Andrew Yakubu: Billionaire Among Paupers By Dogo S Nok

As people of Southern Kaduna struggle to recover from the multi-billion dollar shock and embarrassment that Andrew Yakubu assaulted them with by stashing such stupendous wealth in the midst of the poverty and squalor of his brethren, we must come to terms with the reality of stark greed and selfishness of our elite and potential political leaders. When Andrew Yakubu was appointed to the most lucrative GMD position in the country, most of us were proud that our son had successfully connected us to the mainstream of government recognition and patronage.

Today, at the peak of ravaging recession we ponder with disbelief and disgust the self-aggrandizement that dashed our expectations of communal empowerment even as Andrew Yakubu is now heartlessly sponsoring dollarized propaganda that his well-deserved travails are nothing but ethnic victimization of the people of Southern Kaduna! If the flabbergasted commoners of Sabon Tasha are demanding not only the dollars but also the head of Andrew Yakubu for making an expensive mockery of their ghetto environment as a classical camouflage for concealing his sensational spoils of office, how can people of southern Kaduna suffer the insult of becoming his mercenaries in addition to the injury of being short-changed or rather duped by their own son?

For the avoidance of doubt, the people of southern Kaduna are not known to be ingrates wherever they have been. We have always rallied round our public-spirited compatriots in appreciation of their evident tangible contributions to bettering the lot of our struggling communities. Andrew Yakubu was only a momentary star of southern Kaduna people, taking the shine from his prized appointment but leaving his euphoric kinsmen in the dark shadows of selfish abandonment. Ever since his uncomplimentary ejection from office, he has withdrawn into an isolated cocoon of close relatives practically deleting himself from the collective memory of his kinsmen in southern Kaduna.

The sudden exposure of his staggering stacks of dollars and pounds conservatively worth more than four billion naira, cunningly concealed in the desolate heart of a Kaduna slum, was therefore a tearful testimony to the accumulative acumen of Andrew Yakubu in self-service and his disdain for charitable endeavors. For someone who was NNPC GMD for only two years and left office almost four years ago to still be in possession of 9.8 million dollars cash “gift” is a pointer to the humongous amount he must have cornered as well as his superlative stinginess. Not even one employment opportunity or one culvert has been attributed to Andrew Yakubu despite his inestimable wealth!

Rather than turning into his ethnic solicitors and advocates now that he has been forced by personal hazard to realize the value of his kith and kin across Kaduna State, Andrew Yakubu should be left to stew in his own pot if only to serve as a life lesson to him and a deterrent to his elite colleagues in and beyond southern Kaduna against abuse of office and neglect of their people and area of origin. At least we southern Kaduna people are living witnesses to the sins of our selfish son, which cannot and should not be politicized against the laudable and highly effective unprecedented war against corruption waged by the indefatigable President Buhari and his corrective administration. The anti-corruption crusade has so far claimed prominent sons and daughters from all the geo-political zones of Nigeria with no particular sacred cow or no go area. More importantly, “our man” Andrew Yakubu was caught with his cache of pounds and dollars in broad daylight and he has also claimed ownership without remorse, so where is the so-called ethnic persecution his propagandists are spinning?

As an indigene of southern Kaduna, I am at pains when I reflect that we have the largest number of unemployed youths that have passed secondary school in Kaduna state. I am at pains that most of these children of the poor are being misled into believing that the Hausa Fulani are responsible for their predicament. I am more of pains when I read some jobbers claiming ethnic and religious sentiments are behind the Andrew loot scandal especially when I know the first victim of Buhari anti-corruption war is Sambo Dasuki – a Muslim, a Fulani, an aristocrat of the caliphate. Are we saying our faiths and our culture encourage corruption and abuse of trust?

President Buhari should just fire full cylinders in pursuit and prosecution of as many thieving serving and former top government officials and politicians as his anti-corruption drive smokes out. He definitely has the support and commendation of the generality of common people across southern Kaduna who are actually angered by the Andrew Yakubu episode as it highlights the scale of diversion of commonwealth and deception of the masses being perpetrated by greedy and selfish elites supposedly representing their people in government.

As far as the masses are concerned all the noise about ethnic and religious agenda in the on-going successful onslaught on corruption by the Buhari Administration is nothing but the futile efforts of the cabal of corrupt people to fight back and retard the impact of the crusade. More culprits should be brought to book if necessary by establishing special courts that will be insulated from the time-wasting tactics of well-paid lawyers and corrupt judges currently delaying dispensation of justice.

Nok is a youth leader in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.

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