The Cabal: A critical review (2), by Taju Tijani

In spite of the revulsion and untidiness associated with cabal, we still accommodate and nurture it by successive administrations. During the government of President Umaru Yar’Adua, Information Minister, Dora Akunyili (deceased), accused the cabal who were making public comments on behalf of the President even when he did not say so. “These cabals should please stop heating up the system and allow President Yar’ Adua recover,” Akunyili said.
Then again in 2012 another high profile government minister made a veiled reference to the existence of cabal in the system. Lanky, well-lacquered, well-connected and stunning Diezani Allison Madueke rumbled the House of Representatives with her mesmerising beauty. Like an oily princess of Abuja, she came with a retinue of courtiers as befitting a custodian of our oil wealth. There was a discernible, yet penetrating arrogance in the carriage and demeanour of DAM – Dizeani Allison Madueke. Whether a DAM can damn the million dollar question of the existence of a shadowy vampire class called cabal is everybody’s guess. Then the inevitable question popped up.
The chairman of the ad-hoc committee investigating the actual subsidy on petroleum, diminutive but boyish Farouk Lawan damned and ruffled the oily feathers of our superbly confident Diezani. “Hon. Minister, do we have a cabal and who are they?” Lawan asked sharply. There was no thunderous cheer but only hidden giggles all around the house. She raised her expansive eyeballs above her delicately perched gold-rimmed glasses. She scanned the floor of the house like a lone, bald eagle. Lawan, in a no-nonsense damning mood kept his icy eyes on DAM – Diezani Allison Madueke. At that instance, whoever blinks loses!
Satisfied that none of the known but secretive vampire cabal was in the house, DAM gave a wilting answer. “Enmmm….as I have sworn on oath before this committee, I can assure the honourable chairman, Farouk Lawan, that there had been manipulations in the oil sector,” Dizeani declared, looking unperturbed. She will not punch below the belt. She knew the rules. Since Diezani will not let drop the expected enigmatic word: “there are cabals in the oil industry” her loyalty to the law of Omerta quickly dissolved in Lawan’s shift of consciousness. DAM has saved the cabal for another day. She will not force an eternal disharmony in their rank before the eye of the world.
Meanwhile, the nation’s hunger for a pitiless assault against the cabal remains everybody’s consuming passion. And if a central player like Dizeani will not bomb the system with lurid and ear tingling details of who the cabal are, can we then possibly say loud and clear that our politics and social orientation are all cabal-assisted?  Further, if Diezani Allison Madueke could not see them in the engine room of our democracy – House of Rep – pray, are we not chasing illusion by searching further for cabals? Are we not all cabal-driven, cabal-loving and cabal-oriented people? Consider this: politicians will naturally form a cabal to gain and protect power at all cost. We can affirm here that Presidents Yar’Adua, Obasanjo and Jonathan had cabal in their government. They were hidden, secretive and unknown.
Chasing the politicians is the business cabal. In our critical anxiety to unmask the cabal we may want to suspect the Nigerian business class as favouring more scrutiny in view of their sharp practices. They will do anything to subvert the economy of their nation and hold us ransom through strangulating monopoly regardless of whether the nation atrophy like in the subsidy palaver. Now consider how the cabal behind our sport administration has destroyed our national team – Green Eagles – over the years. Then peep into the minds of a small group of intriguers – military cabal – who refashioned Nigeria after the civil war and went on to destroy the fighting capacity of our boys and girls.
We have the airport cabal that controls touts across our airports. We have Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria cabal. They allocate transmitter, meter, cable and electric pole to whoever they want. We have tailor, bricklayer, electrician, carpenter, barber, mechanic, welder, plumber, chemist and various okada rider associations being headed by some mean, no-nonsense, brutal enforcers called cabal who influence the gains, pleasure, losses and prosperity of the artisans under their tight control.
Further afield are the intellectual cabal. They control the teaching materials offered to our kids in various campuses. They control the grading system and exercise the power to promote scholastic minds to professorial chairs. They decide on who to give and deny honorary degrees. They punish deviants and reward conformists. Pleasurably, they are the purveyors of sex for grade. Cabalism could also range outside of politics, business, military and education to embrace the media.
The Nigerian Union of Journalists is a shameless cabal. Don’t they protect their own interests by massaging the head of any President in power?
Are they not co-opted members of the elusive corrupting class? Is the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria not a cabal, forever protecting its own interests? Are the tone of their newspapers and magazines valiant or neutral on critical national issues? Are our digitalised journalists and writers still the questioning or acquiescing messengers? Is there anything resembling Sowore’s ‘Sahara Reporter’ among our media literati?  For real, newspaper houses are now liberal institutions because of the unwritten rule that forbids a cabal to fight a cabal. Transport workers have demonstrated intelligent collectivism that seems in tune with the creed of cabalism.
The National Union of Road Transport Workers – amalgamation of Area Boys cabal – have refused to ease commuters’ suffering through their greed and extortion, especially in Lagos, under the leadership of Olu Omo. We should also add that pimping is a muscular form of vampire cabalism. Large scale sex trafficking trade be it in USA, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Australia is not a warming democratic enterprise. A group of cabal in the mould of hard and gun-wielding brutes protect and extract every penny from any wayward girl foolish enough to sign up to hoo-hah, hoo-hah industry. So also is the drug trade in the UK. A cabal sit atop various gangs here and they control and distribute hard drugs across county lines using captive and hard done mules.
It is about time we abandoned the extraordinary myth which reduces belongingness to a cabal only to politicians and their collaborating agents. We should defy this woolly thinking and begin to hunt for every absconding cabal from all areas of everyday life. The invisible cabal, those who instigated our social, economic and political ruination might be up your street if you look hard. President Buhari may be an over enthusiastic Fulani-compliant cabal loving leader who is ready to sell the destiny of Nigeria and Nigerians to a few Koran-thumping, Jihad-loving, conservative, backward looking family members from rural Katsina to the annoyance of all. So are the shadowy men and women who are drivers of our social, cultural, economic and intellectual destiny as argued above. Oh, someone just whispered that mega churches in Nigeria are ruled and controlled by cabal. We have bloody cabal everywhere in Nigeria.
*Next week – Amotekun: Fulani audacity and its obscenity
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