Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Breath Of Fresh Air:Goodluck's Secret Message To You!

One of the consequences of the myriad of election disputes arising from the twelve years of the the People's Democratic Party,PDP, misrule, is that many of us have become more knowledgeable when it comes to the law!

One phrase that we found reoccuring in many disputes, is that a party to a case, cannot approbate, and reprobate at the same time!

It simply means that one cannot approve, and disapprove a matter in the same breath!

You cannot take two conflicting positions in a matter, simply because you feel it would enhance your chances of winning! A typical example of this at work, was when pettitioners prayed the court to declare that no election was held in a place, and to at the same time declare them winners! The courts were wise to ask,"Of what election? The one that did not hold?

It is therefore interesting to see what Goodluck Jonathan, our president by default, has hinged his campaign on: "a breath of fresh air"

One is curious to know, where is this breath of fresh air coming from? Is he saying that he is going to import Britons, and Americans, to run Nigeria? Or, could he have forgotten, even while he is still a beneficiary, that he has been a part of the PDP misrule that has "de-developpd" Nigeria?

Jonathan was the deputy governor in Bayelsa state from the beginning of this democratic dispensation! He then became the state governor when his boss was impeached for malfeasance!

Could Jonathan have forgotten so soon, that he was also the vice president under Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and that he is still a beneficiary of that regime!

For Jonathan to attempt to distance himself from the old smelly, stinking,shameful corpse, that the PDP rule has become, is laughable, and very unimmaginative!

It is like a fish saying that it is not a part of the water that sustains it, or for a building to deny it's foundation! Jonathan is part of the architecture of failure, misrule, and mismanagement, the PDP has visited on Nigeria!

A vote for Jonathan, is a vote for four more years of business as usual! A vote for Jonathan, is a vote for four more years of his master Olusegun Obasanjo! A vote for Jonathan, would complete sixteen years of the sixty, the PDP has promised to misrule Nigeria for!

So, if you are wise, you will give Jonathan what he truly, deep down in his heart wants, a breath of fresh air for Nigeria! He knows his party has failed Nigeria, but as a loyal party man, he cannot come out to say it! That is why he has sent all of us a secret, coded message, that we should deliver Nigeria from the stench of the PDP, and give her a breath of fresh air! 

A vote for the PDP, is a vote for unending power failure! A vote for the PDP, is a vote for fuel scarcity, and corruption! A vote for the PDP, is a vote for leaders who do not feel the pain of the people! 

I went to the petrol station yesterday to buy fuel for my generator: I bought twenty nine liters for N2,200.00! At the end of the purchase, the attendant asked me to pay him an extra N200.00 because he had sold fuel into a jerry can for me! That is one of the bright and shinning ongoing legacies of the PDP! They punish us by not building power stations, and refineries, and we pay for their inefficiency! 

Let us be wise, shun ethnic politics that lead to more slavery, vote for the real breath of fresh air in this election, General Muhammadu Buhari! 


Is There Hope For Nigeria?

I have been offline for more than a week now! I have been concerned with more serious matters in the world of brick, and stones! It has afforded me the opportunity of ruminating on the trajectory our great country Nigeria is on.

We have had continuous civil rule for about twelve years now, but the country seems to be worse than it was twelve years ago! If one were to measure progress on the basis of tangible things like access to cell phones, Ipads, and Iphones, et al, we have made tremendous progress!

If, however, we look at the state of our voiceless poor, we would see the clear indictment of twelve years of misrule by the People's Democratic Party, PDP! I know I love bashing them, but they are fair game, and every knock is justified!

In twelve years, more Nigerians have become poorer, while a very small number, is so rich now, that ever Forbes is beginning to notice them! I have no quarrel with rich men! I love wealth, and the good one can do with it! My grouse is that a system that is unfair, unjust, and uncaring, is surely ungodly! 

Every leader from Obasanjo, has mouthed all the right phrases  of poverty alleviation, but only succeeded in elevating poverty to a national vocation! 

To our shame, we have not been able to build one small refinery! Yet we talk about progress! We spread poverty, and export jobs, each time we export crude oil, and import finished petroleum products!

I do not have any new argument to canvass on why we are poor, all the causes, remote, and immediate, as they love to say in the civil service, are all in the public domain! 

It is quite simple really, governments, at all levels have failed! They have been failing for the past twelve years, and if allowed to continue, they will fail for another four! 

When people argue that Nigeria is a failed State, those of us who are of the positive confession kind, fulminate, and robustly rebut the obvious, and glaring, fact!

