By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
The bag named Ghana-Must-Go is at the very root of all the evils afflicting our dear country Nigeria.
All the funds voted for the cure of diseases such as malaria, polio, AIDS, even COVID end up being stashed away in Ghana-Must-Go bags by these politicians.
This way, the Ghana-Must-Go bag has been turned into a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) by the hustlers of the dominant brand known as “Agbata-Ekee” politics of Nigeria, to wit, politicians who raid the commonwealth and share the loot amongst themselves without caring a hoot about the welfare of the masses.
Raid-and-share: that is the “Agbata-Ekee” political ideology in my understanding of the Igbo expression.
General Yakubu Gowon shook up the world when he said in the years after the civil war that Nigeria’s problem was not money but how to spend it.
It was against the background of not knowing what to do with the overdose of Nigerian money that the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and President Shehu Shagari swept into power in 1979, launching forth the Second Republic of sybaritic consumption.
It took just four years for the politicians of the ill-fated republic to lick the pot of the economy dry.
Then Shagari and his NPN think-tank came up with the wacky idea that the only way to save the wobbling economy was by sending away one million or so hardworking Ghanaians who had settled in Nigeria.
The departing Ghanaians needed very big and sturdy bags to cart their belongings back to Ghana, and this marked the birth of the name of the bag “Ghana-Must-Go”.
Whilst the bags may have served the very useful needs of the Ghanaians in taking their property back to their country, the devil-may-care Nigerian politicians have found a different use for these bags – the capacious means of direct stealing of government money.
A boomerang has thus been unleashed on Nigeria in relation to our Ghanaian brethren. Now Nigerians are the ones making the pilgrimage to Ghana to eke out meager living.
It is today a major Nigerian achievement to send our children to Ghanaian schools to get proper education.
It is estimated that close to a million Nigerians are currently studying in Ghana, from primary through secondary to tertiary education, spending about N250 billion annually on tuition and boarding fees.
What a measure of poetic justice that Nigerians are somewhat bonded to grow the Ghanaian economy with money stolen from the government coffers via Ghana-Must-Go bags!
The heavy challenge facing the country is of course the monster of corruption wrought through Ghana-Must-Go bags.
The coming to power of General Ibrahim Babangida after the “Essenco” regime of General Muhammadu Buhari raised the stakes of the “settlement” culture in the “Agbata-Ekee” politics of dolling out Ghana-Must-Go bags of filthy lucre.
Traditional rulers made a singsong of gong to Abuja to mouth anthems of wealth especially in the heady days of the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election won by Bashorun Moshood Abiola.
When the direct-stealing General Sani Abacha eventually took over, a traditional ruler who travelled to Abuja from a state I would not name reportedly died of over-joy in his hotel room after being offered Ghana-Must-Go cash baggage!
The return of democracy in 1999 and the election of President Olusegun Obasanjo put the Ghana-Must-Go nightmare in public display when on November 5, 2000, a total of N4 million cash, denominated in N500 and N200 notes, was shockingly showcased on the dais bearing the Mace by some Honourable Members who claimed that the money was part of the bribe given to them by the Presidency to remove the then Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba!
You guessed right that the strange exhibit was brought out from three Ghana-Must-Go bags!
Not even the Mace, the every symbol of authority of the House, was spared the Ghana-Must-Go invasion in “Agbata-Ekee” politics!
Yes, nothing is sacred once cash has been stuffed into Ghana-Must-Go bags.
The poor masses keep dying of measles, kwashiorkor, cholera, hunger, corona virus etc even as “Agbata-Ekee” politicians are only preoccupied with stuffing cash in Ghana-Must-Go bags.
The danger, though, is that the Ghana-Must-Go bag is having the last laugh as a weapon of mass destruction on these “Agbata-Ekee” politicians by deforming them from humanity before our very eyes.
Haven’t you seen it that so much damage has been done such that any politician who goes to Abuja for the “Agbata-Ekee” raiding suddenly turns inhumanly rotund in his agbada and ends up looking like two overstuffed Ghana-Must-Go bags, one on top of the other?
Even as Buhari deigns to be fighting corruption, I can see some “Agbata-Ekee” raiders clutching at very heavy Ghana-Must-Go bags in the corridors of power and buying fake professorships to boot.
I have just been informed that it was due to a bad misapplication of Ghana-Must-Go bags that the funny presidential costume in Owerri, Imo State got sewed!
For me to investigate and get to the bottom of the story, I need only one booster: a Ghana-Must-Go bag filled with dollars, not the valueless naira!