Of Obsessions, Wish Lists And Borders of Insanity…

….The Great Failures of 2020…

In my last Post, I promised to point out the monumental failures of 2020. I believe that there is the urgent need for research into the effect of Covid19 on our brains. In this Year of the Covid, I have observed that usually smart people have become dumber and the usually really dumb have become dumbest! Check by yourself: This is the Year of unbelievable, incredible Irresponsibility and Dereliction…

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Here are the Most incredible failures of 2020:

1. The Federal Ministry of Information

The greatest failure in the current discourse is the Federal Ministry of Information and it’s Agencies. There is an unforgiveably, incredible Irresponsibility in its performance – that is unexplainable. The Ministry and it’s Minister, Lai Mohammed, forgot that it is Federal Ministry and not the Public Affairs Department of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Since the Buhari Administration came to power in 2015, the Information Ministry has been on the defensive-as in seriously! But, in fact, more criminal, is that the “defence” has been so desultory, that one wonders if it is a deliberate plan to assist our enemies ruin the Country. It was truly pathetic to see the Hon Minister, lamenting, wailing and wringing his hands, as he wasted almost an hour, indulging in trivialities, to “fight” the CNN, about it’s “exclusive” on the Lekki Toll Gate issue. I advise the Hon Minister that he has professionals in his Ministry to craft out a well prepared “defence”. The CNN “exclusive” was so amateur that the Ministry should have torn CNN to shreds. A ” well prepared defence” would have included inputs from the Police, the Army and all other participants, including the Governor of Lagos.When you fight a behemoth, you don’t go alone. In any case, it is said that when a person is too comfortable or assured of his invincibility, he tends to become complacent, arrogant and all knowing. This is the situation with Lai Mohammed and several Ministers. They THINK they are irreplaceable. Pah!

2. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has failed over and over, in its regulatory duties. The failures are so many that I will mention only 3 that define the reason for the “recession”: 1) in the midst of the Pandemic, in which almost all business activities have ground to a halt completely globally, the CBN, was giving out the USD as if it will run out of production.In an earlier post. I defined front loading. The CNN was eating into our Foreign Reserves as if a war was imminent. So, here we are, pushed into unnecessary recession.2) it is truly unimaginable that millions of money, in all currencies, were circulating in the Country, before, during and I’m sure, even now post #EndSARS Protests. Money CANNOT hide. It speaks. And the CBN DID NOT want to do anything. Almost like a deliberate sabotage.3) Refineries -refurbushings/ repairs.Textiles and stimulus packages.ALL Stolen. ALL failed. It’s like the CBN was just pouring the money into a “black hole”. The more you pour, the lower the Country sinks. Millions of Dollars poured into the repair/ refurbishing of the Refineries; yet, we were pouring money into “subsidies” for fuel importation. And neither the Finance Ministry nor any official of the Federal Government said anything. Some smart people, I guess, realised that the Bubble will explode, in their faces; so, they connived to squeeze into the Presidential Speech, a final “no more subsidies.” Instead, there was jubilation by the Federal Ministry of Information and the APC, that subsidy has been removed. Indeed, the President’s speechwriter, jubilantly write, the removal of subsidy is “irreversible”. Like the now familiar refrain by the CBN that it will “dissolve”. It will “harmonize” the foreign exchange market. Yet, the parallel markets persist. Yet, the official rate persists. If nothing else, Mr President, please remove Emefiele and try another person. The so called recession is unnecessary. In any case, I’ve never been a fan of retaining “political” appointees, of my predecessor. In one of my earlier posts, I called for the CBN Governor’s removal, because, he is too much of a gentleman. I can almost see the Victorian Age waist watch sticking out discreetly. He is too staid. . Nigeria is like Ithe sick man.I don’t think the sick man can afford to be squeamish about the medication nor the healer! What our Economy NEEDs is a Jolt.

The World Health Organisation (WHO).

The World Health Organisation ( WHO) is a Failure. The Director General has led his Organisation to be the foot rug of the US. He literally pees in his pants, when Mr Trump, looks his way. I bet. Who are the US CDC or the US FDA,to approve a vaccine for the World? The WHO that is supposed to give guidelines, Waits for the Americans. It’s a shame. The WHO was afraid to call the onrushing disaster a Pandemic; so, like the brainless dinosaurs, the Pandemic swarmed us. Mr Trump is not a medical doctor ( he may be a Liar,but, not a medical doctor!), so why has the WHO waited so servilely? DG, sir, you failed the World. In ages to come, your inactivity will be placed by your name! You have inadvertently SPLIT Our World along ideological lines – there are Russian, Chinese, UK and quasi-US( Pfizer/Biontech) vaccines. And the Losers: Africa. Africa, with the lowest infection/ mortality rates,will become the Testing Continent( as usual). While Americans were dying in dozens( now, sadly, in daily thousands), Mr Trump was “donating” ventilators to Nigeria and other “badly affected” Countries. We know he was looking at possible billion dollar orders. God failed him. Ahap!

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I initially wanted to headline this paragraph here as gidan Kashe Ahu, but, the matter is weightier than a joke! I was dazed when President Buhari spoke in Hausa to the 344(?),(444?)or 10( initial assertion by the Great Garba Shehu- Senior Special Assistant (SSS) to the President – “rescued” Kankara GSSS boys, in Katsina State. Two questions kept nagging at me: 1) what is the medium of instruction in this school? 2) Before the International Media, how did the President allow himself to agree to speak in Hausa? If this incident had happened.in Eket or Otukpo or Fiditi, would Mr President, have spoken in the local language?( Of course, I apologize in advance, if I’m told the President is fluent in each of the 250 languages and dialects that make up Nigeria. I’m sorry, sir!) Done. These frequent missteps by the President’s handlers are alarming. For a long time, the President wore no mask. If nobody advised him, he should know that he is in the vulnerable age group. CoronaVirus is the Grim Reaper.

