Why I Must Sue My Parents

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Why I Must Sue My Parents

By Azuka Onwuka

Please look at these scenarios and tell me if there is a reason for me not to sue my parents. If I were the son of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, by now I would have become the Babaloja of Lagos; and if I were female and his wife, I would have been a senator. If I were the son of Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, he would have made me his special adviser (special duties), so I could do special things for him. If I were the son of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, I would have completed my tenure as a commissioner in Anambra State, and if I were his wife, I would be the current Nigerian ambassador to Spain.

I have made up my mind to sue my parents. I will gather a team of lawyers for this purpose. The team must be made up of lawyers who are not moved by sentiments and emotions. My mother, who died in 2006, may have escaped it, but I may have to sue her brothers or my elder sister in lieu of her. The offence of my parents is simple and straight-forward:  they did not hold top political posts in the land, thereby putting me at a disadvantage in everything.

If my father were former President Shehu Shagari, I would have held the office of the minister of water resources from 2001 to 2007 before resigning to get elected as the deputy governor of Sokoto State in 2007. What if my parents were former deputy premier of the Western Region, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode? President Olusegun Obasanjo would have made me his special assistant (public affairs); then he would have promoted me to be the minister of culture and tourism, before capping it with the position of the minister of aviation. And if my father were the former leader of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and Afenifere, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Obasanjo would have also made me the minister of state for defence (Navy) as well as the minister of solid minerals development.

What if I were the daughter of Chief Frederick Abiye Agama and the wife of former military governor and chief of naval staff, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke? I would have been the minister of three different ministries in six years: transportation, mines and steel development, and petroleum resources. And if I were the son of Chief Bola Ige, I would have been made the commissioner of lands, physical planning and urban development in Osun State. If I were the daughter of Chief MKO Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, I would have been a member of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007, and then appointed the executive director (corporate Services) of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation in 2012.

If I were the son of Senator Olusola Saraki, I would have governed Kwara State for eight years before going to the Senate. And if I were his daughter, I would have been a member of the House of Representatives in 1999, then a Senator in 2003 – the same time my brother was elected the governor of our state – before attempting fruitlessly to succeed my brother as governor in 2011 because my brother had other political plans of his own. What if I were the daughter of Chief Solomon Lar, I would have been a member of the House of Representatives. And if my father were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, I would have been a Senator from Ogun State.

I can go on and on, but I guess you can now see why I am extremely angry with my parents. If they could not win elections and become governors, senators or presidents, or they were not appointed ministers or ambassadors, why did they not join the army and execute a successful coup, or mingle with coup plotters and get some appointments in their juntas? That way, they would have amassed enormous wealth, and would have received national honours like CON, GCON, GCFR, with the attendant clout.

Some would ask me if all these children of the VIPs were not qualified for the political positions they held. Before answering that, let me ask them: who is not qualified to hold any position in Nigeria? You need just a secondary school certificate to be even the president, not to talk of other positions. So you who are asking that question are qualified to be a minister, senator, governor, ambassador, commissioner or whatever. The disadvantage you have is that because your parents are unknown, you are lost in the crowd with the millions of others, while the children of the VIPs stand out because of their family name.

If my parents were in government, chances are that they would have many houses in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, GRA Ikeja, Asokoro, Maitama, London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg, etc. I would not have to grow grey hair trying to raise money to buy some piece of land in some slum or engage in a one-year-one-block venture, all in the name of building a house. They would have had multiple accounts in Swiss banks and other countries, and I could easily give someone five million naira for “chewing gum.”

As a child, I would have been chauffeur-driven to elitist schools in state-of-the-art cars instead of having to walk to the community schools that I attended under the rain and sunshine. I would also have attended Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge or MIT. With degrees from such institutions, companies and organizations would have been falling over themselves to have me within their fold. My wedding would have been attended by 15 governors, 20 Senators and the President. My siren would be loud and threatening enough to chase hapless Nigerians off the road even if I was going to cut my hair. Even if I walked into the church while the sermon was on, I would be ushered to the front seat in the church with my retinue of aides.

Yes, there are those in top political positions whose parents were not influential. But the snag is that it comes with a condition: while the children of the influential get things without having to prove themselves, the children of the unknown have to prove themselves for every position they get. I had to prove myself to get into the university, to get a job, to get a wife, etc. I had to prove myself to hold a position in my town unions, societies, the church, etc. I even had to prove myself for a year before The Punch gave me this column. I am tired of proving myself at every turn. The number of hours I have used to prove myself, if invested in other ventures, would have yielded great fruits. If air were not free, I would have had to prove myself before getting my air ration. Haba!

That is why I have to sue my parents. If I sue them and table my air-tight case before a judge, I am confident that I will be awarded at least a billion naira to compensate me for all the losses and disadvantage I have incurred for being the son of non-VIPs. That would teach other Nigerian parents a lesson: they must strive to be senators, governors or presidents or be doomed. That is what counts here. Welcome to Naija!


  1. Osoaku mandela July 11, 2016 Reply
    • Azuka Onwuka July 11, 2016 Reply
  2. Udeh Raphael July 11, 2016 Reply
    • Azuka Onwuka July 11, 2016 Reply
  3. Abdulkarim March 20, 2017 Reply
  4. Chinedu April 4, 2017 Reply
    • Azuka Onwuka April 5, 2017 Reply

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