Whatever Happened To Houdini’s Heirs…?

It took me all of one week to pen this title. I would have used Prof Peller ( our own homegrown magician). But, I reasoned: This Post is for an international audience. So, Houdini won.

Nigeria has this loveable knack for breeding Magicians : The more you see, the Less you understand. Quaint. Loveable but deadly like the rose flower.

And so, the Story continues.

Last week, the Nigerian Media circuits were alive with Two stories: Our First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, was flown abroad on “emergency medical evacuation”. As we tried to hold ourselves together, in fear, we were told, she was evacuated in a private jet – NOT an Air Ambulance! But, that’s not all, a few days later, she was back in the country, hale and hearty, railing about the need for better medical services, in Nigeria. I almost lost it: Why is this Lady complaining openly about our medical services? I thought her Husband is the President of Nigeria. I’m lost!

And then a few days later, the revered Mallam Mamman Daura, was also flown out,on emergency medical evacuation,also. Then, a day later, the President,was shown, speaking to the emergency evacuee, on phone. Hmm. Now, here’s the clanker. The Punch newspapers reported on the 30 August,2020, that both Mrs Buhari and Mallam, were now fully recovered. Madam is back.

…and Houdini’s Heirs sprout all over!

But, the niggling worry, for me, is: Why would someone leave a Throne Room – really, Mansions in the Sky – sequestered, fruit laden tables, worshipped; and head into quarantine, of one room? Doesn’t make sense to me; but, then, Houdini never made sense. See how he ended?

I have decided to change my subtitles from “postscript” to “Magana Jari ce” and for the lighter comments, to “gidan kashe ahu”. See ! I can also do a few sleight of the hand,too.

Magana Jari Ce

Why are conflicting reports coming in about the stimulus the Federal Government promised manufacturers and medium and small businesses, since April,2020, to help cushion the ravages of the Covid 19? The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said repeatedly that it has released millions, to the manufacturing sector, yet, on 10 August, 2020, the Daily Times screamer, was that manufacturers are yet to access CBN’s #1trillion Intervention Loan. So, almost FIVE months of Covid 19, who is telling the truth? Wai! Wai! Magana Jari Ce!

Gidan kashe ahu

When a university graduate or the HND holder becomes a” hewer of wood and fetcher of water”,by Mr Keyamo’s expansive, paternal requirement ( of public services) for the 774000 jobs@ #20k ( #60k or #20k?) By the way, three months have elapsed since the President gave the order; And when elite women, patronised by the Women Affairs Ministry, receive “palliatives” of wrappers and rice from the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.These “women” representing all our women, whom the great Sadiya Umar Farouq,the Hon Minister, described as”women are also vulnerable”; and the same Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, has unearthed 6000 “Displaced persons” in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), then , we must shake. How did 6000 people – displaced, homeless and penniless- travel from Bornu to Abuja?

and Houdini’s Heirs sprout…


Magana Jari Ce 2


Governor  Nasir el Rufa’i may not be sitting still.  In fact, he is busy. Otherwise, how did the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Airforce deploy Special Forces and units to Southern Kaduna? No. He is doing a lot to bring peace to Southern Kaduna; but, the physical is not enough…in a time of pain. In a time of loss. the relief materials are physical palliatives. The human soul needs that ethereal union with other souls- to show he’s not alone. So far, in the handling of the Southern Kaduna crises( springing up in different places), Mr El Rufa’i has displayed an almost inhuman aloofness and  abstraction. Sir, you CANNOT be consoling  me and be carrying a cudgel. The recent  peace between the Fulani and the Ham people, of Jaba Local Government, is an indicator that the “ordinary” people want to live in peace. True, we point at strangers,but, they live among us, unhurt. Those stoking the fire of “go back to your land” are being mischievous, spiteful and dangerous; especially those laden with looted money and have throughout their careers, pretended to be Hausa/Fulani,developing accents befitting a Kanawa; then losing their lofty perches, become tribal plus Christian champions! Woe and perdition on you!

Gidan kashe ahu 2

And the posturing by the Southwest Governors, pretending to be states in America,continues…they want to”reopen”. They want life to return to ” normal.” Ah! Gone. Those days are gone. If any Governor harbours aspirations of becoming President of Nigeria,in 2023, he should first govern his State well: This advice is to Mr El Rufa’i and Mr Fayemi.

Magana Jari Ce 3

Two totally unrelated events are happening in Benue State, simultaneously: Governor Samuel Ortom, a usually placid man, suddenly found voice in recent weeks – he wants the Federal Government to permit “well-meaning Nigerians” to own and protect themselves with the AK-47 AUTOMATIC Assault rifle. Without any condescension,has Mr Ortom ever fired a rifle? Ok. I guess by “well-meaning”, he meant those who can afford one. Currently, at black market price, it costs between #600k – #700k,I hear.Plus or minus,a few notes! Then, as we were struggling with the implications of his suggestion, he upped and threatened to “deal” with anybody who brings Myeti Allah’s “Vigilante” into Benue. Mr Ortom has brought in the well armed Livestock Guards, the Community policing, the Benue State Vigilante Group (BSVG)- distinct from the Federal Government operated Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN); and now, he’s calling for every “well-meaning” citizen, to strot around,logging an AK-47.
  Then, the 2nd event that will and MUST happen: The agitation for a Benue South Governor,in 2023. For 44 years, the Tiv have produced ALL the Governors. In fact,each of the three main Tiv groupings has produced a Governor. And the Tivs are supposed to share Benue State with the Idomas. Wai! Wai!

   ….Then, in America, if the toxicity of Trump’s campaign continues, will there be voters left ? As the killings of blacks continue, the silence of Mr Trump must be taken to be acquiescence!

Thanks for reading…

Kai! God’s Ways are truly Mysterious

and here we are staring at startling figures – of raw stealing, of death of Americans, like the scythe in ripe wheat Prairie fields – and more Nigerians going hungry; And our “experts” in full battle cry, tell us that the causes of insurgency and banditry are “poverty and unemployment”. Such bullshit! And the Naira( that once bouyant Nigerian currency that stood shoulder to shoulder with major World currencies) continues its unexplained dive. So, after two weeks of pondering, this up blog,myopinion-justbeingliman, makes a sally, into the soiled terrain, of lie telling and uninhibited grovelling. Why do wise,sane leaders, believe them?

The startling figures in our tabloids are frightening, not only in the degree of the death of decency but, in the near utter sense of unreality. I get these headaches, when I read newspapers. Here are a few excerpts:

– 808 kidnapped in 7 months and #96.4 million (Naira) paid as ransom. It’s a thriving business.

– regional security outfits with illegal arms, says Inspector General of Police

– “experts link insurgency, banditry to poverty and unemployment.

– Northeast Governors aware of increased recruitment drive by Boko Haram; and Masari( the Governor of Katsina State) says “informers” are even worse than bandits.

President Buhari seeks the support of traditional rulers,in the fight against insurgency and banditry. Sounds like an afterthought!

N-Power Batch C – more than 5 million apply

– over #2.5trillion Naira ploughed into Nigerian road projects since 2010(?)

– and on and on… the unending headlines of the deliberate sense of Government helplessness,in the FACE OF CORRUPTION…

It’s so difficult to know where to start: As we were railing against the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs’ handling of the Batches A and B of the N-POWER project, the Hon Minister, clothed in stubbornness and Unreason, decided to go ahead and ask Nigerians to apply for the Batch C. Her reason: Of over 5 hundred thousand participants in the Batches A and B Programmes, about 100,000( one hundred thousand) had set up their own businesses. She failed to tell us, how many of these businesses are still alive; she failed to tell us how many were assisted by her Ministry, to get loans – from any source; she failed to tell us how many were absorbed by different Organisations, a principal pillar of the N-Power Programme; AND, more importantly, she failed to tell us the TRUE terminal date of each Batch. Are Batches A and B, still being paid? Are Batches A and B still being owed their “stipends”? What IS the endpost of the Programme – self-independence, a middle reserve pool for our industrial take off or just a political stunt?

Then, we move to the touchy issue of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and other “palliatives”,in these unceasing days of CoronaVirus: I hear there’s now a full fledged Department in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, called the Conditional Cash Transfer Department.So, Madam, despite the loud, ear deafening cries,by Nigerians, you went ahead with the CCT project and payments? You forget one important fact: Every tenure. Every appointment. Every person has a Divinely determined terminal date. PMB’s tenure will surely end; and you will be called to account. Forget about EFCC, DSS or whatever Agencies, you called “to witness”the transparency of payments and other operations of your Ministry. Forget all those hacks hired to paint you as the Saint of Cleanliness. Ah! At the end of your tenure, these writers and PR Consultants, will be no where to be seen. So many others before you have travelled that road. I wonder Diezani Allison Madueke is thinking about those “glorious” writers. Do you think that Nigerians will not ask you how the”wrappers” that you gave to the Ministry of Women Affairs constitute ” palliatives”. Amazing naivety.

