buy any moving four-tyred contraption!
When Peter Obi withdrew from the PDP presidential primaries because it was not in sync with his persona and principles, I did not give it much attention. When Alh Hayatudeen withdrew because the process was obscenely monetised, I ignored it. Even when somebody sent me the rantings of Oshiomhole, who declared that the previous primary in PH was Dollarised, I was non-pulsed. It was when I saw Chief Agwuru’s party that I decided to take a closer and strategic look at what Tola Adeniyi referred to as Window Dressing@ Eagle Square by Abracadabra Patented Crooks and Provocative Devils Pandemic at Abuja, where election was through high scale gambling with lottery tickets of N100m apiece; where the delegates were influenced not by their hearts or brains but by monetised stomach infrastructure and where winners fate was decided by the fatness or otherwise of their vaults. Tola Adeniyi revealed that the decoration alone cost N2.5bn but that was not where my interest was. My interest was on the Dollargates or Dele-Gates, who are now competing with Bill-Gates as the richest fellows in town!
It was then that I stumbled on a Sahara Reporters report that Nwike, the Commander General of 101Waterfront Brigade, PH spent N34bn on his failed presidential quest out of which he invested N12bn on delegates and N5.5bn on PDP leadership. The figures per capita for Dollargate procurement was quoted as between $25k and $30ks for the Atikulated fellow and $15k-$40k for Nwike. One delegate claimed to have collected up to $100k (N60m)! It is good to note that Nwike has been a ‘government pickin’ since 1999 when he became an LGA Chairman. So, where is the money from?
The following week, it was reported that the Jagaba paid $25,000 per Ogun Dele-Gate but $10,000 for the Adamawa crowd.(Price discrimination!). The Adamawa delegates were also saintly because they allegedly rejected the $5,000 from PYO for being too low! They should have collected both: nothing would have happened; it is just income redistribution. It was alleged that PYO initially wanted to play Obi (or his agents wanted to privatise the $) before he changed his mind and offered the meagre $5,000. Even though Naira fell out of favour during these primary and secondary processes, these figures range from N9m to 24m per ordinary Dollargate! There were people who bought the delegates wholesale and then auctioned their votes at the retail market. You can also imagine the case of the Bourdillonian who brazenly bought both the delegates and aspirants. Can you imagine how much each aspirant costs? That was why Reno Omokri declared that the APC delegates ‘will never be poor in their lives again’; and crowned them the real winners of the convention.
That is why I believed that I should just have been a delegate and raked in these humongous sums without hassles. The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Inter society) has estimated that the $25,000 per Dele-gate covered the salary of a Nigerian Professor for 3 years. I would not have been an ordinary delegate. I would have started from the state primaries (Lagos delegates received N500,000 to return the oga-at the top), mopped up whatever is available at the NASS primaries, collected from all the presidential contestants of PDP( due to the nature of the process, nobody would have taken me to Okija-shrine or forced me to jump-and-pass a coffin containing dead human-beings, scorpions and crocodiles or eat bleeding human suya) after which I would decamp to APC and make the final haul. Surely, I will garner up to $200,000 and live on $4,000 monthly until the next primaries. I may rather decide to be frugal and live on $2,000 monthly for the next 8 years, in case I fail to make it in 2027. I will also use this time to wangle and position myself as a wholesale delegate-merchant ( WDM) by the next election. A WDM is the one who serves as an agent to the political gamblers and lottery-players( aspirants); who buys the delegates wholesale and then retails to the highest bidder according to market forces. In all this, I won’t bother with Peter Obi, Sowore or Umeadi and their parties; these would be bad market!
However, it is not that straight forward and easy because the higher the returns, the higher the risks and here, we are talking of windfall returns. Our people say that a snake does not swallow another snake and that con-men do not con themselves. But in the just concluded political bazaars, snakes swallowed snakes and the ‘conners’(con-men) were conned. For instance, we have learnt a new method of public counting in which the space between 80 and 99 is fallow, and the figures still balanced at the end of it all. Delegates collected money but failed to vote for the political gamblers. Some of the political gamblers gave the delegates fake Dollars (more prevalent in the fattest envelope) while some even received fake alerts. A woman cursed her party after she spent N8m to procure the delegateship and received fake Dollars: it was her season of negative double portion! She is like the thief who complained that people were no longer honest after he was short-changed by his victims! Delegates collected N2m from Adam Sambo (son of the former VP) with N1.5m in promissory notes but he came last. He asked for a refund (but what is the source of the money?) However, one Suleiman who recently decamped from APC to PDP, gave out between N3.5m and N4m and… he won! Another failed gambler in Niger State retrieved his money from the delegates, allegedly with the help of bandits. Senator Akinyelure, PDP, Ondo State retrieved vehicles from delegates and requested for a refund of the Dollars. In Anambra, the APC leader allegedly swallowed about $500,000 meant for the delegates, who had to do aluta at Abuja BAT’s office. May be the leader bought the delegates wholesale and started retailing at higher prices and the delegates, seeing the retail price, wanted to eat their cake and have it.
The above narratives must be the reasons why Okey Chika Jerry, a former governorship candidate, BOOT party, described the delegates as worse than terrorists because they are the reasons why decent people and youths can not be in politics, why ASUU is on strike and why we have ritual killings and godfatherism. That is why Mazi Ohuabunwa who got only 1 vote (better than braggadocios Rochas and Bakare, who started with Thus said the lord!) said that only few men remember their surnames whenever Dollars are placed on the table. The same process of delegate procurement was the reason why, as reported by The Guardian, private businesses have been crowded out of the forex market because the politicians had mopped out all the Dollars. They have become the CBN which mops up liquidity! It is also the reason why the Naira/$ rate has been dancing awilo in recent times because the registered and unregistered BDCs ran out of $.
However, there is a strange case of a modern-day ‘repentant thief’, (Luke, 23:32-4). who shared his largess in cash and kind with his constituents. Tanko R Sabo, PDP delegate from Sanga LGA, Kaduna State shared N7m between the poor(School fees, hospital bills, clothes) and his support groups. He brought it cash to the market square! Unlike the woman who spent 8m to procure her own, there was evidence that Tanko campaigned for it. And EFCC is still using binoculars to search for evidences of vote-buying.
But this is not just a Nigerian affair. Patrick Lumumba of Kenya lamented how he campaigned vigorously, holding 250 town hall meetings while his opponent who was unknown did not campaign but showed up a day to the elections, distributed money and won,. That was when he concluded that Africans are not moved by ideas; they are moved by their stomachs. In January 2020, Kwabena O Aduomi, a former Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways who was also MP for Ejisu Constituency, paid GHC5000 ( circa N263000 as at 11/6/22)to each of the 600 delegates and still lost . He consoled himself by quipping that politics is a game( or rather, a gamble) for the brave. Robert A Badiako also paid GHC1000 to each of the delegates in the recent regional primaries and also lost. So, procuring delegates or payees voting against the payer, is not limited to Nigeria
So next time you see me hanging around Bourdillon or in one exclusive corner of Adamawa, know that I am planning for 2027 elections. That is assuming that Obi did not win this election because as I see him, he will scatter a lot of things. Don’t bother about my lectures; I will do it online! Or at worse, I will take a sabbatical!
Meanwhile, the latest definition of democracy is the process of stealing the people’s money to buy the people to remain in office or Government of EFCC alumni by EFCC alumni and for EFCC alumni!!! In both cases, the people are worse-off!
Ik Muo, PhD. Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago-Iwoye. 08033026624