Archive for October, 2015

By Prince Charles Dickson

And finally the ministerial list was read on the floor of the Upper Chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, and in few hours the nation was under the couch, the wailing wailers and the body language experts went into over drive.

I sat back, and watched as Nigerians, who over the years have developed expertise in majoring in minors, and taking major issues with minor treaties. Showcasing interesting drama, with cast drawn from every corner, no wonder we are home to Nollywood.

Tony: So this was the list we waited for four months for, where are the saints, this list is just full of ex-this, ex-that, same people, no young person. Rubbish!

Maduka: Very balanced list, these are technocrat, Ngige “worked” in Anambra, even so did Fashola, and Amaechi too, anybody saying otherwise is just not sincere.

Akin: I think otherwise, how could one bring back Audu Ogbeh, a man who was minister over 30 years ago. It is equally not fair, and against the corruption mantra of this government, to bring an Amaechi, whom, a commission of inquiry in his home state has just indicted.

Solomon: What are we talking about, none of these men we sing moral blues about have been found wanting in any competent court of law. Audu is a simple and honest man, not a looter, one of the few ministers that was not even picked up for corruption during Buhari’s first coming.

Ibrahim: I am a party man, no apologies, what do we expect from the list, these men worked for the party and what is wrong in rewarding them, we can only expect them to deliver and they would under “mai gaskiya”.

Aliyu: Deliver what, and how; with the exception of a few, all these men have been PDP at one point or the other. Was it not that Ngige that confessed with Chris Uba that they rigged elections few years ago? And how about Dambazu who practically was amongst those that defied constitutional requirements and smuggled the late Yar’adau during those dark periods before the law of necessity.

Kikelomo: For me, three women, no way, this is not what Buhari promised, Jonathan did better, maybe Aisha has no influence over him. I am hopefully though, that there will be women in the next batch.

Tony: Which batch, are we talking about; this list is just dancing “azonto” with common sense. I don’t see anything good from it. How, already Katsina would have two ministers.

Solomon: All is I see is bias, what else is performance, other than Fashola, whom at his height, the great Jagaban could not remove, or an Amaechi who against odd, stood for what he believed and fought his own to a standstill.

Tony: What bias, I even heard Fayemi of Ekiti say he was surprised, what “French” lie is that, when their CVs were collected and they were screened, what did he think, it was for?

Maduka: Listen to yourself, if they were screened by the DSS, police etc., and not found wanting, the more reason I stand by the list, and I believe they would perform. We must give them a chance, I know that anyone that refuses to do so, will be butted out.

Kikelomo: Another point for me is, why must Mr. President be Minister for Petroleum, is he saying in the entire nation, no one is qualified? And if we are talking diversification of the economy why would the President not man the agricultural ministry or be in charge of customs?

Solomon: You are standing logic on its head, look at the effect the President has had on the oil sector, and imagine how much he would just simply supervising the NNPC.

On your shoulders...

On your shoulders…

BRIEF INTERLUDE

We have to take a break, as information reaching us confirms that DSP Alams, former governor of Bayelsa state, first Nigerian male public official to be allegedly seen dressed as a woman. He died at 63, amidst “rumors” that he was to be repatriated to the United Kingdom, to face corruption trial. May his soul find rest. Amen!

Well, back to the issue, for those that do not already know, the ministerial list has a former CHIEF OF ARMY, 4 former SENATORS, 5 former GOVERNORS, 8 LAWYERS, 3 WOMEN, and an AVERAGE AGE of 53.

And 15 states yet to get any representation. Also on the list matter, Saraki, and Dogara both leaders of the National Assembly, have met with President Buhari, we also gathered that Amaechi has visited Saraki, we equally hear that Tinubu is not happy with Buhari, an allegation that the presidency strongly denounces as utter rubbish, calling Tinubu the great man of our party the APC.

FINAL ARGUMENTS

Tony: I do not see how these men and women that we already know before even Saraki read the list would perform. It is the same difference…

Solomon: I do not agree, we have to give them the benefit of doubt, which we gave the PDP, the last government, and if they do not, we have the ballot box. I am optimistic.

Aliyu: Well, the other half may as well be Mr. Buhari’s trump card. I recall during the era of late Dora in NAFDAC, she performed, even when we could not say same of the Health Ministry…so if for example our judiciary and legal system improves significantly under any of those 8 lawyers than we can shout “eureka”.

Maduka: There is hope, we are on the right path, pessimists, and wailers would wail, but I have hope.

Ibrahim: Thank you Maduka, people are not happy because the status quo is on change mechanism, there will be teething problems, we have forgotten how same Nigerians waited on Ngozi Iweala, Madam finance extra-ordinary. And what did we achieve.

MODERATOR WAVES HIS GAVEL

Nigeria remains a great nation despite all its equally great shortcomings, again though we are being offered on a platter of gold, or rather change, another shot at true greatness.

I dare say with a sense of certainty that these ministers may not do all we expect, but as a people we can do what is expected of us by being technocratic citizens: exponents or advocates of technocracy, members of a technically skilled elite.

