Archive for January, 2013

How Much You Go Pay?

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

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By Prince Charles Dickson

 

It has lately been called the bribe-for-job scandal, most people are talking about it like it is new but really is it new, or is it a case of business gone sour, business as usual or simply put, it is escalating? Well, let me say in my admonition that it comes in many shades; do not mind our dramatic nature, now the National Assembly seems to be so interested when indeed they are equally involved. My fellow Nigerians do not worry, nothing will change, at least not anytime soon, but we will keep talking, let’s not give up. 
 

It is not just a case of bribe-for-job, we have bribe-for-admission, bribe-for-marks, bribe-for-promotion, bribe-for-transfer, bribe-for-nysc, bribe-for-justice/injustice, bribe-for-treatment, bribe-for-bail, bribe-to-lead, from private to public sector, it has no religion, to say the sarcastic least, while Christians and Muslims fight, if the matter is bribe related, they all become pagans, if the bribe is in millions, both Yoruba and Igbos, Niger Delta and Hausa persons claim to be patriotic Nigerians…its one thing that unites us–bribes!

A culture of gratification that has left us as a nation in a state of neither here nor there. Many Nigerians feign ignorance of this phenomenon that has not just eaten into our moral fabric but has equally torn it into different bits, shreds and pieces.

 
A family has a health emergency and it runs to the National Hospital or any of the many docile general, teaching and specialist hospitals littered across the country and first question you are asked is “hope you know someone”? You must know at least a messenger, at best a doctor, a nurse or auxiliary staff before you will be attended to. You need to facilitate the process or you have yourself to blame. After paying, you bribe-for-bed, bribe-for-drugs, bribe-for-a-good-doctor, it is almost a case of bribing you way all through to the great beyond.

These bribes apart from being outrageous sums of money, could also come in form of a letter or complimentary card from some Minister, ‘big woman or bigger man’, with some phrase like “assist the bearer he is from me”. Whether ‘the him’ is qualified is another matter entirely. The complimentary card plays the score of a bribe.

 

We often lie to ourselves, like we do not know…but very few of us can claim to be innocent of the charge, …of her many sins, the former comptroller-general of immigration was painted in bad light for the recruitment scandal in her side of the wood, we forgot that it is not about her. How many of us do not know that at both federal and state levels there are different kinds of job/recruitment syndicates?

Recruitment into The Nigerian Police goes for between N100-300k depending on who the middleman and end recipient is, the Civil Defence is not any different, so also Prisons, Customs, how about the armed forces, or I recall the popular Alhaji (real names withheld) that gets procures admission for candidates into the defence academy for N1M and trust me, people say he is ‘reliable’.

 
Let us quickly look at this dynamics, the chap who pays for the job and indeed does get it, what kind of employee does he make, is it a case of goodluck, luck, the Nigerian myth, or a ‘Nigerian-prayer-answering-god’.

How does it really work in Nigeria, a nation where you pay as much as N100K for your kid to get into a Unity School and in five years on, you pay another N100K plus and minus for her to get admitted into a university, your daughter then bribes her lecturers for marks, and then gets out with ‘sweet grades’ and then bribes and gets the job. She cannot really function without bribes…she collects bribes for the most primary duty to be executed in her office and we wonder why…? 

My constituency is as guilty as charged…bribe-for-stories, you bribe to kill the story, you bribe to give it life, it is called “brown envelope, though these days we even have cases of envelopes with many colors.
 

In a nation as diverse as ours, how this affects balance so badly is often underestimated, a parastatal has an opening for 2000 workers–The National Assembly gets 500, Ministers get 60, another 40 is shared around, governors get a 100, and then the ruling party and bigger beings get 1000, we have barely 300 to go through several hundreds of thousands that have applied.

These slots are sold for money, racketeered by syndicates, sold for sex, sold for who your dad, mom, uncle, aunt or family is, it is sold for where you come from, and other favors. Merit is thrown to the wind and then we still ask why there is intolerable mediocrity in the system.

We operate a system that has become ‘bribedized’, so things do not just happen the normal way, if a young person applies for a job, goes through several tests, and interviews, he scales through and is picked, surely it is abnormal, so people ask him, “how did you do it, and who helped you?”.

