Posts Tagged ‘jonathan’

By Prince Charles Dickson

Yau da shi ya sa allura ginin rijiya (Hausa axiom) literally means doing a thing little by little made it possible for the needle to dig a well. 

In recent times I have read and watched with sadness the division in Nigeria. And this week, this is my admonition. 

For example, the one tablet-solves-it-all called the National Dialogue has not started but the feelers are ther–we won’t discuss our unity, let’s increase derivation, we shall use ethnic nationalities, no we have majority- arewa tackles ohaneze, afenifere blows arewa, middlebelt gives upper cut to allbelts. 

We are told by some who have seen the 1914 marriage certificate with a divorce clause after 100years. We are also aware of the ‘Nigeria will break 2015’ prophecy. 

Forced Marriage 
In the words of my brother Tope Fasua, what is special about Nigeria’s forced marriage, as different from other forced marriages all over the world – and is every country not a forced marriage. 

Civilization is about forced marriages, the only difference sometimes is the form of ‘force’. But substance over form, all countries have been forced to be together. 

There must then be something innately wrong with us, why you make so much hue and cry on one spot, complaining about a forced marriage and the need to dissolve the marriage, when we are all the offspring of such a marriage.

Can one liken the situation with that of a grown adult, who keeps complaining about the conditions of his birth, his ‘wrong parents’, his being born in the wrong place, rather than moving on? 

Is that not the difference between a Steve Jobs, who was born illegitimately and in penury, put up for adoption to not-so-rich foster parents, and who slept on the floor as a squatter in university, dropped out and made something global of himself, and many area boys in Lagos, Aba, and Kano, who chose to take to drugs and area-boyism because ‘their parents were not supposed to have met in the first place’..? 

Is there a possibility that even as we repeat this ill-informed, ego-induced, short-sighted, tunnel-visioned baloney about ‘FORCED MARRIAGE’, we are also telling our own children to start to put the union of their parents under the microscope, in order to find out whether the marriage was forced, or whether their parents were handsome enough, or whether their mothers went to enough school, in order to decide whether they will become street urchins or whether they will fight hard in the world to make something of themselves?

It’s the cockiness Nigerians spew out that i detest with everything in me. 

Cockiness such as when Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, alleged that  over 400 northerners may have betrayed the region after collecting money to back President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term. 

One wonders how such characters and the likes of Dokuboh, Clark, get public space, well its ‘public’. 

For ‘Worsetest’
I would tell us a fable–In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grass field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labour pains begin.

At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above & lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left & sees a hunter with his bow extended pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her.

What can the pregnant deer do? 
She is in labour! 

What will happen? 
Will the deer survive? 
Will she give birth to a fawn? 
Will the fawn survive? 
Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? 

Will she perish to the hunters’ arrow? 
Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry male lion approaching her? 

She is constrained by the fire on the one side & the flowing river on the other & boxed in by her natural predators.

What does she do? She focuses on giving birth to a new life. It’s not just bad or worse–Her case is ‘worsetest’

The sequence of events that follows are:

– Lightning strikes & blinds the hunter.

– He releases the arrow which zips past the deer & strikes the hungry lion.

– It starts to rain heavily, & the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain.

– The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn.

For Better…
In Nigeria a lot is wrong, many persons with negative thoughts and possibilities. 

But some thoughts are so powerful positive they overcome us & overwhelm us like the golden eaglets victory in Dubai, or Super Eagles qualifying for the World Cup. 

Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby.

The rest was not in her hands & any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster.

We have to roll up our sleeves and move on to a focus. The problem we have is not about any union. It is about the IRRESPONSIBILITY, THE VISIONLESSNESS, THE GREED, THE MENTAL ILLNESS, THE COWARDICE of the few who had and still have the opportunity, even me and you…but we fight Christians, fight Muslims, fight Idomas, Nupes, Beroms, and what not.  

I may not agree with you but will not deny you the right to that opinion. We certainly have a right to be wrong–but for how long, if we want change. It will come like the needle, very slowly, but do we want change and what are our priorities–only time will tell.  

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By Prince Charles Dickson
 
 
If the rat and the lizard are soaked by rain, the water dries from the lizard’s body but it does not dry from the rat’s body.
 
 
 
Nigerians are very dramatic people and this I have said countless times, all noise and very little in terms and focus and direction, all hot air, plenty smoke but no real fire–or at best sooner or later depending on the divide, the water dries, or the rat continues to suffer the cold long after the rain. 
 
 
 
I have followed all the noise that has accompanied the BMW bulletproof cars bought by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA for our darling Minister For Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, and quickly let me add, I have been part of the noise, but really what is the noise about?
 
