• Friday, April 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Recent events and the problem with Nigeria

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Donald

A lot of unrelated events have taken place in Nigeria recently; events that are unrelated but still pass a unified and consistent message. These events show clearly, the troubles with Nigeria and why we are lamenting at 50. Here are just a few of these events. Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State engineered the impeachment of his Deputy because he refused to join in the game of political harlotry. The court reversed the impeachment of Gadi and refused the governor’s request for stay of execution. But Gamawa [the come-and-chop deputy governor] still moves around with complete convoy and attends state functions as a Deputy Governor. The Vaswani Brothers have become a recurring decimal in this country. They have been deported, pardoned, re-deported and pardoned again-within the past 2 years. And nobody is telling us anything! What is wrong? Who is beating this curious drum for this dancing bird; what is the TRUTH?

Some angry and misguided Nigerians recently kidnapped the Lagos Chairman of NUJ plus four others. The Senate President solution [apart from asking for a state of emergency in Abia/S-East], was to call for the enthronement of jungle justice since the matter has become a jungle affair. So, the chief lawmaker and the Number 3 man in Nigeria endorses jungle justice as a solution to a societal problem. Still on the kidnap matter, the IGP showcased his helplessness when he gave kidnappers, who were not under his command, a 24-hour ultimatum and they ignored him and he could not do anything it. The same IGP and the police spokesmen introduced new dimensions to crime-bursting when they disclosed all their plans to the kidnappers through the mass media. The Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner of Police even blamed the journalists for daring to drive rather than flying back to Lagos! You will recall that the Abia State Government recently granted amnesty for kidnappers.

On the political scene, the Abia state governor had recently decamped to APGA after being frustrated by the PPA, a party described by Senator Chukwumerije as a family business of Eunice Kalu and her children where others are mere employees. In reaction, Orji Kalu, locked the house[PPA] and took tenancy with PDP; returning shamelessly and publicly to his vomit; executing a merger and acquisition between PPA and PDP. That is his practical contribution to multiparty debate. The PDP orders its members to stop all endorsements until after the primaries but on that same day it gave the order, three governors were busy endorsing Goodluck Jonathan-even when he has not declared! Of course, zoning is the fastest growing industry today. It is zoning, endorsements and pro/anti Jonathan, cross-carpeting and courtesy visits all over the place. But in all this confusion, issues that will move Nigeria forward are not discussed. The state of origin is the only indicator of good governance in Nigeria! And those for or against zoning restrict it to the presidency while some are threatening fire and brimstone: zoning or anarchy or what a writer calls North or Nothing. But we watch and do nothing about it! Of course, governance is on sabbatical as the president pays more attention on political issues than on his 4-point agenda: power, Niger delta, elections and critical infrastructure.

Even a pupil in our disorganized primary school system knows that Nigeria is totally dependent on oil and that the NNPC, the den of corruption, is the most economically strategic institution in Nigeria. Now, the government functionaries are playing yoyo with the financial health of the NNPC-and in full public glare. Remi Babalola declare NNPC insolvent based on a memo written by the GMD of NNPC. The ECF disowned him as Madam Dora declared that NNPC ‘from auditors account is a going concern and does not have any solvency issue. Therefore, NNPC is not insolvent QED plus QEF!’ Babalola’s brother and boss, The Minister of finance concurs and calls Babalola a liar. Finally the NNPC which set off the chain of events fired back at Babalola: we are not bankrupt! So, who is fooling who and what is the true situation? Why won’t NNPC be bankrupt when it is a master of oily deals and when it is mentioned daily on the wrong side of financial transparency? What exactly is wrong with/at NNPC?

One of the most outstanding awardees in this year’s National Honour is Madam Olubunmi Etteh, of the house renovation fame. For those whose memories are short, this was what happened. A committee of PDP members [6PDP,2ANPP, 1 AC] found Etteh unequivocally guilty-and that was despite the PDP family affair ideology!.

The meeting for the award of the contract which lasted for only 40 minutes, was manipulated to exclude some members with contrary spirits; the approvals were made before the bids were submitted by the contractors; buildings were contracted out without any bill of quantities or even details of work involved; the bidding companies had the same addresses and phone numbers; the renovation was even the responsibility of the FCDA while the Estate Department of the NASS which bided was not good enough to be awarded the contract.[Ik Muo: So, Where is Etteh? BusinessDay, 10/11/08] And to complete the charade, Bankole congratulated her, describing the award a true recognition of her worthy contributions to democracy and service to father land[Thisday, 22/7/10,p80.

National Honours indeed! And while that was going on, Iyiola Omisore was explaining why he wants to be governor of Osun State, come 2011. Lest we forget, Omisore was the only Senator to fill his nomination forms, campaign and win an elections while in prison detention over Bola Ige’s murder case. A feat he shares partially with Theodore Orji, Governor of Abia. Partially because Orji campaigned for the election but was sworn in from the EFCC cell

So what is common with this potpourri of events? They evidence what is wrong with Nigeria; why at 50, we are lamenting instead of celebrating. The impunity and disregard for the rule of law in Bauchi State; the failure to reveal the truth and shame the devil in the Vaswani-brothers case; highly placed officers who are ignorant of their responsibilities as evidenced by the Senate President, officials who would not do their jobs or do so with levity as evidenced by the police authorities; the politics of contingency and political harlotry, mistaking politicking for governance and misplacement of priorities as evidenced by Abia Politics, the zoning and Good-luck industry; playing with the hen that lays the golden egg and lack of transparency as indicated by the NNPC affair, and sweeping many issues under the carpet and even honouring those who are not necessarily honourable as indicated by the Etteh/Omisore issues.

These are the reasons why Nigeria is still a toddler at 50; why we have moved from the giant to the ant of Africa and why our greatness remains frozen at the potential stage! These are the problems with Nigeria!