The bribe syndrome is everywhere, in everything we do, you want to adopt a child from an orphanage you bribe–you want to buy fuel, there is a queue, you pay a bribe, skip the queue and get served. With a bribe an innocent can always be harassed by the police and with even more bribe a thief will go scot-free.
 

With enough bribes, affidavits change our true age, with some bribe, we get married through the registry and when really there is no marriage. Even kids in homes now demand bribes from either parents or siblings not to tell or report either party.

In holy places we even attempt to bribe God, you are not qualified but we are told, “Give generously, provoke the Lord and see Him do a miracle in your life”. Very funny testimonies are told by our ‘sisters-in-the-lord’, how ‘their god’ has done it.

The first victim is the truth, the system suffers, we romance mediocrity, very little progress is made, the number of millions that can’t afford a bribe increases and discontent swells–for how long we continue to bribe ourselves, only time will tell. 

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By Prince Charles Dickson

It was a townhall meeting with a difference. We all had arrived the dusty town of Potiskum in Yobe. It wasn’t the regular town hall meeting; the choice of Yobe state was deliberate. It was a do or die affair, and the stakes were high.

Townhall lunch meeting with Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Jonathan Goodluck. For a president who eats very little in a city not far from conflict. The setting was ripe.

Thought initially that very few of us would make it, but the hall was filled, we showed we all are BH in nature, one way or the other, as long as the subject is Nigeria, we all are on the tip of a double-edged knife.

MC Wahala, top DG in one of those parastatals monies disappear compeered and made the welcome speech.

Excerpts: “Mr. President, I greet you with the love of the Almighty and a fellow Nigerian. I greet you with empathy and sympathy, I salute you sir, because it is not easy. Don’t mind what we say most times, the fact remains that very few of us would have done any better as president.  We thank you sir for making it to Yobe, the new home of peace”.

“This meeting is to hear Nigerians out; it would be an assumption to think you know sir, because sometimes regarding Nigeria which you ‘rule’. Many of us often think we know sometimes, but we really do not know… With these words of admonition, I open the floor for questions, comments and suggestions; let’s keep our comments mild, our hosts do not want peace compromised…”

Madam A opened the floor, she said “It just hurts me that you are squandering the first opportunity your region has at the seat in Aso Rock”.

Mr. B asked, “Well, tell us Mr. President, honestly can you handle Nigeria?”

Sergeant C inquired, “Good afternoon sir. How many pairs of shoes do you now have?”

And Iya D, fumed, “Please resign sir if you can’t muster the guts to jail the cabals.

Baba E expresses his heartfelt love asking you in local parlance “Mr. President, in your heart of heart, is there any benefit that has been derived from the fuel price increment? If no, why not revert it to status quo, your so called palliative was dead on arrival”.

Father F said “You have failed us sincerely”.

And Sister G just asked “Mr.  President how would corruption be eradicated. Sir, you would agree that if you love someone sometimes this kind of assurances are needed.

Mallam H, told the President that “there’s no shame admitting that you are overwhelmed by the reality of governance in a complex state like Nigeria”.

Alagba I just requested for N1billion. And Hajiya J asked “Have you once had no Spoon to eat?” Otunba K asked,”Mr. President can I be your PA for life?”

Sheikh L said “belated congratulations on your electoral victory. Enjoy it. Don’t mind the noisemakers, after all the next man won’t be any better?”

Engr. M advised with emotion “summon courage and start reasoning and acting decisively like a real man!”

Dr. N asked, “Sir, are you reaIIy a PhD holder or is it just a gimmick – Like the no shoe tale?”

Kabiyesi O wanted to know, “your position on 2015”.

Economist P advised “Your Excellency, cut down the recurrent cost of the budget to make more money available for capital projects”.

Dame Q stated that “since the democratic dispensation began I haven’t heard of so much money being signed out and nothing to show for is it like an investment where Nigerians get to lose or it’s just ‘corruption’?”

Student R wanted to know “what are the actionable steps taken to get millions of jobless Nigerians to work”.

Sometimes these kind of parley produce heated moments, times of humor and plenty reflection. Tailor S asked, “what if you wake tomorrow and discover you are still shoe-less, yawning and getting ready to go fishing; how would you feel?.

Nurse T, asked, “Is there going to be a brighter future for Nigerian youths?”

Bus Conductor U just asked, “Sir give me for a job”.

