Maryam Abacha, Shut Up! By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

The widow of the expired military kleptocrat, Gen. Sani Abacha, Maryam, recently ‘resurrected’ from many years of political wilderness by going public on the billions of Dollars stolen by her late loathed dictator-husband. One would have expected the former First Lady to keep quiet and be ashamed of the atrocities committed by her late husband but she manifested the nebulous Nigerian factor — showing no shame or remorse in the gargantuan pillaging of the national patrimony.

Madam Maryam Abacha displayed a stark ignorance of a barely-educated housewife that she is when she dabbled in an issue greater than her entire being. When Sani Abacha was killing Nigerians, stealing the nation dry and hounding opposition politicians and pro-democracy activists into exile she never did anything to restrain the demented despot from continuing on the path of destruction he was headed. Rather her silent support emboldened the goggled maximum ruler to forge ahead in his bloody endeavour.

Even when the late Idi Amin Dada of Uganda was killing his people and eating some his wife was known to have confronted him at night in their bedroom cautioning him over his cannibalism and blood-thirsty plundering of the resources of the state. Our own former First Lady was complicit in the Abacha heist, comfortable at home and playing a good wife! Now it is too late to rewrite history or educate us on what we know better.

Today Maryam has found her voice again railing against those saying her late husband not only looted the national treasury but ran the country aground in his five-year military misadventure in power. 

In a chat with journalists in Kano, last Sunday, the ex-first lady reportedly said it was evil to speak ill of the dead describing as “outright lies” reports of the Federal Government discovering funds allegedly stolen by the late Head of State and repatriating same from abroad.

The Buhari giddy regime had in March received $311 million from the United States and the Island of Jersey as part of funds recovered from the family of the late dictator. Before then millions of Dollars more stolen by Abacha and his gang were sent back home from abroad. It beats imagination how and why Maryam should be reacting now to the Abacha documented loot.

According to her: “How come this man was not a thief until he died? What is this amount of money after 22 years you say oh we have found this amount of money and we’re bringing it back?…It is a shame to tell lies about a dead man! It is a shame to tell lies on your leader. If he had done wrong, God knows. If other people are putting the wrong on him, it is a matter of time.”

And continuing in her asinine diatribe she said: “They will kneel down like America is kneeling down now. Anybody that is evil will kneel down just like this coronavirus has come to shut this world…..He worked in Kano and he planted Kano people in several places. But there are people he helped a lot but they are not even greeting me now for no reason. They just hate us. But why? It is haram and Allah is watching us”.

It is instructive to note that days before her intervention her son Sadiq had told the BBC Hausa Services that funds traced to his father and kept outside the country were done for a reason! Though he failed to state what those reasons were his admission of the grand larceny inflicted on the country by his late father was enough evidence of guilt.

Sadiq Abacha confessed that the ‘sins’ of his late father were still being visited on them as the children of the dictator were still being subjected to harassment and embarrassment whenever they were spotted anywhere at any airport in Nigeria. Abacha was not the only former late leader in Nigeria. The question should be asked why the children of other former Heads of state, living or dead, are not being harassed at airports?

Even President Buhari who ignorantly declared that Gen. Abacha never stole like Maryam is doing now has since recanted having known better. It could be easy to defend a fallen brother-in-arms but Buhari went a long way to misinforming and misleading some people especially the ‘talakawas’ and morons in the north.

From 1993 till his timely ‘arranged’ demise in 1998 majority of discerning Nigerians had watched in awful helplessness the nation descending into a theatre of the absurd with an Abacha whose soul was taken alive by Lucifer or his dark angels. Abacha exhibited crass unpatriotism, cruelty and cupidity of the worst order. He ordered the Shell and Chevron oil companies to pay ‘royalties’ for him in foreign bank accounts!

The late Sani Abacha had this primordial barbaric instinct that derived from his lack of sound education and professionalism in coup plotting. He shared the latter quality (professional coup plotting) with Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Both Generals destroyed Nigeria socio-economically and politically as we know it today having opaquely demonstrated visionless leadership.

Having killed ‘Hope-93’ as June 12 represented entrenching democracy and its immense power to unleash the creative and productive powers of the people became an uphill task for our generation. Public frustration and cynicism pervaded the land following the Abiola saga, his imprisonment and subsequent state-sponsored elimination post-Abacha.

It speaks volume the desecration of values in our national life for a former first lady who should be living in shame upon the discovery and repatriation of the stolen billions of her late husband’s monumental dictatorship to open up and cast doubt over the stashed funds living in criminal denial and spewing balderdash. 

One wonders the amount of ‘love’ Abacha had shown to Maryam for her to be defending him ferociously post-humously. If Abacha had loved her deeply he would not have succumbed to the charm of an imported prostitute the poisoned apple of whom he ate to his grave! Even the first man, Adam, manifested natural love towards Eve leading to his acceptance of the apple of knowlegde as the Bible tells us. 

In Abacha’s case he ‘fell’ for a Jezebel he was seeing for the first time ever and his sinful soul was taken away unsung! ‘Love’ at first sight could be blamed here but such demonstration of ‘love’ for strangers in skirt could be attributed to a deranged mentality built on lack of principles, self-esteem and ignorance. 

Majority of Nigerians sang and danced upon getting the information that the bloody tyrant had kissed the dust. When you lead a nation and suddenly kick the bucket your popularity is always measured by the degree of grief — or lack of same thereof — pouring forth from the population.

There is no way what the late Abacha did could be forgotten or forgiven! Maryam Abacha must shut up and beg for forgiveness on behalf of her husband, the big thief. Nothing less is expected of her as a true muslim and mother.

Hajiya Maryam Abacha must do us a favour by shutting the hell up!

SOC Okenwa
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