As the world braces for its transition to young adulthood, leaving the teens and all daydreams behind, I take a dispassionate look at people and events which gave tremors in my heart; which stirred me deeply: I am sure I am not alone. The Americans have no other universe except the USA. They revel in their almost obscene IGNORANCE and NAIVETY. They may have their bombs and other dangerous toys –and these are in the hands of a should-be-certified lunatic. In Africa, one does not need to strip naked, for the community to identify his mad status; but, these Americans, wrapped in their foolishness and delusions, stomp all over the world, causing more harm than good. I blame President Woodrow Wilson. For in the weariness of the First World War, he unilaterally, appointed himself the Provost Marshal of the world. Since then and till now, the American penis, blind like all penises should be, except guided, has crashed into every shrub, undergrowth and sewer. The remarkable achievement is that it has FAILED, in every excursion and incursion. I laugh at the World, when, it calls on the Americans, to help fight racism…has America cleaned out its stable? Hundreds of blind people or pretend-blind people hailed America, for electing Obama Barack) as President of the United States. These Americans are the Champions of the World, in tokenism. In a shit pile of effete, incoherent, bumbling Presidential aspirants, they had no choice, but, to gingerly pick out the “near whole lump of shit.” If you grade Obama’s Presidency, dispassionately, you will understand why shit, whether zip-locked packed or #10(ten Naira) polythene bag packed, is still shit: The man was a failure.
But, this article is not about American Failure and Busybody poke-nosing, but, about the remarkable, most times, frightening people and events that stirred my heart in the outgone Decade(2010-2019). A Decade replete with our failures and an overwhelming testimonial to our naivety, innocence and teenage status: May Allah, in His Majesty, steady us and Guide us to the next decade, with few bruises (unavoidable). Ameen.
Like the Americans, Nigeria, is my whole Universe. But, unlike the Americans, we, Nigerians, pride ourselves on being well informed. And, we are. Ask an American, which Nigerian State is abbreviated as Bn. He will collapse. BUT, there is no State in the US, whose abbreviation, Nigerians don’t know. So, Nigeria remains my universe. It has been for the past three score years+; so, for me these are the TWELVE People and events that defined my Nigerian Universe. Traditional Media used to call them, Person of the Decade and Man of the Year. That one na their concern:
- MUHAMMADU BUHARI.
Along with Gen (High Chief) Olusegun Obasanjo, Muhammadu Buhari, are the only two mortals, Blessed by God (Christian God and Moslem God=One God?) to have ruled Nigeria, as both a Military Head of State and democratically elected President. That’s where the similarity ends. Obasanjo became Head of State, in a tear laden speech,”…against my personal wishes and desires…”; Buhari, on the other hand(immaterial, as to whether he was part of the coup plotters) came with a transformational agenda. Whether he changed or was changed, the truth is that he introduced the “queue” culture into our jungle society when he became Military Head of State. And he shook us. Hitherto, it was Might takes all. We were forced to learn that a civilized society can only be so called when it respects others’ rights. That it was civil to say Please. As President, elected democratically, Buhari faces a society struggling to go back to the Jungle. Those who stole money are sponsoring dissent, in so many guises. Today, in Nigeria, everybody talks war. Those who stole money, by whatever means are lionized by their communities. In fact, a former State Governor, James Ibori, who stole money and has completed his term in a British prison (his wife is still serving her term in a British Jail) was welcomed back to Nigeria, by scores of people, including the hierarchy of some political parties. CYMBALS, DRUMS and of course, uncontrolled body contortions As In, its glorious to be a thief and the jail term a medal of honor. That’s the situation President Buhari met and is struggling to clean out. Tough deal. Even in his gilded office, Aso Rock Villa, there are staffers, who will do anything to retain, sustain and nourish the tree of corruption. Is it part of our life’s blood now?
Since 2003 when Maj. Gen Buhari appeared on the Nigerian political scene, till date, all political discourse has revolved around him. On three occasions when he lost the Presidential Election., the entire country held its breath: The General had in tears threatened to unleash violence, the type we had never seen. Well. He controlled himself on those three occasions; but. he had mortally scared the nation. We hold it against him.
