Monday Musings: What Patience Jonathan And Tagbo’s Death Is Telling Us About Magu, Davido, Caroline Danjuma And Our Society

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Nigeria is a huge country, a massive country not just in land mass but in population. We are currently the seventh-most populous country in the world and projected to surpass the 300 million people mark by 2050, overtaking the United States to become the third-most populous country in the world. Our diverse people and cultures, I have always believed is a great strength, but not in any way undermining or forgetting all the challenges our population definitely brings – be it housing, governance, infrastructure, health, economy and more. Yet, what worries me most is not this latent issues that every society will contend with but a totally different, salient and cardinal one. The media was washed last week with two major issues, the first was our former first lady Patience Jonathan who voiced out against her perceived victimisation as “no wife of any President had been so far investigated in such flagrantly vindictive and disgraceful manner,…by EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu.” The second major trending topic centre’s around the singer Davido, Caroline Danjuma and Tagbo Umeike’s death. The only known fact is that Tagbo is dead and he was taken to the hospital (whether still alive or dead) by two men who later left him and ran off. Anybody that knows the letter or spirit of the law will agree that these are the facts but not the truth of either Patience Jonathan or Tagbo’s events.
The truth is we can argue about the state of the Nigerian economy and corruption under former President Jonathan’s administration. Afterall, Alison Diezani Madueke worked under the former president and allegations of corruptions levelled against her are just mind-blowing and makes one think how such level of (allege) corruption could have happened. Still, flip the script and you will discover that the dollar rate was N170 under Jonathan and that highly regarded technocrats like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and Ms. Arunma Oteh worked under this same administration. The argument is whether or not the administration is good or bad, or whether the alleged money stolen funds would not have helped save a lot of Nigerians from diseases, problems or even save hundred of thousands of lives. Believe me, the rumoured ‘looted’ amounts are staggering. If these monies are really stollen, then they should rightly be traced and people involved prosecuted according to the law of the land. This, however, is the contentious issue that worries me, can anybody say the way Magu’s EFFC has treated Mrs. Jonathan is fair within the letter and spirit of the law? Anti-corruption crusaders will say for the lives the looted funds could have saved, Mrs. Jonathan has been treated fairly. Then the question is, when was the late dictator’s Sani Abacha’s wife ever investigated as much as Mrs. Jonathan, what about late Shehu Musa Yar’adua’s wife and are we all going to turn a blind eye when the next administration goes after Aisha Buhari. Please note I abhor corruption but If you cannot still get the drift, then let me lay it out. Lack of respect for an exalted office, as that of the president (and his immediate family) of the country, is shocking and unacceptable. This will never happen under the British system, or better still just imagine the outcry that will envelop President Trump’s White House, if it is revealed that the FBI or CIA are making unsubstantiated statements and/or prosecuting Michelle Obama. The fact that this is happening and nobody under the Buhari-led administration are questioning and pointing this out to Magu’s EFCC is alarming. What worries me is not the act but what message this Magu’s actions sends out to the citizenry about respect and dignity. If you think this is a government issue, then the death of Tagbo highlight this scourge even more. Two men took Tagbo to the hospital and left him. Who in their right mind in a civilised society does that? This is a person that you presumably know, ate and drank with, yet when he was in his last minutes on earth when you will expect friends and family to surround the sick or dying, we are running away from them in our country. There is no suggestion that Davido is involved in any of this but the fact that these guys might be remote or loosely known to him, either as friends, acquaintance or domestic staff makes me cry. Cry that the bigger we are becoming as a society, we are losing the basic principle of life, respect for individual lives and the ultimate dignity of the human life. We are all like fishes and death will happen to each one of us, notwithstanding human life is sacred and dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for every society. The moral vision of our country is not only blurred but becoming non-existent and hitherto been replaced by money, yet the most precious things in life cannot be bought such as the birth of a child, sickness, and death by our wealth or looted Naira. Mrs. Jonathan might be lamenting about Magu and the EFCC but the issue is about wider problems, of trust and dignity of human life, that we as a nation no longer take seriously.

Just ask yourself or the person next to you, how many people they trust and can entrust with their lives? The Answer will shock and mortify you. How many friends will stay with you when you are sick or dying, how many friends will you trust with you opened drinks or food? How many friends will ensure you do not endanger your life and get you safely home? Or better still, are you capable of doing all this for one person? Will you run when your ‘Tagbo’ is being rushed to the hospital? Tagbo might be gone and may God bless his soul, but we that are remaining owe it to the next person to not run and hide behind baseball caps and realise that if we do not start addressing our moral societal issues, when we need our dearest the most, they might do a runner and we will be left to take those last gasps without anyone holding our hand or saying how they love or cherish the life that we have lived. To the Family and friends of Tagbo, we are using this as a celebration of how through his death, he can help us to be a better society and in no way demeaning or disrespecting him.

Photo Credit: Getty

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