Patricia Etteh: Innocent after proven guilty

by ‘SeunSALAMI

It was Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh’s hilarious victory song on National TV that woke me up from a brief slumber a few days ago. So the House of Representatives has finally vindicated Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh of any wrong-doing in the N626million renovation scandal she has became synonymous with in the last four years!

But I’m worried. In these parts, we love to celebrate bad news, falsehood and anything else in the lineage. That explains why some media houses will not even report the fresh development, while an innocent woman endures a decrepit image. Meanwhile, the man who replaced her as speaker, whom everyone thought was the young innocent one, is actually in EFCC custody. But that is a story for any other day but today.

Today, I have decided to share an excerpt from a satire I wrote in 2007. It was published at the height of the ‘Ettehgate’ scandal. It is quite amusing, (written from Etteh’s mind) but I want you to see beyond that. Let’s see if it makes any sense now that she has been proven innocent.

The moral of the story is, like my people usually say, no matter how long falsehood prevails, one day, the truth will definitely catch up with it. Regular programming resumes next week. Stay Inspired!

I have been waiting for this opportunity to tell you the things you don’t know about the renovation contract issue. I have no regrets whatsoever. Just because I wanted to renovate the official quarters to my taste, they started making noise. It was not even my house alone oh. There were other things oh. We are spending N232million on my house, N238.852million on the deputy’s house, you can see it is even more than my own and it is accounted for to the last kobo. Then we used N172.6million to buy ten Sports Utility Vehicles; what you people call Jeep. So where is the money I embezzled?

How much is even the money we’re talking about here sef? Just N529million. What? Ehn, even if you say it is N628million in total, how much is that compared to how much those political pot-bellies in Agbada spend on girlfriends and other silly things. Let me not talk oh…if you calculate everything, it is even more than what they are saying, but it is not my house alone. The one for my house is a mere N232million.

Wait sef, are they expecting the first female speaker in Africa to be using old electrical fittings, kitchen utensils and household items? Not me. Many of them did not know who they were making their speaker, that’s why. I’m a very fashionable person and I don’t joke with it. A beauty therapist does not accept anything less than the best. You think I attended the London Morris’ School of Beauty Culture and London College of Modeling for nothing? No way.

Let me also tell you something, those people who are shouting in the House now, “She did not follow due process,” this and that, it is because they have been displaced from some appointment positions where they used to collect egunje and Ghana must go. They are just looking for whom to transfer their aggression to. The same people that sang “Hosanna! All hail the first female speaker,” just four months ago, are the same people crying “Crucify her! Crucify her!” Meanwhile, if I begin to tell you the things they all do with your money…

They were now boxing themselves at the hearing and pulling one another’s agbada. Shameless people. Well, I don’t just want to start talking because I believe that we are all colleagues. I am the Speaker of the House and all I am looking for now is how peace will reign in the House. So I’ll still keep quiet for as long as possible. The time to talk will come.  It is not easy to be the first female Speaker in Africa; that is what is pinching them.

My birthday in the U.S is also paining them, meanwhile it is not anybody’s business that I went for medicals and converted it to birthday. They said I spent N11million ($90,000) on the birthday; please help me ask them oh, how did they know that if they didn’t attend the party? They must have even had such parties before too to know how much I spent. But really, if you were not there, you missed oh. The whole of Bowie, Maryland stood still for Bunmi. It isn’t easy.

Let’s be sincere, these people are no longer happy that a woman is their speaker. They thought I would be easy to persuade into business as usual. I’ve spent eight years in this House and my people back home in Ikire, Osun State will not be happy for me to spoil the Alabi family name.

They even said it was the same company that presented three bids in three different names, what is my problem with that? Am I supposed to start monitoring company addresses on bids or did they also say I owned any of the companies? This money we are even talking about is not anybody’s money; it is oil money! They’ll be shouting taxpayers’ money, “she is spending tax payers’ money,” how many of you pay tax? They’ll just be shouting…My own is just that probing this N628million issue is not in the best interest of the House. I know what I am saying oh. If they know what’s good for them, they should just hands off before…in fact, never mind…

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‘Seun Salami is a writer, an author and editor. He became a back page columnist for National Standard News Magazine and also published his first book before his 21st birthday. His articles have also appeared in The PUNCH, The SUN and several other mediums.
Armed with a BSc in Journalism and currently studying for an MSc, Oluwaseun believes he can write to save his life, if need be. You can follow him on twitter @seunsalami

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