Then, these : I have not being able to wrap my head around the Magu-Malami feud; the Akpabio-Nuneih- NASS- NDDC matter; and the “unending Boko Haram war”.1st, what is the judicial status of the Justice Salami “Committee”, “panel” or “review body”? I ask, because, everyday, I hear the “Presidency” has added new terms. 2ndly, the “Presidency” is “dissolving”, is “constituting” or is “suspending’. I think these are not only wishful acts, but, a stupid way of solving a simple problem! Mr Akpabio is alive; the “contracts” documents are ,I presume,still available; the Interim Board, the Permanent Board and other personalities, involved, are still there. So, why all the shifting sands? Suspend Akpabio. Suspend the Permanent Secretary of the Niger Delta Ministry. Appoint a neutral Judge to sieve the facts from the fiction. This is also what I expected the Government to have done in the Malami-Magu Issue. So, clear cut. Why is Malami not suspended? Even a dunce knows that ONE person Cannot “conspire”. If the Federal Government can suspend the ProChacellor and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, I do not see why both Mr Malami and Chief Akpabio are still in office! There shouldn’t be any action or inaction that can send negative vibes!

And the Naira continues to slide…

And then, to our beloved America: I wrote once in this arena, that, once a Nation starts failing, nothing can stop its slide: If what is happening in America,is in any African Country – O! the telling, sympathetic nods and smirks. Ordinary CoronaVirus, America cannot control! Ordinary palliatives, America cannot even distribute well. At least, the PTF-COVID19 and Dr Ihekweazu are giving us, not only daily briefings And holding down CoronaVirus, but, also,even, if limply, blaming the State Governors, for some of the lapses! In America, Mr Trump hasn’t spoken to his Chief Infectious Diseases expert, Dr Fauci, for weeks. Neither, has he spoken to Mrs Pelosi, the Speaker of the House – which controls the money, for months. Shows even ” the best” falter!

And from one doddering fool to another doddering fool. I’m beginning to believe the Americans have become so buried in their numerous fantasy worlds, they have lost reality. I can’t even begin to imagine an America under Mr Biden! Jokingly, ask him what is the first name of Senator Harris, his running mate. I concede that Biden may “dodder”, but, it’s better than “senile dementia”.You know who!

Did I make a little sense out of our crazy World? I think we can change it a little – for the better.

Thank you for reading

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.

Postscript

  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.

 

Who Did mtchew?

The main topic on the social media circuits has been the Courts, the Circus, the puppeteers and Oshiomole and Obaseki and all matters in between. Sounds much. Not really? The three or four videos of Mr Oshiomole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) extolling the divine virtues of Godwin Obaseki, present Governor of Edo State, who he singlehandedly installed, in the first place; another of him, Oshiomole, looking for adjectives to describe how bad,evil and corrupt Pastor Ize-Iyamu was. Then, in a very professional trapeze summersault,now, in 2020, he proved beyond all reasonable doubts,his mastery. I can see where the deftness that destroyed Atiku Abubakar’s sleight of hand, in 2019, came from. Anyway, the cheerleaders changed uniform. For those who didn’t/ don’t know what happened in 2019, the Presidential Election was slated for 16 Feb. There were muffled rumours that the Atiku Abubakar Camp had perfected a plan, known as the Dubai Strategy. If it was true and I have no reason to doubt it, for in March, 2019, we had a sampler of what would have happened at the national level. In several States,among them Benue State, the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku’s Party, swept every Local Government, every ward and every polling booth. In some cases, the over voting exceeded 200%. The incumbent Governor won with a landslide – literally. Then, the greatest heist in political history took place: The genius got the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Election. It took the nation by surprise. And it left the Dubai Strategy in tatters. The rest is history. The Nigerian Judiciary for whatever reason,bought sackcloth and a tipper load of ash. In this Edo matter, the courts have given over five injunctions, postponement and all types of orders and motions. Reeling, the combatants are flailing. And on the social media circuit, we lap it all up.
  As I wrote in my blog in April,2019, Is Nigeria Dying 2, there are only two Political Parties in Nigeria. Stretched a bit, one can say one Political Party: Apart from President Buhari and handful of people like Asiwaju  Bola Tinubu,all other parties  and their principal officers were groomed and nurtured in the PDP. That a Party in power has behaved like the opposition,is a telling confirmation of my assertion. In normal circumstances,can you fight your mother? I’m truly surprised that the various ex-PDP chieftains, have stuck with the President till now. Most are moles and are itching to ” go back to base”. Otherwise, why would a “godfather” lose even his polling  unit, no matter what ?  It’s a clear insult. So, the Circus that Oshiomole brought to town, included the dancers, Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu. And can they dance? The only problem is that this macabre dance could spell the loss of another APC state,along with the House of Assembly, the 3 Senators and the 4 -5 HoR. And watching from nearby, is Ondo State. Quite rare for the Deputy Governor to abandon ship. Of course,  the APC “purists” claim “it’s better to lose the State,than tolerate indiscipline.” My friends, the mere act of making such pronouncement is indiscipline. If the opposition is complaining. If other Party members in the State are complaining, then, your “man” must be doing something wrong….

                   Who did mtchew?

Postscripts And Snippets

                    I

Those  dance steps in the Villa. I said last week that since the President had taken action, nobody should stoke the fire. I misjudged the fire. Apparently, the blacksmiths have other ideas. Just this morning, I read in Queen Amina’s Blog, (she, gleefully) wrote that the ADC to the First Lady and the “ousted” Security Detail have been restored in full glory, with cymbals and klaxons. They were cleared of all security breaches. Since Mr Sabiu Yusuf, the PA to the President,and “cause” of all the furore, did not die nor hospitalised, I  accept the monologue that the Security Detail only “fired into the air”, to scare him. After receiving the beating of his life( Queen Amina cited).
Now here is a correction of Mr Farooq Kperogi who nearly awarded himself medals for “correctly” telling us a deep secret about the Villa: a “gun fight” implies an exchange of fire. Was Sabiu Yusuf armed with a gun?

                       II

This is for all those who fight “battles” using the Press/Media. I give you free advice: It is dangerous to exploit the media – social and traditional. Those thinking that they are  “gaining” or “going to gain”,by sponsoring news about the Villa should be careful. It usually backfires. Already little hints are coming out about the source of some of the stories. And it is not savory at all.  The Idoma people of Benue State have a telling advice: Never come between a man and his wife,even if they’re “quarreling”. They always settle in their room. That jobless “Professor” granting an interview about the rightness of the First Lady’s action. Ahap! Nobody will take you seriously, servile fool!

                           III

A big thank you to the NCDC and the PTF-COVID19. You’re doing very well despite the initial hiccups. I’m happy that the two bodies have found  their stride. I want to advice the PTF-COVID19 and the NCDC not to allow themselves to be drawn into political issues. The NCDC has staff in every State and the FCT  and should reemphasize the need to avoid “political guidance”. The PTF-COVID19 on the other hand must enforce the interstate travel ban. I understand the border checkpoints have supplanted the international borders as the new posting of choice for the security agencies. Also, the Minister of Aviation is under the PTF-COVID19,in these times of CoronaVirus. Why have our airspace become  so open for domestic travel? Strange that the Minister is just giving approvals ANYHOW. Read the most nauseating “official” letter from the CEO, Executive Jets to the Hon Minister. In an official letter he did not mention the “judge” who chartered a plane. Yet, he was granted permission? Then, when the judge got”a lift” in another charter, the Airline decided to take “Babatunde Fashola” to Abuja. Such asinine excuse.

                             IV

Twice I have begged the President that Mr Emefiele does not have the panacea for the Nigerian currency. Recall that recently, after pointing out the stellar qualifications of Mr Emefiele, I begged the President that what we need now is a troubleshooter . A gra gra economist. One who has walked our streets.  One has walked our lives. Not one conditioned to the hallowed, sedate banking atmosphere of the USA and Europe. In these times,there’s no going by the book. In March 2020, the CBN put out a circular virtually collapsing the multiple exchange rate. It was applauded. The IMF was happy, but, Bloomberg was not. Seems as if Mr Emefiele preferred  the counsel of Bloomberg. These are not times for caution. Our chances of maximizing our local skills and resources are slipping away. The Covid 19 provided us with the opportunity to achieve part of Vision20:2020. Even Mr Emefiele if he reads his “goals” on assumption of office, he will collapse in tears. In Nigeria, when you give a person a job to do, you must supervise him. Everyone claims it is his share of the “National Cake”. Mr President, our CBN Governor is lost. He just cannot get a grip on the Economy. Maybe, you should appoint a square peg into a round hole: On the rising demand for foreign exchange, Nairametrics.com wrote,” the CBN maintains that the perceived demand cannot be substantiated as the (global) lockdown induced by the Covid 19 pandemic suggest demand should be low due to travel restrictions and drop in economic activities.” In fact, recently in an address at an investors conference organised by Citibank, Mr Emefiele said that he has not seen any documentation from businesses that need dollars. Mr Governor, what is happening is typical front loading.

