A wicked despot who lived in the service of himself has the sole misfortune of being his own mourner!- ‘Tosin Ayo.
Dear Sadiq Abacha,
I had to read the junk you purportedly wrote in a futile attempt to re-write history 5 times before I could make any sense of it. I honestly feel you should fire your Senior Media Assistant on Letter writing and hire a new one that can at least communicate without the boring hitch of illogical frailty and the pain of meaningless musing. I must commend your profuse fidelity to the unworthy cause of your dead father’s utterly controversial persona and atrocious reign of terror in Nigerian history, but I must also condemn your sheer disrespect for Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel laureate, my literary ‘father’; a literary dynamite, an intellectual virtuoso whose intellectualism is non pareil, who will never dignify a communicative lilliputian like you with a response and arguably one of Africa’s most respected and well read men. I equally adulate your inordinate quest to portray your late despot of a father, General Sani Abacha as a ‘patriotic’ Nigerian who contributed his ‘very best’ towards the uplift of this failing nation, Nigeria.
What you however failed to realise is that your father was a disaster, our own Adolf Hitler, a dreaded beast, the sole reason Nigerians are still held in great contempt in the assemblage of nations, a paragon of greed, impenitence, a bastion of inhumanity, a dreaded legion of vices, a prolific Cannibal more ferocious than Idi Amin’s holocaust, a hydra-headed monster, a vicious Villain who terrorised our existence and still torments our psyche till date! He ranks in the same league of misfortune and painful memory as Adolf Hitler of Germany, Samuel Doe of Liberia, Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia, Charles Taylor of Liberia, Kim Il Sung of North Korea, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Ismail Enver Pasha of Turkey, Muhammad Ghaddaffi of Libya, Hideki Tojo of Japan, Leopold II of Belgium, Jozef Stalin of Ukraine, Mao Zedong of China and King Nebuchaddnezzar of Israel. I still shudder as I write, my countenance dour in distraught consciousness as I painfully recollect the macabre tale of his inglorious rulership of infamy, unbelievable agony, the sombre mood of Nigerians who groaned under his reign of ruin, perfidious tenure and despotic maladministration.
You stated in ‘your’ sacrilegious letter where you disparaged the quintessential Wole Soyinka as a common writer. This is a man whom the whole world stood still to honour in faraway Oslo in 1986 where he made the black African race proud as its first Nobel prize for literature recipient. This is in contradistinction with your hapless father, an apt synonym for Lucifer, unbridled pain, excruciating agony, sheer brutality and acute bestiality in the mid to late 90s. I regretfully announce to you that your mindless attempt to re-engineer Nigerian history and mismatch our national experience via a Schizophrenic article bereft of all modicum of intellectualism for your anecdotal warped opinions is like pouring water on the duck’s feathery back!
I must aver that I am neither a meddlesome interloper nor an unsolicited ‘interventionist’ but a custodian of the moral conscience of the Nigerian citizenry. It is on this premise that I deemed it fit to remind you of your unenviable ancestry, travesty of propriety and penury of character which you espoused by sponsoring the tactless and grossly misdirected missive credited to you. You cannot be totally blamed for having a half grasp of history under your belligerent father as those who fart seldom smell it! You were a suckling ‘blue blood’ in the Kingdom of your father who only heard what he desired to hear. Your blind generalisation and self-aggrandised anecdotal opinion of your kleptomaniac family only remind me of a one-time Jet-flying Ex-President who entered a massive borehole, nay, pot hole on Lagos-Ibadan expressway and lamented, claiming: ‘I never knew the roads were this bad’ or the Vice-President’s wife who was shocked to find rusty ‘corrugated’ iron sheets in Ekiti; the country home of Professors!.
Let me remind you who General Sani Abacha was in case you have not been healed of your involuntary Amnesia. He was a maximum ruler, a totalitarian dictator, a tyrant, a gaffe-prone buffoon and a monumental casualty. Try to type ‘Nigerian military Dictator’ on Google and you will be shocked to see: ‘Did you mean General Sani Abacha?’ He seized power and had so much of it albeit without authority. He was a locum tenes for nihilism! He descended the national mood into weltschmerz: world grief, nay, romantic pessimism. His infamous 5-year regime was like an eternity of gnashing of teeth. When your acrimonious father sneezed, the whole world caught cold. This was a man who rejected the most respected leader of African extraction, Rohlila Nelson Mandela’s plea to return Nigeria to democratic rule on the premise that Mandela spent his most productive life behind bars in the dungeon of Robben Island! He treated the symbol of the Christian faith on earth, the Pope with so much quantum of derision and disdain. He stole more than a million generation can exhaust which explains many a political pundit’s reiteration of mental derangement to his inexplicable greed, avaricious embezzlement and financial gluttony.
