Maina and Matters Arising



By Eddy Odivwri

The leaked Oyo-Ita’s memo to the Chief of Staff to Mr President, Mr Abba Kyari has changed the narrative surrounding the Maina re-instatement saga.

The memo, dated October 23, 2017 says clearly that Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of service of the federation had indeed briefed President Buhari on October 11, 2017, on the planned reinstatement of Mr Abdulrashhed Maina into the service, and had also warned of the moral consequences of such a move, especially to the anti-corruption stance of the Buhari-led administration.

Expectedly, the content of the leaked memo has generated lots of public debate, but more importantly has also provoked lots of altercation between Abba Kyari and Oyo-Ita.

No official statement has been made on this development. But it is clear that the establishment is not happy with Oyo-Ita for seemingly indicting Mr President on the re-instatement saga.

Question is: So Mr President knew of the plan to re-instate Maina? If he was briefed since October 11, so why did he seem surprised and angry when the news of the said re-instatement broke, prompting him to order the immediate disengagement of Maina? Was it all mere presidential histrionics? Was Mr President just playing to the gallery?

Neither the president nor the presidency has denied the content of the leaked Oyo-Ita’s memo.

But by the way, why did the Head of Service choose to address such a serious matter that unabashedly breached the civil service operational code, in an informal and undocumented discussion with Mr President? What if Mr President denies that such a verbal briefing ever took place? What will be Oyo-Ita’s proof to the contrary?

Could it also be that she was behind the leakage of the said memo as a way of clearing herself of any blame from the court of the public?

If Mr President knew of the plot to re-instate Maina and he did not object to it, then the story of giving him DSS officials to protect him (Maina) can be understood.  And that thus explains how he sneaked back into the country unchallenged, as he had been cleared from above before his arrival. In the same way, that’s why he was also able to vanish again without a trace in a country fitted with manned international borders.

Indeed, Mr Maina’s family had revealed at a press conference, that Maina was not only invited back to the country by the Buhari government, they were quite aware of his return and re-instatement and even given state protection.

Already, Maina, from wherever he is hiding, has been spilling the beans detailing some of the rot in the system. For instance, he had alleged that some top government officials have invested Six Million British Pounds of pension funds in UK banks and collecting the interest thereof. He has not named them just yet.

So let us ask: If the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) claimed that it did not know Maina was declared wanted in 2014, hence his unchallenged return, so where were they when Maina, again escaped?

Yet a few more questions:

Who was it that authorized the promotion to Director level and payment of N22 million to Maina? Is the service known for such system efficiency? Maina hadn’t spent a month in office after the re-instatement and he has already been paid the lump sum of three years’ salary? Haba! Are we not in this same country and people are owed their legitimate earnings for years unend because there is no money yet? Suddenly, at Maina’s return, his accumulated salaries and allowances are at the door post, waiting for him. Maina was assistant Director when he fled three years ago. When did he take the normal service exam that normally precedes promotion before he was catapulted to a Director, not even Deputy Director?

Do “ordinary” mortals enjoy such privileges in the system? Does the Maina saga not clearly dramatize the suspicion that in this government, like many others before it, the Orwellian maxim that all animals are equal but some are more equal? Does it not belie Mr President’s declaration at his May 29, 2015, inauguration that he belongs to no one and he belongs to everybody?

If Maina ‘s hands are clean, he should not evade justice. He should come forth, face his accusers and state his case with facts and figures. He cannot come clean by releasing unguided and dud bullets from unknown hideouts.

The Maina mess, is a typical case of going all the way to Sokoto in search of what is/was in our sokoto (pocket).

Right now, both the EFCC and the Nigeria Immigration Service are going to launch an international manhunt (call it wild goose chase) for Maina at a huge cost with an uncertain outcome, whereas Maina had lounged amongst them all the while. Pennywise, pounds foolish! Who is fooling who? And for how long?

And as an aside, what has the EFCC said about Maina’s bank accounts? Such a man’s account will tell lots of stories better than a confession will do.

Surely, the Maina manuscript is the content of a whole Comedy of Errors and it looks like we have just begun reading only the prologue. The coming episodes are quite promising.


Buhari and the 2019  Burden

Have you heard the latest on Buhari?

Latest? What is it again? Did they find Abdulrasheed Maina in his bedroom?

Nooooo. How can that be? Is Maina a member of the first family?

Didn’t you hear that the APC governors and leadership of the party have passed a vote of confidence in Buhari and even went further to adopt him as the 2019 presidential candidate of the party?

Be careful with stories spinned  in the media. But what is wrong if he is adopted? Is he not adoptable as the party’s candidate come 2019?

Whaaaat? You mean you are not surprised?

