“Verily Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves.” (HQ: al- Ra’d,13:11)
“The World will change”, “a New World Order”, or “things will not be the same here again in our World” or more heart-rending, “a new normal”. Ahap! It’s all a lie! Such simple, self consoling lie. And the truth is: We, all over the world, took up the chorus.” A new world order cometh post CoronaVirus.” It’s a simple delusional lie.
These lies are consolatory. Our Leaders, world wide, have been caught unprepared. We, the Led, are caught open-mouthed. Yet, honestly, this has been the trend throughout human history. A terrible tragedy befalls our world – The Plague the First World War, the Second World War. The Spanish Flu, Cholera. We recover. We spend a few years,at most and go back full circle: Eating ourselves. Dehumanising the Third World or at best, patronising us. And, the Third World, wag our tails, in gratitude and contentedly. Yes Baas !
So, here we are, in the Year of the China Virus, caught unprepared. Caught asphyxiating. We think it’s a symptom of the Virus. Not really. Asphyxiation is a symptom of our fear and anxiety.
What you just read above is the tirade of a frustrated Patriot of the World. Ignore it. Just hear me out!
And here in the World
Since the outbreak of CoronaVirus, the World ,as we know it, has NOT changed. Our old normal remains our new normal. Take a look: Mr Trump faraway in America, is still as truculent.. and unreasoning as per pre-Coronavirus. In Nigeria, the crack widens,ever so slowly. There is no reasoning with persons without ears. And those who have ears, just threw away their earpieces: So, that’s why a Minister of the entire country, can stick to a fictitious “social register”,with dubious origin – and insist it is kin to the Qur’an and the Holy Bible, infallible and unchangeable. A Minister, whose definition of ” Vulnerable” is as skewed as it is wrong. Wrong in its English definition,even,if stretched to its elastic limits. Mrs Sadiya Umar Farouq, is the Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs. Is she truly in charge? At times like this,can we have the luxury of photo shoots? Is she truly in charge? A Minister whose subordinates, barely acknowledge her authority: I ask. How could she be in charge and be waiting for he subordinates? At the meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, she openly and in frustration, whined that she had expected the NEMA CEO to be present; a day earlier, Mrs Maryam Uwais, the President’s Special Adviser on Social Investment Programmes (SIP) and erstwhile Oga of the Programme was on Channels Television,an international network, to lacerate the Minister. I ask. Did she check the Handing and Taking Over Notes(HTON)? It is trite that when you sign the HTON, you accept all the dots and Ts and all errors or paddings, therein. So, how dare she call what she met in the Ministry, “a mess”. Was she expecting tea and biscuits, with her legs on the table?
Sorry, Ma, life is not so pat.
But, maybe, her appointment came at the wrong time. She has no idea of the dietary preferences of Nigerians. She does NOT know that apart from rice, grains don’t feature much in Southern Nigerian diets. The true Northerner thrives on grains – rice, millet, guinea corn, maize. The Middle Beltans, thrive on yam, cassava and water yam. But, the entire country thrives on seseme seeds, okro, ogbono and veggies. So, the National Strategic Food Reserves should be fashioned along those lines. But, of course, the Civil Servants and “experts” and highly paid “consultants” know that it is business as usual. We have no Strategic Meat Farms. The Nigerian Army, (surprised me), is in the infancy of large scale ranching. If a disease wipes out the entire Fulani herd, nationwide,God Forbid, then we will start scampering all over the place, blaming each other and everyone, except ourselves! Like the Great Mr Trump, who never is wrong. Him the Epitome of Misstep!
Mrs Sadiya Farouq, like her colleagues,in Health, Labour and Housing, are only interested in the “glamour and pay and perks” of being a Minister. I had such high hopes in Keyamo, in Fashola, in Sirika and in Osinbajo. Alas! It’s all a lie! They are humans. They remain Nigerians!
Oga,sir, what is the sin of these aforementioned Ministers and the VeePee? Ok. To each, his portion. To every Mallam,his kettle!