An Electrician V admonished, “My president, bite the bullet and put Nigeria on the straight and narrow. Pay the supreme sacrifice, if necessary, it’s called leadership”.

An eleven year W asked “Mr. President where are you taking Nigeria to?”

A mechanic called X, wanted to know “what the future holds for an average Nigerian/common man in this country?”

Pharmacist Y was of the opinion that “Mr. President come out clean and honest with Nigerians?”

A certain Z ended it all. He asked “Mr. President, why did you run for the office when you know that you are not capable of taking up the responsibilities that come with it?”

He wanted to know who really who was our president?

 

And asked “if he really read the newspapers?”

He encouraged Mr. President, “now that you have gotten your pair of shoes…, kick some butts”.

Others sympathized with him, one of the most hated Presidents, “do you know that Nigerians don’t like you”, they said.

They asked “why he was surrounded with mad and clueless people?”

A man asked him “when shall we have our own shoe to wear…as he has gotten his?”

The President was taking points profusely and his expressions changed at intervals. You could notice that his aides twisted and turned their faces. There were questions on power, train, Boko Haram, Kidnap, his wife’s health, PDP, opposition and a long list of issues.

Mr. President stood to answer, adjusted and gboom-gbam-boom-ka boom it was an explosion. We took to our heels in all directions. I woke up from my slumber, it was a dream. The questions were revealing, but really it was a case of a nation just moving in circles…do we want to move forward, only time will tell.

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By Prince Charles Dickson

Last week Forbes Magazine, listed Nigeria as number 20 in countries with some of the world’s saddest people, as usual the reasons were not farfetched, poor leadership, corruption, inability to do this and that…

Very quickly commentators were quick to mourn and moan; how did we decline so fast, from the once happiest, to now amongst the saddest. Is it Jonathan and the sea of clueless from North to South, or are the ‘subsidians’ responsible, is it corruption unlimited, or the fact that farmers may start using blackberry phones to ping prices of commodity.

Why are we suddenly a sad nation, judging by the fact that when we were the happiest, we also were amongst the most corrupt. So my fellow Nigerians I seek to know how this ‘Forbes people’ do this their thing on global development index.

Only last year our beloved nation was adjudged worst place to be born. We also moved significantly up according to some African Insurance forum in ‘Kidnap for ransom arrangement’. We are never far away from all these very ‘negative awards’, now we have entered the list of sad people. 

Before I conclude on our sad status, I first sought out the meaning of ‘Sad’ or what ‘Sadness’ meant. Sad: Causing sorrow or gloom; depressing: a sad movie; sad news. Deplorable; sorry: a sad state of affairs; a sad excuse. It is a Feeling or showing sorrow; unhappy. Causing or characterized by sorrow or regret; unfortunate and regrettable

Sadness itself is emotional pain associated with, or characterized by feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, helplessness and sorrow. These feelings of certain things are usually negative. When one is sad, people often become less outspoken, less energetic, and emotional. Crying is often, but not necessarily, an indication of sadness.

Sadness can be viewed as a temporary lowering of mood, whereas depression is more chronic. Sadness is one of Paul Ekman’s “six basic emotions“happy, sad, angry, surprised, afraid, and disgusted”.

With the above, I will just make a few comments, admonishing us to reflect on our nation. In the Forbes list, it was an index of nation’s with sad people, that included countries like Chad, a nation we even given aid to, it included Afghanistan, a per minute bomb nation. How can and how did they compare us to Togo, Central African Republic or Republic of Congo or is it Zimbabweans, I did not know Angolans were sad, off course citizens of Iraq, Yemen and Sudan cannot be too happy and except for cricket how can Pakistanis be happy.

My verdict is simple. Nigerians are happy, we are still high up there in the index of happy people, very and I add very happy people.  A people kidnapped, robbed, bombed, week in, week out. And yet thanksgiving services with dances of all types and executions follow suit.  We are happy jare…

We remain a proud people, joyous in nature, never put down by ‘little’ setbacks. Visit a state where workers were owed seven months salaries on a Saturday, you see women and girls adorned in expensive glittering ‘aso-ebis’. Thousands spent on event planners/transport/comperes and more.

We are happy people, we love to party and forget that ‘Forbes list’: it’s false, this is 2013, we have continued in our happy nature unabated. We provide all kinds of shoes for those who need it, and give another term to those who fail, besides, what has the opposition got to offer, than plenty noise.

