Bukar Ibrahim: There is no such thing as a sex scandal in Nigeria's political game

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Senator Bukar Ibrahim

Sex scandals don't happen in Nigeria's political scene.

Yesterday, Monday, July 3, 2017, a video surfaced of Nigerian Senator Bukar Ibrahim with two women in a hotel room.

Most sites went with the sensational route and rightly branded it as a sex scandal. Later in the day, the senator responded to the leaking of this video.

"This is a personal, private matter. What does my having been with a girl have to do with the public?" Bukar Ibrahim, who was a former Governor of Yobe, told Premium Times.


The senator also hinted that the video leak was blackmail. "You know the normal thing: people ask for unreasonable things, and if you deny them, they try to blackmail you if they have a way.

"If they say I raped, that’s a different matter altogether. Is it because I am a public official then I am not supposed to be entitled to private life?

“They just mentioned it to me as a joke and I took it as nothing really serious. This is something that happened between two adults.

“I have commenced investigations to find out why it is circulating but from all indications, it is a blackmail," said the senator.

In a normal country, a story like this would be bigger news and the integrity of the senator would have been called into question. However, this is Nigeria and what is normal in other countries, doesn't apply here.

Granted that the distinguished senator is a Muslim and his religion allows him to marry more than one wife, a video like this would have cast some doubt on his personality.

This is not the first time that our hard working senators would be involved in some sort of sex scandal. In June 2016, three Nigerian lawmakers were accused of soliciting prostitutes and committing rape. That case has gone up in smoke.


There are no sex scandals in Nigeria's political climate. There are hardly sex scandals in Nigeria as a country. Any politician who is caught pants down, will shrug it off and move on like nothing happened.

This happens because Nigerian people don't hold their leaders responsible for anything. The politicians don't feel the need to behave because the electoral process is flawed. Essentially corruption brought him into power and not the people.

A sex scandal of Monica/Clinton proportion is likely never to happen in Nigeria. A society that has a big cheating culture wouldn't be bothered about what a governor or president does in his spare time.


Let's face it, extra-marital affairs are not a big thing in some parts of the world. In a country where polygamy still happens, it's no big deal for a man of power and influence to have side chicks. Former President Obasanjo had several wives while he was head of state twice. It wouldn't have been a big deal we found out that he was dating a young woman.


And because Nigeria is a patriarchal society, women often get the bad end of sex scandals. The men come out virtually unscathed. It would take something else to bring down a Nigerian politician or a Nigerian man. Extra-marital affairs are nothing here.

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