Covid 19, Nigeria and The Strange Pursuit of Self

True,we ,Nigerians, may not  always be the best losers. We can’t stand that silly British trait that even if you lose a game or suffer bereavement, you smile… for what? As you know,in Nigeria,our first reaction to such a smiler is, “is he alright?” God Forbid! that one would lose a loved one and not wail. In Nigeria, we cry loudly. We roll on the ground…and we genuinely mourn. As I write today, we have lost 780 Nigerians  to CoronaVirus – our brothers,our sisters,our fathers. Our mothers. Grannies. We are a family people. We take these deaths very painfully.

So, this CoronaVirus strolled into Nigeria through our airspace. Brought in, by our big men. Those tin gods whose eternal beef is that their VIP( Very Important Person) is not spontaneously acknowledged. Of course, a two – bit thief , with a few million Naira( that’s our abused currency,which not too long ago,ran neck and neck with the American dollar) in his bank account, will strut like a Yokozuna. Despite the Covid 19, they must attend weddings. And they must fly. So, the airspace is opened.. and all the rules of social distancing, no hugs, no handshakes, are disobeyed. So, they opened our interstate borders. The lesser human beings must come to these weddings too. Otherwise, how will we rever them?

So, our big men strolled into our country via our airspace,sated with wine and whatever,of foreign lands. And we have Covid 19; but, we were ready. After all, we fought Polio. We defeated Ebola; and we are holding CoronaVirus down. But, it’s becoming a hard task. We are being sabotaged by ourselves. The whole World, in shock, is watching,as Africa,led by Nigeria,is holding Covid 19,at bay. All their computer generated projections reduced to gaming. And they are not happy.  But, it’s  becoming a hard task. They are playing with our heads. By playing with our heads, they are playing with the heads of the Agencies that have always stood between us and the rampaging pandemics : The PTF-COVID19, the NCDC and Democracy. How so?

The PTF-COVID19/NCDC started very well. They set strict rules. We cheered because  for weeks, our figures were low. Our fatalities were equally low. We cheered. Then, they succumbed to politics and Self. The purpose of appointing a professional like Dr Ihekweazu and Dr Sani Aliyu, DG, NCDC and National Coordinator, Covid 19, respectively, is to ensure that Government gets the best professional advice. Also,the purpose of the PTF-COVID19, is to shield these two persons and their expertise,from political interference. The PTF-COVID19 is the enforcement arm of the directives from the NCDC and Dr Aliyu’s office. That is how it should be. And, it was, until the politicians, suddenly, realised that they are immune to infection. And they have been sidelined. No politician likes being sidelined. How silly!
  * How many Nigerians travel by air to merit the rush and pressure to open the airspace?
  * If any person is so important, his importance will be gauged by his ability  to use the Presidential Air Fleet; the Nigerian Airforce Fleet, the Police or Navy Air Services. In a time of Pandemic, there’s no room for private jets and private charter Services. There should be no room for such luxury.
  * When you lockdown a people or place, you Must provide adequate and sensible palliatives. If this had been done timeously and as and when due, there wouldn’t have been this restiveness. Why could the PTF-COVID19 not have ADVISED the President that the payments of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) was in very bad taste. Two people drowning and you decide that one person’s drowning is worse than that of the other person. Sir, in these terrible times, only a few Nigerians are not Vulnerable. The 774000 to be employed, the HGSFP and the Modified HGSFP should have been discontinued; and the money put together  and paid in two tranches, to all Nigerians. We have three important documents that hold family details in Nigeria- the  INEC’s Voters Register, the Banks’ BVN and the National Identity Card Data bank.
  * The NCDC is an independent body. It ordinarily should have immediately established offices in all states, without “seeking” permission and financial assistance from the State Governments. The person who holds the money holds all the aces. Now we find States contesting NCDC figures or rough handling them( as in the case of Kogi).
* The PTF-COVID19 should advise Mr President that the employment of 1000 “unskilled, itinerant workers” per LG is rubbish. Like the N-Power, like the CCT, these are “giving fish,not teaching how to fish“.  They will be politicised and the purpose Lost. Now, Mr Keyamo( that’s the junior Minister in the Labour Ministry,who’s praise singers tell us,” that in the Buhari Administration,all Ministers are equal)  is including university graduates ( he once disqualified them). A University graduate, unskilled, itinerant worker? That’d be the day! Stretches all definitions.


  Do you now understand why President Obasanjo had Governor Alamasiegha of Bayelsa State, handcuffed and dragged to Abuja, like a common criminal? Twice now! Twice now! The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has blown a gale of spit into the Federal Government’s eyes. Is he getting the feeling that the Federal Government is a “toothless bulldog”?Just the other day, he locked up the pilots and officials of Calverton Air  lines, for “breaching his lockdown orders.” He got away with it. And a few days ago, he physically blocked agents of the Federal Government from arresting Mrs Nuneih, former MD,NDDC. And he is a lawyer! (Remember my posts, The Sheer Irresponsibility of Disobedience and the Stupidity of Unthinking?) He featured prominently. This is the first steps to anarchy!

Postscript III

  The Federal Ministry of Education has the sole authority to regulate Education policy in Nigeria. The States can modify to suit local conditions,BUT, to outrightly and blatantly challenge the decision of the Federal Government is a continuation of a bad potent – earlier the same  Six  Southwestern States had embarked on a fear campaign about Amotekun. Now, they have started on  West African Senior Secondary Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE). This is just Secondary school examination. It’s not so earth shaking. The Students’ lives are more important than an examination that can be rescheduled. A student dead does not stop there. It’s a ripple effect – stretching into the larger society. So, the FG must not bend. The Southwestern States must stand down. The WASSCE must stay suspended!

Postscript IV

Now, everyone with a small grasp of English language considers himself a journalist. Charlatans. Charlatans. Malice and libel for sale ! A simple journalistic rule: Facts are sacred. Confirm. Re-confirm. Confirm. But, people like Segun Adeniyi and Farooq Kperogi, do not know. Olusegun Adeniyi has disgraced himself completely. All his “high profile” in tatters about his spindly legs. Farooq Kperogi had earlier also disgraced himself…and in tears had apologized. Having been exposed, Adeniyi is apologizing left,right and centre. So, now, his impeccable source is nothing but figment of his imagination. If not, disclose his identity. Segun owes the Abacha Family a full apology. He has displayed shame of laziness, incompetence and foolishness. As he used to say,”in a sane clime”, he would have tendered his resignation to Thisday,along with the public apology.

Postscript V

How do you define “the cycle of rubbish”? Who is misleading our President? Malami, Magu and accusations,counter accusations and refuttals of fraud, corruption and the certain irreparable damage to our Justice System and the fight against corruption. Vice President Osinbajo should ordinarily advise the President ,on tricky legal matters:
Justice and Fairness and more importantly, the fear of God, demand that the President suspend not only Magu but also Malami. It’s a moot point, sir!
And on the Niger Delta Development Ministry and Commission Affair: The President has no choice but to ask Mr Akpabio to “self isolate”, until the investigations are over. The allegations against him are weighty – whether rubbish or with substance – is immaterial. Let him sit out the investigation, Sir.

      Thank you for reading. Did I make your day or did I maliciously spoil your day? 

…and somewhere in America,Mr Trump has done everything, except strip naked in the market Square. He’s in the market alright! After all, he’s selling Goya Products from the Oval office.

…and somewhere in South America, the self-styled “Trump of Latin America”, Mr Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian President, has tested positive twice, for CoronaVirus. In Africa, a third time is fatal. I just dey fear for this fake Trump.