Otedola & Lawal: A Drama For All Times

You know it's a pathetic nation when the 'dog eat dog' principle is the order of the day. Here is a nation where truth wears different faces, and one wonders what has happened to integrity. The saga involving oil magnate, Femi Otedola, and exquisite law maker, Farouk Lawal, is a reminder of the degeneration of standards and values in our society. The fuel subsidy report is in itself a masterstroke, a litany of scatching revelations and a job well done. However, the chairman of that committee, Farouk Lawal, could well have shot himself in the foot. The three million dollar bribe scandal he is currently embroiled in leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Lawal is one of those few lawmakers that was believed to still have an iota of integrity. His legislative dexterity and vast experience cannot be gainsayed. But, as is the case with power in Nigeria, he compromised. To have initially denied collecting bribe from Otedola and later admitting it, is foolhardiness in itself, and surges questions. The evidence against the diminutive Kano state born lawmaker is both damning and astonishing, to put it mildly. The begging question is, was he lured? Entrapped? Or simply doing his job? It has been said and not without reason, that there is something 'fishy' about the timing of the revelations. Why did Femi Otedola wait till after the probe to induce Mallam Farouk Lawal? Perhaps, it is worth reminding ourselves that Femi Otedola, the father of Zenon oil, is not just an ordinary Nigerian. This is a man that dines with the custodians of Aso Rock. A kingpin of the massively corrupt system. In fact, he is a member of the Presidential Economic Team. And just to state the obvious, heis one of the prima donnas and financiers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Farouk Lawal has a famous history for stepping on toes, but he might have gotten himself stuck this time. Everything he has built now lays on the altar of implosion, and if ever he nurtures a governorship ambition for 2015, this is a major blow. Only time will tell how this theatrics will end, but it is only common sense to say that it will be crass madness to throw the baby away with the bath water. Lawal might go down if found guilty, but the fuel subsidy report should not be allowed to go down with him.


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