• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Gaffe! SGF on 2014 National Conference Report

Babachir-David-Lawal
Babachir David Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), made a huge gaffe recently when he said the administration of Muhammadu Buhari would likely not look at the 2014 National Conference Report with a view to implementing the necessary aspects of it.
Lawal was quoted as saying that the President had not time to go through the report and that the conference itself was “essentially diversionary and sort of, may be, a ‘job for the boys.’” While the SGF claims that the President is too busy, Nigerians are wondering the product of his being too busy.
What, if we may ask, is the President busy doing in a country that is nearly being run aground and suffering is everywhere? Lawal said: “This government is too busy with very more vital areas of governance; and we are not intending to spend our time reading reports. The exercise of governance is not about reading reports. The reports are here, so many volumes that for example, it would take me like seven days to go through.” No wonder the country is bereft of good leaders. Leaders should be avid readers who are hungry and thirsty for any piece of information that could add value to their job. But when a government is afraid to read a report of a conference that cost the country several billions of tax payers’money, it means such a government is bound to fail; and the signs are all over the place.

Too desperate! This Sheriff sef

Desperation can make any man to commit all manner of atrocities and still thinks he is on the right track. Whatever is beating the gong for him, the tune of which he is dancing to, must be doing it so well that the Borno-born businessman cum politician, Ali Modu Sheriff, has continued to dance dangerously. Or what would anyone say about his latest move to cause crisis in and for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State. The other day, he went and picked an equally desperate fellow, Matthew Iduoroyekemwen, who contested the primary with Osagie Ize-Ayanu and got trounced, and decided to pitch his tent with Sheriff. Now, he was selected as a flag-bearer of the Sheriff’s faction of the PDP. Some critics alleged that he must have been handsomely paid by Sheriff to play the Judas. Again, for Sheriff’s desperate moves to play the spoiler, the Edo chapter of the PDP described him as a bull in a China shop.

Instability! Frequent changes in police hierarchy

Politics is ruining every aspect of Nigeria’s life. Politics is creating instability all over the place. Whereas government is a continuum, operators of government only verbalise it without putting it into practice. Gone are the days when school children memorised the names of state governors, ministers, etc; not any more. The reason is that unlike in those days when a minister stays in office for about 8 years or a governor remains in office for 8 years, it is no longer so nowadays when ministers can be hired today and sacked tomorrow. Governors elected today and be sacked by courts the next moment.
Nowhere is this frequent change than in the Nigeria Police where governments hire and fire Inspectors – General of Police at will. Again, such appointments have always unsettled the institute. For instance, whenever a lower person in rank is appointed IGP,  to avoid some form of in-fighting, his seniors are sect on forced retirement. This was the case during the days of Goodluck Jonathan and it has continued in the present administration. The choice of Ibrahim Idris as the new IGP will now necessitate the forceful retirement of about six serving Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs) who were appointed after the immediate past IGP, Solomon Arase, who assumed office April 21, 2015. Such DIGs, whose are not due for retirement, who ordinarily have a lot to offer the country, are being sent packing at the detriment of the country. There should be a stated and approved terms for the IGP position and even if there’s a change in government the serving IGP must be allowed to complete his tenure.

Pathetic! Bench warmers indeed

We keep hearing about all manner of “Satanic” bills passing first reading, second reading, etc, and the question is, are there no Southern legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives who are Christians? It appears such lawmakers are just sleeping at the National Assembly and they are behaving like King Nero, who played the fiddle while Rome was on fire.
Today, all manner of bills pass through reading without such Southerners raising sufficient objections. Sharia Law bill has scaled many readings; grazing bill is also doing so. One day, they will still sit moping when bill to change Nigeria’s name to an outright Islamic name will be read and passed. The way things are going, someone said: “By the time President Buhari leaves office, the people of the South West, South-South and South East will regret what they have done to themselves. Our children will never forgive us for allowing the Hausa Fulanis to dictate the pace and running the nation”.

Why not privatise some of the states?

It has become obvious that many states in the country are either bankrupt or at the verge of doing so. Twice in its short stay- a month beyond one year- the Muhammadu Buhari administration has had to step in to rescue the states, financially. Apart from Rivers, Ogun, Lagos, Delta, Edo, and a few others, all other ones, about 30 of the states are not viable. Essentially, these were states created out of political exigencies; and not on the plank of their viability. At best were errors of creation ab initio. A recent report says that the states heavily depend on the freebies from the Federal Government and may have refused to look inwards to create wealth for themselves. The states in this category are the ones hard hit by the current economic downturn. Although privatisation does not really work well in Nigeria; would it not be reasonable to suggest that the “unviable states” be put up for sale to whosoever will? The tragedy of it all is that the governors of such states still maintain their lavish lifestyles as though all is still well.
 Wicked! IDPs dying of hunger
The report of malnutrition-induced deaths in the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) camps in some parts of the North should be a concern to anybody with compassionate heart. It is annoying that Nigerians are refugees in their own land. But the irony of it all is that while a few privileged persons use their positions to steal huge amounts of money they can never finish in their lifetime, some other compatriots are languishing in poverty and deprivation. The unfortunate men, women and children who, by circumstances beyond their control, found themselves in the camps, have since realised that Nigeria is perhaps, one of the most difficult places to be born on earth and where death of a poor man is mere statistic. Added to the sorrow of the IDPs is the sad report that some attendants and those whose duty it is to superintend over the huge material and monetary donations meant to alleviate the suffering of the refugees and helping themselves with such donations.
Agomuo Zebulon