Then, a Second misstep from the all knowing, combative handlers of the President. In every human activity,indeed,in Life,Timing is most most important. Political strategists call it “proactive approach”. That Nobody thought it fit for the President to have combined the Luncheon he had with the troops with the reception for the rescued boys, baffled me. It would have been the photoshoot of the Year! One can only imagine how the foreign Media, caught pants down, would have enthused. The New York Times(NYT), couldn’t stop itself, when it called the rescue and the reception, ” a rare success story”.

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4. The Federal Ministry of Aviation

Again and Again, the Federal Ministry of Aviation falls flat on its face. First, it was surprised that Nigerians wanted the airspace closed – like other countries did – at the onset of the Covid 19. It took weeks to mount checks at the Airports. Then, many Big men – scores of Members of the National Assembly, but, mostly House of Representatives members, refused to be tested( even ordinary temperature gauge. Then, the Ministry reluctantly

closed the airspace, but, allowed private, chartered flights. We heard of the altercation between the Hon Minister of Aviation and the Governor of Rivers. Unnecessary flexing of power. It cost lives and careers, I bet. Now, while many countries are closing their borders to flights from the UK, we left ours open. Was the Minister not aware that the British Embassy, closed its gates , even before the US, during the #EndSars Protests? I thought diplomacy entails equality and reciprocity. Now, it’s rather late. The UK variant of Covid 19 is here with us. Isn’t that what the Second Wave is all about? Truly, the Federal Ministry of Aviation hasn’t helped the Country and the Government of President Buhari.

4. The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
If truly a Ministry does NOT know it’s responsibilities, that Ministry is the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The Ministry is so large that it is choking on its workload. Maybe, the Federal Government must take a second look at the unwieldy Ministry. Unfortunately, instead of someone who knows what the President wants, we are saddled with Mrs Sadiya Umar Farouk. She believes the job is performed if one gets a table, the media lights, especially, the drowsy Nigerian Television Authority(NTA), and a couple of “journalists” waiting for the Press Release. The Ministry has so jumbled up Programmes that I wonder. It would have been better to have converted the numerous cash based programmes into one or two. Today, the Ministry has the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) – for the most vulnerable. This translates to rural women. Now, the Ministry has just introduced Rural Women Cash Grant( RWCG?). The N- Power failed because the participants were supposed to move to industries, etc. to become more useful to Society. The Ministry has coined a name for them – “exiting N-Power participants”. I hope in the New Year, Mr President will look at his Cabinet and flush out.

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I heard Lai Mohammed has been threatening the whole Country, with dire consequences, if they continue to criticize President Buhari. Leadership entails being aware of the welfare of the governed. As at now, the whole of the North East and virtually the whole of the North West is under siege. I find it strange that Mr Mohammed is saying we should not point out this serious and fatal dereliction of duty, by a Government, we voted in. I wouldn’t have bothered, but, the President had based his campaign on clearing insurgency and corruption. Almost 6 years down the road, we are still hearing jumbled, discordant and truly a very unsettled narrative. There was a time, 4 years back, that the Nigerian Army, staged a full parade to hand over the flag of Boko Haram to the President. Well, current happenings belie that bogus parade. In 1943, the German High Command, in frustration, brought out the ultimate solution to the irritant called Partizans. They surrounded the known enclaves( covering over 400km sq) and using all means, smoked them out.The needless death of soldiers and civilians should stop. Surround the 3 forests and set them on fire. With the Airforce hovering above, Boko Haram, will be history. Let me clear this point: Any body living in Sambisa or the other two Forests, is an enemy. Simple. You can’t be my friend and also my Enemy’s friend!

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There is nothing wrong with opening our land borders. But, there is plenty wrong with opening the borders, without conditions. Does the Honourable Minister of Finance and her high-powered Committee believe the Economy is the main consideration? Nigeria is surrounded by Francophone countries – and France is currently facing the strains of Covid 19. The Hon Minister does not think that these people can come in?

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I want to leave you with TWO must read, before the New Year. Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah’s A Nation in Search of Vindication. It is the Bishop’s Christmas Message to the Country. Here’s a teaser:” … cauldron of pain and a valley of dry bones.” His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Supreme Leader of Muslims in Nigeria, has talked himself hoarse, in trying to get Government to do something. Other Northern leaders – the ACF ( Arewa Consultative Forum), the NEF ( Northern Elders Forum),the Northern Governors Forum( NGF). All these leaders cannot be wrong ; AND Lai Mohammed and the President’s Advisers are right. The President must note that nobody will mention Lai Mohammed or Femi Adesina. They qualify as footnotes. This is NOT the first time, Bishop Kukah is talking to us. So, why are hackles up all over in Government? Anyway, it’s a short read. Longest 8 minutes. It will be worth your time.

The 2nd Must Read is a nugget by Professor Emmanuel Babafunso Sonaiya, An Ode To Small Things: A Valedictory Lecture. Here’s a teaser: “I have been thrilled to read about the wide application of new methods and procedures to the unraveling of the mystery of growth. Why do we grow? Can we remain without growing? What is true growth?” Please be curious… What does Professor Sonaiya think about ASUU? Shocking! The 12 minutes you will spend will be worth it. It is so rich that every profession is covered: Aspiring poultry farmer, teacher, vacillating ASUU member, parents and even university administrators.

Thanks for reading

Have a safe New Year. Covid is real.

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