We attend ‘suna’ (naming ceremonies) and’ igba nkwo’ (traditional wedding) and ‘oku’ (funeral party) of the same leaders we accuse of looting us dry.

We are happy people, the only people who after being used, abused, misused are tortured with the flamboyance, and ostentatious living and all we do is admire them and cling to hope—after all, ‘my turn will soon come’.

Happy people: very few countries can live the way we do, weeks without light because power transformer is bad, yet you pay bills. Fuel stations have no commodity yet opposite those stations, young men sell same fuel at hyper-black prices.

We are sad people, when the thief who is looting is from the otherside, but when it’s from our town, we use the phrase “he is helping our people”. And because the stealing is everywhere, we all, are happy.

‘Forbes list ko, Forbes list ni’ tell that to the birds–we bribe the police and accuse them of taking bribes. We don’t really pay electricity tariffs yet we say ‘there’s no light’, when actually it’s a case of Aso Rock owe PHCN, PHCN owes gas company, that one owes staffs, the staff is in debt of school fees, rent and utility. We are happy people jare.

Maybe if Forbes had said we top the ‘grumblers’ list, no arguments. Maybe we complain most, that’s true, yes maybe amongst nations with most problems. But that Nigerians are sad…that I disagree totally.

People who pay in recruitment scams in the police, immigration, army, civil service et al cannot be sad.

A nation that has bribes for admission scams, or money for marks in schools scams. Rent without house agent frauds. Pension fraud, electoral fraud, where girls date six guys simultaneously and men date five women including their secretary, wife’s best friend and driver’s wife and nothing happens…cannot be an unhappy nation.

How many suicides can be traced to spirited men that were tired of the system and called it quits–fact is we kill to be happy because in Nigeria happiness is it. We steal to be happy because that’s the real deal. We want to be happy not because we are sad but because we want a status quo.

We want change, but don’t want to change, and are weary of change. Common, a Nigerian adage says an erect penis has no conscience. Nigerians are not sad, if almost 2billion can disappear from the Minting and Security Company, no single arrest, no outrage, we are happy, if we really are sad, it is not the Forbes list that will tell…only time will tell.

 

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Ke and joor are expressions used for emphasis in local parlance.

 

By Muhammad Muntasir Adamu

Tahrir Square (English: Liberation Square), also known as “Martyr Square”, is a major public town square in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. The square was originally called “Ismailia Square” (Mīdān al-Ismā‘īliyyah), after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who commissioned the new downtown district’s ‘Paris on the Nile‘ design. After the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 the square became widely known as Tahrir (Liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, which changed Egypt from a constitutional monarchy into a republic.

The square was a focal point for the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.Tahrir Square was the focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak. Over 50,000 protesters first occupied the square on 25 January, during which the area’s wireless services were reported to be impaired. In the following days Tahrir Square continued to be the primary destination for protests in Cairo. On 29 January Egyptian fighter aircraft flew low over the people gathered in the square.

On 30 January, the seventh day of the protests, BBC and other correspondents reported that the number of demonstrators had grown to at least 100,000, and on 31 January Al Jazeera correspondents reported that the demonstrations had grown to at least 250,000 people. On 1 February, Al Jazeera reported that more than 1 million protesters peacefully gathered in the square and adjacent streets. However, such media reports that so many people congregated in Cairo’s largest public square are believed to be exaggerated for political purposes and, accordingly to Stratfor analysis the real number of gathered protester never exceed 300,000 people.

In Nigeria, Facebook is our Tahrir square, where youths and adults come out and express their happiness and grievances on many national issues. I remember the January subsidy protest, social Media but most particulary Facebook helped in the mobilizations of that protest. I must commend Nigerians for their doggedness and courage that helped in pressurizing the government to reduced the price of litre to N97.

It is on facebook that you get to understand that Nigerians are divided base on religion and ethnicity. I don’t to go into details as such I will just give some words of advice.For the love God, let’s forget religion and ethnicity when it comes to the interest of the Nigeria state.

It’s a good thing that we have a voice now to challenge our leaders to do more for us.Just like when policies that are a seen as good for the Nigerian nation is highly praised and the bad ones are criticized by the citizenry all via facebook and other social media.

