• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Sketches with Zebulon Agomuo

The monster we all created

Some principal officers of the National Assembly who were said to have gone to the Aso Villa for a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari were denied entry.
The story had that the lawmakers were in a private Coaster Bus with Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, Senate president and speaker, House of Representatives, respectively, only to be ordered to alight from the vehicle for security checks to be carried out on them.
Saraki and Dogara were however, allowed to proceed with bus. The principal officers, according to the report, felt humiliated and insulted, wondering why they should be subjected to such frisking.
But Sketches believes that their reaction is equally condemnable and curious. Who does not know that Nigeria has become a terrorist state and by implication, every citizen is a terrorist! I am sure that the only matter at stake here has to do with ego- ‘how can our colleagues (Saraki and Dogara) be allowed to ride inside, after all, they are first among equals? Who among the principal officers that does not have adequate security measures in his/her residence? Do they dictate to their security personnel at the gate of their residence who and who not to subject to the routine check before such visitors of theirs are allowed into their abode? For crying out loud, why making a fuss when the security issue in the country is a creation of the ruling class? Was it not because the ruling class decided to steal away all the money meant to run a better country in terms of job creation and provision of infrastructure that has created an army of robbers and insurgents? They brought home the proverbial ant-infested firewood, and they are now contending with lizards. Why were they angry and why would they resist minor security check? In climes where leaders do what is expected of them, they go with minimal security details and are not afraid of the masses. But here, leaders are afraid to come close to those who gave them the mandate, because of their numerous sins. Don’t they surrender themselves for security search whenever they are travelling outside the country or at foreign airports whenever they are coming back?

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Are they incensed simply because it is the Villa and they think they have the right to enter every single room in that place without even knocking, simply because they are federal lawmakers? That thought line in itself is faulty and simply shows the infantile reasoning ability of the Nigerian ruling class. There is humility in allowing the law to take its course. It is unreasonable to demand that a standing rule must be bent to accommodate one’s ego. This is why Nigeria has remained where it is, 57 years after independence. Simply put, they sowed the wind and are now reaping the whirlwind. It has not started, this is the beginning.

Anger, frustration in the land

Consistently and increasingly, the Muhammadu Buhari administration is daily driving Nigerians insane. Nigeria is getting mired into the web of confusion, occasioned by calculated attempts by government of the day to take steps that undermine the peace and unity of the country.
Since Buhari ascended the power stool in Abuja, he has been dishing out policies and actions that have left some of those who cast their votes for him in 2015 both confused and disappointed. One of such people poured out his frustration to Sketches recently, saying, “We are today, being made a laughing stock by those who consistently warned us in 2015 NEVER to make the mistake of voting for a Buhari. Sadly, as if those who warned us were seers, everything they predicted is coming to pass.
“I vividly remember when I was about casting my vote; I overheard a group of people saying that Nigerians did not know what they were going into. But I cared-less. How I wished I had listened.”
Since May 2015, it has been bad story. No day ever passes that Nigerians do not complain. Today, even the staunchest of Buhari’s supporter has been struck with amazement.
A few days ago, yours sincerely was at a popular area in Lagos, where there is a cluster of newspaper stands. In fancy, I stood to listen to the arguments of free readers; it was an outpouring of grief mingled with consternation. They employed all manner of words to describe Nigeria, and for Buhari, if an election were to be held that very day or the next morning, the ruling party would have been roundly rejected by an angry electorate.
Last Monday, someone was letting out his frustration with the current government, wondering why Nigerians have not yet emptied into the streets to protest what he described as “the excesses of a failed government”. What still baffles me is the seemingly lack of conscience on the part of those in government, who still have something to say to justify the hell people are going through in the country. After two years and five months in the life of an administration, it is still heaping blames on past administration. This is simply unacceptable! Nigerians gave Buhari the mandate to move the country forward; it was because they saw the need for a change of administration that they decided to vote out the PDP government, therefore, for the President to continue to blame Goodluck Jonathan and the umbrella party for his stark incompetence is as shocking as it is irritating. This government spews out so much lies to unsuspecting Nigerians. And it pains my heart so much.

From Baru to Maina…the beat goes on

In the last few weeks, Nigeria has oscillated from one scandal to the other; and the presidency is at the centre of it all. It all began with a letter written to the President by Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for Petroleum Resources, complaining of the alleged excesses of Maikanti Baru, group managing director (GMD) NNPC. The reaction from the presidency was a directive that Kachikwu should meet with Baru for a dialogue; the next thing was a bear hug or so it seemed, between the two men during the economic summit in Abuja. Like play, like play, the matter has been swept under the dirty carpet as usual and heads did not roll. As usual, Nigeria as a country, and the suffering masses, are the greatest losers. As the Baru issue was dying down, then the Abdulrasheed Maina, a former chairman of the President Task Force on Pension Reforms, seized the space.
Maina who siphoned N2billion of the pension fund and was supposed to be in jail by now, was recently found sitting pretty in the Ministry of Interior. He was sacked in 2013 as a result of his involvement in the N2billion pension biometric scam. He absconded from his duty post and refused to show up even after he was summoned by the authorities. And then he fled the country and became a fugitive somewhere. But in circumstances that appear to be assuming a dangerous trend in this administration, some public office holders who thought they have the ears of the president and as a result can do everything and get away with it, smuggled in Maina, not only into the country, but into the workforce as a director! Unfortunately, this illegality was perpetrated by the law officer of the land, the Attorney-General of the Federation himself in connivance with the office of the Interior Minister. After the satanic act they are now trying to hang it on the neck of an innocent woman, the Head of Service. What the Maina debacle has shown is that there could possibly be too many of their people smuggled into the civil service through whom they siphon the country’s money.
The Maina issue was only discovered because he has a skeleton in his cupboard. Only God knows how many Mainas have been smuggled into the workforce, and made directors, through the back door. It is unfortunate that an administration that is trumpeting war against corruption appears to be the custodian of graft.