Articles and Opinion

The ‘Evans’ in us


By Jerome-Mario Utomi

Kyari is the man of the moment and he deserves it. He is in the limelight and the’ light’ may not dim anytime soon.Abba Kyari, an Assistant Commissioner of the Nigerian Police force  must have been taught as a child that, ‘’movement with intentionality, produces possibilities’’ .He must have also learnt at the early stage of his life that for one to achieve something meaningful, ‘he  must show no mercy’. A combination of all  these school probably accounted for the resourceful ingenuity and somewhat supersonic speed with which the super cop burst hydra-headed crimes, including the infamous billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudubem Onwuamadike, alias Evans. Kyari and his team, the Intelligent Response Team (IRT) had stormed  Magodo, Lagos mansion and hide out of Evans on Saturday 10th, June 2017 and nabbed him after being elusive for years.

Evan is now cooling off at the police cell, singing like canary and telling the world how he loved Psalm 23 even while swimming in the ocean of iniquities.

His arrest had opened a new vista in the anal of our national history occasioned by the megawatts of unbelievable heinous activities as    confessed by him. A glance at his confessional statement as reported shows that his victims were numerous, his modus oprandi scientific and the volume of his booty quantum. These I believe he must be made to answer for if found culpable.

Again, his arrest and subsequent confession of his illicit enterprise have triggered, as expected a public discourse. This discourse had in turn given birth to two sets of movements. First, is the multitude of mechanically manufactured lawyers some of these lawyers have, since the Evans saga erupted, grown to become automatic ‘Senior Advocates’, ‘Magistrates’ and  ‘Judges’ of both Appeal and Supreme courts. Their province of cause remains the social media. This group has hurriedly, as expected tried Evans and judgment passed without recourse to the report of the Police investigation or the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice. The second group is the faceless activists clamoring for his release. This group have been fixated by materialism and hypnotized by quest for wealth.

But a more careful peep into the second group popped up stunning revelations: The majority of us has the spirit of Evans in us or has been possessed by the spirit of’’ Evanscism’’, in one way or the other. It further revealed that our environment as a nation is riddled with so many’ ‘’’Evanses’’ through our actions and inactions. Evans are littered in our political, socioeconomic, religious and academic environments

Political Evans are the most visible of all. These are political leaders that had, just like Chukwudubem, kidnapped our political space since or little after the nation gained her independence. They contemplate neither retirement nor shifting political space to accommodate the youths.  Ironically also,  they are always the first to shout from the roof top the maxim ‘youths are the leaders of tomorrow’ The industry and consciousness they dissipate  to ensure their sit tight policy  is usually unprecedented.

They are worse than the real Evans because they are holding the nation to ransom, preventing people with new ideas to come and move the nation forward. The report that is emanating from these groups is never economically palatable or development oriented. A very typical example of such report is the alleged N1. 34 trillion of our common wealth stolen by looters in 8years as revealed by Lai Mahammed ,the Minister for information, This  amount, covers the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of three West African countries. When one juxtaposes the amount embezzled by our leaders at Federal, State and local government levels  and Evans’ ill-gotten billions ,one may be tempted to canonize kidnap kingpin.

The political’ Evans’ in most cases operate as individuals and groups which is politically christened  ‘cabals’ and the third .The most dangerous are the group that hide and advance their personal ambition using regional or tribal cards.  These political Evans get to, and holds-on to power by entrenching the culture of political violence, oppression, exploitation, fear, poverty and death against the people and the sheep they are supposed to protect.

Closely related to the above is the socio-economic Evans. They are the retrogressive set that whose sole interest is to perpetually kidnap and control our common wealth; this they achieve by committing financial corruption and economic fraud. Most of the players in this group are serving or have served in one public office or the other. They carry out their nefarious activities using different operational dynamics such as bribery and corruption, inflection of contract sum or padding and undermining of qualities /standards when executing contracts.

The scope of the socio-economic  Evanses’ are limitless and their damage is colossal. It is their nefarious activities that dashed our hope of achieving stable power supply despite sinking billions of dollars in the project. Our petroleum industry also have similar tale of woes courtesy of these littered economic termites. Our refineries has become a bottomless pit swallowing  billions of dollars on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM), yet, the ‘Evanses’ are not letting these effort of our  nation see the light of the day.  It was recently reported that Nigeria lost over N6.4 trillion to the corruption redden National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). This is just a minute example of how the Evanses and the socio-economic termites are ravaging our common wealth.

