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Hushpuppi’s dying – The Nation Nigeria

By Sam Omatseye

It’s Ramon Abbas he bears. Even that identify puzzles. Some experiences anglicise his first identify as Raymond. However it’s Hushpuppi we all know, poetic, lyrical and even symbolic. Hush implies silent, furtive, conspiratorial, shadowy. Pet, on this regard, means playful like a week-old canine. That makes him a sly canine.

However then it has different origin tales. Some others date it again to the founding of New Orleans that offers the world Mahdi Gras, an unhinged carnival for pilgrims of delight. An immigrant girl invented a snack of a ball out of cornmeal and the town known as it hushpuppy. Their very own incarnation of akara. Even then, Abbas’ nickname is spelt ending with an i as a substitute of a y.

The one image that has trended of late options him in a shirt sporting a well-known model Fendi. However one other model had been stalking him like a forest cat, slinking, longsuffering and calculating. It was a model as counterforce: FBI. Nabbed in Dubai however caught in the US, the sojourn of a colourful conman involves an finish. Behind bars, he’ll put on neither Gucci nor LV, however an orange high that can, at greatest, say INMATE.

Now he’s no extra Hushpuppi. He’s now Abbas. He buried his actual identify in a casket of lies and deceit. He was reborn a glamour icon, one-named, deserted dwelling, and have become a worldwide Good Alec. He was a person of means with no technique of livelihood. He conquered our on-line world, dispossessed the gullible, stashed his international checking account, strutted the world, amassed dream automobiles, snored in palaces, dressed like a fop, preened like a peacock, seduced the younger and befuddled the outdated.

He grew to become a task mannequin to a lazy era that lapped luxurious with out labour. When he was caught, the FBI buried Hushpuppi and rebirthed Abbas. However the place is the true Abbas although? Can he recognise Ramon once more? He can not. Like Sophocles’ Antigone, he “neither dwells amongst males nor ghosts.” He’s in a dazed world, a wraith. He died twice; he’s born once more a jailbird, his third life. He was reckless. Now he’s a wreck.

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However Abbas is a story for the second, if in reverse. He was caught attempting to denude a bunch of individuals in thousands and thousands of {dollars} in palliatives in a time of pandemic. Abbas is an image of avarice at a time of sacrifice. He was flaunting his sneakers, automobiles, mansion, events at a time when many hid behind properties, suffered in hospitals, coughed in distress, mourned or had been mourned. He represented a heartless species after we had been presupposed to be our neighbours’ keepers, when many had been out of the blue whisked out of labor.

When his fellow nation people misplaced their jobs, and males of means contributed their thousands and thousands and billions to the poor, Abbas was a show-off. The factor with Abbas was no lockdown may cease his get together. His extravagance was on-line. The world was his viewers. He flourished and frolicked in actual time and area, however his followers joined him just about. His was a voyeur’s paradise. The younger gawped and gawked, adopted him, and commented. Once they cursed, they did it out of smouldering admiration. He had come to characterize a era of Nigerians who didn’t belief their dad and mom or their bosses or their leaders. They adopted their greed. They adopted Hushpuppi. He was a priest of a brand new goddess: cash.

Abbas for them was a form of escape. He had develop into the person who gamed the system and scored. All of the stadia on the planet applauded. They’re just like the character of the English novel Billy  Liar, a younger man who lived in his creativeness the place he had attained energy, wealth and glory, though he had nothing apart from dwelling from paycheck to paycheck. Abbas embodied that escape for them. They lived in Hushpuppi. They wore his Fendi, lived in his palace, flew in his jet, caroused his girls, or had been his girls, they sat within the driver’s seat of his Ferrari and Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce.

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Right here fellow Nigerians had no probability to host Owambes. Weddings and birthdays and funerals have been pruned to parlors and backyards. It’s a time for humility, and it was solely correct that the person who countered or not it’s caught and put away.

As of late nobody has wherever to go along with Gucci sneakers. No top quality tickets to purchase to London and take photos for on-line self-importance. Nobody has an opportunity to pile pockets with {dollars} and kilos to spray a celebrant. These with huge automobiles can not drive them to wherever for shows. No extravagances for the Mephistophelean or the innocent present man. The worst we are able to do is costume up at dwelling, and flaunt it to our youngster or spouse or husband, like Miss Havisham in Dickens’ Nice Expectation who dressed each day for years in her wedding ceremony garments and died in it with out leaving her dwelling.

These with particular automobiles solely heat their engines and drive across the neighbourhood. These instances are revealing our materials constipation. Abbas, the person of constipation, has now left the constructing, his bowels rumbling with faecal waste.

Issues are the other way up. Those that see church buildings and mosques as avenues for amassing wealth are crowing that they need folks collectively however they’re tempting the Lord. It’s doable that Abbas had a few of these males of God praying for him, and he could also be taking from this stolen cash to feather the home of God. It’s an irony now we have folks like this thriving after we hear males of God preaching. The purpose although is that that is an age the place the Phrase of the Lord is buying and selling locations with the wealth of the Phrase. Fairly just a few church buildings give priority to materials splendor. It’s a completely different form of hypocrisy from a war-time play Mom Braveness the place Brecht says, “Each time there’s a load of particular virtues round, it means one thing stinks.”

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Abbas epitomises the Yahoo Boys, and his fall is their fall. It’s a comeuppance for a tribe of desperadoes who’ve demonised technological genius. The brand new frontier of progress can also be their entrance for fraud.

It isn’t for nothing that he has been related to a few of our big-name politicians, even when that they had nothing in widespread. He has had photo-ops with just a few of them. If he weren’t Hushpuppi however merely Ramon Abbas, we’d not have seen such photos.

However our legislators have one high quality in widespread with him: impunity. The place leaders promise and switch again on their phrase, it’s as dangerous a lie as a Hushpuppi popping up on an individual’s electronic mail and asking for one piece of knowledge and turning the e-mail into a possibility to stalk and destroy. They’re the monitoring spirits of the web. They get the individual’s account they usually empty it.

We additionally see our legislators take away our cash when others don’t have anything. Fraud is now acquainted terrain of politicians. To be a politician is to hunt avenue for self-service, not service to all. However the arrest of Abbas is hope, however not sufficient. It reveals even the brand new frontier will be stalked and the crime encircled and ended. Our individuals are not doing nicely sufficient to catch those that are well-off by incorrect means. Just a few have been caught. We would like extra.

Abbas is caught right this moment, and nobody is hailing him. His viewers is now jeering. He’s like Jay Gatsby in Scot Fitzgerald’s novel. He acquires his fable of wealth to get again a girl, and buys an enormous mansion similar to Hushpuppi. Each neighbour involves his frequent events however not the lady he craves. He finally dies alone and poor. Everyone involves his events however nobody goes to his funeral.  Abbas is alone now. So is Hushpuppi. Abbas seems on as nobody involves Hushpuppi’s funeral. Hushpuppi’s frozen eyes look with out seeing as Abbas goes behind bars.

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