So whether you are a mechanic, or Vincent Enyeama of the not so Super Eagles, or you are a doctor at the local hospital, a driver or carpenter; do you best. And even though you and I are technocrats and Buhari did not pick us, let us support the technocrats and off course, the question of whether Mr. President got it right, or are these the technocrats—Only time will tell.

Advertisements

By Prince Charles Dickson

One does not hold a gun carelessly. (Always be careful in handling dangerous matters.)

A person’s ugliness is the god’s doing; the person’s lack of clothing is his/her own fault.

At 55 years post Independence, the question remains to what extent is the Nigerian state independent, socially, politically, economically and otherwise, is ours a success story, can and will it be a success, remains the subject of everyday debate amongst Nigerians.

We remain a nation largely believed to hold huge potentials, but one that has remained under-developed and continues to suffer multiple challenges, taking one braggadocios step front and scores of false steps backwards.

Like I lamented some 10 years ago, we remain a nation that loves Arsenal Football Club of England more than President Buhari despite his saintly gait, we watch the Premiership that is aired on our network pay TV stations at the expense of developing our local league.

Nigerians love Arsenal, a football club in England that is older than Nigeria, makes more money than most of our so-called “bailed-out” States, richer than all the noise making mineral rich States in terms of fiscal management.

At 55, we are a strange people, while we affiliate with a club that is miles away from home, we cannot attach ourselves to a Kano Pillars, an Eyimba, or Kwara United, at least for Saraki’s sake.

Not loosing hope on Nigeria

Not loosing hope on Nigeria

We love Arsenal, a club that makes more money in endorsements, sales of players and merchandising, yet we are situated in a clime where our States have no brand worth.

When last did I hear someone say “Naija 4 life”, what really is there to be proud of at 55, we still love the wrong things and hate the right things. I shake my head, as phrases such as O2, Man U 4 life, Blues Forever and what not has taken over. While at the same time, the battle is on, as we attempt another journey of repair with hashtag #fightingkwaruption.

I feel a sense of tragicomedy, as my car is branded Arsenal, from steering cover, seat belt band and number plate carrier. I have an Arsenal clock in my parlor, wear an Arsenal wristwatch, my sons have their Arsenal sweatshirts. I know more about ex-gunner and Frenchman Thierry Henry than I know of Nigerian HID Awolowo.

I rather vouch for Manchester United teenage sensation Martial than a typical Nigerian Governor or Legislator. It is not about being 55, it is about chasing 60 with little or nothing to show for it, we started this race with quite a number of nation states but today they play big brother to us.

In the 70’s when our problem was how to spend the money where was Dubai? We are way out of the leagues of Malaysia, India, Dubai, South Africa, Ghana and co. The same South Africa that we gave money to fight apartheid has hosted the World Cup; Ghana is now, one of our go to when it comes to alternative to our crumbling educational sector.

We once dreamed 2020, and with barely 5 years there, one question I ask, is would those nations we are chasing wait for us to get there, like the principle in soccer, for the table to go in your favor, you have to win matches and pray that your competitors loose theirs. Sadly you cannot get there when you loose and they loose when already they are ahead.

We have all it takes to be better than Arsenal, better than England and its entire football clubs but do we have the guts. We have combatants in our National Assembly, crooks and ruffians man and coordinate the affairs of state in our States. We love Arsenal, a club that could buy the PDP without sweat, and same PDP prides itself as the biggest in Africa, but could not guarantee a life to those it governed.

Why do we love Arsenal, is it part of the “kolomental” attitude, what is in the club, in 11 players and a gaffe? The truth is that those 11 players give much in fulfillment than 55 years has given us as a nation, they wipe out the frustration of 55 years often in 90 minutes, and trust me when I say it could be frustrating supporting Arsenal.

At 55, like I said a few years back, there is very little to show, the euphoria of an opposition party winning the general elections, has equally given us the first opposition governing party.

With all these, there is no outrage; we go ahead like all is well, feeding on our false resilience. Fighting each other, one end holds the cranium, the other threatens with the cranium, we hope against hope, holding the gun of nationhood carelessly like, while leadership dish out promissory notes with very little value backing them.

We can continue to blame Lord Lugard, his damsel girlfriend Lady Shaw, and how the colonialist lumped us against our wish, we can blame Awo, Zik and Sarduana for selfish regional politics, we can continue all the drama of federal character, and catchment area, cut off mark, and nepotism, we can fight all the Sarakis, and blame Shagari for Boko Haram, the sad reality is that while our ugliness is the god’s doing; our lack of clothing remains our own fault.

The comparisons I have made in this admonition may be very crude but in the few lines I have indirectly asked us, as we grow, are we really maturing, what are our values, Arsenal or Nigeria, Red or Green, the English Premier League or our own, institutions, systems or personalities? At 55, there are questions, which only us as a people and a nation can answer…are we ready to answer them–Only time will tell