We are a warm. peace loving, peaceful people. We really want to live life peaceably. We don’t want to be stressed. We want to sit around and about ourselves, laughing, regaling ourselves with the stories of the day’s activities; not bothering ourselves with who is planning to steal millions, Ehen. So what? Is he the one feeding us? If he steals and is not caught. Good enough. If he is caught. Good enough. Most Nigerians hear about Boko Haram, kidnappers, etc. And we hear this ‘big man’ has been caught’ or this big man released money meant for the soldiers for political activities: And the soldiers are dying. And they are arrested and freed on indefinite bail. SO, President Buhari, what is our own in these matters – we are neither the Police nor judges nor the thieves? SO, who wants to kill us – the ordinary Nigerians? Life, sir, is TOUGH. [f you recover all the stolen money’ and in the period, we all die, I wonder, who will benefit? We thought The Single Treasury Account (TSA) would be the salve. As the Americans, meddlesome Americans, say “Men. This panacea is killing us, with the bad guys” We hold it against President Buhari.
- Adams Oshiomole
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress(APC) has gone into our history books and our oral traditions(even better, because of the embellishments) as calling on ALL corrupt politicians, civil servants and everyone, who looted, whichever way, who LOOTED massively.
In short, all THIEVES, to join the APC and they are forgiven and they can go and enjoy their stolen loots, Well, I am sure President Buhari must have been incredulous, to say the least. In a Post, shortly after the General Elections, titled, The Enemies Within, I pointedly told Mr. Oshiomole, that he was one of the enemies killing the APC- and by extension, the Nation.
Oshiomole must note, power generates pomposity. Extreme power Degenerates to stupidity. A stupid person is a danger to himself and to his society. He lives 24/7 in a cloud of his delusions. The earphones of madness stuck firmly to his ears. We hold it against Oshiomole.
3 ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR
The former Vice President of Nigeria. He was defeated by President Buhari at the 2019 General Elections. Rumoured to be so rich that there are doubts if Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is richer than him. He remains an enigma. I included him in the Twelve, because a snap of his finger and his supporters would have plunged the country into civil war. And they are legion. And they are rearing to go! Even though he is bitter. Some say justifiably so. Today, I salute him.
4. The NIGERIAN JUDICIARY
Whether we like it or not, the Nigerian Judiciary has held our Nation together all these years; For good or bad. Notwithstanding, that some judges play to the gallery of the largely corrupt, poorly remunerated Nigerian Media. On the surface, some of these judgements are questionable; but, weighed against society’s requirements, one agrees that they are in our best interest. This is in line with “best global practices”. No? Ask the Americans, the I TOO Know (ITK) of our world. Ordinarily, should George Bush, Jr. have been gifted the Presidency, after the open rigging in Florida? Or in a saner clime, should Trump be the President of the United States? But, the American Judiciary operates along lines of “best global practices”. And we ape them. Don’t we?
That the entire Nigerian Judiciary stood STONE STIFF, as the Chief Justice, Justice Walter Onnogen, the foremost Judicial Officer was hounded and humiliated, talks volumes. Need I say more? We hold it against the Nigerian Judiciary.
5. The Nigerian media.
Really is there is any grouping that can be called the Nigerian Media? Gone are the glory days of Nigerian Journalism. The situation is worsened by the craziness of the quasi tertiary educational institutions. A school of management and technology runs diploma course in law, journalism and English. A university’s department of English and Literary studies runs full undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in mass communication! Judge for yourself.
The Nigerian Media atmosphere is like the situation in Britain/UK, in which the Asian, especially the Indian employers hold illegal immigrants of Nigerian extraction hostage. The story is told, how, since and to date, the Indian trader threatens to report the Nigerian worker to the Immigration authorities, if he dares complain of being shortchanged on payday. It’s a regular and UK wide Affair. I swear! Any wonder then, when the Nigerian “journalist”, in the face of unemployment and poor pay, is teleguided by the highest bidder? We hold it against the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors(NGE); and I have deliberately left out the Proprietors of both the print and electronic media, because, they hold dangerously partisan views.
6. BOKO HARAM, NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, KIDNAPPERS AND CULTISTS
By whatever name called, a proponent of violence is a criminal. The fACT that these criminals resort to violence – killing, maiming and scaring the very people they claim they are fighting for, negates all their publicly proclaimed intentions. Boko Haram is a criminal assemblage of criminals. They are NOT moslems. Individually, at one time, they might have been. Not now. No. Not now.