                                V

        ….And in foolish, tottering America…
Racism continues unabated and openly.
Did you sing the great song, “come and see American wonder” ? This question is for Nigerians only growing up in the late 60s and 70s: If a traveling salesman or magician or one of those powerful men came to our street, the whole street would burst into song. In Jos, when the weightlifter, Killi- we Nwachukwu was sighted, we all burst into song. And among the elders,if someone told a “big lie”, they started shouting,”come and see American wonder. Come and see American wonder”. So, today, I burst into this old song,for right before my eyes and the rest of the World, the FBI had told a big lie: The noose had been hanging on Bubba Wallace’s garage door, even before, he was assigned the garage. Ah! NASCAR garages are busy places and all these years, that large, long noose was hanging there and nobody noticed it.  Only the FBI with a special camera sighted it.Come and see American wonder. Come and see American wonder.

     Thank you for reading

and stay safe.wear a mask outside. maintain safe distance…and don’t believe Trump and others: CoronaVirus is real!

“Yes,Mr President. No, Mr President. Certainly, Mr President…”

Suddenly, there’s a profusion of unprecedented servility in the Polity. Every political office holder can no longer take decisions on his own: Everyone now claims,”the President has authorised”, ” the President has directed”. And all of us now, in this Season of Servility, have become “babies” – “Yes,Mr President”,” Certainly, Mr President”. But, I have a very, very uncomfortable feeling. This may sound alarmist, but, is there a conspiracy to pin all “decisions” on President Buhari? Why is every appointee so defensive ? When I was in the Military, it was WRONG for a subordinate officer or personnel, to address others, in relaying a message that, “CO say” or Commander say”. All levels hold a command; so, the relayed order must change to “I want this Policy implemented immediately”. The President gives the broad outline of what he wants. It is left for the relevant MDA or official to put flesh into the assignment. Thus, since 2016, when President Buhari set out his dream Programmes of lifting “100 million Nigerians out of Poverty”, it was left for the different MDAs to bring the dream to fruition. Now, in 2020, sadly, as Churchill once crazily said, “… you cannot leave the business of war to the soldiers,..” So, honestly, we, not only the onlookers but the direct beneficiaries of these Programmes, MUST step in. That is why I am pleased that Festus Keyamo,SAN, the Hon Minister of Labour is going about the “crazy” idea of employing 1000 “unskilled, itinerant workers” with maturity,wide consultation and a listening ear. He is a Nigerian and knows that this is planting season – and there won’t be “itinerant workers”. He is looking at the whole idea. I will now add this idea: When we were in secondary school in the 1970s, the Ministry of Agriculture had this “agriculture extension scheme”. The “unskilled workers included farmers resting after they had completed their own planting, primary school leavers. At our level, we were “supervisors”. The university undergrads were “coordinators”. Then, graduates were begged to take up jobs. Alas!

Honestly, nobody likes to see his Government have mud over its Face and body. After the fiasco with the unplanned, scary RUGA project, one would have expected that the President’s “Special Advisers”, Ministers and friends, would have ADVISED themselves to pull in all ongoing Programmes, for review and fine-tuning. We are talking about lasting legacy. To his credit, since President GE Jonathan knew he could not or did not have the courage to continue with President Yar’Adua’s 7Point Agenda, he silently jettisoned it. As our people say, ” if you don’t see a visitor in your parlour, he has gone back to his own house.” President Yar’Adua’s Agenda died a “natural” death.

Postscript

I am hoping and dreaming that the following Programmes of the Federal Government are going to be placed on hold, until proper revisions, reviews and lasting surgical operations are carried out:

1. Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) and it’s equally unprepared baby, the Modified HGSFP;

2. Conditional Cash Transfer and it’s Social Register;

3. Employment of 774000 “unskilled,itinerant workers”;

4. N-Power Programme;

5. Sure-P;

6. CBN Loan to SMEs and Households (?)

7. CACOVID proposed projects.

As a “fisi” or “gyara”, the President should urgently reshuffle his Cabinet. He has so many “excuses” ( he doesn’t need any,but,) to drop many: a) why are private and nonessential planes flying in our airspace?;b) why is the FCT so dirty and beggars everywhere?;c) why is the Labour Ministry allowing ASUU to keep “messing” them up? There are alternatives, like CONUA. Imagine the ASUU National President doesn’t know about the benefits of virtual learning. Ha!;

5. What is the job of the Ministry of the Niger Delta? And what does NDDC do?

6. Is there a Minister in the Sports Ministry?

7. Where is the Education Minister? Deskbound? Promote the Minister of State to full Minister. He has ideas and seems restricted by his position.

8. On and on, the litany of sleeping, feet-on-the table ministers…

Postscript 2

There is nothing to say about the security incident at the Presidential Villa last week. Thank God, the President has swiftly dealt with the gross misdemeanor and indiscipline. Such “raynin wayo” must never be allowed to rear it’s head again. The ADC to the First Lady should be severely reprimanded. Mere deployment is like a congratulatory slap on the back. As I said earlier, that ugly chapter is over. No need to stoke the dying embers. The President asserted himself. Thank you, Sir. Mallam Garba Shehu’s Press Release was a masterly display of mature journalism. It’s objectivity was a calm salve, as things were. I commend him.

Reminder

The greatest legacy a leader can leave for posterity, is the one that affects the mind. It’s indelible. Today, Tomorrow and Forever, PMB, GMB or whatever you choose to call President Buhari, he INSTILLED in us the Queue culture. It’s a lasting legacy. After all, the politicians and “elite” of the Southeast are not even grateful for the 2nd Niger Bridge and other infrastructures; yet, we all know the SE gave him the lowest votes. They are lucky! Me? Hmm…

Thank you for reading.

60 years: About Time To Name The Fathers Of The Nation

Introduction

Every Nation has a Father or Fathers,whose role in the growth of the Nation,was instrumental in shaping its Future and guiding its Present. Nigeria has had a fractured history, from 1960 to ate – and is only held together by the skill and magic of a few men, who ought to, and MUST be honoured as Fathers of the Nation.



My Choices


On this 29th May, 2020 (CE), Nigeria’s new Democracy Day, and the 5th Anniversary of President Buhari’s Presidency, I didn’t want to leave tradition,so, I’m writing an assessment of Nigeria’s former Heads of State and I have SELECTED 3, who in my Opinion, are the Fathers of the Nigerian Nation. These THREE have Distinquished themselves in National Development, National Consciousness Growth and Infrastructure.You may not like my choice,but, in the deepest, truthfulness of your heart, you agree with me. This is in order of preference:


1) Muhammadu Buhari. If Muhammadu Buhari did not do anything for Nigeria again, he established his Legacy in his first coming. Although, his first coming was brief and short-circuited by those who feared change,he established in our National and Collective Psyche, the Queue culture. No longer were Mighty Igor and Gra-gra,the order of the day. He FORCED us to respect the dictum,”first come,first served”. Thirty six years after, we still “queue”. We learned that if you steal, if you THIEF the common wealth, you will be caught and you will be punished. That “fear” was instilled in us. That is why you see so many “rich” Nigerians SICK. Methought,wealth, no matter,how acquired will bring peace and happiness. Not in Nigeria. Alas,No! Now we see our wealthy citizens in wheelchairs, in crutches,in hospital beds. The new refrain is,”I’m sick.” Some go to the courtrooms with pillows and standby ambulances. The fear of Buhari did that. And, truly, they are SICK.
Then, in this his second coming now,as civilian President, Buhari, now old and infirm – the sad cliché,”the mind is willing,the body is weak” comes to mind. Yet, he has put in place, infrastructures that have cemented his place in Nigerian history. He has achieved what ALL the previous Presidents, collectively, COULDN’T. It’s a litany of unbelievable achievements, including the most difficult for us, humans, forgiveness. He FORGAVE the Southeastern Zone – the Igbos. Twice, they rejected him. Yet, with no more tenure at stake, he has gifted them fine roads, the 2nd Niger Bridge and the railway. In his tenure alone,he has had over 2000 thieves jailed…and counting… He stands head and shoulders above all others. For the first time, we see a man who is care less about the adverse comments of no gooders,by completing abandoned projects.

2. General Yakubu Gowon.  General Yakubu Gowon became military Head of State at the young age of 32 years. Yet, in the three years of the Civil War,he matured into an international statesman. He came to power in crisis. He reigned in crisis. If for nothing,the entire country,but most especially the Igbos – and the South South -must always remember Yakubu Gowon’s forebearance. His historic magnanimity cemented his place as Nigeria’s 2nd Father of the Nation. Gowon’s kindness is unparalleled in human history. Fact checks: 1. After the American Civil War,1865, it took several decades for a Southerner (from the Confederacy) to become ELECTED US President, 2. And 75 years after the 2nd World War,both Germany and Japan do not have standing armies. Neither are they Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council. A befitting punishment for the wilful killings and the great pain and misery, they put the whole world. General Gowon broke all precedents and declared,”No Victor,No Vanquished.” He hurt so many of the Hawks in the Military by absorbing the “returnees”. The Nigerian Nation is eternally grateful to him. He sacrificed a few for the peace of the many. He held Nigeria together.