If Nigeria were a marriage, it would have concluded divource proceeding years ago! If we were a business, we would have ceased to be trading a long time a go! If she were an athlete, she would have been banned for life, for cheating, and repeated drug use!

The word that comes to mind, when I consider Nigeria, is a Biblical word, REPROBATE! It means failing to pass a test which is common for others to pass! 

We have hospitals that kill people, roads that destroy cars, and schools that breed ignoramuses! It is as if the more money we spend, the more difficult it is to get a positive result! what other countries do, without effort, we need to attempt a dozen times, before we succeed, partially! 

We can fairly put our failure to achieve, at the feet of the PDP. but not all of it.

We have also been negligent as a people, we have kept quiet when we should have spoken, we folded our arms when we should have thrown stones, we suffered loss when we should have protested, and demanded prompt redress!

In many parts of the world, election to a political office, is it's own reward! The opportunity to influence policy, is seen as enough reward, so political office holders, serve their people! In our own case, when people run for office, they are actually applying for jobs! They see elections as being the same thing as getting a well-paying job! And sadly, that has been our lot.

A passage in the Bible, from the book of Ecclesiastes's chapter 10, sums our situation succinctly,16.

 Woe to thee O land,
 when thy king is a child,
and thy princes eat in the morning.
17.Blessed art thou o land,
 when thy king is the son of nobles,
 and thy princes eat in due season,
 for strength,
and not for drunkenness,

When leaders are not willing to sacrifice, the nation suffers! When people of no integrity are the ones foisted on us, instead of individuals who are noble, our country can only suffer!

We have another opportunity in a few days time to set our nation on the path of greatness, let us vote out the PDP!


Friday, March 11, 2011

What Does The World See, When They Look At Nigeria?

I saw a cartoon on Facebook the other day. It was of two individuals, a man, and a woman, standing before two mirrors! 

In the first strip, a fat, very portly, and porky woman considers her image in the mirror; what we can see of the woman, is that she is rotund, and out of shape:she has a loose flab of fatty flesh around her midriff like a spare tire! 

The woman in her own eyes, sees her reflection as a sexy,shapely, slender, sleek, work of art!

 The picture shows the man,  a wreck of a human being flexing his atrophied muscles!

His shock absorbers, and bushings, are all shot! Nature, and father time, have not been kind to him! He looks like something a cat ate weeks ago, digested partially, and then regurgitated! 

He is not good to look at, and I suspect he does not feel good too inside! In addition to this, he is balding! 

His reflection however, is a lie! He sees himself with a full head of hair, he is all chiseled muscle, he is perfection personified! 

His six pack, triceps, and biceps, are a wonder to behold! 

He is Captain Atlas himself!

What these people chose to see, is a far cry from what  is actually there! 

What a person says about himself, is never truly objective! It is clouded by how that person wishes to be seen in the eyes of others!

And it is on this platform, that we cast off on our journey of self-appraisal! 

Nigeria, in the seventies, and eighties, built her international reputation on the platform of fighting apartheid! We drank the analgesic for another man's pain, and the world applauded us!

While we were busy fixing other nations, our own was in disrepair! Our democratic institutions were incommunicado, by reason of a plethora of military interventions, and we borrowed profligately to pay for our "do gooder" image!

We saw ourselves then, as a bastion of freedom, a defender of democracy, an international peace keeper!

That was how we saw ourselves, but how were we in reality? We had suffered from a series of coups,  failed economic policies. We had refused to build on the rich agricultural heritage our founding fathers left us, and we even had our own megalomaniacs in Generals Sani Abacha, and Ibrahim Babangida!The duo refused to install democratic governments, yet they exported democracy to other nations!

That shameful era in our history is now recent history, but the present reality is shameful, to say the least! We have conducted three manifestly, and fundamentally, flawed general elections! 

We have had instances in which the Supreme Court of Nigeria, in delivering judgement on cases brought by politicians who felt robbed, agreed that the elections were flawed, but still allowed the ones who benefited from these flawed elections to go home with the spoils.They premised their illogical decisions on the fact that the flaws were not substantial enough, to warrant the cancellation of the elections!

In essence, the Justices were saying, a thief who stole only one million naira, out of an account that contained a billion naira, had not done substantial damage by his action.After all, he had not done enough to jeopardize the prosperity of the owner of the money!

It is only in Nigeria, I suspect, that an election would be in dispute, and one of the parties is allowed to claim the position in dispute, and thence use the resources of that office to fight his challenger in court!

We must seem like brainless people to the rest of the world! 