The so called Niger Delta militants have proved again and again, that they were fighting for their pockets. That strange phenomenon produced a new pocketful of millionaires. In the height of their rascality, egged on by desperate politicians – and crazy octogenerians, who once called themselves lawyers, these “militants” terrorized the country. Today, a few of them, still parade the streets of Abuja in a pathetic convoy. Could Pablo Esteban have tried it? No. But, the politicians encourage them. Here we are at the beginning of a new decade and our so called politicians still have “armies” of thugs. The recent elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States, but, Kogi State, more than any other, showed us how much of “ a shithole” (to quote the redoubtable President Trump) that we are still living. Apart from the numerous persons killed.. and the unnecessary bumpings of our hearts -in fear – one wonders how a group of people, no matter how savage, can lock a live human being inside a house ; and her a mother – and set the house ablaze: Because she supports one person over another. And these two people have no idea who she is/was or if she ever existed.
Murdered in broad daylight; and I thought it was in London and America, that their Police slaughter “terrorists” in cold blood; and their mayors come out, in shock, to justify the killings. Did you see Boris Johnson’s face and hear the stutter? He was simply stunned. A human being slaughtered for target practice. Disarmed, held down. And shot to death. AND the Mayor of London, more a Londoner than the British Whites. He justified the murder.
So was it in Kogi.
We hold it against them: The State Governor, Yahaya Bello. Senator Dino Melaye. Senator Smart Adeyemi and Capt Wada, the PDP Governorship aspirant; and the PEOPLE of Kogi State. Their hands are covered in BLOOD. They may escape Justice in the hands of man. They may be requited by “men of God”, but, on the Day of Judgement, they will come before God, Then not all the perfumes of Arabia, to quote that racist, Shakespeare, will clean the stench.
7. CHIBOK GIRLS AND LEAH SHARIBU
How could we? Oh! How could we eat, sleep and even chat, when over 105 of our daughters, including LEAH SHARIBU, have disappeared .DISAPPEARED since April, 2014. Even the two women, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Ayesha Yesuf, the much praised backbone of #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS, have found new pastimes. Oby, in Bible reading and Ayisha, now a denizen of the dark shadows of the corridors of Twitterland. BITTER. Utterly crushed. Ayisha alone knows what she was expecting. At least, Oby hoped a “grateful Nation” would gladly embrace her and vote for her at the Presidential Elections. Unfortunately, Buhari had stolen the thunder from her. As for Madam Aisha, who boasted that her children, especially her son, had had education that money can buy. We were initially grateful, but, the damn woman, just lost control and started insulting all of us. Her fixation underscores the deep inferiority complex that Oby put on her.
Then, as now, we tearfully ask Mr. President, where are the remaining CHIBOK Girls? They were stolen as teenagers. We were promised that negotiations will not stop until all the girls are brought back. Then Boko Haram, brazenly stole more girls from another school. The Federal Government of Nigeria successfully negotiated with the faction of Boko Haram and released all the girls. Except Leah Sharibu. So, who said that Leah was not released along with the other girls because she had refused to convert to Islam? It was wicked and clearly has backfired. The girl, Leah Sharibu, our daughter, is still missing; She is not faceless. We were all young once. The Buhari Administration has done so much. No costs should be spared in ensuring that the remaining Girls and Leah Sharibu are brought back, How do we put on sack cloth when there is no corpse?
If the Buhari Administration does not put up solid structures; if the Administration is not remembered for anything else, but, the rescue of these hapless children, it will be worth it all : For our Humanity is what makes the human species special. We cry, We laugh. We share. And we live in a community. The infrastructures we so fervently want to build are cold structures. They cannot talk nor move, but, our children carry our memories into posterity. I hope the advisers of President Buhari will remind him of this basic truth.
8. The INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) AND RETURNING OFFICERS
If ever, in a hundred years hence and we are asked: What is the catalyst that plunged the erstwhile Nigerian Nation to its death? The answer will be the Nigerian electoral umpire- the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The immensity of INEC’s responsibility can be likened to the mythical Atlas carrying the World on his shoulders, However, while Mr. Atlas was aware of the importance of his assignment, I believe our INEC thinks conducting election, at whatever level, is picnic time and opportunity to make money. This is the Problem. It is rife that Vice Chancellors went to kneel down before the Chairman of INEC, begging to be posted to ‘lucrative” states as Returning Officer.
WHAT is the main duty of the Returning Officer?
