Viewpoint - October 31, 2021

SUNDAY MUSINGS: Diezani’s Brassieres As Metaphor

By Innocent Okon

First, let me confess here that by nature and professional calling, I am not given to frivolities. I love jokes on the sunny side of life, but they must be served in decent and decorous style and language!

That’s why I have a select list of stand up comedians that could arrest and detain my attention.

When jokes are woven around gender, be it male or female, to expose congenital weakness, am sure to be the last mortal to reward such a misadventure with a smile instead of a frown!

But the unexpected came calling last week. The ubiquitous social media and the ‘old school’ media (newspapers and radio) captured national  attention of more than a few, including yours truly, with a story that one of the Federal Government anti-graft agencies was ready to put up for sale some forfeited assets (or is it loot?) seized from former public officers in Nigeria!

Among the seized assets, which had been given judicial approval for disposal, are houses, cars, and wait a minute, brassieres!

According to the report, the brassieres, which, for convenience of clarity and space, shall  hereinafter be referred to as bra, are not the types you may know, and have seen, either with consent or while window shopping!
Diezani’s diamond studded bra

They are branded diamond studded bras, which unit cost runs into millions of Dollars!

We are told they were alleged to have been recovered and seized from one of the homes of Diezani Alison, one time Minister of Transport and later Petroleum Resources in Nigeria.

You can see why the attention is on bras and not houses and cars! Nigerians are used to elected and appointed public officers using their offices to amass scandalous wealth that may outlive genarations.

But getting paranoid, to the level of buying daimond studded undies, is novel and bizarre in our lexicon of pathological kleptomania!

What does a married woman, I believe in her 50s and above, need to showcase with a diamond studded bra? 

Or what kind of content is she protecting, defending and upholding?

Whom does she want to impress when the subject matter (breasts) are, by decency and convention, supposed to be covered and shielded from the prying eyes of the public?

I once heard from  a stand up comedian that bra is meant to protect the “erected, support the fallen, and even make a mountain out of a mole hill.”

I have juxtaposed this definition of the comedian with the one  supplied by English dictionary, and  yet to see where gold and diamond would help to add natural value to any woman’s breast(s)!

What this insanity emphasizes in both capital and bold letters is the lowest ebb privileged Nigerian public officers have collectively  plunged accountability and respect for public funds in the past, present and propensity for future transfer. 

Diezani Alison-Madueke, I learnt, once worked for Shell Petroleum Development Company as one of the top directors. I’m sure she wouldn’t have tried this monstrous kleptomania in such a well structured international business organisation!

She only took advantage of a complacent and rapacious system that respects religion, tribal and political cleavages more than national prosperity and welfare of generations yet unborn.

It’s convenient now to condemn and castigate Diezani, because her excesses have been brought to   public glare!

But I see her diamond studded bras in a palatial London home of a  political chieftain where our politicians would take turns to jet out to go and pay solidarity visit.

I see her expensive bras in chattered flights for wedding guests of Ministers’ sons and President’s daughters.

My eyes are also open wide enough to see Diezani’s bra in the scandalous allowances that both state and national legislators are enjoying!

Her bras represent the outrageous and humongous retirement benefits former Governors are enjoying, which include, but not limited to mansion in any state of their choice in Nigeria.

The expensive bras of Diezani must and should be seen beyond a personal graft gone awry, but a metaphor for ravenous kleptomaniac virus that has made nonsense of morals,  ethos and rationality!

Like my cerebral friend on Facebook, Anne Okpo-Ene, asked: How can one woman wear on her chest in the name of a bra the cost of many plots of land at Lekki?

Methinks this is a national question, which answer is still  blowing in the wind!

Mr Okon, a lawyer and commentator on public affairs, lives in Uyo

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