Nigeria has managed to reinvent the wheel, and redefine democracy in her own image, and likeness! 

We have worked assiduously to remain the laughingstock of all right-thinking, and well-meaning nations the world over!

Last year, the exalted office of our president, was further rubbished by the actions of a few individuals!
They decided to rule by proxy, without the consent of the comatose Umaru Musa Yar'Adua! They succeeded in doing this, because they knew that Nigerians were very tolerant people, that we loath lifting a finger to defend themselves when wronged! 

We are yet to see the individuals who perpetrated this fraud prosecuted!

How do we think the world sees us? What do we think the world would say about us, if called to speak?

We have been getting a smidgen of their views from the leaked Wikileaks cables. The revelations about Nigeria, have been shocking, and shameful! 

We have heard how Supreme Court Justices were bribed to decide an election against commonsense, and justice!

We have heard how the Secretary to the Government, Yayale Ahmed, claimed that Yar 'Adua, meant to hand over to him, by-passing the constituted order of succession!

And the most egregious of all our failings, must be the refusal to adopt the Justice Uwais Panel's report on electoral reforms in the country! Had they been adopted, we would have taken a giant leap, and joined the rest of the world, in becoming a civilized nation! 

By refusing to adopt them, we have become like that couple, starring into a mirror, and living in self-delusion, which is the worst kind of hypocrisy! 

The world has lost it's patience where we are concerned! They sense an unwillingness on our part to change: that is why they are looking elsewhere for alternatives! 

We are still lucky we have crude oil, we would discover the direness of our situation, when the world has nothing to gain from us anymore! 

Then, perhaps, their views would no longer be hushed whispers behind our backs, but a clarion call from the rooftops! 

It is time we saw ourselves for what we are, an under performing, underemployed nation, living in in self-delusion!




Monday, March 7, 2011

"My Fellow Widows?

I wrote, not too long ago, about our love for absurd titles: I could not have been prepared for the latest offering from a popular figure this week! 

It turns out, that the wife of the president, Dame Patience Jonathan, (first lady is no official title), is a great lover of esoteric titles!

In that my article, I wrote about how a particular illiterate man, wanted a title that was not common. He had become tired of holding the same titles with commoners, and saw his redemption, when he saw a publication on Nigeria's founding fathers! Each one of them had one common prefix before their names:late! 

In addition, the fellow also observed that it was not a common title! So he adopted it, and proceeded to introduce himself at a function the next day as "Late High, Chief Mazi Nathanael " I will leave the rest to your imagination! 

Our great dame, has just added to her quintessential collection of linguistic zingers!

The latest installment, is more colourful than all the others in her repertoire!  She referred to women at a public function, as her fellow widows! 

Is that how much she hated them, or is it an indication of how much she loves herself?

They all could have been widows, but is she? That is what they call calling yourself what you are not! 

I thought her husband was still very much alive, and with us? He is not Umaru Musa Yar'Adua!  The title "widow" belongs firmly to Turai Yar'Adua! 

No matter how much Goodluck believes in luck, he would not wish to have Umaru's luck, or follow in his footsteps right away! 

I can attest to that! It seems his wife is not marching to the same song with him! If Turai can become a widow, the dame..... (God forbid bad thing, one could be arrested for even thinking, or imagining, bad things these days)

I once heard the dame, on television say to children " Children, read your book, because my husband, the president, read his book! 

It seems the dame, who they say is a former teacher, has not been reading her book properly! She leaves so much to be desired!

People have been touting Jonathan's qualification for the presidency, and their support for it, on his possession of a doctorate degree! 

It seems he has not helped his cause with his giving his wife public speaking assignments! They are all diminishing the intellectualness of the Jonathan's household, and bringing it to disrepute!

I fear for Nigeria! I have hypothesized what a speaking engagement involving the great dame, and Michelle Obama, would look like: beauty and the beast comes to mind!

There is no constitutional provision for an office of the first lady. All those who have claimed such an office, have been breaking the law! It seems it is now time for us to critically evaluate it! Maybe a candidate's fortune, should be tied to the performance of his/her spouse! After all, she is going to be representing us too, even if it is wily nilly!

A friend of mine wrote on his Facebook wall, that if he were Jonathan, he would lock up the dame, bury the key, and not allow her to come out till after the election! I agree with him!

Jonathan's campaign, seems to be stumbling with it's humongous foot in it's mouth, week in week out! Last week, it was Bode George, this week's offering, is Linguistics 101, with the great Dame, as the resource person!