Posts Tagged ‘Stella Oduah’

 
 
 
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.
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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.