 

3. Olusegun Obasanjo. General Olusegun Obasanjo remains as influential in Nigerian affairs,as he was,when he burst on the Nigerian scene in 1976. A rotund Colonel, with intelligent eyes. And he was intelligent and he was smart. A rare combination. He was a child of necessity,like Yakubu Gowon. Like Muhammadu Buhari. They appeared when the Nigerian Nation was in dire straits. And needed the healing hands of a Magician. Obasanjo came with Steel hands wrapped in woollen gloves. Obasanjo represents the Conscience of the Nation. Short in physical achievements, Obasanjo has twice been dug up and twice he has sown a seamless gown of National unity. Like him. Love him. Hate him. Obasanjo remains the only human being who knows how to rattle us. Us, the whole Nigeria. At the time of military upheaval ( 13 Feb,1976),the entire nation quaking, Obasanjo was “selected” as Head of State. Notwithstanding his initial tears, he removed his Steel hands from the woollen gloves and “quietened us”.Then, in 1999, with the Nation on the brink again, With almost Divine guidance, the Military and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) put together an Election. Obasanjo WON. He had to. He calmed nerves immediately. For giving us himself in dire times, the Nation is everlastingly grateful to him And that’s why I pick him as the 3rd Father of the Nigerian Nation.

Postscript
The so called “poem” by Jolayemi, a “journalist” from Kwara State, about Alhaji Lai Mohamed, the Information Minister, is a telling confirmation of a nationally held view, though not voiced,that each Nigerian tribe, especially the Big Three, has a unique way of introducing a newborn to the world. An introduction that is expected to last a lifetime. Southeast. Could the child’s introduction be a wad of freshly minted currency? Could it be that in the South South, a child is introduced to a hefty tot of ogogoro? In the North. Could it be true that the child hears whispered, the Shahada and the Hadith of Manners? The Shahada is the eternal declaration that “there’s no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Messenger.” The Hadith of Manners is (paraphrased): The Prophet (pbuh) said,” It is one of the greatest sins to abuse one’s parents.” The Messenger (pbuh) explained,” he abuses the father of somebody,who in return, abuses the former’s father; he then abuses somebody’s mother. The person in return abuses his mother ( Al-Bukhari and Muslim). Is it true that in the Southwest, the newborn hears whispered insults, curses  and abuses?
Mr Jolayemi, may come from Kwara State, but, I bet his soul is Southwest. I bet he was weaned like Femi Fani Kayode. Like Peter Fayose. Grand masters in the Art of Insult.
So, take note. Jolayemi has even dug himself into prison. If he is relying on  fickle and faceless Social Media denizens, then, he will rot in prison. Does he have proof of Alhaji Lai Mohamed’s “crimes”? Is it not ABSOLUTE recklessness to insult the Hon Minister of Humanitarian Affairs?  Rarely, do we, Nigerians, insult a woman. Can he substantiate the allegations?



Postscript 2
And in America,the Nigerian Youth’s Dreamland, the President,Mr Trump,holds to sanity with the most tenuous of grips. His “flippancy” on  the angry protests about the “lynching in broad daylight”(Rev Jesse Jackson) of George Floyd, a black man and the deaths from COVID-19 is frightening. Is he for real?

Thank you for reading.

Before All Our Gods and Ancestors

We Demand for immediate implementation from President Buhari……….

In our last Post, we “correctly predicted” that incumbent Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, will win re-election for a 2nd four year term: It did not need a soothsayer or the German oracle, to see where millions of Nigerians will vote. The surprise was that Atiku Abubakar, whose reputation dragged behind him, won so many votes. Where did these votes come from? Or could Nigerians, in spite of all the name calling and as The New York Times, joining the taunting crowd called Atiku, “corruption-stained competitor”- have copied the Americans, in trying to vote in Mr Atiku, with all his “sins”?

So, while waiting for Atiku Abubakar to go to court; and while waiting for May 29, Swearing In Ceremony of Mr. Buhari, we join other bloggers, newspaper columnists, gossips, amebos, of all colorations,; and Mr. Atiku, whom we heard  presented the National Peace Committee, a number of Demands, to forward to Mr Buhari. Strangely, but not surprising, we heard the main Demand by Mr Atiku, was that President Buhari should “unfreeze” all accounts of “opposition” politicians. Quite a tall order, considering that the definition of “opposition” in Nigeria is as vague as the blanket, undefined, childish and belligerent demand, Two questions: 1) Is Mr Atiku in a position to make demands, of any sort? I thought that the only option available to him is to go to court, after all, he is representing Nigerian voters, 2) Did the National Peace Committee, on its own ask Mr. Atiku to make the “demands”?

So, since this is a season of Demands, we, hereby call on ALL Our Gods And Ancestors, to bear witness as, we place our Demands before President Buhari:

Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Niger Delta Amnesty Programme and Niger Delta Ministry. The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) was conceived with utmost good intentions but, with the passage of time, it has become obsolete ,Wasteful and a drainpipe for unrestrained corruption, Was it not NDDC that a certain Managing Director gave a Juju man, the frightening sum of a hundred million Naira, to ensure he is never removed?

The Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Again, the initial conception was noble. But, is it still noble? In its15 years in operation, one wonders at how billions, in all currencies of the world, were spent on “training” rascals, clowns and those who have never held a gun, but, fall into the nebulous category of “militants”. With the creation of the Ministry of the Niger Delta, one had hoped that the NDDC and the Amnesty Programme would be scrapped outright, no such luck.

For God’s sake, how did the asinine idea for a Niger Delta Ministry get the green light? We see all the figures spent, being spent and the unbelievable achievements, in billboards, posters and in sponsored television documentaries. And nothing on the ground, Have the Ogonis and other badly damaged communities been cleaned and rehabilitated? NO! We see former “warlords” like the buffoon, Asari Dokubo, flaunting his criminality in our faces. He has the courage to drive in a convoy on the streets of Abuja. IMAGINE a rehabilitated Abubakar SHEKAU, driving in a Tundra, on the streets of Abuja! Just imagine!

Our Demands: Shut down the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme. Do a comprehensive accounting of all monies spent, a list of all beneficiaries, where they went for training, the course they did and where they are presently employed. This way, we take judicial notice of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and other pretenders to militancy and defence of the Niger Delta; and since they are armed political groups, they must be proscribed. 2ndly, we DEMAND the scrapping of the NDDC.

Bornu State Amnesty Programme For Boko Haram: What is happening to the much vaunted Amnesty Programme for Boko Haram fighters, who “repented”? We understand they underwent “detoxification”, de-briefing (whatever the Army meant!) and were released to the Bornu State Government. We understand that since these” ex-fighters” we were released, they have neither being gainfully employed, nor, in fact, rehabilitated, in any way. The result has been disastrous. We gathered that these young men have mostly found their way back to Boko Haram camps, in their thousands. If this true – and I have no reason to doubt it – then, the efforts at absorbing these boys, are wasted. Compared to the Niger Delta experiment, the Bornu effort was a fiasco. It should be suspended and re-packaged.

Our Demand: Do comprehensive vetting of both the Civilian JTF and the “repentant” Boko Haram fighters. Deport non-Nigerians. Sort out those the Nigerian Army, the Police and other para military services can absorb; including those to be absorbed into the various vigilante services. The essence, like the Niger Delta experiment, is to absorb them, gainfully, into Society. Unlike their Niger Delta compatriots, who have educational advantage, these ex-Boko Haram fighters or their opposites, the Civilian JTF, have no western education, but, must be absorbed to bring peace. AND, as for the CIVILIAN JTF, we make special case, for their immeasurable contribution to national security. For their patriotism, we STRONGLY DEMAND ADEQUATE AND LONG LASTING COMPENSATION for them. What was/is the contribution of the Niger Delta militants – mostly rascals, school drop-outs, area boys and wharf rats; yet, during the selection process, this particular category, who have no educational qualification, were put on monthly allowance, For the past 15 years… and counting? Doing Nothing: Not even sweeping the streets of Port Harcourt and Yenogoa. Doing Nothing! And in between serving as thugs, kidnappers, bunkerers and armed robbers. In all honesty, while the idea of calming the “restiveness” in the Niger Delta was good, I believe the necessary thorough investigations were not done, otherwise, the brains behind the “agitation” would have been known. They are not ghosts. Isn’t Asari Dokubo, ONE OF THEM? Aren’t there retired generals advising them? Please. In this new dispensation, we urge you to clean our country, Mr President. As you said recently, you intend to leave a befitting country for generations unborn. Be a man.