I want use this opportunity to call on Nigerians to unite under this umbrella for a better Nigeria. And afterwards, take this unity to Aso rock, States Government houses, National assembly, States assembly, Local Government Secretariats, federal and states ministries, departments and agencies.It is my humble prayer that one day our leaders will not be seen as Muslims, Christians, Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas, Fulanis, Bogghoms, Ijaws or Biroms but just as leaders who are ready and able to change the fortunes of this nation for good. Because it is only on basis of unity can peace and development be actualized in our beloved Nigeria. Like my mentor will put it, “Those who wish to sing always find a song”. If we all believe that we desire a change from this present mess, then unity is key to that actualization. Hate is no alternative to one love.

This is a reminder to Occupy Nigeria 2012 and those that lost their lives for the cause.

MMA is a social crusader, he writes from Jos, Plateau

By Prince Charles Dickson

Sà á bí olóògùn-ún ti wí. Meaning, ‘invoke it exactly as the maker of the charm instructed’.

We ended the year 2012 with dead, hurting, missing and perhaps dying governors. In a global village outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital after treatment for a blood clot, we watched as Venezuelans have been up to date on the health of President Hugo Chavez. We in this clime simply did the opposite.

Also in the last month of 2012, we watch as several billions were released for fuel and we looked for the fuel to no avail. Over the week, we were greeted into the New year with posters of 2015 presidency of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, the opposition quickly lashed out, alleging that it was a script on ‘an already prepared election results for 2015’.

My quick take is, interestingly as far as I am concerned the president has the right to an early start, besides the likes of Atiku is already on their marks. The script is not an any different. You say you are consulting or your achievements will speak for you, you say something else, and you aides do otherwise.

I equally find interesting the poster slug: ‘One Good Turn Deserves Another’. Indeed, its as sweet as ‘I am Jonathan’ and overshadows the cliche ‘No Vacancy In Aso Rock’. And at least puts paid to the ‘I did not have a shoe’ era.

I find it also comically that posters appear overnight in the nation’s capital with all the security just like magic courtesy late professor Peller of Ibadan fame. And we are told ‘go to bed’ no wahala, if posters appear overnight, it’s easy to see why pension funds, contract monies etc equally disappear.

The ACN was also on the loose attacking the PDP, asking for proofs of the achievements reeled out by the ruling party for 2012. Truth be said, if scorecard of Fashola’s 2nd coming, or Ajimobi and Mrs. Ajimobi London governance, CPC’s Al-Makura’s University for Blind and Deaf and airport governance is anything to go by, then it is all same one pence, head or tail.

While Namadi Sambo’s daughters were dashed away, guests enjoyed the largese of Plasma TV sets and PCs. At least it was not refuted and who says it is a crime. Interestingly for most of the guests it was gifts not needed.

Gov. Babagida Aliyu the ‘servantless leader’ of Niger continued from his governance by billboards, to marriage by billboards as he gave out his daughters and Minna citizens enjoyed the rare privilege of near 24hrs electricity which expired after the fatiha was concluded.

Not to be outdone, APGA’s Gov. Rochas of Imo continued his ‘showmanship’ leadership, first it was a two-week holiday and then a television wedding of his daughter with lasted over 10hrs including the traditional, church and reception ceremonies.

Then it was the turn of the agricultural ministry as it engaged itself in a game of wits, sixty billion Naira to purchase ten million phones for farmers. The minister fell short in his explanation and stated it wasn’t N60b but won’t say the exact figure. This writer raised this issue last year. Well whether Chinese noise, American iPhone, Finish Nokia, or Canadian Blackberries, fact is, while I personally support the explanations and concept behind it, 60billion by 10million and how we arrived at 10million farmers speaks volumes of our audacity of hopelessness and really this is my take for this admonishment to us.

Whether we go our separate ways, despite the religious/ethnic divide which to me supersedes our problem of corruption. Whether Boko Haram or pure criminality, the fact remains that we are in a situation worse than Jonathan, Chime, Babangida Aliyu, Suntai, Yuguda, Oshimohle et al. It is beyond Buhari, Ribadu or El-Rufai.

It is us, it is about you and I am guilty. One moment, we are followers, next we could be leaders. One moment Rochas was vying for President, (he still has that desire), next he was ‘politricking’, party to party and finally he is governor–Imagine as President he gives a two-week holiday. I am sure he would be praised by a holiday-loving populace, after all we don’t earn per hour.