The Returning Officer ‘s main duty, as I understand, is to confirm, authenticate and announce Results from the final collating centres. It is NOT the duty of the Returning Officer to amend or in any way, alter results presented to him. Yet, for reasons of corruption, the Vice Chancellor turned Returning Officer gleefully helped in manipulating figures, all over the place. I wonder what personal values they have? How do you face your children – and preach morality? O! I know. Flash the money. and the children are happy. Blood Money, my friend! That woman burnt alive in Kogi. Her blood is on your head – INEC.
Any wonder the universities are what they are? Truth and honesty are scarce commodities.
10. NIGERIAN SPORTS
When the Hon Minister of Sports in Nigeria took over, I was bemused by his unbelievable naivety. I asked myself, is this man for real? I had to. The man came in brimming with confidence. His catchphrase in the early days was” we will hit the ground running”. I knew and felt he was playing to the gallery. Yes. He was. EACH acquaintance, no matter how cursory, wanted to serve in the Office of the Honourable Minister. So many uninformed Personal Assistants – each jostling to show how much he knows. I am sure the Honourable has seen the difference between the “accomplished” briefings and reality on the ground.
The Hon Minister has by now seen the true nature of the rot in the Sports Ministry. Strange that there are “managers” in all the stadia in the country, yet, they are so dirty, dilapidated and underutilized. What happened to all the money the churches paid for their crusades? When I visited the National Stadium in Lagos, I nearly wept. Then I passed by the National Stadium in Abuja and I was shocked. Do we have a Minister? If nothing else, I expected that it should be upgraded regularly to meet international standards. This stadium is so strategically located that it foreshadows the imposing WELCOME TO ABUJA sculpture. It really must be kept sparkling neat.
And then the continued disgraceful outing of Nigeria on all sporting arenas,
In 2019, Nigeria FAILED woefully in all Competitions. I do not consider ( and have never considered) a 2nd place finishing by Nigeria, in any competition, in Africa, as an achievement. Two things, the Hon Minister, must urgently do: 1) Set up an Assessment/Performance Committee, which should dispassionately go round the country. It should recommend those to be sacked or downgraded or reprimanded and transferred to a sedentary outpost. These are difficult times AND demand very difficult and stern solutions. 2) There should not be a favorite sport. We demand that the Hon Minister encourage all sporting Associations to source for sponsors. With that money, they should be able to encourage old and upcoming talents to train and achieve world standards, I know. I was a Board member of the Karate Federation of Nigeria. I know. I was Chairman of Kano State Handball Association. Nigeria brims with talents! Honestly, I think the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) must re-examine the working terms of its coaches – as, indeed, all the Sports Associations. Why should a coach depend on the Media to ASSESS an athlete?
9. THE NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY SYSTEM
The Nigerian University System whose organogram is headed by the Minister of Education, then th0e National Universities Commission (NUC), then, lower is the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and at the bottom are the universities. Neat looking and apparently manageable. Yet, this neat channel of authority is deceptive.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) is afraid of the universities, The JAMB is afraid of the universities. And the main reason is the ordained order that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (notoriously known as ASUU) MUST FULFILL THE CYCLICAL order that every new executive must organize strike or look for an excuse and misbehave. Adults misbehaving! This is the accepted trademark of ASUU. Unfortunately, the Federal Government and its various parastatals indulge them. So, ASUU, like all indulged children, oversteps its boundaries. Tell me, why would ASUU meddle in the running of the universities? Why would ASUU attempt to tell the universities’ Governing Councils how and to whom contracts should be given. Spoilt children!
The National Universities Commission (NUC) is really the overseer of the Nigerian university system. Unfortunately, this Commission does not know its mandate. Since its formation, the NUC has never truly known why it was set up. In fact, in recent times, this glaring ADVERTENT Ignorance has been brought to the public: Isn’t it disgraceful that the NUC which ordinarily should bring out the list of all professors, Associate Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers, down to the lowly Graduate Assistants, in all the universities in Nigeria cannot produce such a list. Such a simple matter. Not for the NUC. Last week, this apex “governing body” GLEEFULLY, in fact, putting Hercule Poirot to shame, made National and International headlines that it had unearthed over 100 “fake” professors, in the university system. Disgraceful! So, as things stand, the NUC does not know its academic staff strength. Indeed, in great embarrassment and defiance, several universities controverted the NUC’s earth shaking find. If you ask me, somebody in NUC is trying to blame President Buhari. After all, we, in recent times, in Nigeria, have accepted literally that “the Buck stops on the President’s desk”. We transfer all our failings to him. I ask, how is it that some universities are still conducting the Post UTME (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination). What is the true definition of “unified”? Or does everything devolve on SHARING and Percentages? Remember the applicants BUY the JAMB Application Form for between #3500 and #5000; and the Post UTME “processing fee” for #2000. When you compute 1 million to 2million applicants, you will appreciate. So, the Question again: Is there a sharing formula?
