POLSCOPE with Eddy Odivwri
I saw a FaceBook post in which Mr President was presented as reading a book, with the title: “How to be More Wicked”. I chuckled at the fact that some mischievous people will stop at nothing to cast our leaders in bad light. Are they implying that President Muhammadu Buhari’s had been sufficiently wicked on his own and reading up on way to become even more wicked? I scarcely would think so.
But what has become unarguable is that Mr President is completely impervious and lacking a major characteristics of living things: response to stimuli.
He appears so ensconced in the comfort of the presidential villa, that he does not know, or so it seems, what the nation is going through.
Many Nigerians believe that the flickers of responses by the omnibus “presidency” are not enough to prove that President Muhammadu Buhari is alive to his responsibilities.
How can Mr President feel cool , eat, sleep and wake and probably be active in the “other room”, when 43 of his citizens who went to farm ended up being slaughtered by a band of terrorists in the name of Boko Haram?
Why wont that cause a President to lose his sleep and hit the road to restoration of public confidence in his government?
But after the jaded routine statement condemning the “insane” act, and sending a presidential delegation to condole with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, I can bet that nothing else would be done.
The next time we hear from the government on security matters would be when another massive tragedy is triggered by the raving Boko Haram terror machine.
So, the question indeed is,: How many more deaths are needed to activate the response instinct in our President?
It does not make anymore sense to say that as soon as people clamour for a particular thing, Mr President strongly resolves to just do the opposite of what the people are asking for.
Were it not for this inexplicable anti-people posture of Mr President, the national clamour for the re-jig of the nation’s security architecture would have long taken place.
Nigerians, led by the National Assembly, have literally shouted themselves hoarse that the Service Chiefs should be changed, having grossly and manifestly failed to secure lives and property, which is primarily the raison d’etre of government. But the President is determined to eternally ignore all Nigerians.
Already, the presidency has, again, faulted the call for the removal of the old and tired Service Chiefs. From the way it is, we are stuck with them, with all the con committal consequences. But these are the same Service Chiefs the President had declared that their best is not good enough.
Forty-three innocent, hardworking farmers (Shekau’s video says they are 78) got slain in their farms, for no offence or crime. And the Chief Security Officer of the country, the Comander-in-Chief (C-in-C) is at peace or so it seems. How bad can it get!
If (the inherited) Chibok abductions, ` Dapchi abductions, the frequent banditry in the North West; killings in the middle belt by Fulani herdsmen; killings and destructions in Zamfara and even Katsina states; the regular blood bath in Southern Kaduna; the recent murder of Nasarawa APC state chairman, Philip Shekwo; the recent killing of a monarch in Ondo State on the highway; the frequent cases of abduction and kidnappings in the South West, South south, South east, as well as Abuja-Kaduna highway, etc etc.; are not able to wake up a practically sleeping Mr President, then not even the slaying of 43 or 78 farmers in Borno State will wake him up.
But it is sad that Mr President is imperiling the lives of the people he was elected to protect in the name of being obdurate in his principles. Of what use or relevance is a politician who does not listen to the electorate? It is even sadder that this numbness is claiming irrecoverable lives across the country. And we are all casualties.
What kind of Christmas does Mr President want Nigerians to have? If economic recession and all the consequences thereof will hit Nigerians with poverty and hardship, shouldn’t they, at least, feel safe in their famished homes and farms?
Does anyone need a prophet to declare that we have come to the precipice when farmers are now being expected to get clearance from the military before going to their farms? Again, how bad can it ever get!
How many soldiers do we have that can guard and protect farmers even in just one state?
Nigerians are peeved that we have a president that does not listen. Nothing moves him. Not even the death of 43 persons in one day. The two chambers of the National Assembly were literally red with anger on Tuesday as they debated the collapse of the security network in the country. In fact, the House of Representatives has resolved to invite (if not summon) Mr President to the House to explain the state of security in the country. He has graciously accepted to honour the summon, on a date yet to be announced . We can only look forward to what he would say.
Unimpressed with the running propaganda of the military and government’s publicists, Gov Zulum has suggested that mercenaries be engaged by the Federal Government to dislodge and wipe away the ever-increasing insurgents in the country, despite government’s bogus claim of “technically degrading” Boko Haram. How can such degraded entities still be visiting us with such dastardly massacre?
What a shame that it is now being suggested that the government should engage mercenaries to fight and annihilate Boko Haram.
But suggesting so is because we have clearly shown that we lack the capacity to decisively deal with the menace of insurgency despite the huge human and material investment in the battle to reclaim that section of the country from the terrorists. Where are the gains?
What Happened to the NDDC Probe?
Did you hear that lawmakers are fighting over Senator Godswill Akpabio’s $2 million largesse?
Really? How did Akpabio get $2million?
What kind of question is that? You forgot that he was an uncommon governor for eight years? Do you know what that means in terms of dollars and pounds?