Our audacity of hopelessness, is why we are scared and making noise about posters. I end this admonition in a manner I should have started.

I conducted a random survey for reactions, the original concept was from my friend Ikenna, I just improvised and made additions. It was a futuristic news item, I asked how many believed it was possible.

1. Super Eagles May Win World Cup. First African Nation to Get to Final–Brasil 2014

2. Unemployment Rate Hits An All Time Low.

3. Top Politician Refuses N10billion Bribe, Says ”I’m Born Again.”

4. Electricity Generation Hits Record High of 17,000MW!

5. State Hospital Renovated to International Standards, Governor Boasts, “Expect
More.”

6. Pastor Sells Private Jet to Feed The Poor In His Church.

7. Nigerian Artiste Wins Grammy Awards.

8. Top Terrorist Group Surrenders, Leader Says “We Want Peace.”

9. Petroleum Pump Price Stabilises at N50 P/ltre, Presidency Says No More
Increments Until 2040.

10. Nollywood Movie Wins First Ever Oscar Academy Awards…

11. Nigeria Tops List of Safest Countries to Do Business In – Transparency International.

12. Minister Steps Down Over Alleged Money Laundering Scandal…

13. Nigeria Makes 7bn Annually From Foreign Students In ABU, UI and Unijos.

14. Indian PM for koloficial surgery at Nigerian National Hospital Abuja.

300 respondents, variables were sex, faith and region. The response was one. It can’t happen, when, in Nigeria, impossible, wake up, stop dreaming, not in our lifetime…and more such comments. Trust Nigerians, there were a few amens, but largely it was an expose on the audacity of hopelessness. It showed that though it was January, there was very little to look forward to on a national level.

Is our problem Jonathan’s posters? A big no, endless hope is better than an hopeless end, though hope itself is an opium…our problem is a lack of belief even in the things we desire, the charm is Nigeria, we just don’t have the receipe, we don’t want to follow the instruction manual, we are polls apart from the maker…for how long, only time will tell.

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By Barr Danlami Alhaji Wushishi

As we prepare for the constitutional amendment that will affect some salient issues in our polity like State of Origin, State Police, Revenue Sharing etc the Nation is faced with another constitutional Question i.e. “How many days does the absence of a Governor in Office disqualifies him from Office?”

I have been asked this question at different fora and my response to virtually all the questions is that “the 1999 Constitution is undergoing an amendment so let’s keep our fingers crossed”. I chose that answer to avoid the popular accusation labeled on Lawyers that “we are liars” and remain the architect of our Nation’s woes.

However, as a Lawyer, I deem it appropriate to scribble some points in a bid to give a more pragmatic answer to what the fate of the ailing Governors Suntai, Chime, Imoke and Wada should be. All these Governors are currently absent from office due to one form of illness or the other. We shouldn’t pronounce them incapacitated until all avenues have been explored in accordance with the Constitution.

In 2009,the Nation also witnessed the constitutional debate over the state of health of Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and succession by President Goodluck Jonathan .The situation was later resolved by the Senate with its unprecedented “Doctrine of necessity” when it became apparent that having access to Yar’adua was elusive.

Now, history is repeating itself in Taraba State following the unfortunate air mishap that involved Governor Danbaba Danfulani

Suntai in October 2012. For the past few weeks, he has been in a German hospital where he is receiving treatment. Sequel to this, some people opined that Suntai’s continued absence for 90days will cost him the exalted seat. An unconstitutional conclusion!

I therefore flipped through the 1999 constitution wherein I found some plausible answers to the constitutional question posed over Suntai`s absence from office. Presently, the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar serves as the acting Governor of Taraba State. I am not aware of any provision in our constitution that stipulates the number of days he will act, but we must avoid the danger of being an Acting Governor for the remaining part of the tenure of their mandate. However, Section 191(1) provides that;

“The Deputy Governor of a State shall hold the office of Governor of the State if the office of Governor becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal of the Governor from office for any other reason in accordance with section 188 or 189 of this constitution”

Now, Governor Suntai is on admission, yet he remain the Governor of Taraba State. He may only cease to be the Governor after a resolution passed by two third majority of all the members of the Executive Council of the State Governor Suntai is incapable of discharging the functions of his office and a declaration in accordance with Section 189 (1) (a) is verified after such medical examination as may be necessary by a medical panel established for that purpose and report forwarded to the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Furthermore, when the medical panel certify that the Governor/Deputy Governor is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice to that effect shall be published in the official gazette of the government of the state and the Governor/Deputy Governor shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report.