 
 
Much ado about nothing, is it a case of how much do the cars really cost, was the price over-inflated, by how much, was it budgeted for, and less I forget, apart from being bulletproof, are the cars accident-proof, and do the cars fly over traffic, has the purchase improved the lifestyles of villagers from the Minister’s clan. 
 
 
 
I am very aware of a few agencies owing salaries in the aviation ministry, indeed much ado about nothing. 
 
 
 
Why are we screaming corruption, only weeks ago during the media tea-shop chat my beloved President said in one sweep, our problem is not corruption and has also said he knew those that were corrupt but won’t mention their names. On both counts I agree with him. 
 
 
 
The only difference, and my addition is I will mention names or name mentions. There is nothing wrong or corrupt with a Minister who is gifted not one but two bulletproof cars when according to her aide to the Minister on media, Joe Obi, in a media interview confirmed the vehicles were purchased for her principal to protect her from “imminent threats.” 
 
 
 
After all the last time I checked, about half a dozen ministers had bulletproof cars, some 30 governors had same, they are all under threats–I don’t know ordinary Nigerians can’t understand the threats to this leaders. 
 
 
 
Much ado about nothing–the FCTA is proposing a new city gate for N64bn to tackle the threats–two things, the gate either leads to heaven or will equally be bulletproof. Few kilometers after the current city gate is a primary school without lavatory, classes holding in makeshift rooms.  
 
 
 
Much ado about nothing, how much noise is being made, afterall  Fashola’s government purchased  three bullet proof cars- Jeeps- with bomb detector apparatus and surveillance cameras.
 
 
 
Their brand of the bulletproof cars is identified as Toyota Prado Jeep, Oduah’s is BMW–so what?
 
 
 
“The cost of each jeep- including handling, registration, insurance and other fees- is two hundred million naira. The three jeeps are valued at six hundred million naira. This is double the amount spent by Ms Stella Oduah in the current bullet-proof jeep scandal.”
 
 
 
“The three automobiles were reportedly bought for Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Fashola on grounds of ‘security’.”
 
 
 
“My comrade James Ibori bought $250,000 armor-plated Hummer several years ago.  When the “Act of God” caught up with him, he was in far-away Dubai. The bullet-proof Hummer was thousands of miles away and useless.
 
 
 
Lucky bought, Nyame bought, Bafarawa had, Orji Kalu bought, and the earth has and will not capitulate. We make so much noise, but really we are left drenched like the rat. While the actors dry up and give us the next script. 
 
 
 
Months back, we screamed blue murder–give her panadol not postinor, even pagans became Islamic scholars, some asked when Mary conceived Jesus and swore to kill Yerima my brother with a sledge hammer forgetting the man is just a political ant–and after a few weeks much ado about nothing. 
 
 
 
Did you know 19 governors will accompany Jonathan On Pilgrimage To Israel on October 22, 2013, they will also visit Rome and Greece on the prayer spree or spiritual journey, one which its importance cannot be over-emphasized.
 
 
 
Just as another 14 governors and countless state functionaries will be coming back from Hajj yet they all need bulletproof cars. 
 
 
 
Sack her, fire him, and then appoint another to buy his/her own bulletproof Kia or Peugeot. Its a turn by turn affair. We, the people are at the receiving end. We have made more noise in few days about Stella’s bulletproof than our ‘solution-proof’ impasse between FG and ASUU. 
 
 
 
Do I really care about bulletproof reasons for the misdemeanor of our government officials or their accident prone actions? No! I am only bothered that we are the real culprits, we are the rats wet with hatred, wet with idiosyncrasies of whose religion, ethnic, creed, all is good as long its our brother involved. We are the victims–after we make all the noise, another bulletproof scandal follows. 
 
 
 
How about the jet-buying men of ‘god’, how much noise have we made, how about the billions spent eating in the villa, or the N900bn expended on ‘acts of god’ called constituency projects by the national assembly.
 
 
 
A nation with billion naira churches and mosques and yet we need bulletproof riding ministers, same ministers that have done so well, yet they are not scared proof, they forget that courage is only present where there is fear. 
 
 
 
They buy bulletproofs, they give us Keke-NEPAP without proof, and SURE-proof: are we ready to demand good governance and responsive leadership irrespective of what proof they give for their maladministration–only time will tell.

By Prince Charles Dickson

When the soap is dirty, what shall be used in washing it

Nigeria is a beautiful land; that’s  a statement of fact. We take everything and anything, infact sarcastically we take nothing. We go to bed and wake, what we see, we take, questions are not asked and when asked, very little comes by way of answers.