1. Festus Keyamo,50. Young. SAN. Young. He just simply failed us. One had expected that his fluency. His passion. Would translate into the New Nigerian. In na! Festus just hasn’t being able to balk the Establishment. He has slipped into a silk pyjamas and sleeping peaceably. Others will come… That’s why Festus, without argument. Without looking at the inanity of “employing 1000(youth?) for two months, at the National Minimum Wage or a new rate (?). Without any meaningful deployment. I remember that in the early 1970s to the late 70s, we had “vacation jobs”.We supervised secondary school graduates on the many pilot farms. Or you worked in the libraries. You did something. Yet, Festus took umbrage when he was told that the 1000 of each local government, would be used to clean ” nonexisting gutters”. I don’t know about Festus’ LG, but, there’s no gutter in my LG. We’re talking about head, you’re talking about cap! In any case, Mr Keyamo, what are the critical services in the Local Governments? One had expected you to tackle the following -in collaboration with relevant Ministries – ASUU and the inclusion of CONUA ( should be used to restore SANITY in Nigeria’s academia); reinvigorating the NANS; improvement of workers’ salaries and conditions; the reappraisal of the NDE. Not distributing token pieces of
yeye laptops. Look to posterity. Not immediate pandering to the invisible, corrupt and leeches that these “insignificant” civil servants, are. In future, they would have recorded that you ordered them, your name will be dragged in mud. Bet you!
2) Fashola, Babatunde, Minister of Works and Housing, SAN. If anyone had told me that a Nigerian, born, bred and grown in Nigeria, would think of building skyscrapers, apartment buildings, to “provide housing for all Nigerians” I’d say, “sir, you’re mad!”. What were all the mortgage firms/ banks for? Better to have built houses,maybe, arranged, maybe, not, in all villages. Two bedrooms. Three bedrooms. To each household,it’s capability. Apartment buildings in my village. That’s overstretching the Art of copycating! And Mr Fashola, SACK ALL THE Directors in charge of the different Federal Highways. They know their sins. Sack them. I wrote the same suggestion to your colleague in Sports. He refused. He’s still “hitting the ground running”. All Federal stadia,monuments to his inability and incompetence. So, he stays in place. Sad.
3) Mrs (Hajia) Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of the Moment. She, who is Lost. She, who does not know that almost 95% of Nigerians, are the “poorest of the Poor”. She,who does not realise that History opened a door to Fame…and she is choosing Infamy. O! Sadiya. The answers are in front of you. Not the klieglights. It is better to do something, than do nothing(IBB). Since the early 1970s,before you were born, rural Nigerians stopped paying taxes! You didn’t know? However, since the 2000s, almost all households in Nigeria, have a bank account. You didn’t know? What dress does hunger wear? What is the colour of children’s quirky illnesses? We had thought that you will be brave. Be a woman. Be a mother.. And pay all Nigerians,with BVN or the National ID card, the direct cash palliative of EVEN #10,000. Do you truly know the situation in Angwan Dosa,Kaduna, in Brigade, Kano, in Wurukum, Makurdi? In Nyanya or Mararaba? Have you ever been to Ogbeté market, in Enugu? Do you ? No. You don’t. Neither Hunger nor the cries of sick children, nor the despair of mothers, unable to truly feed their children, in this lockdown, can you understand. But, you stubbornly cling to an unrealistic goal. A stupid list complied by unidentifiable LG officials. Don’t you know that the jubilations of the beneficiaries,in most Nigerian societies, is immediate and temporary? In the future, their families will be objects of derision. It could and will mar many future aspirations. I will not want my family to be labelled,”poorest of the poor” in my Community. It is a shame! They will be OSU. I bet you. But, today, you are in charge. The Hon Minister. You’re Minister in charge of ALL Nigerian Humanitarian Affairs. Who is the crazy guy in your Ministry, who suggested to you that reloading phone with #100( one hundred Naira) is a sign of poverty? And should be used as a criterion to measure poverty. Remember what one Nigerian,in the late 90s, a Minister like you, said about phone? Phone is not for the poor!