Our religious places of worships are also flooded with numerous “Evanses” and are the demons our Pastors and Evangelists should be casting out. Instead, they have decided to dine, wine and hobnob with this demon called Evanses. In most cases, front rows are reserved  for those possessed by this demon as a mark of honour . The preaching of salvation is no longer at the front burner of these men of God but to spend more time  eulogizing the Evanses .

Some have become Evans themselves kidnapping  the resources of the poor, using their had earned  money to build schools that their children will never attend. Some of the ‘Evaneses  in the house of God’ use the money contributed by these  helpless poor to buy and service their private jets and the contributors have no bicycles .Most of our worship centers are flooded with more ‘Evans’ and drops of ‘Abbas’. These Evans are celebrated and worshiped while the Abbas are relegated to the background. These centres  are now centers where a highest donor  takes the glory without recourse to his source of wealth.

For the academic environment, the story is not different .The Ivory towers that is supposed to be the leading light in the dispensing of positive knowledge and values for the shaping of  character of our future leaders is also infected by the ‘’Evans’’virus.In the various institutions of higher learning, grades are now for sale and goes to the highest bidder. This has forced our educational system to nose dive . It had also unjustly affected our current crop of graduates as many now come out of school, empty, needy, greedy and desperate.

What about the excruciating experience that our female students pass through in the hands of our randy Evanses claiming to be lecturers .It is endless and just like John Pepper Clark once remarked in his Poem ‘The Causalities’, I now concur with him that ‘‘we are all causalities’’ .The whole nation is now causality, not of the civil war but in the hands of one anti-social problem: ‘’Evans’’.

Why on earth is it that our nation is blessed unfortunately with more ‘’Evans’’ than Abba Kyaris? Why are these Evans gaining unfortunate opportunities against us as a people? How were they able to manacle our political and socio-economic environments? A glance through the inaugural lecture pamphlet of Professor James Ter Tssoiur, summed an answer to the above questions. Tssouir, a Professor of media and cultural communication, attributes this legion of socioeconomic maladies to what he termed ‘politicide’. ‘Politicide’ ,according to him, is the death of politics, progressive politics. It is the entrenchment of the act of political corruption, electoral fraud, empty political rhetoric’s, false electoral promises, electoral violence and blatant subversion of the dictatorship of the electorates. It is these avaricious loots that terrorize and dehumanizes the people they are supposed to protect.

In addition to the above reason is the entrenchment of the get money quick syndrome or the act of seeking instant gratification.  Value, integrity and delayed gratification to many, now termed “History of the Past’ and as such, many are no longer ready to listen to that sermon. Instead, their core desire is the alluring urge for self-aggrandizement, ostentation, egotism and pride and it is quite often without any positive value.

This Evans saga is a defining watershed and should be handled without any form of banality. The Nigerian police have started on a very good note and should accomplish the good work by ensuring thorough investigation and meticulous prosecution of this case. Failure to achieve this may lead the nation to watch with surprise but helpless, inter, intra and cross ‘Evanses’ coming to commune at the altar of brotherhood. This I say, God forbid.

Also, the Nigerian police in collaboration with other  security agencies in the country should as a matter of urgency step up their investigative tempo towards ensuring that other’ Evanses’ in the high places, be it  political or socio-economicic are flushed out. This they can achieve through deployment of sophisticated intelligence gathering techniques, community policing and surveillance.

In addition to the above, the police authority should look inward to find out other Abba Kyari in the police force, other security agencies, and politics and in all endavours of national life and rewarded handsomely. Those that are not effectively utilized should be placed at their areas of competences to guarantee maximum output.

To Abba,I must say that you have  positively increased the reputation of the police force in the estimation of the right thinking Nigerians and the world at large. But, I will passionately remind you that ‘’ the reward for good work is more work’’ especially now that you have become the pragmatic ‘image maker’ of, and poster ‘boy’ of the Nigeria police force through your resourcefulness and ingenuity.

Also, the role of our religious leaders again calls for concern and sincere scrutiny. The heads of our religious groups should importantly and urgently carry out a self introspection and interrogation to find out if they are actually working in tendon with God’s commands or just doing the will of man.

Finally, with objective monitoring and evaluation of Abba Kyari’s performance in the police for over five years, I am left with no doubt in my mind that he had read and understood very well the book,  “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu. This I believe must have equipped him to know when to and when not do battle, exposed him to employing best strategies and above all, made him to know ‘’ How  to take whole’’.making him a result oriented  super Corp.

Abba!  Peace be with you.

Jerome-Mario is a Social Entrepreneur and an alumnus, school of media and communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos.

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