Infact the composition of the medical panel shall comprise of 5 eminent medical practitioners including the personal physician of the person concerned. It is their report that will form the basis of the notice to be published in the official gazette and the Governor shall cease to hold office from the date of the publication.

These steps are what should be followed in an ideal situation hence the 1999 Constitution provides for solution to such logjam. Just like the inability of a Governor to transmit his notice of vacation to the House of Assembly, he will be given a grace of 21 days; thereafter the House can adopt a resolution of `Doctrine of Necessity` to avoid a vacuum being created.

According to reports from Taraba State, the ever quiet State is under sober silence over the traumatic experience of the Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai. Some analysts opined that the State is now divided between those that want Gov Suntai removed from office following the release of some photographs showing the ailing Gov Suntai and the manner he posed with his new twins depicting all is not well which the analyst interpreted as corroborating the information that he suffers from memory loss. While others maintained that he`s fast recuperating and will soon resume duty. A reminiscence of Yaraduagate!

I call on people of Taraba state to thread the path of the Constitution which in very plain language has provided for solution to this problem. Suntai is alive, yes! Suntai remain Gov of Taraba state until declared otherwise, yes!

The Acting Governor has been operating with unfettered powers to move the state forward, yes! The question now is `whether he has the mental ability to discern what is happening in his state and whether he will endorse such thing if he has the ability to avoid the impasse. Right now, the State seems to be faced with political uncertainty over this succession bid.

The people of Taraba should therefore eschew religious sentiment, tribal bigotry and political bias and allow the amicable resolution of this matter. It is quite unfortunate that the State has found itself in this quagmire; the solution is in the Constitution not in the wishes of a cabal or an individual. Taraba State and indeed Nigeria must move forward! I pray for Taraba!

 

 

Barr Danlami Alhaji Wushishi is a Minna based legal practitioner. He can be reached through danwushishi@yahoo.com

Letter To Nigerian Parents

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Fellow Nigerians, Let me add the benefit of my time as a student and then resident in the UK – and I live in Lagos now. The first thing that I discovered about UK-born, white, English undergraduates was that all of them did holiday or weekend job to support themselves – including the children of millionaires amongst them. It is the norm over there – regardless how wealthy their parents are.

And I soon discovered that virtually all other foreign students did the same – the exception being those of us status-conscious Nigerians. I also watched Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Airline) speaking on the Biography Channel and, to my amazement; he said that his young children travel in the economy class -even when the parents (he and his wife) are in upper class. Richard Branson is a billionaire in Pound Sterling. A quick survey would show you that only children from Nigeria fly business or upper class to commence their studies in the UK . No other foreign students do this.

There is no aircraft attached to the office of the prime minister in the UK – he travels on BA. And the same goes for the Royals. The Queen does not have an aircraft for her exclusive use. These practices simply become the culture which the next generation carries forward. Have you seen the car that Kate Middleton the lass married to Prince William drives? VW Golf or something close to it. But there’s one core difference in them and us (generally speaking). They – the billionaires among them work for their money, we steal ours! If we want our children to bring about the desired change we have been praying for on behalf of our dear country, then please, please let’s begin now and teach them to work hard so that they can stand alone and most importantly be content, and not have to “steal”.

This seems to be the norm these days.”30 is the new 18″, which seems to be the new age for testing out the world in Nigeria now. That seems to be an unspoken but widely accepted mindset among the last 2 generations of parents in Nigeria .At age 18 years, a typical young adult in the UK leaves the clutches of his/her parents for the University, chances are, that’s the last time those parents will ever play “landlord” to their son or daughter except of course the occasional home visits during the academic year.

At 21 years and above or below, the now fully grown and independent minded adult graduates from University, searches for employment, gets a job and shares a flat with other young people on a journey into becoming fully fledged adults. I can hear the echo of parents saying, well, that is because the UK economy is thriving, safe, well structured and jobs are everywhere? I beg to differ and I ask that you kindly hear me out. I am UK trained Recruitment Consultant and I have been practising for the past 10 years in Nigeria . I have a broad range of experience from recruiting graduates to executive director level of large corporations. In addition, I talk from the point of view of someone with relatively privileged upbringing. Driven to school every day, had my clothes washed for me, was barred from taking any part-time job during my A-levels so that I could concentrate on studying for my exams?!

