• Thursday, November 30, 2023
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PMB, MNK and the Pareto Principle (2)


As I remarked last week, I try to be Achebeic in my writings by making them simple, free flowing and eschewing big grammar. However, at times, it is good to show people that I actually went to school and that the school fees paid by my father (Late Sir Ezeamaluchi WO Muo) was not in vain. From 1964 when I started Elementary 1 at St Anthony’s, Osumenyi to 2014 when I ended formal schooling at UNILAG, I never received one kobo as educational support from any arm of the government. The same with my four children.

That is why today, I want to discuss the Pareto Principle (also called the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few) and how PMB has, absurdly and incomprehensively, turned it upside down in his approach to our security challenges. This is why deaths, killings, kidnappings have become our daily bread in this our ransom economy. The Pareto Principle, (similar to the Power Law and Zipf’s law) states that most often, 80% of the consequences arise from 20% causes. So, a noisy class of 100 students might be due to 20 rascals while in a bank, with 1m customers, 80% of its income may come from 20000 customers or even far less.

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Identifying and concentrating on the critical 20%-of revenue, costs, grievances, customer complaints- thus becomes ‘de koko’ for any manager. For instance, in 2000, 12 percent of Proctor & Gambles 25-odd brands generated 50% of its sales and even bigger share of net profits (Ik Muo, (2019), Management principles, processes and practices, Enugu, Potter Creations). This emphasis on the ‘vital few’ is imperative, whether it is a positive variable (like profits) or a negative variable (like noise) or even insecurity. At the core of this law of vital few is the need to concentrate all efforts on the source (20% or not) of advantages you want to optimize or problems you want to annihilate.

We are now practicing a strange version of trade by batter with criminals, humans in exchange for cash and foodstuff

So, how do we or how should we apply the Pareto Principle to our precarious security situation, which PMB recently declared that he would do anything within his power to put an end to?. Following Pareto Principle and even following common sense (which is no longer common), efforts should be concentrated on the major source of the insecurity. However, as in most matters with this our blessed but pillaged (another big grammar!) country, PMB has intentionally turned the principle upside down, concentrating all national arsenal (material, emotional and bad-mouthing) on the areas that produce 10% of the consequences and ignoring the sources of 90% of our crises.

Borrowing from the irrepressible Shehu Sani, this government applies Christian Dior designer perfumes to the herdsmen, bandits and book-haramites, while applying extra-strong, fall and die snipper to Kanu, ESN/UGM, the entire South-East, a little bit to the entire South and what is left to Igboho, simply because there is an IGBO in his name! I know they will soon head to Ijebu-IGBO. That was how the system shut down the HIV vaccine developed by Dr. Jeremiah Ojonemi Alabi Abalaka, just because they saw Aba in his name and therefore concluded that it was Aba/Igbo-made!!!

For the past three months, I have been collecting published reports on our insecurity matters but thanks to the God of the Spirit, few days ago, StatiSense told us what we all know, except those who deliberately do not want to know. There were 2943 total reported kidnappees between January and June 2021 (16 per day), and out of this, the North accounted for 2557( 87%) while the entire south accounted for 386 (13%), with N/W and NC accounting for 80%. Out of the 5800 deaths (32 per day), 5 states (Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna, Benue and Niger) accounted for 3572(62%), with Borno accounting for 1137. The top LGAs in deaths and kidnappings for the same period were Brinin Gwari, Maradun, Chikun, Zurmi, Gusau and Marte. So, based on the Pareto Principle or commonsense, we know where should we invest our tangible and intangible resources. But this is Nigeria; the land of strange and unbelievable happenings.

Instead of PMB and Co to invest our security resources in the North, it concentrates all visible efforts on Kanu et al, ‘for orchestrating 60 deaths in 4 months’ and the South East, which accounted for 2.6% of all kidnappings between January and June this year. The security petty-cash and associated imperiousness are then thrown at the rest of the South. Even the Biblical stranger in Jerusalem knows what has happened in the East in recent months: The arial bombardment at Orlu, the militarization of all the routes in the East or leading to the east, the profiling of every Igbo youth as UGM and subjecting them to summary punishments; special security directives, operational ( not verbal) shoot at sight order.

Recently, bandits who are ‘just in business’ downed our Alfa Jet worth about $13m and also killed 13 policemen. If this had happened in the East, the military high command would have relocated to the east with a ‘finish all of them’ mandate. In this case, the Airforce first denied and then admitted, organized an impromptu reception for the lucky pilot and extolled his heroic escape. The police did not even issue a statement (though the rank and file booed Governor Metawale) and that was that! There were no special directives from the presidency, there were no special security operations, there were no arrests, and no aerial bombardments. The phytons did not dance and the crocodiles did not smile!

As combined and over-armed Nigerian forces were raiding so called ESN camps, the criminal entrepreneurs raided Bethel Baptist High school and successfully took away 121 students, which would require 10 Hiace busses or 3 luxurious buses. They had the temerity to call to confirm that the kidnappees were in their custody, demanded for assorted foodstuff and after receiving N50m, released just 28 of them. We are now practicing a strange version of trade by batter with criminals, humans in exchange for cash and foodstuff. Bandits in more than 100 motorcycles (yes; 100 motorcycles) invaded 5 communities in Zamfara, killed about 50 while those under the control of a known Bandit, Turgi (who had been in physical contact with Gumi) took at least 150 persons hostage within 24 hours in retaliation for the arrest or abduction of his father. Meanwhile, a band of 300 bandits, (yes; 300 bandits) with scores of motorcycles, attacked a Sokoto community, killed soldiers and abducted residents. And while these were happening, the Nigerian army welcomed 28 BH/ISWAP fighters and their families and released 1009 repentant or Ex BH fighters to Borno State Government. What did they do to repentant or surrendered IPOBians? Did they even give them a chance to surrender?