Opinion: Abdulmumin Jibrin| The travail of a whistle blower

by Usman Alabi

What was Jibrin thinking when he decided to call the bluff of the members of the inner circle that he was once a member to announce to the world their shady deals? I bet Abdulmumin Jibrin was never prepared for this eventual reality. Perhaps in his mind he thought that if he was going to go down, others too deserve to go down. But we would never get to know this, no thanks to a compact elitist class structure that never really questions those privileged to be within it. To make matters worse, he trusted Nigerians to be on his side, that they were actually the foundation upon which he built his convictions that the leadership of the House whom he accused of budget padding could be pulled down. This particularly was to be the beginning of his downfall.

Jibrin needs to be credited for popularizing the word ‘budget padding’, thus securing it place in our political lexicon.

Back to the issue at hand, Jibrin never gave it deep thought when he set out on the path of a whistle blower; he never put into consideration the lesson of history which is prevalent in every clime: you cannot pull down a house that you were once a part of just because you were sent out of it. Morality would fail you, and equity would put you to a test that you are likely to fail woefully.

Abdulmumin Jibrin, the former Chairman, Appropriation Committee, House of Representatives filled a N1 billion suit last week against the House. He sought damages and prayed that the court declare that his suspension amounted to a violation of his fundamental human rights and freedom of expression, then he withdrew the earlier case he filed against the House.

I suspect Jibrin is missing the publicity and influence he once had(he got publicity when he crossed the line and decided to be a whistle blower). Unfortunately for him no one cares again about whatever he throws up. As a matter of fact, it seems he has exhausted his cards. This was the Jibrin that had something new to present on social media, one documents or another to wet our curious appetites, something to relieve us of the stress of the recession.

Jibrin is now a dent on our anti corruption war and agencies. He reminds us that our war on corruption is not institutional, but subject to the body language of the President, for when the President is not favourably disposed, the shadows become inundated with people and political figures who cannot come to equity with clean hands.

From the very beginning, the ranting and the fight and whistle blowing of Jibrin was that of a man who had lost political relevance, who missed being in the midst of the crème de la crème, who if thrown out of that influential circle would rather pull down every memory of that class, and that was just the reason for exposing the shady deals of the group that he was once a part and parcel of.

Hence, Jibrin has become a ranting dog seeking for help, desperately seeking for political relevance and popular attention. If he were a good student of Nigerian politics, he should have realized that he committed political suicide by deciding to be a whistle blower against the anointed- he who wines and dines with the president and sees the president at will.

He made a bigger mistake by trusting Nigerians to be on his side. They were at a time, perhaps on social media, but he should have known that we are compromised already, we are used to moving on. Nigerians would forget and move on, they are not used to standing up to their leaders and demanding accountability from them. We would move on and begin to look for the next engagement that would feed our curious and narcissistic appetites.

And really new engagements came; in droves they did- the sting operation, the chibok girls, to mention but a few. We would move on because we are docile and lethargic. How can we explain the fact that we never demanded nor ran (nor will we) a social media campaign that Dogara should explain his part in the allegation or defend himself?  Dogara probably would not because we never demanded that of the speaker.

Now the once popular whistle blower Jibrin who fed us with all kinds of inside and secret documents that we could ever think of was not able to secure at least an arrest for his assailants, not to mention a conviction. And here he is gasping for breath, still suing on a matter that is best forgotten. No one has even looked his side or thought of him twice. We have moved on as usual.

Perhaps, Jibrin can begin to consider going abroad because this is likely to be the end of his campaign. Until we learn to demand accountability from our leaders, until we begin to demand explanation for every wrong conduct, until we state clearly what we want and engage political office holders, Jibrin can keep on gasping for breath. That is the least consequence of not understanding the political climate before venturing out, as it is also punishment for his culpability.

This is the travail of a whistle blower in Nigeria, and will continue to be until we learn not to move on!

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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