In the coming years, historians and event analysts are going to pore and ponder over the gymnastics present in the Nigerian political sphere. They are undoubtedly going to conclude that there were masquerades in the marketplace that could never be expunged, and that those that were slickly set aside became lost in the great scheme of things. Although it cannot be said that the smoke and dust have settled over the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), it is obvious that its former executive chairman, Babatunde Fowler, is yet to make a re-appearance.
Since he was sent packing out of the FIRS chairmanship suite, numerous folks have bewailed Fowler’s untimely and indeterminable high fall. It must be reiterated that virtually nobody expected things to take the ungainly turn they took in his case, and so most of his loyalists and supporters have little need to prepare for the avalanche of change that was coming for the former FIRS head honcho. Although nothing survived, not even Soyinka’s imagery of a “wrinkled petal pressed between pages of long-discarded books”, the question on the minds and lips of many is not surprising: where is Babatunde Fowler?
After his torrential tumble, many were of the opinion that Fowler was going to employ deep and integrative education (Bachelor in Science in Economics, a minor in Political Science and a Master’s of Business Administration degree) in pursuing endeavours similar to the one he was retired from. Therefore, it would not have been particularly peculiar for him to have emerged in an administrative, managerial or entirely political regalia, and float right back up. But nothing has been seen of him in the three of his involuntary sabbatical.
Unlike others like him (who fell from the high heavens), it is not known whether Fowler has relocated out of the country that did not want him to manage their taxes, or is holed up in hibernation somewhere within Lagos, the place of his birth. Not even the acrobatic dance of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) policy was enough to get him to poke his head out of wherever cave he was residing in at the time.
From FIRS boss to a hobbit true to the name, the location of Babatunde Fowler remains anonymous to the public, as is the condition of the man himself.