THINGS YOU MAY NEVER LEARN IN A CLASSROOM
By Obo Effanga
Lesson 9: The ‘-Gates’ and us.
I first wrote this two years ago today. I have simply updated it by adding the latest ‘-gate’, MainaGate…
Ever wondered how the suffix, ‘-gate’ got into the description of political scandals? Well, here it is. It started in the US in the 1970s in what was known as the Watergate Scandal.
On June 17, 1972, there was a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) located in the Watergate Office Complex in Washington D.C. It turned out, after several investigations, including Congressional scrutiny that President Richard Nixon and his administration were involved and tried to cover up some of their clandestine and often illegal activities in the whole affair.
This included bugging the offices of opposition, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Those abuses of power eventually led to impeachment proceedings against Nixon and made him to resign as president in August 1974, even though his successor, Gerald Ford granted him state pardon in September 1974.
For all the notoriety that case brought to political scandal, the suffix, ‘-gate’ has stayed affixed to every other political scandals across the world.
Now you see where we in Nigeria borrowed all the gates from to create the likes of PentascopeGate, EttehGate, FaroukGate, DasukiGate and now MainaGate.