Saturday, 3 October 2009

Abdulmutallab: The Product of Ill-gotten Wealth?

Abdulmutallab: Product of Ill-gotten Wealth?
By Sammie Adetiloye

On Christmas Eve, 24 December, the Christian world was alive with Christmas spirit. Mothers were preparing the holiday feasts and wrapping gifts, and children were waiting in expectation of the visit of Santa Claus. That same day, impelled by maturity of his desire, a 23-year-old Nigerian man in the employment of unrelenting enemies of mankind began his journey from Ghana with a mission to blow up an airliner with other 277 passengers on board over US soil. 

December 25, the day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab chose was sacred to God and the pitying heavenly stars watching the innocent people on the plane frustrated his fiendish plot when the acid in the syringe he was using to detonate the device strapped to his thigh merely set his clothes on fire. Had he succeeded, the plane would have been blown off and its human content would have been spilled on hard surface down below in Detroit, Michigan.

The young terrorist, Abdulmutallab, born in 1986, is a graduate of Mechanical engineering and a son of a former Federal minister and First Bank Chairman, Dr Alhaji Umaru Mutallab. The young boy started his secondary school education at the British International School in Lome, Togo. In 2005, he was admitted into the prestigious University College London where he obtained a degree in Mechanical engineering in June, 2008. While in London as a student, he was living in a £3.1 million luxury mansion block in Mansfield Street in London’s West End. We also learnt that his father has houses all over the world including one in Maryland, USA.

In spite of all his education and wealthy background, this little boy had no inclination to pursue a legitimate career, and he refused to conform to a required standard of behaviour. His access to free money offered him the opportunity to junket from Nigeria to London, from London to Dubai, from Dubai to Yemen to find food for his profound religious impulse until he ended up offering himself as a conveyor belt to forces of evil obsessed by the inveterate and invincible propensity to bring planes down, sink ships, blow women up in market places, and children on buses to or from school.

This can serve as one of many pointed examples of how our corrupt leaders – the drones that rob the bee of her honey – are squandering our money by building their houses on shifting sands. The wealth of this young terrorist’s parents can’t have been acquired based on their salaries in public service alone. 

We often see how our leaders lavish the funds committed to their management on our behalf on plastic surgeries to correct flat and snub noses, or to remove pimples. We know of how they are spending the proceeds of their ill-gotten wealth to update the wardrobes of prostitutes around the world. We know of how they are treating their children studying overseas with luxurious indulgence while millions of their fellow citizens, living under the jurisdiction of poverty, are going about with backs bent by hard labour, faces burnt by poisonous sun in their daily struggle to raise money to send their children to local universities and colleges that are not even functional because the funds to make them functional have been stolen.

They siphon our money into foreign banks in Dubai and other big cities to build estates and hotels, while at home our young men and women are condemned to idleness on account of unemployment. And our government cannot talk us through the steps they are taking to relax the squeeze. It is like Nigeria is running an obscure political religion which requires corruption as part of its daily ritual. 

A small problem in the eye is a great one indeed. I have no scintilla of doubt in my mind that Abdulmutallab’s incident has humiliated and wounded the pride and respect of every law-abiding Nigerian. Our government must take a vast parade of measures to ensure that this does not gain irretrievable notoriety among the local Taliban in the northern part of Nigeria so that we can reassure the world that Abdulmutallab’s case is an isolated one.

I am encouraged that Nigerian Government has always responded swiftly to threats and build-ups of the local equivalent of Taliban and Al Qaeda. We are lucky that we are yet to see those trained in bomb setting coming to our towns and cities on a dynamite mission. The likes of Boko Haram are responsible for the usual bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims because of their various attempts to wipe out Christians and impose rigid Sharia law on their fellow Muslims to conform to their own version of God’s will. They want a ban on Western education. They want to close schools down and forbid girls to attend. They say the time is now for us to begin to live in caves.

Mr. Adetiloye wrote in from UK

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