lessons in the Art of Stupidity
Since recorded time, history has shown us that, in time, people perfect the fine art of Stupidity. These Masters are mentioned,not directly as proficient in stupidity, but, their actions guide to that conclusion. Several well known examples include the acceptance of the Greek Wooden horse gift by Troy ( after surviving 10 years of Greek siege), Samson, Delilah and the Philistines, and laterly from our Country, the conceding of a large
swathe of Nigerians, their land and their history, the Bakassi of Cross River State of Nigeria, by President Olusegun Obasanjo. Another recent example of a Master at work was the authorisation by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to his National Security Adviser,Col Sambo Dasuki, to distribute the princely sum of Two point one billion USD ($2.1bn) meant for Arms Procurement by the Ministry of Defence,to prosecute the War against Boko Haram, to political cronies and idiots.
And now in a bid not to be outdone in qualifying for inclusion in the Stupidity Hall of Fame, several Nigerian State Governors have tendered their CV, to the World.
In the midst of fear and dread, many people have shown that they are NOT afraid of the Scythe of CoronaVirus. They are totally nonplussed by the daily death rates, from Developed Countries. They believe and fervently hold that COVID-19 is just a game between the USA and China. They believe that all the warnings by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) are gimmicks by individuals to make money – or to ADD to their hoard
Thus, when Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, opened his arms wide,to signify his divine benevolence that he has lifted the ban on religious gatherings or any gatherings of any kind,in his State, in complete defiance of conventional wisdom, we see that the candidate Master is now a Master of Stupidity. And he holds himself as a fine specimen of the fact that COVID-19 does not exist.(it was claimed he tested positive, but,after14 days,he’s now negative).
And in Katsina State, Governor Bello ( what’s with the Bello name) Masari, asked his people to troop into mosques ( for juma’a prayers ( indirectly allowing the churches to hold congregational services on Sunday) That implies that no one is afraid of COVID-19. That the death of Dr Aliyu Yakubu,a medical doctor, with a thriving private hospital in Daura is not of consequence to Katsina State. I would have added that the official narrative from the State Government,smacked of a dark alienation,hinting obliquely at the deceased State of origin (Kogi).(As at Press time, two more deaths from CoronaVirus have been reported – hoping they’re also no indigenes,to help Gov Masari’s dark hints and Hitlerism).
And from the sprawling and densely packed Oyo State, the “youthful” State Governor,Seye Makinde, realised that he has supernatural powers and is telling his people that “consuming” carrots,black seeds and apples(?) healed him of CoronaVirus. New levels of stupidity. Again, Governor Makinde’s exuberant comments about carrots and black seeds, juggle my conscience about the famous (but,untrue) dry comments by Marie Antoinette, Queen of France,wife of Louis XVI,who said (sic) if the people have no bread, give them cake.
While I am struggling to reconcile my sanity with these acts aimed at mass deaths, the Rivers Governor for Life, Barrister Nyesom Wike, has after consulting with the Spirit of CoronaVirus, decided to “relax” the laws imposing lockdown on his State, to allow worshippers “enjoy” the Easter. After the Easter Celebrations, they will return to the “status quo” of lockdown. When “God of Rivers State” speaks, nobody dares speak.
Quite rising and parallel curves – The Sheer Irresponsibility of Disobedience dovetails into the The Stupidity of Unthinking… mindless display of political naivety masquerading as political opposition – unconcerned about the certain trails of death.