Revisit President Jonathan’s Constitution Review Committee Report.  Although a large number of “notable” and “respectable” Nigerians have advocated “restructuring”, I found that not one of them really can explain what he wants “restructured”. It is therefore, time for President Buhari to revisit the Report of the Constitution Review Committee set up by President Jonathan. Nigeria CANNOT afford to throw away or put such a Report on the backburner. Irrespective of method of selection or appointment one must say that these men and women are among the best in their chosen field, in the world: The Committee recommended the creation of a 54 state structure. This recommendation could only have come out of the inability of the Committee to define restructuring; so, they took a simplistic, noncontroversial option: Creation of a 54 state nation. Create more states in the six geopolitical zones, Everybody is happy, except the “restructuralists”.We believe that President Buhari who has lived in Nigeria all his life, ought to and should know, that the tensions of co-existence, more than oil, land or trifles like appointments are responsible for the national restiveness. Check out the tensions in the following states; Benue – the Tivs because of their numerical strength, will never allow the Idoma to be Governor. In Nassarawa State, the EGGONS, though numerically more than the “immigrant” Hausa, are less well connected. Their educational and numerical advantage come to NOUGHT. In Enugu State, the agitation for a Wawa State has been a recurring decimal, in Nigerian political agitation. The protagonists of the Wawa State, are in all honesty, aliens, in the scheme of things. In the STATE; In Kaduna State, create a state from Southern Kaduna.

Our Demand: We demand that the issue of state creation should be one of the first thorns, to pull out of the toe of the nation. We recommend the creation of additional FOUR states.

State Police: With all apologies, I consider the recommendation for a State Police, as the most idiotic in the whole Report.  A State Police! Laughable BUT tragic and downright, a bomb. God! What a State Governor will do with a state police! In Benue State, the formation of a Livestock Guard, reportedly armed with AK-47 rifles, has frightened people. At what point can a Governor order an attack on any opposing community?

Our Demand:  THROW OUT the crazy suggestion. Can you imagine a clash between a state police and the Nigeria Police?

Revenue Sharing Formula: Whatever drove the Constitution Review Committee to recommend a new national Revenue Sharing Formula, I believe they should have been bold enough to reduce the share of the Local Governments.

Our Demand: Based on experience at the Local Government level, in which nothing is done, we recommend that Mr President presents a bill to the National Assembly, with the following amendments: Federal Government 45%; States 35% and Local Government 20%.

Reduction of Political Parties: Definitely, there should be a way to contain madness. How can a serious country have 97 Political Parties?

Our Demand: Reduce the political parties in Nigeria to 2. As at now, if we are honest with ourselves, we would see that a Nigerian politician is either in PDP or APC. The latter being the disgruntled offspring of the former.

            I want to congratulate Nigerians for a very successful and peaceful Election I had hoped that vote buying in any form will disappear; but, to my chagrin, the quantity of money on display in these Elections shocked me. Since all parties tried to outspend each other, especially the two biggest parties, I must ask: Where did all the money go? Since 2007, this is the Election, in which our ordinary folks got the lowest amounts from the different parties and aspirants. Yet, we saw, we heard of bullion vans. So, where is ‘ze’ (sic) money? At the Polling unit, my mother, before casting her vote, asked me, if I was with her own share, I had no answer, because I had not seen any money. But, I ask in pain: Will our political system in Nigeria ever change? What legacy are we , the elders, leaving for our kids- ballot snatching, killing our opponents, burning of electoral materials, and turning other peoples’ children, into thugs? I shed tears. I SHED TEARS…And so, I put our demands to re-elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, BEFORE ALL our Gods…And Men, among whom are those who aspire to deity ship.  

POSTSCRIPT

 This is a poem that my son, Mohammed Liman, wrote on the spur of the moment, when he met a woman, rumored  to have used two of her grown up children, to replace her, in death(ritually or in the coven?) :

Is this the cost of immortality?

Is this the cost of immortality?

That I must sacrifice all I love

But should I have lost so much

For so little a fairytale

When I myself know the truth

When I close my eyes I am

Haunted by those I would have needed

most

But what a life I now leave

To be remembered as a wicked parent

When I will truly pay for ALL

And is this how my life will end?

A wicked old soul on a chair.

 

The Concept, Misconceptions And Stubbornness About The Home Grown School Feeding Programme

Concept

The very idea of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) has its roots in many (then) Benue Plateau State schools ( and I understand in several Northern States,then) in the late 1960s and into the 70s. The school was supposed to have a farm in which several crops were produced. Schools also kept poultry. In my school, the Government Secondary School, Kuru,under Mr John Gordon, a Briton, the School Farm,managed by Gata Mallam, was the source of much of the school’s vegetables,like okro,spinach, cabbages and lettuces, potatoes and maize.

So, when the Buhari Campaign talked about the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, one had expected,as indeed, I’m sure, many Nigerians of my age, that the good old times of “correct” school feeding was back. We applauded. Alas! Our idea was home grown, theirs was a surfeit of noodles, pasta; and, yes,home grown contractors, Consultant dieticians,mothers who are good cooks at home and disasters in the schools ( and implausibly, new millionaires – heralding the long train of misappropriation, percentages and Corruption.

Misconceptions

In any successful enterprise, there is and always must be a template. The importance of a template is to able to tuck in all factors, for the success of the undertaking. We have seen that there’s a clear difference between book savvy and commonsense. A person may have all the degrees and higher degrees( one ex-Nigerian Senator boasts of having 6 Masters degrees,yet,he lacks commonsense) and yet, does not have the commonsense to put together an idea. He depends on the workers at the site – and their contribution depends on their perception of the Oga. They choose to guide him or sabotage him; most especially if they see that he plans to block their means of making money. You can’t call the scale of thievery in the Nigerian Civil Service, Federal , State and Local Governments, “extra money”. No, sir. You can’t. They steal without compunction. One can’t really blame them, considering what Gen Murtala Mohammed did in 1975. In a moment of sheer insane brilliance ( reminiscent of Barr Wike’s demolition of two hotels for violating the lockdown), Gen Murtala swept away 3/4 of the cream of the Nigerian Civil Service ( and 3/4 of the flotsam and jetsam of the Civil Service,i.e. cleaners, messengers,etc). After the dust of suicides, wailings and hair tearing,at the unpreparedness of the “with immediate effect” order, clearly the remnants rallied and cleverly hiding themselves openly, they’ve being breeding millionaires and a few lucky ones have become billionaires. So, a new Minister or Commissioner or any new appointee is at the mercy of the Civil Servants. One is easily taken in by their servility. Their “docile” attitudes remind one of the Idoma( Benue South) proverb about a man finding a young scorpion by the roadside. The man remarked in great surprise,”who left this beautiful and innocent baby by the roadside? Come” And he lifted the baby scorpion to his waist. He had barely gone 5 metres when the scorpion stung him. “Ah!”,he exclaimed,” I see now why your mother abandoned you.” With that he flung the Scorpion into the bush. All new non career civil Service appointees, Beware. They lurk in the corner and they will bring you down!

The CoronaVirus pandemic has exposed the shaky, unpreparedness of most Ministries. Now, we have seen and are seeing the TOTAL unpreparedness of the new Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. AND, with all apologies to Mrs Sadiya Umar Farouq,the Minister, we are seeing the ABSOLUTE lack of planning and the customary “fire brigade” Nigerian attitude to issues.

What template did the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry put in place before the rushed distribution of palliatives and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT)?

It took the USA over TWO weeks to start mailing the cheques for Direct Payment of their CoronaVirus pandemic stimulus package. The President had declared a lockdown. Prior to that everyone was appraised of the impending action.

I want to say that President Buhari should be wary of all proclamations of readiness from all his appointees. After watching Mrs Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs on the NTA programme, Platform, titled, Covid 19 Palliatives: Challenges of the Distribution,three weeks ago, I realised the true nature of her Min istry’s unreadiness. As the Minister in charge of palliatives and all FG relief activities, she shocked me, when she said she had no idea of how much the private sector had contributed. Clearly, in exasperation, the NTA interviewer, reminded her of her being a member of that committee. She said that she is. But, insisted that she didn’t know how much had been contributed.

Nobody is after Mrs Farouq. Nobody can walk to Mr President and ask for her head. That will be too much to ask. But,many people criticize to get things done in the correct way. We do not and will not hesitate to remind our leaders that the CoronaVirus has come to dispose of the old ways:It will be self deception to think life and governance will be “as usual”. That’s wishful thinking. That a Minister can say that she visited some States and after discussions with the Governor made “symbolic distribution” of relief materials is failing to face reality of the changed “normal”. COVID-19 has not dawned on some people. Who cares about the klieglights? Those posturings are for the Stompbox(as Mr Trump is rightly doing, though at the wrong time and place). As things stand in Nigeria, nobody cares who brings relief materials- and his reasons.