BUT, I got the opportunity to live apart from my parents from age 18 and the only time I came back home to stay was for 3 months before I got married! Am I saying that every parent should wash their hands off their children at age 18? No, not at all, of course, I enjoyed the savings that I made from living on and off at my parent’s house in London -indeed that is the primary reason for my being able to buy myself a 3 bedroom flat in London at age 25 with absolutely no direct financial help from my parents! For me, pocket money stopped at age 22, not that it was ever enough for my lifestyle to compete with Paris Hilton’s or Victoria Beckham’s. Meanwhile today, we have Nigerian children who have never worked for 5 minutes in their lives insisting on flying “only” first or business class, carrying the latest Louis Vuitton ensemble, Victoria ‘s Secret underwear and wearing Jimmy Choo’s, fully paid for by their “loving” parents. I often get calls from anxious parents, my son graduated 2 years ago and is still looking for a job, can you please assist! Oh really! So where exactly this “child” is my usual question. Why are you the one making this call dad/mum? I am yet to get a satisfactory answer, but between you and me, chances are that big boy is cruising around Lagos with a babe dressed to the nines, in his dad’s spanking new SUV with enough “pocket money” to put your salary to shame. It is not at all strange to have a 28 year old who has NEVER worked for a day in his or her life in Nigeria but “earns” a six figure “salary” from parents for doing absolutely nothing.

I see them in my office once in a while, 26 years old with absolutely no skills to sell, apart from a shiny CV, written by his dad’s secretary in the office. Of course, he has a driver at his beck and call and he is driven to the job interview. We have a fairly decent conversation and we get to the inevitable question – so, what salary are you looking to earn? Answer comes straight out – N250,000.00. I ask if that is per month or per annum. Of course it is per month. Oh, why do you think you should be earning that much on your first job? Well, because my current pocket money is N200,000.00 and I feel that an employer should be able to pay me more than my parents.

I try very hard to compose myself, over parenting is in my opinion the greatest evil handicapping the Nigerian youth. It is at the root of our national malaise. We have a youth population of tens of millions of who are being “breastfeed and diapered” well into their 30s. Even though the examples I have given above are from parents of considerable affluence, similar patterns can be observed from Abeokuta to Adamawa! Wake up mum! Wake up dad! You practically love your children to death! No wonder corruption continues to thrive. We have a society of young people who have been brought up to expect something for nothing, as if it were a birth right. I want to encourage you to send your young men and women (anyone over 20 can hardly be called a child!) out into the world, maybe even consider reducing or stopping the pocket money to encourage them to think, explore and strive. Let them know that it is possible for them to succeed without your “help”.

Take a moment to think back to your own time as a young man/woman,what if someone had kept spoon feeding you, would you be where you are today? No tree grows well under another tree, children that are not exposed to challenges, don’t cook well. That is why you see adults complaining, “my parents didn’t buy clothes for me this Christmas”,ask him/her how old are you? 30 years +. Because of the challenges we faced in our youth, we are where and what we are today. This syndrome-my children will not suffer what I suffered is destroying our tomorrow. Deliberately, reduce their allowance or mum-don’t cook on Saturday till late afternoon or evening-do as occasion deserve.

I learnt the children of a former Nigerian head of state with all the stolen (billions) monies in their custody, still go about with security escort as wrecks. They are on drugs, several times because of the drug, they collapse in public places. The escort will quickly pack them and off they go, what a life! No one wants to marry them. Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.- Henry Ford. Hard work does not kill; everything in

Nigeria is going down, including family settings. It is time to cook our children, preparing them for tomorrow. We are approaching the season in Nigeria where only the RUGGED, will survive. How will your ward fare? If the present generation of Nigerian pilots retires, will you fly a plane flown by a young Nigerian pilot, If trained in Nigeria ? People now have first class, who cannot spell GRADUATE or read an article with out bomb blast! Which Way Nigeria?, Which Way Nigerians!! Is this how we will ALL sit and watch this country SINK

God Help Us in this country!!!

(Please forward to as many Nigerian parents as you know)

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