I still remember how my secondary school teacher told us after your father’s death that the ‘autopsy report’ showed that your largely unlettered father died of cardiac arrest in Switzerland at the Swiss Bank’s vault when he was shown an infinitesimal fraction of his loot in raw cash! He didn’t know how much of a thief he had been! I am still yet unable to convince my European friends that your father and indeed many Nigerians are not insane as no other rational explanation would suffice for their blind looting of money they do not need to impress and oppress the citizens they so much despise. Needless to say that some of these stolen funds are yet to be fully repatriated from far-flung corners of the world. He planned to perpetuate himself in power but God, the true Holder of power took him out.
The fear and trepidation of your noxious father, Sani still grips me as I write this that I can still choke from the pungent smell. I was in Secondary School when your father ruled Nigeria. In fact, he ‘inspired’ me into the laudable vocation of letting out the literary air as I wrote my first set of poems for and because of him! They were entitled: ‘Poverty and Power’ and ‘The Dark-goggled General’. I can still vividly remember how we led prayer sessions to God to help us kill your father, the puller of our oppression string! Till now, Its a prayer point in some pentecostal Churches that the good Lord who killed Abacha will kill our common enemies! Don’t say ‘Amen’! We felt unsafe under his supreme rule. We slept with one eye closed. We woke up daily to listen to terrible news from our accursed airwaves and It was a taboo to mention your father’s name in public for fear of loud fusillade of gunshots adorning our trembling ears from his foot soldiers. We all cowered under the shrill cloak of your father’s simpering darkness and his nefariousness reverberated with a resonating finality.
Oh I remember how I and almost every Nigerian latched unto melodious praise over the cheering news of your father’s timely demise on the 8th day of June 1998! We were so jubilant and greatly excited that our common Goliath, the ‘uncircumcised Philistine’ had kicked the bucket. In spite of our cultural mien of reverence for the dead, we were justified to speak ill of your evil primogenitor and deservedly so. We gave ourselves a Public ‘holiday’ to savour the joy of his inglorious exit. Never have Nigerians (across Political and religious divides) been that united in delirious celebration over any event prior to or even afterwards. We somehow felt that the death of Abacha was the end to our hopelessness and despair and that our economic freedom would be birthed once he arrived in Hell where he rightly belonged.
Your father was a Killer. He redefined economics and not even the indefatigable Prof. Sam Aluko, his erstwhile economic adviser could make a meaning of it. His orchestrated one million man march was the height of civilian militarisation. He killed Alfred Rewane, Kudirat Abiola and vicariously killed our M.K.O. I still dread his corpse each time I see his signature picture and watch the youtube video where Gen. Oladipo Diya begged him not to kill him. Your father’s government was likened to the Nazi’s Germany, he personified graft and criminality and directly threatened the life and freedoms of the common man. He is allegedly from Fouta Djallon in Guinea, a Yalunka or Djallonke, a Susu or from Mali whose forebears refused to return to their land after rearing herds of cattle thencefrom. His true ancestry is still shrouded in mystery (If you know what that means). He despised everything Nigerian. He was probably unleashed on us by the gods to teach us a bitter lesson for our transgressions in times past.
May I inform you that the Boko Haram scourge which Nigeria battles today as one of its foremost heists and seemingly insurmountable challenge was an indirect creation of your wicked father, Sani Abacha! The Northern children he denied of Education, the amenities he left unprovided, the funds he starched abroad that could have improved the living conditions of the people in the North in particular and the Nigerian nation in general, the Democracy he did not allow to thrive are what germinated into this monster and culminated into our national pain and persecution. Thus, Boko Haram is your father’s brain child and will remain treated as such in the diary of our minds.
I find it totally depressing that you can accuse WS of corruption which is your unworthy father’s middle name. What you brazenly tried to do is tantamount to the unintelligible defence of an accused person who quibbles that he is not guilty of larceny simply because there are other thieves taking a stroll on the streets. You can not swallow the ‘pestilential’ infamy of your father’s lack of legacy or justify his odorous rule of force by trying to itemise the supposed concocted trumped up charges of incompetence and ineptitude of WS which were deliberately hatched by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, an ‘intelligent Abacha’ whose despotic rule wore a more humane fabric. You should bury your head in shame as your father’s name should have formally entered our national dictionary as the synonym for everything evil by now. We, like Wole Soyinka did not despise your fraudulent father just because he was a military ruler, rather; we were his critic because he emblematized misgovernance and untamable inhumanity.