Why should I be? Was there any agreement to the contrary? Or did you ever hear him say he’d serve only one term? What do you think is the essence of all the recent political moves of opening Buhari Support media campaign centres and organization of women groups in Adamawa State etc?   Even former President Goodluck Jonathan who swore to serve only one term, did he not brazenly break that agreement? Or do you think Buhari will still be a president in the next 19 months and somebody in the party will displace him? You don’t know the governors and the party leaders in endorsing him are also preserving their own interests? Didn’t you notice that John Odigie Oyegun, the party’s national chairman whose continued stay in office was shaky and threatened also got a vote of confidence passed in him? It’s Quid pro Quo, my brother.

So what credential or hope will Buhari be bringing to Nigerians in 2019? What is left unsaid that he will tell Nigerians?

In partisan politics, you don’t ask too many questions. You just flow with the popular emotion. So the question of what Buhari will tell Nigerians now does not arise? Politicians are like gramophones, whenever you play them, music comes forth

Wrong! Nigerians will, this time, ask plenty of questions. The era of mass hysteria is gone. Nigerians have to be critical and deeply discerning this time around. That is the whole essence of the Our Mumu don do campaign. And lest I forget, did he say he is well enough now to take the governance heat?

Did you not listen to President Buhari while he reeled out his achievements to the NEC of his party last Tuesday?

I did not. So what did he say he has achieved?

Need you ask? Is it not obvious? Or do you need Tinubu’s glasses to see them?

You don’t know this government has degraded and decimated Boko Haram terrorist group?

You don’t know…

(cuts in, raising the palm) Eh… eh… eh…, which Boko Haram? The one they have killed its leader, Abubakar Shekau more than four times (and keeps resurrecting) and now it is the wife they have begun the rounds of killing? The Boko Haram that has abducted some UNIMAID lecturers for over four months now and has continued to hold on to the remaining Chibok girls? Is it the Boko Haram that has continued suicide-bombing of innocent people? Is that how to decimate a terror gang?

Do you know how many people this government has employed under the N-Power scheme?

You mean you do not know the increasing volume of unemployed youths in Nigeria? You don’t know that is why crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping have geometrically increased?

You have to be fair to this government. Give it some credit, Haba! It inherited a collapsed economy that was gasping for breath. That led to a relapse into recession. But this government has masterfully managed the economy of the country and today Nigeria is out of recession.

Nigeria may have recovered from recession but you forget that Nigerians have not recovered from the acute hardship they have been experiencing since this government came to power. Do you know what people are going through? How many jobs and families have been lost because of hardship? You think Nigerians will forget?

You are merely harping on the negatives. Are you not aware that the World Bank has commended the management of the Nigerian economy, declaring it as one of the world’s ten most improved economies?

Are you not aware that the foreign reserve of the country has grown to $32 billion? How much was left by the previous government? Go and check!

Do you take those Oyinbo institutions serious? They deal with lifeless figures. We deal with live situations in Oshodi, Bariga, Amukoko ,Sabon-gari, Okere, Lafenwa, Borokiri, etc. Don’t you notice the huge disconnect between their verdicts and the realities on the ground?

I am saying you should acknowledge the huge work the Buhari administration is doing to revamp the ravaged economy he inherited. And that is why he has been verily high on the anti-corruption fight. You know that the huge sum recovered from past thieves is being used to finance the 2017 budget.

So how much has this government recovered from the so-called past thieves?

I don’t have the figures.

Don’t speak as if you know. Nobody knows how much has been recovered. Why is it a secret? For a government that promised transparency, why is the figure of the recovered loot not in the public domain?

How are we sure that even the recovered loot is not being re-looted by those in charge today?

What an ungodly thought!

Ungodly thought you say?

If N250 million can be used to clear grass in a sandy Sahel region, and a man accused of stealing the treasury dry and fled to avoid prosecution can sneak back into the country, given state cover, promoted and paid compensatory salary, with the active direction and connivance of some senior mandarins, then there is no difference between godly and ungodly thoughts. Or in a federal entity when there are 15 appointments, ten of them go to one section (that has no natural bearing with the essence of the entity) while two sections share the remaining five, just as some other sections get nothing at all, and you speak about ungodly thoughts? How ungodly can ungodly be for it to be denounced? Contrary to what we thought at the beginning, this is also a government of anything goes.

And I am telling you these are the issues that will form the fulcrum of Buhari’s acceptability or rejection in 2019.

Haba! There you go again. You talk as if you do not know how crossed Mr President was with those infractions and how he flashed the red card effortlessly, eventually but surely.  Look, I will strongly recommend you for the New Order Progressive Institute and by the time burnished academic legends like Professor Ila Mohammed take you through a course like Goebbels Model 101, the scales would have totally fallen off your eyes, and you will speak of more edifying experiences.