Unfortunately for Nigerians, the same cannot be said about a majority of our politicians and so-called leaders. That they ply their ‘trade’ with the shameless swagger and perversity of prostitutes is beyond dispute. But how do we explain their carpet-crossings or the proliferation of renegades in their ranks. How do we come to terms with their callous betrayal of associates and followers or even their subsequent grandstanding? – Muhammad Al-Ghazali
STRIPPERS IN EXECUTIVE MANSIONS by Muhammad Al-Ghazali
The 42nd street in mid-town Manhattan, New York, ranks highest among the most notorious streets in the entire world in my opinion. I should know. For several years in the 1980s, I often shuttled between school campus in New Jersey and Brooklyn to spend the
weekend with much older friends who lived there although they attended Long Island University.
I hardly drove into the city though. I preferred to walk the short distance to the Elizabeth train station close to our campus for the approximately thirty minutes train ride into New York. The trip terminated at the Manhattan’s Penn Station -the major transportation hub in the city with its maze of bus, train and subway systems built underground.
I normally stayed underground by taking the subway to Brooklyn to surface only blocks away from my destination situated just off the lengthy Linden Boulevard. But on many weekends I stopped over at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on my way to watch the titanic encounters between Hakeem Olajuwon and New York Nick’s Patrick Ewing – two of the dominant basketball centers of their times – when the Houston Rockets hit town.
Yet on other weekends during summer, or early fall, I simply melted into the city to feel its pulse or to be part of the electrifying atmosphere at Times Square only streets away from Penn station. My favoured route to the square often took me through 42nd street, and to this day, my impression of the street has not changed.
If ever there is place in this age that our Christian brethren could compare to the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah, the West 42nd street in Manhattan must surely be it! On this street, drugs, sexual extremism, and gambling, embrace in appalling depravity.
You are heckled by youths who peddle all kinds of drugs on both sides of the street as you navigate past pimps and clusters of skimpily-dressed women who stare you down like the predators they have always been since the introduction of the oldest trade known to
humanity. But all that paled in comparison to the Gay clubs, live sex theatres and the top-less bars complete with strippers that competed for patronage with pornographic shops for almost the entire street marked distinguished by its blazing neon lights.
And yet, as you walked past the men who cuddled openly in rebellious demonstration of their sexual preference and also ignore the whistles from the ladies who want to eat you alive, you noticed one very important thing. There was no hypocrisy or pretentions in their
They were homosexuals, pimps and prostitutes in the strict sense of the word and did not give a damn if the whole world knew it! The ladies were not whores at nights alright, but you could hardly accuse them of pretending to be nuns in day time. There was also nothing occult in their nocturnal congregations.
For all their filth and undoubted immorality; for all their rottenness and the sins they committed against their religious beliefs; they kept resolute faith with their lifestyles and ‘professions’. They had the decency of being straight with themselves.
Unfortunately for Nigerians, the same cannot be said about a majority of our politicians and so-called leaders. That they ply their ‘trade’ with the shameless swagger and perversity of prostitutes is beyond dispute. But how do we explain their carpet-crossings or the
proliferation of renegades in their ranks. How do we come to terms with their callous betrayal of associates and followers or even their subsequent grandstanding? The real tragedy, of course, is that they also have the audacity to deceive Nigerians with their lives of
Before last week many Nigerians would have sworn that the ever-smiling Governor of Ogun state Gbenga Daniel was just too polished to go anywhere close to a shrine never mind subjecting political associates to undertake blood oaths to secure their loyalty. Now we know better. The governor’s squeaky-clean facade was part of his armoury of grand the deception.
Even by our standards, the stark naked image of Honourable Olawale Hassan Alausa allegedly taken during a ritual in Daniel’s palatial residence to secure the loyalty of the former must have seemed like vomit. At least, when Abia state governor Theodore Orji was pictured
naked in the Okija shrine, he had over-sized pants on. Alausa’s sordid picture was certainly the basement in our culture of political absurdities.
It reminded me of the deep sense of shame and embarrassment I felt when first saw Governor Orji’s picture on the internet. I actually prayed the entire thing was all unreal. I waited in vain for reassuring words from the Abia government house. But none came. Even
when my shock was somehow cushioned by the gory revelations at the Okija shrine a few years earlier, I couldn’t help thinking that Orji’s case could not have been an isolated case. The Ogun state episode has now dispelled such doubts.
Today, it has become clear that our politicians pay only lip service to their religious beliefs. They attend mass in the day but seek refuge in the primitive recesses of their respective deities as soon as it is dark. In the North, I have always recoiled at stories that politicians who give the impression of being practicing Muslims routinely bury live animals for rituals for the sake of political power. Others indulged in worst unprintable acts for the same purpose. The only difference is that unlike their counterparts in the south, they have somehow managed to keep their clothes on, at least for now. Such is the double life our politicians lead.
So what makes some of them to strip naked before their contemporaries without a single care for their pride and machismo? What makes them exhibit the degree of extreme brutality it takes to bury a live animal? The answer, obviously, is power, but we can also throw crass stupidity into the mix. That explains why I am convinced that most of our so-called leaders do not possess the intellectual wherewithal to be in charge of the immense resources put at their disposal, talk less of leading millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Their nude acts apart no one demonstrates the embarrassment paucity of intellectual substance in the corridors of power today more than Nnamdi ‘Andy’ Uba. He may not have posed nude, but his failure to recognize that he is being milked by lawyers who inject him false hopes of reversing his electoral misfortune speaks volumes, but not everything.
Next to the psychiatric evaluation suggested by the Wole Soyinka, our predicament has left me with no choice but to recommend that henceforth our aspiring leaders should be made to take IQ tests to eliminate the preponderance of morons in the corridors of power.
Only an idiot could be led to believe his destiny will be secured by lining up political associates to strip naked before a dead chicken. Only a bigger fool could be led to dance half-naked in the forest for the same reason.
But in the end I certainly have more regard for those strippers on 42nd street because they have more honour and dignity. They may have stripped and also debased their humanity, but they did not lie to themselves or those who patronize them. The same cannot be said of our strippers in executive mansions.
by Muhammad Al-Ghazali – DAILY TRUST