I get honestly amused at our attitude to life and the very essence of what makes us what we are. My admonition this week is on a rather strange phenomenon of ghost tales and how we just talk, complain, display temporary grief and move on.

The aircraft was not hired by the family, it was not hired by the Ondo state government, it was not hired by me and certainly not you, maybe Associated Airlines hired the aircraft from themselves. The ‘craft was carrying Agagu’s corpse, his son, a state commissioner, boss of the undertaking company yet it was not hired by anyone. Ghost tales!

How many of us recall the Bellview crash in Lisa Village, only few years after, remember the tales of the Lisa Village project that began, today it is in a state of nowhere.

How about that Dike led investigation panel that went to all the airports, made recommendations, billions were spent, billions still being spent, and more air disasters.

This is a nation I have come to appreciate because of its peculiarities, while we are yet to understand a phenomenon, another sets in.

Did we really forget that Sosoliso crash and those kids, for several hours, infact a day after the crash, the manifest of the aircraft was yet to be released, then the manifest was being vetted by the State Security Service (very awkward) as I ask what has the SSS got to do with the “vetting” of manifest of a plane that virtually had only school children going on Xmas vacation. 

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) even said the then Minister, Aborishade would release the manifest. When the Airport fire fighting vehicle (only one) came, it barely had water, though the authorities have come out to deny it, not that we expected otherwise, most of the dead were visibly badly burned.

Fast forward to Dana, and add Associated Airlines, same difference, except that the current Minister has allegedly added that these crashes are acts of ‘god’. Infact during Dana, while thugs stole and scavenged, others fought the fire with sachets of ‘pure’ water. 

We have an Aviation Ministry that has watched at times as an aircraft ran into a herd of cows. Plane manifests treated like WAEC expo questions. 

Does it ever strike one, that as usual again those who had earlier boarded the same crashed aircraft had complained that the aircraft was not in good shape, just like the Bellview Aircraft, just like Sosoliso, just like Dana…Truth is a hard commodity in not only the airline business, but most things in Nigeria. 

In times like these every Nigerian both those that fly frequently and those who flew last in 1976 become air and craft experts and then as is always the case it would be accusations and counter accusations…lies, and ghost tales.

In Nigeria we have a President, a Minister for Aviation, countless agencies, and experts and yet airlines do “crew exchange” borrow and lend planes like it’s a TOD (temporary over draft) bank facility. Pilots fly for their airlines and are borrowed to other airlines. Aircraft due for major routine maintenance check are left to fly. 

Big men cannot fly our airspace again, poor men cannot travel our roads, travel forty minutes from Jos to Bauchi and be interrupted by bigger boys (armed robbers), that is after the big boys (policemen) have also robbed the driver. Our waters if they do not have potholes already, are the domain of pirates, then one decides to trek to his destination a government official with his convey of 20 cars at 200 kilometers per hour blasting sirens would hit the man. 

  
If our leaders are not wicked why would an airline over-sell its tickets I remember the BAC I-II aircraft belonging to EAS that crashed in Kano on May 4, 2002 the plane was reportedly carrying over load.  Virtually all the local airlines have turned our airspace to Oshodi motor park flying planes like Majekobaje (do not let it spoil) Lagos Kabukabu with planes quaking like some ‘e go reach’ ali chikwendu transport J5. 

Ghost tales: Did you hear that ‘dead bodi get accident story’ or that ‘Agagu’s corpse dies in crash’ reported by a prominent media (not this one) or that gist about voodoo and metaphysical powers of the dead Agagu, how the coffin won’t open and wasn’t damaged…how about the wife died too, Obasanjo’s son and the first casualty figure of several hundreds.  

I was an observer at the last Presidential Forum on Aviation some years back, I concluded then that Nigerian needs a coup de people, that is a people inspired uprising…I wept profusely for this nation…because I said more will die, and yes more have died, ask the families of the Dana debacle and more will die. 

Soon someone, some government group or agency would organize the gathering of the “so-called experts” a bunch of the same people that killed the national carrier, and planning to float another, same people who supervised the buying of aircrafts that were older than our centenary. Simply put a gathering of the problem to solve the solve the problem with some ghost tales.

Who has forgotten that pilots take their simulator forms home and fill and they are re-licensed. NCAA officials get first class tickets to the Bahamas with their wives, concubines, mistress and girlfriends to go have fun, and they in turn certify the planes without seeing them. 

If a plane is so bad that passengers can notice through the sound and movement and then not even the pilot complains and even if he complains, still flies that plane because some oga@the top say so. We are in trouble that all the current ad hoc mend your trouser arrangement cannot solve. 

