Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ayim Pius Ayim:How Long Can He Last?

He is a testament to the fact that in politics, a man cannot be discounted, until he is dead!

Some have castigated him for coming down from the exalted number three position he once occupied, to a "mere" Secretary to the Government! Talk about sour grapes!

The gentleman has one rare quality that would make him work well with Goodluck Jonathan, he is loyal! Some might even go as far as saying that, despite his humongous  girt, he is just a cuddly, affable, lap-dog! One with an avuncular nature!

There was a joke I heard a while back, that encapsulates this. Someone was trying to contrast the late Chuba Okadigbo, and Ayim. The fellow said with Okadigbo, if you tell him to jump, he would ask you :Why? With Anyim, if you ask him to jump, he would ask you "How high!

Perhaps it is this desire to have someone who is fully loyal, and "pissing out", that has enamored him to President Jonathan!

But Anyim should not celebrate just yet! He is from an ethnic group, whose politicians do not subscribe to "brand loyalty"

I would not be shocked, if tomorrow, some scandal is generated to remove him.

All we need to do, is look at the history of Nigerian politics in the last twelve years!

When the Senate presidency was zoned to the South East, all manner of intrigues were deployed to remove whoever  was there!

There was this belief, it seems, that removing the fellow would enhance the chances of other senators from the zone in becoming president of the senate.

Or how do we explain five senate presidents, in eight years!

If I were Anyim Pius Anyim, I would watch my back very well! There is a proverb in Igbo, that the Igbos do not have, or recognize, a king!

Right now, unless things change, Pius Anyim, is the highest ranking Igbo politician from the South East in government! A king!

I perceive the bulls eye on his back growing bigger, all in reflective neon paint!

That "common" position, is now in hot demand!

However, it would be nice, for a change, for the Igbos to prove me wrong! 


Thursday, May 26, 2011


When we think about Civilization, the first thing that comes to our heads, are the mind-boggling marvels that science constantly astounds us with at a frenetic pace!

We would think of aeroplanes that fly at Mach II, telescopes that can see the universe one million years ago, nano technology, eradication of small pox, and whatever we deem to be a life-changing marvel!

All these, and more, are indicators of civilization. But as far as I am concerned, the single factor that points to Civilization in any society, is it's  ability to manage, and resolve conflicts, in a non-destructive manner!

One instrument Civilized society use to achieve this, is the concept, or construct, of the rule of law!

This is the accepted understanding, that the law is supreme, and is capable of resolving all conflicts! It is also an acceptable notion in Civilized societies, that agents of the law, do not represent themselves, but are instruments of the society's collective will to be civilized.

That is why I am truly saddened by the atrocious events involving soldiers, and police personnel in Lagos.

In a reprehensible show of shame, soldiers killed police men, in a tit for tat retaliatory manner!

It is the clearest sign for all to see, that we actually have not descended from the trees yet, and still dwell in caves!

Forget the I-pad you are reading this article on, and the water bed you are luxuriating on, deep down, when you scratch an average Nigerian, you would find the most primeval of brutes,  attired in the latest suit Savile Row can offer!

Need I talk about our well-known love for flouting simple traffic rules at the slightest indication that traffic is likely to be stalled.

We see "civilized" Nigerians, leaving the road in their expensive "civilized" cars, and taking to the side walk:  they do, because it is there for the taking! Pedestrians who are currently using it safely, do not matter, and can be hounded off with disdain!

And you say we are civilized? We are not! We are just like the Giant Humboldt Current Red Squid, that loves to cannibalize it's mates!

What the soldiers did, is just a symptom of the systemic chaos that rules this nation from the very top!

We see it in reckless expenditure by government, unlawful, and uncivilized, actions that are guaranteed to end the political careers of people in civilized societies; to our leaders, are actually like the badges that boy scouts collect ! The more they have, the higher they are regarded!

People do things, terrible things, because they know they can get away with daylight murder! There is very little respect for the law, and police men too! One can argue that the police have lost the moral high ground they out to occupy through their malfeasance!

But that is not an excuse for one to kick the law, and by extension all of us, in the teeth!

We need to evolve a society where a private in the police force, would be sufficient to arrest a serving General in the Nigerian Army, when the General breaks any of our civil laws!

I can hear you laughing and saying it will never happen, but it ought to, for that is the hallmark of a Civilized society!

The fact that a person belongs to any of the military, or paramilitary, outfits, does not make such a person exempt from obeying the law, or above it! Rather, all uniformed personnel, are supposed to defend the law, to the extent of giving their lives for it! 

It is when this becomes a reality in Nigeria, that we can truly say we are civilized!

Right now, we live in an infernal hell, governed by chaos!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

What Future?

It is midnight, I am in Abuja, and it is raining!

I cannot sleep anymore!

The little lady asked for a midnight snack, and I promptly obliged her with the magical, ever faithful, tea and bread! 

As I looked at my daughter, I started thinking about the kind of country I would be handing over to her!

My parents gave me a country that had potentials, but, as if to show that records are meant to be broken, we have succeeded in turning a winning position into one of desperation!

Two generations ago, in this same country, graduates were employed from our universities!

They were wooed with offers of car loans, and and other perks that make life sweet! 

The next were not so lucky, they were the "strike" generation! 

They were the ones who proved to the world that it was indeed possible to complete a four year degree course in eight, despite one not failing a single subject at all! 

The, too numerous to mention, industrial actions by the academia, created an aberration; professional students! 

These were people whose vocation seemed to be ever-going to school, albeit in fits and stops, while not graduating!

And today, the cycle of decay is complete! 

We now have universities that are less than secondary schools in neighbouring West African  countries! 

Our secondary schools  are worse than primary, and primary schools that just kill intellect!

We have managed to achieve this distasteful distinction while increasing our annual budgets in geometric progression! 

Where a member of the house of representatives earns Fifteen million naira every month: and political office holders see the nation as a cash cow, we are surely in dire straits!

Our mantra seems to be "If it works elsewhere, not here!

So I am considering my five year old right now, and ruminating on the future she would traverse, in our refusing to be great nation!

We have pantomimed for fifty years, and pretended progress! 

We drive cars we do not produce, wear shoes we do not cobble, and and even the crude oil we produce, we need outsiders to refine it for us to use! 

If that is not failure, I wonder what is!

We have failed this nation! Yes we have!

Those who looted, and who those awaiting their turn because the opportunity currently eludes them:shame on you!

We too have failed by our conspiracy of silence! 

I believe that Nigeria would fix herself, one way, or another!

One day, we would all wake up, and find that the last straw we thought was nothing, has finally broken her back! 

Then, perhaps, like Esau in the Bible, we would contritely seek our inheritance, and find it comfortably pledged to another!

Its now One a.m!