Sadiq, to tell you how profoundly deep names are, the word “genocide” was coined in 1943 to describe when the Armenians were slaughtered haphazardly by Turkish leader Ismail Enver! Until then, there was no specific word for it in the English language. It makes me to think that ‘Abacha’ might be picked in a no-distant future as a suitable coinage for mindless corruption, bad military governance, crass brutality and bureaucratic bestiality! You will hear statements like: ‘The Nation was Abachaed!’
Moral reciprocity is our attitude towards others that determines their attitude towards us. We would not have treated his memory with so much disgust and impunity If he had shown the slightest indication that he was human. Your father was utterly intolerant of constructive criticisms. He loathed the intelligentsia. He stultified tertiary Education as it made no sense to him. He was utterly deficient of tact, momentum and character that some of us erroneously believed that the military was a befitting dump site for bimbos and blockheads! He brought so much irreverence to the military as an institution. Your father accentuated my personal reprehension towards the military. Your father’s administrative misdemeanour invented the golden nuggetum that ‘the worst civilian regime was preferable to the best military rule!’. That Prof. Wole Soyinka refused to receive the centennial national insult heaped on him with your harmful father as a co-recipient should suggest to you that He could never have accepted to work with or under your father. Let me shock you: Most dead Nigerians will seek relocation If they find your father in Heaven!
I must say that you have no shame. I learnt of your elder brother’s political ambition to govern Kano state and I marvelled at such towering height of gratuitous insult to our collective intelligence. His political ambition is like having a Judas Iscariot’s descendant trying to contest elections in Israel! In more sane climes, you and your family would be thoroughly stigmatised that you all would embark on self-banishment to United Arab Emirates or Qatar to quietly enjoy the remainder of your father’s loot in isolation and oblivion! But in Nigeria where money is supreme and foul is fair, your ilk would still soar so long as there is money to spare. Till tomorrow, Abacha’s fall would remain a pointer to God’s limitless power to snuff out the life in any man who unjustifiably arrogates power to himself and wilfully wallows in the excesses of political power. And to think your father was a mere impostor, a usurper and a squatter in rulership who took over at gun point? With no mincing of words at the recapitulated bitterness, one would not be mean to propose that he dies again!
Sadiq, there is no nexus between your father, Abacha and Wole Soyinka. Your father was inhuman, Soyinka has a heart. There is in fact no basis for any comparison.
Your father will be remembered for the pain he meted out to us: WS would be remembered for the joy he brought to our hearts. Search your heart and you will discover that your father is indefensible. You wasted over 12 paragraphs with no concrete point to defend him! Can you deny that your father didn’t kill or can you deny that he wasn’t an unrepentant kleptomaniac who could not keep his eyes off public till? The Telegraph still reported that the United States has frozen more than $458 million in cash and assets that your father, former Nigerian dictator, Late General Sani Abacha stole and kept in the U.S. I seriously empathised with you for being born by a shameless despot and an unrepentant thief (as we did not choose our parents) but I lost all the sympathy with your blind defense of him and his unwholesome administration.
I am quite aware of your father’s dislike for the intelligentsia; I am just shocked that you ‘bite your father’s intestine’ along that line! Indeed a Tiger’s infant will remain a Tiger! You are as intellectually infertile as your late father. You possess a warped sense of thought and a befuddled conceptualisation of our national history. If Nigeria was afflicted by an ‘Abacha’ and survived, I must say that there is no predicament that we cannot suppress. The resilient spirit of the Nigerian was fortified by ‘iron-benders’ like your father. We almost lost our optimism under his unacceptable yoke. We became sick and tired of being sick and tired. A Pessimist is indeed a person who feels bad when he feels good for the fear that he will feel worse when he feels better! Your family still owes every Nigerian who witnessed that obnoxious era an unreserved apology for the blow Sani dealt us.
Sani Abacha raped our psychology. He mutilated our freedom. He held the nation by the jugular and forcefully chained us with the manacle of oppression. The only ‘good’ I remember him for was the creation of my home state: Ekiti as one of the 6 additional states he created on October 1st 1996.
Finally, I think you deserve to raise a Calabash of thanks to Nigerians whose soft-heartedness allowed you and your siblings to be re-absorbed and re-integrated into the nation. If not for them, you would be deserving outcasts cooling off in the remotest part of the earth and not noisy attention-seeking faggots who would get a response from me for a misguided epistle to a literary General whose children will not have the misfortune of attempting to defend when he passes on.
Please do accept the warmest compliment of my best regards,
‘The Word Bank’