And now to JAMB. Like its supervisor, NUC, the JAMB, is so civil service oriented that it first of all curries favor, from everyone. Why would JAMB go to the Press and broadcast how much it was remitting to the TSA? This is childish! It is childish in the sense that nobody is in competition with the JAMB Chief Executive. Is the intention to show his “masters” that he is “working”? Or is he in competition with his predecessor? I still don’t know the purpose of the “achievement”. You draw attention to yourself. Remember Fowler in FIRS? Now, the other big Question: Do all the universities abide by the admissions that JAMB gives? If so, why would you give an applicant admission to read Arabic when he applied for Medicine? Crazy. Even crazier, when the applicant gets there, he cannot get a change of course.
10. THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)
For whatever reason, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) deserves a big pat for reawakening the fight against corruption. Despite strident criticisms, mostly sponsored, no doubt by frightened thieves, the EFCC has put up a superlative performance.
However, the EFCC needs to increase its investigative tools. What’s the point of taking an accused to court and he is freed on the most flimsy of technicalities. I BELIEVE also that the EFCC must urgently do an in house cleaning. Are all its prosecutors and lawyers clean? In simple English, could some powerful individuals have managed to plant some lawyers, to frustrate or delay investigations on them?
11. THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SECURITY (DSS)
The Department of State Security (DSS) is allowing (?) some individuals or is it overzealous officials to give it a bad name. Otherwise, I have not seen what the DSS has done out of the ordinary. A nation exists because it provides security for the members. A situation where a group of people or an individual feels he is above that society, then anarchy ensues. Where an individual creates the impression that he has the means to disrupt the peace of the society, I sincerely believe that the security apparatuses of that society cannot standby, with arms folded. THEY would be completely remiss,
I have already mentioned the Nigerian Media. Uneducated. Financially incapacitated, they have no identifiable ideological handle. Their loyalty is to the money. This is why 99% of the Nigerian Media spew out RUBBISH – unedited press releases, unverified information, some so scandalous and fantastic, that one wonders if there are the basic bulwarks against rascality that are the hallmarks of an enduring and credible journalism: The Board, the Editorial Committee, AN EDITOR and the chain of editors, that roll the wheel smoothly. This is why we have such heart stopping headlines, All totally misleading and the body a totally different story, And some idiots do not consider misinformation, in whatever a threat to National Security. You do not consider the blocking of roads by ARMED Shiites a threat to National Security? Being “armed” does not imply only possession of a gun. A weapon is any article that can inflict fatal injury.
The DSS must ensure it has enough incriminating evidence before parading and trundling suspects to the court, This is not the Era of the horse riding cowboy of the American Wild West, when cowboys ride in from the sunrise, shoot wildly; and the town cleansed of criminals, ride into the sunset, That is stuff for Nollywood, Leave the acting and scripting to Desmond Elliot, Fredrick Leonard and our Genevieve,
12. THE THIEVES
The Thieves, Catchy, isn’t it? The entire country is swarming with Thieves, Suddenly, we are inundated with the tales of collapsing “big men” and seizures and forfeitures of stupendous properties and amounts. Yet, the Economy is NOT budging. Meaning: Mr. Emefiole, we’ve recovered the monies. Yes? Now, uncover it….Let 2020 begin our honest recovery!
Happy New Year,
Ps. This is a Special Message to the Central Bank of NIGERIA(CBN)” I believe I speak the minds of millions of Nigerians when I DEMAND that the CBN readjust our exchange rate. Honestly. And Honestly, what more HURT can we suffer? When one looks at ordinary Dubai or even Ghana, then, we have no excuse to be insulting our Naira, by exchanging with the American Dollar for #360.You have been too careful. See where we are. Truly, don’t protect us anymore. After all, he who is down, needs fear no fall. AND I DON’T WANT ANYONE.ANYONE TO TELL ME ECONOMICS. Is that crazy Trump a soldier? Yet, aren’t we all, the entire world, shaking? Abegi! Abeg!!!