Nigerian journalists are just so funny sometimes. The way some of them have named this Etteh saga ‘Ettehgate’ always cracks me up.
Before I continue, I would like to explain my long absence again… my darlings I no get Internet for house. There is so much going on right now that its really not on my list of priorities, really free Internet was the only thing I enjoyed at my last job.
For those of you that don’t know anything about the lady Hon. Patricia Etteh, she is the Speaker of the House of Reps in Nigeria. She was recently accused by her colleagues for awarding a frivolous contract for the renovation of her official residence (without following due process) for the sum of 628 million Naira… imagine! Everyone wants the woman out and you can’t blame them.
After a probe, the amount was discovered to be about 200 and something million (still an astoundingly high amount for renovation). In all this, the woman in the middle of the controversy is trying to put up a brave face.
The truth is I saw all of this coming. I mean being Speaker is no small thing and a lot of people have been jostling for that position. Even if Etteh had not been involved in this contract thing, her opponents would have looked for something else to create a scandal and get her out. I know that before this contract thing came out her detractors were already putting out stories about her
- not being married,
- being a second wife,
- having no biological children (she has adopted children),
- having no university degree,
- and being a “mere” hairdresser
Of course all of the above was not enough to create outrage in the polity and merely served as more gist for the gossip magazines. This contract thing therefore served as the perfect trap for Mrs. Etteh, once money is mentioned (especially in the light of how hard things are in this country), you get everyone’s attention. Now I don’t want to believe she was the first Speaker to award contracts without following due process, in fact I understand that all the past speakers did the same. However, what makes her stand out is the amount involved and the fact that she should have been aware of her many enemies. Though she has messed up I believe she should be left alone, my husband thinks I am silly for not wanting her out, but really these men even do worse so if they remove her will they put a saint there.
Anyway I may be wrong oh, but I wish her all the best.