Fractionally Close to Shipwreck

I just read through Clive Cussler’s “The Sea Hunters” (True Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks), when the vendor delivered the Saturday Guardian of February 20, 2010.
I read the article on page 9 entitled, “TURAI: Of a First Lady, Power and Jostle for Jonathan’s Successor”.

The article helped me to win an insight into the Yar’ Adua presidency and how fractionally close to shipwreck we were.

In any “AGBATA-EKE REPUBLIC”, the winner takes all. Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, from her Akashi records could have been Queen Amina of Zazzau and so power-broking is not new to her.

Of course every power dispenser, demands utmost loyalty. Honestly, I do not know the motive behind or in front of the write-up at this delicate period, when we are pulling back from the brink.

Why do some writers wait till political office holders leave office before they go to town with that which discerning citizens already know?

Who cares now what Madam President did or did not do? Every Nigerian woman would probably have done the same. Crying profusely over split milk is no chivalry and not my cup of tea.

Our system or better the lack of it permits all sorts of behaviour. Until we have a regulatory system of governance that holds people to account firmly and quickly, the “DESTROYERS OF NIGERIA” will continue to hit and run.

Our historic shipwreck can be avoided if we all put across well-researched and rational suggestions to the government instead of engaging in a quest for a paradise lost.
In this country, where the delights of vengeance are thoroughly appreciated, the illuminations and splendid fetes given to the population’s spokespersons will be rewarded with a huge success.

In a situation, where mudslinging becomes the order, caution will no longer be necessary amidst buck-toothed bites and the general storm of invectives. This will be dangerous.
A national newspaper (not The Guardian) reported that government was considering bringing back some former officials, who served in the previous regime. Liberals think that this is frightening and that government should be on the side of caution because this would exasperate the feelings of well-conditioned citizens, who see a new day.
I feel a frightful headache and a depression into the bargain!

If is the story is true, this would open the door to a general Amnesty for all indicted persons because “Things that are equal to the same things are equal to one another”, if Euclid was right. There will be general remorseful and rueful regrets among those of us, who have permitted ourselves to hope.

The war against corruption would become an empty sloganeering. There is need to put out a confirmation or denial of that newspaper report.

It would seem that shortly after the general festivities and the drunkenness that followed, we are about going back to Egypt!

The concert of execration is quite unanimous among Nigerians that such a development is incendiary, insulting and absolutely unacceptable.

It will be taking one step forward and two steps backward. We cannot relish boiled eggs in which we have expressed doubts.

There is a jurisprudential maxim, which teaches that “Justitia neminem excusat” It would seem that in Nigeria, justice is selective, timid and indecorous.

This hare-brained idea that Nigeria must be governed by ex-this and ex-that as if only those, who had failed before are the only good ones is simply idiotic, simplistic and wrong. A new thinking pattern must emerge.

In statecraft, poverty-stricken ideas lead to disasters. Those with vulgar habits of mind cannot govern. These are people, who are transported by the delight of being in power but cannot perform, so they look for supermen, who will adorn their government with frescoes.

They set up thousands of Committees and panels that occasionally produce little results. Government by guess-work, trial by error, learning period, belongs to the days of yore.
With a teeming reservoir of Nigerian intellectuals both within and outside this country, we have no reason to harbour first degree graduates in the highest levels of government. These chancers are rotated around the ministries with every passing regime. They neither improve nor impress. They are the Permanent Secretaries. They too must change up.
Some of them see things from the foot of the mountain, are incapable of handling complex phenomena, so they depend on the capabilities of others. Yet, the are the bosses!
They relate to their bright junior colleagues with ineradicable suspicion about their possible overthrow in the scheme of things. This creates cold comfort in ministries and other work-places.

The most important thing now is not to write beautiful essays unearthing ignominies but to engage in constructive dialogue with government, ministers and others in suggesting ways to lift our people up and not depress them further because, from what I saw two weeks ago, when the people demonstrated that Jonathan be sworn in as Acting President, the struggle for self-determination assertion will be televised.

There is a conviction I have that the future is always pregnant and although it delivers beautiful things, it at times, delivers mongrels.

Those Nigerians, who do not know the sources of our retrogression should look back at how some people had cheated the nation, brazenly in the past and have positioned themselves for further escapades. So, where is the blessed assurance that things will work differently?

We must pursue expansionist policies that should propel the nation to gain acceleration in the right direction and not panda to those, who see governance as solely, a means of primitive accumulation of wealth.

Government must start on a clean slate. A patch-work of the old and the new is going to lead to confusion. Each minister, director or adviser must come up with defined policies and the strategies for their execution.

The press should encourage critical appraisals of such policy documents. No minister should read his or her speeches but deliver them in an explanatory way to show that he or she understands the nitty-gritty and kern of what the topic is about.
We should work out counter-measures to plug the loop-holes in the British- style civil service that always lead to corruption.

For example, no mail or enquiry should remain untreated, three days after an officer receives such communication. Every letter should be signed by at least two officials.
Every senior position must be subjected to yearly appraisals to determine the officer’s effectiveness. Government owes no-one the duty to keep dead woods.

Cronyism leads to selecting relations and friends but it is bad for governance. The people so favoured put their elbows on damask tablecloth and do little.

We have suggested some regulatory measures. If these measures are already in the system, then, a vigorous enforcement mechanism must be put in place. In Abuja, some lazy officials get to work, regularly late without sanctions. Our civil service must rescue itself from the decadence that has engulfed it for years.

Finally, government must overcome the irresistible pressures usually mounted by the Old Boy Network. The musings by the loud, vocal critics should not be mistaken for erudition.

Very often, amidst the “sound and fury”, their cryptic remarks and suppositions are usually hortatory and these convey no relevant theoretical nor practical basis for societal development after the tumultuous hand-clapping. Some have been on this for decades and are still high on heels. Their ramblings that often rattle governments and individuals only pass as entertainment, when subjected to serious analysis.

Of course, in a predominantly, marginally literate society like ours, such regular cymbals janglers are heralded, even when they pontificate inanities of transient and inconsequential import.

We cannot afford to fa

il this time around and government must do everything necessary to succeed. The disaster would be of cosmic scale, if we fail.

The declaration by some Senators that they will impeach Yar’Adua is a belated, cowardly act by those, who have no qualms now that the tide has turned.

GOD assures us his people that he will continue to overturn, overturn and overturn. I have said this many times. Injustice done to one man or a group of helpless minorities can move the HAND of JEHOVAH NISI.

That article on Turai Yar, Adua should have been published much earlier.
The newspapers we respect should publish news that should prevent damage to the nation. Post-mortem excavations are usually unhelpful.

The Guardians’ editorials have always been timely and comprehensive. This is why we politely suggest that The Guardian may respectfully wish to de-emphasize juicy stories about individuals (though these sell newspapers), as its intellectual rigour returns to direct and canvass opinion against retrogression and a possible shipwreck of our Republic.

Written by
Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
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