Let me further correct the functionaries of the Humanitarian Affairs,Disaster Management and Social Development Ministry that they still wallow in deliberate misconception of the duties of the Ministry( in these times of the CoronaVirus):

1) A misconception of the true identity of the beneficiaries of the REVISED Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the transposition of the word,”vulnerable” and the phrase “poorest of the poor”. The President in his first Address to the Nation on the COVID-19, specifically used the word “vulnerable”. Nowhere in that Speech nor in the 2nd Address, did he use the phrase,”poorest of the poor.” Clearly,Mr President knew what he was saying. And a week ago,the Hon Minister stated that she had sent to the Ministry of Women Affairs a truck of rice( made of rice or conveying unspecified quantity of rice?), foodstuffs and hold your breath! “bales of Ankara”; and added the clincher,”women are VULNERABLE, too”. This is the basic misconception: The Hon Minister clearly knows the difference between vulnerable and the really insulting phrase,”poorest of the poor”. This can also be said of both leaders of the National Assembly. During a discussion with the Hon Minister,the Senate President referred to some people as “the most ordinary people”. So, one wonders why the officials of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry kept the refrain that the beneficiaries are the poorest of their communities. I got a Facebook “clarification” from a fellow, who said his Company was contracted to handle the compilation of the much vaunted Social Register ( the Holy Grail of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry). Although, rumours have it that that job was in millions of Naira, I could not draw out the fellow. (Maybe, that was what the Minister meant when she said, laconically they used vendors). The man also said that the compilation was done with officials of Local Governments and knowledgeable elders in each community. The Hon Minister corroborated this in her interview on NTA. Wrong parameters. Wrong resource persons. As I stated in an earlier Post, weeks ago, I come from a village, Opialu, in Okpokwu LGA of Benue State. The village has NINE (9) village heads. I’ve being trying to get the “elders” the team spoke with – and gave them the names(?) of our poorest of the poor. Must be “young” elders.

Although the CCT has not reached all LGAS in Benue and over 25 States, One feels there was no MAD RUSH to start paying the CCT nor the distribution of foodstuffs as palliatives. Why?

a) the twenty thousand naira (#20k) to each beneficiary in the Social Register, should have been split to two households;

b) the food palliative should have been given alongside;

c) the payment of cash left the Ministry wide open to suspicions and questions of its integrity.

d) The Minister must ramp up plans for a National Food Bank and a National Meat Reserve. These are necessary for the following reasons:

i) While many zones have grain in the food staple, grains are more widely used in the North. We must, therefore, stock up on yams, potatoes,ccocoyam, wateryam, in the major producing States.

ii) if you paint a scenerio in which the Fulani herdsmen and their umbrella body decide to withdraw their cows; or an epidemic sweeps their herds,God Forbid, the entire Nation will be left without meat.

As it is, the damage is rectifiable. The Minister has said that the CCT would be digitised. Meaning, I assume use of BVN. The Minister clearly has an idea of what to do: In the NTA interview, she struggled against the prepared answers, to establish her own personality. She should shrug off the “Sabi Sabi” civil servants. For instance, I didn’t know, and definitely many Nigerians, didn’t know that,in addition to the additional One Million beneficiaries that the President announced,there is an additional One Million,to be funded by the Social Protection Donor Group,of the United Nations. The interviewer 10à as visibly shocked as myself,at the disclosure. So, here we are talking about almost Five Million beneficiaries. Kai! Hajia,gaskiya,ba ki kiyowta ba! And Nigerians are cursing Mr President. Why? Madam, you MUST sack or redeploy so many of your ranking advisers. You said the Social Register was produced in 2016. It’s long overdue for review.

Disorganizing the Social Ladder

The Ministry set out on the wrong foot,by fighting without pause, those who questioned the “dubious” Social Register. The President is the Final Oga and he categorically said,”vulnerable”. By giving the #20k to the 2.6million in your Social Register,who you said,are the “poorest of the poor”, you disorganized the “Social order”. The beneficiaries jumped over many on the Ladder; and can no longer be called “poorest”. So, since you’ve promoted them, there’s the need for a new SR. See the problem? To create a fairly equitable society, the distribution should be across the community. As we suggested before the impetuous,hasty and calculably wrong commencement of the CCT, the Ministry should have used the BVN,along with the National ID card to pay Nigerians. Now, the Minister has identified women as vulnerable. She has also accepted that Society is divided into urban and rural areas. She has been told that a measure of poverty is how much one loads his mobile phone. God! That’s so stupid! What if the person has two other lines?

Pitfalls of the home feeding programme

What makes the Presidential Taskforce to just stand by and allow the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to keep messing up. Just as the Minister has access to the President, so, does the PTF-COVID19. I thought the essence of the PTF-COVID19 is to advise the President on ALL issues to achieve success. To this end, knowing that the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) failed abysmally, there is the need to look at the following:

a) the Minister said each household will be given dry food ration worth #4600. What this means is that some households will get triple palliatives – the CCT, the Home feeding and the FG palliatives. Meanwhile, some families will not be able to access anything;

b) who brought the idea of dry ration? Have you bought semovita recently? Most are covered with weevil. Why not give the money to the family?;

c) the main Programme is called “school feeding”. Why are we “feeding” children at home? Would it not be more acceptable to pay every Nigerian with a BVN, #20k per household? Virtually every Nigerian has a bank account. In most Nigerian villages, due to the numerous social programmes, every household has an account holder. Meanwhile, it’s impossible to find any Nigerian in the urban areas without a bank account;

d) I was surprised to hear the Hon Minister talking about Three meals per day. God! Is she so separated from reality? And come to think of it, she said the dry ration is meant to cover siblings too ( i.e. 5kg of demo, no seasonings, 2 packs of noodles, no palm oil, 1 veg oil, no egg – quite a balanced diet).

Stop recruitment of PR whitewashers

I read an article by one Emma Agwu,in Thisday,titled “Sadiya Farouq and the burden of Expectations”, dripping with plaudits and “a halo” for Mrs Farouq. Mr Agu cursed and called down perdition on any critic of Mrs Farouq’s “waltzy” steps and high flying bursts of youthful energy in dispensing the palliatives. Mr Agwu warned,”..it will amount to an unpardonable squandering of opportunity if this humanitarian situation is detailed by sel-serving politics, with our emergent Amazon becoming the latest victim of Nigeria’s crisis of confidence.” Drivel. Pure, undiluted drivel.

Mrs Farouq and her Ministry should listen to what people are saying:

Didn’t she agree to digitise the CCT?

Why is she being advised to FEED children at home?

As one of the interviewers on NTA asked her – does the feeding cover only children in public schools or all children?

How long can a 5kg of semovita last a family of 5?

Or are all these “symbolic” or this is another display of stubbornness ? We’re in a time of onrushing tragedy and no time for grandstanding. Or politics.

My Advisory

Officeholders should do their job and not listen to praise singers. Mrs Farouq is well educated. She is 45years. Meaning: She’s of the right age and temperament to be creative, adventurous and bold. And more importantly, she was a former Federal (?) Commissioner for Refugees,Migrants,IDPs. So, she is well prepared to be Minister of Humanitarian Affairs,Disaster Management and Social Development.

Of Note in Nigeria,this week

The appointment of Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, GMB’s Minister of Foreign (External) Affairs(1984 – 1985), as the Chief of Staff(Cof S) to the President. Apart from his intimidating résumé, Prof Agboola presents a curious mix:

He is Yoruba

He is Fulani

He is a teacher

He is a Prince

He is a Southerner

He is a Northerner

** * The President outdid himself. Fault him on this one,if you can.

Thank you for reading.

So, Buhari Refused To Sack Emefiele.And Emefiele Refused To Resign

Ok. so I wasted all my “abeg sir...