4) Hadi Sirika, if you had read my blog message to Adams Oshiomole, The Enemies Within, you would have remembered the telling line, absolute power turns a person to a stupid person and a danger to himself and his society. He lives in self delusion of his importance. You have the big responsibility to keep the Nation safe, in this time of CoronaVirus. But, no. You prefer to flex your muscles. To show that you’re the Federal might. You are guilty of delaying the closing of the Nigerian airspace. You didn’t need to trade words with the Rivers State Governor. A simple phone call. A call. But, you preferred to embarrass everyone, including the President, and ,maybe, costing some Armed Forces personnel their career. The Nigerian Constitution is so clear,on the Powers of the State Governor. What rubbish “economy” can compare to the lives of millions?
5) Our VeePee. To whom much is given,much is expected. Oh! Prof, please re-read the Nigerian Constitution. And you’re quadruply blessed. You’re a lawyer. A parent. A teacher. And the reserve President. In their wisdom, the writers of our Constitution saw you as a companion and adviser to the President. In these difficult times. In these times of fear, of anxiety and thin tempers, Sir( although you’re younger than me), you should put the Nigerian people FIRST. Is it true that the thousands of unpaid civil servants are NOT vulnerable? Is it true that the young female hairdresser, in the makeshift Bacha, is not vulnerable? Is it true that Nigerian teachers are not vulnerable? Is it true that pensioners are not vulnerable? Since you started supervising the TraderMoni Concept, have you not become aware that all the recipients,have bank accounts? Isn’t it heartless, for some people to say,”poor people do not have bank accounts” – and with so many initiatives, all over the Country, requiring a bank account? Thousands of graduates of universities, polytechnic and Colleges of Education, are on the streets. Most with barely #5000 to their names. And they are not poor.? Psychologically, only a parent and his child can understand the shame of the child,each day, one of the parents, gives him money. He, who dreamed big dreams. And he is not poor? I have received over 500 calls, text messages, WhatsApp msgs, all greeting me. All , in these days of CoronaVirus. Why are you abandoning us now? This is the Time to halt all rubbish payments, all Keyamo encouraged employments,all school feeding Programmes ( and the kids are on holidays) and reach out to Nigerians. An ALERT in these times is a Winner.
So, in the end ,it’s all lies. Nothing will change. What do I care about oil prices, when I’m scared of going to my village? When my Health Minister, thinks that the frontline fighters against CoronaVirus, do not deserve special allowances – And him, a medical doctor? Wow!
It’s all lies.. nothing is going to change. What new normal? When after the CoronaVirus, you’ll tell me not to hug my mother? Or a dear friend? That’s unAfrican. We bide our time. CoronaVirus will go away, like Ebola, like Spanish Flu, like Cholera…and like stolen wealth. Slink away. And those State Governors, who chatted with God, now, see that it wasn’t God. If not, how can one explain 1 case in a State changing overnight to 12 or more confirmed cases? I’m scared. Not even, PhD nor dubious millions of money,in whatever currency, can halt Mr CoronaVirus.
Below is a strange poem. Is it speaking to us, Now or to the Future?
In my madness,
I have lost so much,with very much value
And gained so much with very little value
Many watch me with envy
Many with disdain and hate.
I have learnt to ignore their glares and gazes
Telling myself that another follows me behind who captures their attention.
I know I am lost,for to be lost you must have made irredeemable mistakes.
The reason for my gains and losses are unknown to me.
Not unknown really,but forgotten.
I find myself in a self induced amnesia.
I no longer have friends,only foes who hide in the shadows waiting for me to be weak, so they might strike.
Many others wait to see me being struck.
All of them saying litanies in hope of my painful demise,so they can rejoice.
Now that I am lost, I am also weak.
So I myself hope for my demise,I only hope it is a painless death.
@mohammed a liman(2020)