And FOUR new candidate Masters have unveiled themselves to the Nigerian public. O! God! Not an unending parade of Stupids. Here are their CV,as presented to the Nigerian people:
1) Festus Keyamo. The Hon Minister of State, Labour, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). This means that ordinarily,he is sharp. He knows the difference between lawful and unlawful. He knows black from white. Ordinarily. But, as someone said in a National Geographic film,“society corrupts the best of us.” I don’t know where the erudite,young and hope- of -the- future Festus Keyamo has gone. The new Keyamo has been sucked into the maelstrom of the Nigerian society. Just as the denizens of the Nigerian Civil Service will sadly destroy four other fine Nigerians: Professor Abayomi,Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the taciturn but brilliant DG,NCDC, Dr Sani Aliyu,also taciturn and cultured National Coordinator of the Covid 19 Pandemic at the Presidency and the Hon Minister of State for Education, HCN Nwajiuba. I had such high hopes for him and Festus Keyamo. Will he be pulled down, because of his rising profile of maturity and common sense. Fine Nigerian sons,but, novices in the political art of chicanery and straight face. “Golden fish(es) out of water”. Does anyone remember the sauve, professional Dr Grange? She came with high dreams,for the Nigerian Health sector. She accepted the position of Health Minister. I watched and wondered how such a polished woman would fare in the uncut, uncouth and impossible to change Nigerian Civil Service. O! Yes! I lost the bet.They won. She left Government,with her reputation in tatters. These Civil Servants. Anything but…
Well, back to my wonderful quartet. Festus, Maryam, Sadiya and Ehanire. Still on Festus Keyamo,SAN. He became the Hon Minister of State, Labour. I knew immediately he was lost. And he is lost. Unable to tame ASUU. Unable to invite CONUA to tackle ASUU( remember ANAN destroyed the supremacy of ICAN and TUC reduced the absoluteness of NLC. Unable to have a grip on the slippery Dr Chris Ngige. You never can tell what runs in the brain of a former Governor,still wrapped in the grandeur of Government House. Maybe, that’s why Festus Keyamo,SAN, in frustration,but, pretending, resorted to begging the telephone providers to gift Nigerians some data and airtime. Pathetic. When the MTN gave him some free airtime, he lost his head. He sang songs praising the MTN for listening to him,on behalf of Nigerian workers. Then, the characters in the Nigerian Directorate of Employment (NDE) smiled and corralled him. They gave him some laptops to distribute to some schools in his home state. He was as happy as a Cheshire cat. Then, they led him by the nose to distribute some laptops in Katsina. They had him. When he was assigned to head the nebulous employment of 1000 people from each of the 774 LGAs, he was transformed. He hasn’t averted his mind to the arduous task of picking 1000 people from thousands, suitably overqualified to “clean gutters” and other “critical services” – for TWO months. He hasn’t told us how much each of the newly employed will be paid monthly. Note the National Minimum Wage is Thirty Thousand Naira(#30,000). Then, he has to think about the stay at home order. He has to think about social distancing.The Social Media has turned him all over. Him contradicting himself even on the most basic matters. Our Festus is lost.
2) Mrs Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Hon Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and So Many Agencies lumped Thereunder. She “inherited a Social Register,for the “poorest of the poor” that she cannot explain. She inherited a dubious payment programme called Conditional Cash Transfer payment system – in which a few people are given cash,in millions, to pay in remote areas,in a prevailing atmosphere of bandits, kidnappings and arranged robberies and kidnappings. Then, we are not told how many per LG. The Oyo State Governor announced that five thousand poorest of the poor in his State were paid #20,000 each. So, for now, that figure is representative. If we accept that, then when we multiply 20000× 37(+ FCT) × 5000=#3.7 billion. But, without a Social Register, we ask, how are we going to expand to include more “vulnerable” people? The Hon Minister has started showing signs of cracking. She has conceded that the National Assembly can send people to help her Ministry. Meanwhile, despite her earlier strong claims that the Social Register was from the World Bank – thus perfect, she conceded again to the leadership of the National Assembly (NASS) that she inherited a “mess”. I understand that the leadership of the NASS,in disgust, has asked her to suspend the National School Feeding programme. Shocked stiff that about Twelve Billion Naira (#12bn) was being spent monthly – and not all the 36 States are involved. Can you see why one clever dude smuggled it into the President’s Speech on the COVID-19? With schools shut, they couldn’t just allow the easiest way to make money lie fallow. Mrs Sadiya,poor girl, fell for it!Now, these Civil Servants, servile, permanently on their knees, but, lethal, have a new name, the Modified HGSFP. Then, now I hear bad bad news that she has allocated Thousands of places in the Batch C of the N-Power Scheme to the leadership and Members of the NASS. True?