Introduction

  On 23 March,2020, I wrote a post here, begging Our President to change the person in the Office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN). In that post, I had pointedly adviced Mr Emefiele to please resign like a good General, whose strategies had failed him.He refused. Mr President also refused to call him to resign.I had envisioned a scene at the Aso Rock Villa, like in Ancient Japan, thus: The President(Emperor) marches in. Greets the CBN Governor (the Shogun) And without wasting much time, says,” Godwin, you have done a wonderful job,but, you’ve failed me. Please resign.” Mr Emefiele takes a bow. Goes to the Villa garden. Spreads out a white sheet. Sits down. Meditates briefly. Then,pulls out his short sword and slashes himself, beautifully. Meanwhile, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Hon Minister of Finance,acting as his Second, with her long sword, slices his head neatly,off his neck. Such a lovely, melancholy scene. True fealty. True patriotism. Ah! Ah! Merely daydreaming. President Buhari’s faith in Mr Emefiele is unshakeable.
  So, Mr President, why am I asking for Mr Emefiele’s head? He is eminently qualified. But, only in stabler economic times. Now, this feisty climate is too rough, for this staid, English Gentleman ( in all but colour).
  Since his appointment on 4 June,2014, by President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Emefiele has tried his very best. He has steered the keeling economic ship of State through treacherous ( in all its nuances) waters to manageable safety. Thus, in 2016, we experienced a bogus recession. He reeled us out. Wet with relief, Mr Emefiele had used up all his strength…and has not been able to recover.
  Mr Emefiele,sir, it does not need an economist or banker, to know Nigeria’s economy is  in dire straits. However, I know enough of economic history. Incidentally, I took a course in Economics History, in my ABU days. So, I can hold my ground.
  Here are my 7- point Charge Sheet against you. That,you, Mr Godwin Emefiele,59,male, Nigerian. BSc Finance. MBA Finance. Alumnus of Harvard, of Wharton Business School, of Stanford University, Ex-officio Member, International Monetary Fund (IMF). Member, International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM). Expert in Critical Thinking,Expert in Leading Change and Strategy,Expert in Negotiations, Expert in Service Excellence.  Presently, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria ( heretofore,CBN):

* Failed to harness the ” expertise” of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).Thus, not taking advantage of the varied critical expertise at your disposal,since 2014;

* Failed to lead the charge against the USD, by marshalling the rest of Africa ( and the Third World) to install the Chinese Yuan,as the new International Currency of Exchange. The time is ripe. All indices for the ascendancy of the Yuan,point to that. Why did you enter into the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China, in 2019?  Most African Countries do more business with China, than the rest of the World.Was that not how the USD toppled the British Pound?

* You weakened the Naira, knowingly or unknowingly, by running a multiple foreign exchange rates regime,in Nigeria. Unbelievable naivety:
1) official rate = #305 to $1;
2) Importer/Exporter rate = #326 to $1
3) Bureau de Change (BDC) rate=#360 to $1.
4) Others (?)

* In shying away from devaluation, we were operating a heavily devalued currency ( and it’s still plunging);

* You Failed to realise that Nigeria is a unique country, where front loading is a constant;

* Due to front loading, which put pressure on the demand for USD, the CBN under you has dipped into our Foreign Reserve,more than at any time,in our history; thus,under you, the Reserve at Oct,2014 stood at $36.3billion.By May,2015, it fell to $28.6 billion. And by 2018, over $40 billion had been injected into the foreign exchange market.
Aug,2019=$43.6 bn
Sep,2019=$41.9 bn
Nov,2019=$39.8 bn
Dec,2019=$38.59 bn
April,2020, =$33.9 bn

There is no reasonable explanation for this slide, except lack of strict supervision and front loading.

Since 2015, Nigeria has “spent” billions of dollars, refurbishing, repairing and upgrading our textiles, refineries and making useless imports. All under your watch. Thus, what defence do you have for the doubling of the import bill(2018) of medicinals and Pharmaceuticals of $774,500.081, while the exports was $383,638,000. Just propaganda. Yet, the duties of the CBN, include,firstly, monitor the use of scarce foreign exchange reserves,to ensure that foreign exchange disbursements/ utilisation are in line with economic priorities and within the annual foreign exchange budget, in order to ensure available balance of payments position as well as the stability of the Naira.

* You, Failed in taking a firm stand on certain absolutely nonessential purchases. I’m speechless when I see listed, billions( $28.7bn) to be spent on invincibles( which I understand are services such as professional fees, financial services, business travels, medical tourism, pilgrimages,etc). Unnecessary wastes.


Additional Charges

1)  Mr Governor, in this time of COVID-19, what pressing transactions and import purchases are so important that people are buying foreign exchange? I had expected that as the Custodian of the Nation’s Finances, you would have spent the past FIVE years upholding your “sworn” Mandate,Viz,”increase in nonexport earnings: the CBN will support measures to increase and diversify Nigeria’s export base and help in shoring up reserves ..” So, what happened?
One had expected that you would FOCUS on using and encouraging manufacturers and vehicle builders to use local products. During the Nigerian Civil War, Igbos ( called themselves Biafrans ) held the entire Nation hostage. They refined their fuel. They minted their currency  with local resources. So, why haven’t you used them? Why are we importing ordinary face masks from China – and our social media are awash with Nigerians trying to sell face masks, even ventilators?

2) Black Holes and the CBN’S PostCovid Projections
 
  The FOUR projections for Nigeria by the CBN are again, dropping scarce resources into “black holes”. I thought we should be more proactive and creative. What is affordable housing? I see that Projection as aimed at the urban areas. Why would you build apartment buildings for my rural communities? We have the land; and we love our villages where they are now. 2ndly, Cutting edge research. This is as meaningless as it sounds. Highfalutin.signifying nothing, just that your aides have read too many Oyibo books.3rd, renewable energy. We must pace ourselves. Hundreds of Nigerian homes, both in the urban and rural areas, do not have ordinary NEPA – and the one available cannot even be run efficiently. Finally, what happened to the $500 bn bailout facility you gave out before Covid 19?


So, Mr President and Mr Governor, I stand in absolute belief in two truisms, 1) he who dares wins! 2) take a decision. No matter how unsavoury; for posterity will not forgive you for not taking a decision(I stole that from IBB).

Short Take On Almajiranchi

Since Mallam el Rufa’i first started sending the almajirai back to their States of Origin and we applauded him. Others,cursed him, it has become the norm now, to evict these unfortunates, from many States. And in these times of CoronaVirus. It’s crazy. It’s Criminal. And it’s unforgivable!
 
  Even before the CoronaVirus passes on to other galaxies; and despite the deaths, the pains – physical, economic and emotional – it has done something for the Nigerian sociological system that no President or Governor  DARED attempt : The Killing of the Almajiri System(Almajiranchi).With the expulsion of these little children ( mostly males) from the hotbed of Almajiranchi,Kano, we have LOST a long, enduring reminder of our soullessness. If only the FCT Administration will have the nerve to nail the last coffin, by picking up the almajirai and colonies of beggars,dotting the FCT.

The Downward Side of  the Almajirai Eviction
  Apart from Benue and Nassarawa States, most other States, PACKED these children in trailers and lorries – in this time of COVID-19. Where are the great defenders of human rights – Amnesty International Nigeria, SERAP, NHRC. You see yourselves! Your fight and Stance have been exposed. The way these children were picked up. Held captive, in camps. Devoid of any amenities – and in the case of Plateau State,herded into trailers, is a telling indictment of the partiality and evil of these so called “human rights bodies”. Two wrongs cannot make a right. Are these children not human beings ? Are they not part of our society? That their own Society failed them, in a continuing era of jahiliyah( absolute ignorance) , but, pretending to be enlightened, is not their fault.

Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Ya Allah! Bear Witness that I raise my feeble and worthless voice, at the inhuman, degrading and soul destroying manner, these children have been” sent back” to their States of Origin.

And this is Where I am Lost

I am truly lost, trying to explain the sudden decisions by the State Governors, in the height of the CoronaVirus pandemic, to round up the almajirai and trundle them out of their States. In packing these children in trucks. In trailers. In absolute defiance and disregard for social distancing and ban on inter State movements.

    And the NCDC stood by stoically.

Was there any Study that suggested that these unfortunates were the cause of COVID-19? Are we NOT sentencing them to premature deaths?  We all know now that there are asymtomatic  cases. So, even after the cursory tests,some of these children could be carriers, and they test Negative, is no guarantee.

     And the NCDC stands stoically by


We forget again and again, the Qur’anic injunction: For of great import is the Reminder. I’m taking it out of context to remind the State Governors, that their jubilations are short-lived. The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAW) was quoted as saying: when you hear of a plague in a city, do not go there; and when you are in a city and the plague starts, do not leave the city( Imam Malik)

The reason for that admonition,O! Deaf, Arrogant Ears ! is: DO NOT SPREAD The Virus! By evicting these children now, in this Time of CoronaVirus, we are Happily spreading the Virus!

Here is an excerpt of the Introduction to Prophecies of Nostradamus: “In November of that year (1554), the Plague redoubled it’s virulence, spread by the waters( of the flood) and polluted corpses…Most doctors had fled with those people who were still well enough to move, THUS CARRYING THE INFECTION FARTHER..”

And we are gleefully evicting almajirai. Some State Governors, exulting that “I will not rest until the last Almajiri leaves my State.” While, in some States, it was a most momentous Media event. With drums, cymbals, media lights flashing and armed soldiers, Mobile Police and Vigilante,in a convoy, they went to “capture people who were “trafficked into the State”. It was a great victory! It was! And we leave the substance, because, we do not know how or are not ready to prepare for the battle against Covid 19.

Conclusion

   But, States are beginning to pay dearly – our laxness, our narrow-minded politicking, our corruption.our servility. And our incurable dereliction of duty!

  And the NCDC and the Presidential Taskforce stand stoically by – incapable of calling these Governors to order!