Are you saying he is still spending the money he amassed over five years ago as governor?
I didn’t say he amassed any money as governor. Don’t put words in my mouth. All I know is that he has been a very generous public officer. I cannot forget how he doled out six million naira at the time to give to the six state chairmen of the PDP who met in Port Harcourt to use it to buy “Mr Biggs” refreshment packs. So he is used to doling out big money. And that is what the senators are scrambling for again.
So, why did he release $2 million to senators now? Is it because he was a former senator?
Well, I can’t quite say. I know he is generous. But I also know that he has a case before the senate. So the dollar largesse may not be unconnected with granting him a soft landing with the Red Chamber tycoons.
He has a case with the senate? What case?
Have you forgotten all the melo-drama of last August involving the MD and Directors of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over some squandered N81.3 billion within three months?
So, how does that concern Akpabio, as to make him splash $2milllion at senators, just like that?
You don’t understand. Akpabio is the Minister for Niger Delta. The NDDC was dragged away from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and put under the purview of Ministry of Niger Delta under the watch of Akpabio because it is considered a juicy parastatal. So, Akpabio is literally protecting his territory by ensuring that the cloud of crisis and scandal in the NDDC does not burst. So, in a way, some people think the $2 million largesse is to shut the lawmakers up.
But I heard that Senator Akpabio has denied sharing any such money among lawmakers and described it as fake news, saying it is the handiwork of the enemies of the Niger Delta who are churning out tons of fake news.
In any case, I believe the denial because the lawmakers have indeed released a report that heavily indicted the MD and management of the NDDC. In fact, the lawmakers have even recommended that the MD and co, be sent to the EFCC for further enquiries. So I believe that the news about sharing dollars was fake indeed.
So, now that the Prof Pondei-led management has been indicted what will happen next?
I think Mr President will soon act on the report and its recommendations. Mr President is like the Law whose wheel grinds slowly but surely.
Didn’t you not hear that the former SGF, Babachir Lawal, the notorious grass-cutting SGF, has been re-arraigned by the EFCC for fraud and financial malfeasance, after what looked like the case had been closed or forgotten?
Don’t change the topic. We are talking about the squandering of public funds at NDDC. How come a people who owned up to “settling themselves” with public money have been allowed to remain in office since July till now?
How can they be the same people overseeing the so-called forensic audit of the commission? And what is more, they cleverly removed the last three years which will include when they have been in office.
Don’t be faster than your legs. The report indicting them has just been released. The President couldn’t have sacked them without Due Process of they being indicted by the lawmakers who probed their activities and transactions. One thing sure is that Mr President will not spare anyone whose case of fraud and corruption has been proven and established.
Niger Deltans, nay Nigerians cannot wait to see those crooks rammed into prison for recklessly raping the fortune and future of the people; after they have refunded all the monies they raked into their personal accounts. The report which called for the dissolution of the Pondei-led team, noted that the NDDC has been worse-off since it came under the supervision of Senator Akpabio. It further stated that the Executive Director Project, Dr Cairo Ojuogboh, who had been Akpabio’s Man Friday in the commission was “grossly unqualified” and “unfit” to hold such a position.
It is gratifying that the report was expressive and condemnatory of the pillage that went on in the commission.
We are only hoping that the report will not be swept under the carpet. Let government teach other uncaught crooks in public office a lesson with this case.
You can be sure that the next action of Mr President on the NDDC will be massive and thorough, to sweep clean the augen’s table.
(index finger across lips). Shhhhhh, so let nobody demand the sack of Pondei and co, or else they will be there till 2023, according to the operation template of Mr President’s modus operandi.
Bidding Bro Akinto Good Night
As you read this, we would be getting ready to bid our final farewell to my immediate elder brother, Peter Ejomafuvwe Akintola , as he would be committed to mother earth, in my village, Emonu-Orogun, Delta State, for his onward journey to his maker. He had passed on a day after my last birthday, Monday, November 9, after the notorious “brief illness” of three days. He had been taken to the famous Eku Baptist Hospital, Eku, Delta State, where he was treated and discharged after three days. Two days later, he breathed his last. Why should a man certified well enough to be discharged from a reputable health facility give up the ghost 48 hours after?
His had largely been a life full of struggles and hope that one day, the relief and breakthrough would come. That day never came. With mainly young and unestablished children, he surely did not reap the fruits of his labour. But we hope he would find rest and comfort in heaven. He was a Lay Reader of the Anglican Communion and had previously served dutifully and faithfully. We pray they all count in his favour as he stands before the Great Judge.
Usually able, strong and healthy, it is shocking that his first recorded sickness seized him eternally.
Who would have thought that at barely 60, we would be so soon, involved in Bro Akinto’s obsequies? But that’s what pleased God to do and we yield in total surrender. May the Good Lord rest his soul.