3) Mrs Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria,on Social Investment Programmes(SIP). A weighty title. But, listening to Mrs Uwais,on Channels Television,a few days ago, did I catch glimpses of this being a demotion? Not once in the interview did she say the Honourable Minister. She kept saying,”she”, “her”. I remembered in secondary school English class, that a pronoun is the abstract (of a noun) If, for whatever reason, you know a person’s name,but, choose to refer to him in personal or possessive pronouns, I know there’s trouble. Anyway,Mrs Uwais sounded bitter. She kept crying about “managing” the money given to her when she headed the Social Register and payment to our ” poorest”. She cried about her inabilty to take journalists to meet physically with the poorest. I thought she said they are not “invisible”, but, recent versions on the social media, showed she said”they are invisible” and that they do not live in our society”. Please disregard. She can’t be that stupid. I think she should know that a good leader is promoted or demoted by his PR Department.
4) The Honourable Dr Ehanire, the Minister of Health. I can’t exactly place him. Could his years in private practice have affected his relationship with the civil servants? Also, honestly, I still can’t understand why he created unnecessary problem for FG, by not calling the NMA( Nigerian Medical Association) and briefing them about the Chinese COVID-19 team. Why was he secretive about the true sponsors of the Chinese team. It took the Press Release from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation giants, (CCECC ) to tell us that their mother company, the China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd, was sending the team as it’s contribution to Nigeria’s fight against CoronaVirus. Dr Ehanire has been terribly naive. He has not acquainted himself with the expanse of his duties, the full deficit in our Health sector and his inability to pull the various States’ Health Commissioners. There’s this discordant note that some of the States do not appreciate the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not business as usual. This is a war. I would have thought that Dr Ehanire should be fighting for special financial considerations for all the frontline warriors. He should be all inclusive: The doctors,nurses,Amb drivers,ward assistants, security personnel. All those who have put their lives to save us. In the same vein, I had expected – and still expect the Presidency to send a public thank you message to Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Dangote, Elumelu and UBA, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,President Obasanjo ( after all, we have former Presidents like IBB, who have said nothing). A deserving “thank you” individualised message to all those who donated. Dr Ehanire should convince the Presidential Taskforce to give the President the draft. We don’t have to wait for America.
This Post was published in April,2020 and now as then, there have been more instances of Unthinking. The Special Assistant to the President, on Special Media, Mallam Bashir Ahmad, enthused on 22June, on his Twitter handle, quoting Dr Chris Ngige, the Hon Minister of Labour that the President had authorised immediate payment of April and May,2020, hazard and sundry allowances of frontline health workers. We expect no hitches, in Payment.
And the number of affected people is on the increase, in Nigeria. Looks as if all the great works by the PTF-COVID19 and NCDC,are being completely reversed – through the Sheer Stupidity of Unthinking and infantile Disobedience. We must not RUSH to open our airspace. The number of people who travel by air is too small to jeopardize All our lives.2ndly, why are we being stampeded to open schools and open Interstate borders? Children are so vulnerable that one child can infect the whole school of 1000 staff and fellow pupils.
AND WHY HAS THE ARMY NOT GRABBED SAHARAREPORTERS and SRTV? They are guilty in my book and the books of all right thinking people, of trying to incite soldiers to mutiny. The Armed Forces is a Voluntary Organization. We don’t run a Conscript Armed Forces. If you can’t stand the discipline and the orders, please leave. The soldier who appeared in the viral video, condemning and insulting the Service Chiefs and the Services, should also have been briefed about the word Mutiny. And his sponsors should also have realised that the same Section 52 of the reviewed Armed Forces Act(2004) and Cap A20 of the Laws of the Federation, is kind enough to convict the person ” “in Service”who “mutinies” or incites others to mutiny and the person “not in service”, who “advises” the former. They both face a minimum of life in prison. This is why I call on the Nigerian Armed Forces to apprehend the operators of SaharaReporters and SRTV. If they are not culpable,they know who is behind the veil.
And all these Jankara lawyers,who in attempting they know one’s wife better than the husband,tie themselves up ,in contradictions: Stop meddling and look for other subjects to get cheap media publicity. Hustlers!
Thank you for reading…and Don’t Dare do anything that will not keep you safe and healthy, in these times of CoronaVirus.