  And the Numbers Grow – the Confirmed Cases. The deaths. And we copy America…but, they are dying too… Encouraged to suicide,by a demented President… And we copy them!

Decisions

… plugged ears and discarded earphones…

Apparently, there is something terribly wrong with our decision makers. It clearly isn’t the Decisions. It is that those who take the Decisions are wearing earphones on wax plugged earsand cannot hear or have discarded the hearing aids – and cannot hear.

A suggestion made in times of dire need or crisis is usually, although a common cliché, is most apt,that ” desperate situation demands a desperate solution”. Some of us may have made – and will continue to make suggestions – for improvement of services, in these times of the CoronaVirus. Provision of optimal service should be the new normal, not shoddy, haphazard and you – can – do- nothing attitude. Oga, it’s no longer business as usual.

Conditional Cash Transfer – Unequivocal Failure

There is no doubt that the Hon Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and her advisers have refused to listen to reason. Hers is the stubbornness of ignorance. While she has admitted before the Hon Speaker of the House of Representatives, that she met a mess in her Ministry; We know she admitted that the operations of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the highly touted but failed School Feeding Programme(HGSFP) are not “perfect”, but, she has maintained her stubbornness of ignorance. While she believes that having convinced Mr President that the payment system is good, I want to assure her that posterity will rubbish her tenure. It is insulting that in the 21st Century, we have a Minister supervising the payment of cash to selected Nigerians,whom she has dubbed “the poorest of the poor”.As I stated in my earlier blog post, the Very Honourable, uninformed, unprepared ( for the job mentally) Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, did not give the Conditional Cash Transfer any thought. She did not pause to weigh the merits and adverse publicity and attendant security implications of table payment. This is even worsened by the fact that while she and her staff were geared up in PPE, the so-called ” poorest of the poor” queued up and watched by large crowds, in defiance of CoronaVirus. Maybe, she savoured the publicity( I learnt that she had a coterie of newspeople and NTA crew,in tow). She did not pause and ask herself that in these straitened times, the One hundred million Naira, she is giving out to 5000 persons at twenty thousand per, can be given to 10000 households. Honestly, in these days of CoronaVirus and the lack of money in each household, # 10000(ten thousand naira) is a princely sum. But,then, even if she has heard, will she listen? No. I understand that she has agreed to use the BVN of the lucky beneficiaries in her holy Social Register. We urge her to calculate the number of lives she will touch, by splitting twenty thousand naira to two households. Madam, why are you frowning? It’s just advice,Ma. We may not have Social Security, but, the recent flurry of financial activities that brought in microfinance, mortgage and ordinary banks, since OBJ, have ensured that 90% of Nigerians have a bank account – urban and rural. And you know! Please heed advice.

Furthermore, in days to come, after Covid 19, there will be numerous queries about certain monies. The Hon Minister must be prepared. For instance, has anyone in her Ministry ever heard of “in alphabetical order”? This has being the mode of sharing or giving out, to forestall cries of partiality and inequity. Already, there are outrages of lopsided payments – some Northern States getting huge payouts.

Again, on the School Feeding Programme

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo,is a very sedate person. Yet, I still can’t fathom how he fell for the School Feeding Programme (HGSFP). I have seen all manner of tricks,at embezzlement,but, honestly,the HGSFP, took the icing and the cream. As the Yoruba will say, ” o thief gbogbo é”.Now, if the briefing given to the Hon Speaker,is full and fair,then, it means, the Programme has been gulping ordinary twenty billion Naira, monthly. No wonder, some crazied people ( by their greed)are saying the Programme should continue,even in this Lockdown. Over high sense!

NLC and Pensions Fund

Some years back, a Nollywood film, titled, Died Wretched, (Buried in 3.2 million casket) featuring Tony Umez, was the rave. It highlighted our Nigerian society’s misplaced priorities. Today, I heard the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) President, Mr Ayuba Wabba,was screeching all over the media that nobody should touch the Pensions Fund. That it is for the retirement benefits of Workers. I would have thought,as any reasonable person would ,that the Oga, would have suggested that the Federal Government “borrow” the money and pay all Nigerians,at least #10,000 per household, to numb the effects of the Lockdown. Does he know how many workers are at the end of the rope? If he cherishes his workers, I had expected such a bold gesture.

The general failure of the NLC has being glaring for some time. From the beginning of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, there has being a cosiness between Government and the NLC. I get the uncomfortable feeling that the NLC has become a Department of the Ministry of Labour.Ditto, the States’ NLC branches. In Benue, the State Government instituted an ingenious salary payment schedule: Owe workers the September, October, and November 2019 salaries; pay, Dec2019 and Jan 2020,then,owe Feb and Mar 2020,then, pay Sep 2019, in February 2020. As you can see, one gets lost in the Sudoku of the payment schedule. The Benue State NLC keeps applauding.

…And still on Benue State. I need help in unraveling Dr Ortom’s ( he’s the State Governor) great logic: From May, 2017 to May 2019, he was the State Governor under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Then, in 2019, he decamped back to the PDP and won the Governorship Election. Fair enough and smooth narrative. But, here is my problem. He has told the workers that it is the APC Government, not his PDP Government, that is owing them. I’m lost. Help me understand.

And the State Governors

As usual, each State Governor in Nigeria now struggles, valiantly and relentlessly, to get body bags of CoronaVirus victims.

Some mothers do have them!

Stretching from Anambra State, where Mr Willie( not Nelson) Obiano, has eased restrictions on all church services, this weekend. He says that he will open schools soon. And in Oyo State, the new enfant terriblé of Nigerian politics, Governor Seyi Makinde, has eased restrictions and is asking senior civil servants to return to work. Remember, Mr Makinde organized the National mega rally, of the opposition PDP, in defiance of CoronaVirus.We are awaiting the cascades of the fallout!

Truly, some mothers do have them

And not to be outdone,two highly educated men. One a professor and the other a PhD holder. One the Governor of Bornu State. That’s the Professor. Professor Babagana Zulum. He has eased all restrictions during the Ramadan. Thirty days to ask a favour. Thirty days sought for grace from Coronavirus. I hope Covid obliges him…or turns him to a Covidiot. For while the Christians can chant, dance and writhe in rapture, but, observing social distancing, Moslems cannot. Islam expects shoulder to shoulder standing and near simultaneous movements for sujuud and ruku,at congregational prayers. Only Allah knows what a cough or sneeze can do.

His friend, Governor Ganduje, in Kano, is at his wit’s end.He is the other one with a PhD. Fittingly so. He has hitherto taken the fight as a joke. A big joke. Excellency, you cannot be the bigger Defender of the Faith than the Custodian of the Two Holiest Mosques of Islam – in Mecca and Medina; nor,indeed, can you be more Moslem than His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto( the Supreme Leader of Nigerian Moslems). Did you listen to President Buhari’s Address? He reminded us that Islam’s holiest sites were on lockdown, as is Christianity’s holiest headquarters – the Vatican.

So, here we are,as prominent citizens are dying , the masses will soon follow en masse. They are the drivers, the cooks, the mai gadis, the vegetables sellers, the market goers, the market men and women, the prostitutes (” hidden” from the Hisbah). The masses include the tight short- skirted, wig wearing Southern girls, who drive our boys crazy.

Some mothers do have them!

And from ordinary Ghana ( my apologies) comes news and pictures of the deployment of their Armed Forces to deliver house to house palliatives. I can hear snickers about the small size of that country. But, I’m not talking size. I’m talking about organization and leadership. And accountability and transparency. In addition, we have the personnel We have the food. There are Armed Forces, Police, Civil Defence, Prison, Customs, Immigration and the Vigilante in all the States. We can mobilize; and within two weeks, every household, will have money and food.

Tomorrow is for the living…

Conclusion

I want to beg our decision makers that they should listen to the rumours. First, there are rumours of food trucks been diverted; then, the almost suicidal table payment, then, the refusal by the Oyo State Government, of the rice donations. A few decades ago, I was in the Kano State Emergency Relief Agency. We had hundreds of bags filled with weevil. It was such a herculean ( and mostly, hopeless) task. And that is the indiscipline and dereliction of duty, we cry about. There are people employed to oversee the silos. Why should the grains get spoilt? Our people had granaries.Remember?

And please note, we shouldn’t allow the distribution of palliatives to be based on Party lines. We all know what politicians can do. And then, eye Service. It had been rumoured that some time back , the Saudi Government donated trucks of debino ( date palm) for the IDPs. We heard the lady in charge diverted several truckloads to Katsina. Why? These cartons later found their way to the precincts of the National Mosque in Abuja. I understand the Saudi Ambassador heard. Went and verified. If this was true, then, the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s state of alertness and monitoring must be doubled. In this era of lockdown, we cannot afford rumours!

Postscript

Next week : Mr Emefiele’s CBN’s 4-point Covid 19 Palliatives and post COVID-19 crazy plans. Is it the cart before the horse Or a cart and no horse?