I love the Bible story of Noah and the ark, very few people listened, but rained it did and it rained and rained and rained. The ghost tales is going to continue, does anyone really think we are ready as a people to stop these tragedies–only time will tell.

 

 

By Lawrence Nwobu
 

A nation is like an individual; driven and shaped by certain values and propelled by ambition to success or the lack of it to mediocrity and failure. A few days ago I was discussing with some friends over the Nigerian quagmire and one of them suggested that “if all Nigerians were evacuated to the Unite States of America and all Americans were evacuated to Nigeria, in

a few years the Americans would turn Nigeria into one of the most prosperous countries in the world while the Nigerians would turn America to a failed state.” His argument was premised on the logic that the people and consequently the leadership of a society determine the outcome in the success or failure of that society. It is difficult to fault his logic for try as we may, we cannot deny that there are certain predominant attributes of the Nigerian people and leadership that has helped to create and sustain the tragic society and failure Nigeria is.

America has been a democracy since 1789 and since that time, there have never been cases of organised election rigging, census rigging, electoral thuggery and other such fraudulent shenanigans by different generations of American leaders. America has since its founding been an ambitious nation that set out to be the best in everything. From exemplary public leadership, democracy and the rule of law to science, technology, arts, sports, commerce, entertainment and military prowess America continues to lead the world. Ambition and the predominant values of justice, freedom, dignity and the rule law of the American people and leadership created the success story and American dream America is for the world. America is consequently the most advanced and prosperous nation on the face of the earth. The nation where your dreams can be fulfilled and you can be all that you desire to be. The nation that unleashes the best of humanity. 

 

By contrast Nigeria became enmeshed in crisis from the very beginning. No sooner did the British colonial authorities depart in 1960, than all shades of fraud and lawlessness was unleashed. Elections and census were massively rigged, political thuggery and violence became routine and just 6 years after independence there was an explosion of violence that culminated in a bloody conflict. Since then different generations of leaders have continued in the same pattern of dictatorship, brutality, election rigging, census rigging, thuggery and massive looting. Unlike America, a lack of national ambition and the predominant values of self hate and an entrenched culture of injustice, wickedness, fraud and lawlessness of the Nigerian people and leadership have created the failure and nightmare Nigeria is. Little wonder Nigeria is the most corrupt and one of the poorest failed states in the world. 

Given the abundance of human and material resources, there is no limit to what Nigeria could have been. But Nigeria has failed in spite of the abundance because the lack of ambition and predominant values of injustice, corruption and self hate amongst others embedded in the Nigerian people and leadership cannot create a successful society. Like my friend suggested; if you moved all Nigerians to America and handed America over to them with the entire infrastructure already built, the same factors would ensure that America would collapse in a few years and become a failed state. Likewise Nigeria would become functional and prosperous in a few years if all Americans moved to Nigeria because the ambition and values of the American people and leadership would create a successful society anywhere. Nigeria has thus become a failed state crippled by corruption, injustice and trapped in unprecedented social unrest because of the values of those who inhabit it. With a different set of values and fundamentals Nigeria could have the best roads, state of the art rail system, some of the best schools, hospitals and social welfare for the unemployed and underprivileged. 

Nigeria could have been an example in democracy, with free and fair elections at every level elevating the dignity of the human person and showing the world an example of best practice in an African democracy. Nigeria could have been a technologically advanced nation, producing goods and being part of technological innovations. Nigeria could have been a major tourist destination with millions of visitors each year coming to visit an African success story, a black Mecca of sorts, a proud and successful black nation taking her place among the comity of nations, holding her head high and giving pride and dignity to black people across the world. Nigeria could have been a secure, harmonious and prosperous nation enjoying modernity and life in an advanced, civilised and thriving society invested in the rule of law. Nigeria could have been a dream, just like the American dream, a nation where people are given every opportunity to succeed. A nation that invests in her people and brings out the best in them. A nation that dignifies and humanises her citizens, a nation where people from all over the world will choose to come and live. A great nation and an African miracle. 

But alas we are in Nigeria and Nigeria is a failed state because our values have made us only capable of creating a nation that dehumanises her own citizens, a nation that brings out the worst rather than the best in her citizens, a nation that is entrenched in injustice, a nation that impoverishes and destroys her own citizens, a nation that self destructs. This is the story of Nigeria, a nation that could have been one of the richest, harmonious and technologically advanced in the world, yet today lays prostrate and crippled as the laughing stock of the world, as the shame of the black race, as the greatest human phenomenon of failure, because we have no ambition and we allowed injustice to become the defining aspect of our values and therein lies the difference that gave Americans a dream and Nigerians a nightmare! 

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu

Email: lawrencenwobu@gmail.com