Nigeria: Okonjo-Iweala and the Bank, James Ibori and the Jail – Japheth Omojuwa


Two days ago I mentioned that Nigeria’s quest to produce the president of the World Bank would drop on our regular charts of the most distractive topics in Nigeria. It has. It was a good way for Nigeria to masturbate on its giant-hood without reaching orgasm. I call this the National Distraction Album. At every point in time in Nigeria, there is an issue that has nothing to do with the growth and development of our people save for being an avenue to get our people to look away while our funds are being looted by Ibori-esque politicians and civil servants.


The song topping the charts on the National Distraction Album is James Ibori’s latest Matriculation in a UK prison. He somehow deprived Mr. President’s 2015 presidential ambition from top spot. I am sure you are aware that while President Jonathan has at least three more years to deliver on his increasingly accidental Transformation Agenda, he has now busied himself – through cronies and village friends – with strategies of legally freeing himself to run in 2015. So he will finally be cleared to run and he will run. He has a right to run and so they might as well stop the whole comical court proceedings and let Mr. President at least focus on celebrating another feather to the cap of his transformation agenda with Ibori’s conviction added to our “making history” by contesting against mighty USA and almost beating them.


If you believe Nigeria stood a chance against America’s anointed candidate then you’d believe the fact that Austin Okocha was discovered at one of James Ibori’s 12 football stadia. The whole World Bank quest was just a giant getting carried away by its size in a city of Lilliputians. How can a beggarly nation like ours decide it wants to help America and Europe manage their huge investments at the World Bank? We had our voting powers reduced in 2010 and we suddenly thought that we had done something transformational since then to produce the President. The United States alone accounts for 15.85% of the votes. Add that to those of its allies Japan 6.84%, UK (3.75%) against the fact that none of the countries that backed Nigeria had a voting power close to 3%. Add this to the fact that while Nigeria’s candidate was all over the place granting interviews and writing articles, America’s candidate Jim Yong Kim never granted any interview. The man only traveled across the world to speak to the people that’d eventually do the voting. We won a few votes in the court of public opinion but public opinion does not matter when the shareholders of a bank want to decide who they’d empower to manage their investments. Like a World Bank insider said, it was always a shoo in for Mr. Kim. South Africa knew this and decided it was a good time to trade the AU Chairmanship they always wanted and knew they’d get with Nigeria’s support, for what they knew Nigeria would never get even with their own support. At the end of the day, we were masturbating our own ego. We never really came or did we?


Having said that, it is important for me to conclude with the latest kid on the block, prison PhD holder James Ibori. Very few Nigerians boast his wealth but very few Nigerians boast his number of UK convictions too. When he wakes up in prison this morning and introduces himself to his fellow Matriculating convicts, he’d do well to let them know that he is by no means a neophyte in the game of crime. He’d tell them he was convicted last century and has only returned to get his PhD in Lootology. He ordinary ought to be the Don in jail if he plays his cards right. Ibori yesterday looked frail in court. He was in a bulletproof cubicle and was looking nothing short of the criminal he is. Many Nigerians will be thinking, when will the sun set on the criminal activities of the other Lootocrats? Well, this is a good start. Something has started. We hope it marks the beginning of good things to come for Nigeria and long jail terms to come for walking criminals.

Is there a drop of Ibori in every man? Look in the mirror and make amends. Rest in Jail Uncle James.

This is @omojuwa

Ibori and Ngozi lead the charts this week

when a nation misses its priorities