Archive for October, 2007

CONFUSION AT DAWN?

October 20, 2007

CONFUSION AT DAWN?

 

When somebody is unable to think clearly or understand what is happening or what somebody else is saying, he is said to be confused. Many years back the Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti sang a song he titled “C. B. BConfusion Break Bone’. He used ‘Ojuelegba’ as a case study to describe the situation of disorder or state of uncertainty in which people do not know what action to take when vehicles are coming from the east, west, north and south and there is no policeman at the center. He described the Nigerian situation with this song.

 

 

May 29, 1999 would have been described as the dawn of a new era; it was the handover from the military to the civilian rule. But many did not see it as a complete deviation from the military regime. From that day it was dictorial democracy. The reign of the Dictator and Decider – In – Chief started from then and ended on the 29th of May 2007. Many observers believed that disobedience of court orders and the rule of law suffered more during this dictorial democracy. So the emergence of a servant leader was like a big relief to many inspite of the way and manner the election that produced him was conducted.

 

 

The emergence of the servant leader was heralded by many as the dawn of a new Nigeria. It is said that without vision, the people perish. The servant leader seems to have vision. It is also true that without people the vision may perish. So as much as the people need vision, vision also needs people to be actualized. But the people the servant leader had chosen to help pilot the vision seemed to be suffering from hangover of the reign of the Decider-In-Chief. The Decider-In-Chief may have gone back to his farm, but the network or system he left behind is still in operation. That is the reason there seem to be CONFUSION AT DAWN.

 

 

Many are said to have HIV/AIDS virus in this part of the world. But the retinue of political AIDES in the polity looks like it is out numbering the people with this dreaded disease. The funny side of these aides is that they make a public property become a private thing; with the aides the public officers become isolated from the public and turn exclusive reserve of only friends and relations. The public that the public officer was meant to serve cannot get access to him or her. Letters from the public are dropped in the trashcan and never got to the public officer. The aides are now in charge and even look more powerful than the public officers they are standing in for. If we do not check this trend now, then it means it is not dawn yet.

 

 

 

The administration of the Decider-In-Chief started with appointing for compensation and not competence. The servant leader had not deviated from that point of view. Everything and every position has been politicized. People who had lost elections had been appointed into different positions. Stooges of the Big Umbrella godfathers are everywhere in the corridors of power. The retinue of aides in every sector in the polity is just to compensate loyal party members. Party loyalists have been given the baptism of fire and are now ‘real career diplomats’. What a baptism! Being a Vice-chancellor of a university is no longer on merit. Political and tribal sentiments are now part of the process. You must know somebody in the corridors of power to become a Vice chancellor. What a rut in our value system at dawn!

 

 

Many Nigerians felt relieved when the Paris Club and others let us off the hook of debt. Even the people in government threw a party for the debt relief. This happened not too long ago. Many praised the then administration and the economic team. They said we would not borrow again. But the minister under the servant leader said otherwise. In September, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman speaking at the annual review meeting of the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), said that Nigeria needs to borrow more money from International finance Institutions in order to make up the shortfall in its resource needs for infrastructural development. Some days later I read in the papers where the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo said that we do not need those loans at this time. Who amongst them is right? Confusion at dawn?

 

 

The new naira policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria was suspended because we were told the powers that be were not well briefed or due process was not followed. Let us believe that this is not another confusion at dawn. Let the economic team look well before they take us across the expressway without an overhead bridge. Any mistake on their part causes us to lose so much even lives. The Attorney General of the federation should not be seen to be working against the bid to curb corruption. Let his office work with the agencies fighting corruption so that they do not wash their dirty linens in the public in the name of following due process. After all they are all partners in progress.

 

 

With the spate of interviews, press briefings and releases, it seems it is not a new dawn yet. Statements and counter statements from public officers believed to be working for same purpose shows confusion at dawn. The hangover from the past administration must be dealt with before we can expect a new dawn. The servant leader may mean well for us, but the aides are now looking like people who would kill the dream. It is not yet a new dawn.Not yet uhuru!

 

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

arinze198@gmail.com

http://www.arinze198.wordpress.com

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The Nigerian Flag

October 12, 2007

 

OUR NATIONAL FLAG

 

If you look around your neighbourhood, school, bank or companies, you are bound to see a flag. A flag is a piece of fabric with a special coloured design on it that may be the symbol of a particular country or organization, or may have a particular meaning. Flags represent people or organizations and can be the only symbol left when every other thing had failed to present a good image about a people or an organization. Wherever we see flags our mind goes to what or who they depict.

 

14th of June – is the anniversary of the day in 1777 when the star and stripes became the national flag of the United States. Which day is Nigeria’s anniversary? We have our ‘green white green’ as our flag but many do not have it even in their organizations. To some others, it is only brandished during National days or government sponsored events. Some others only have something to do with it only when Nigeria is participating in sporting events like football matches or other sports. The flag is then forgotten and left to rest for another day.

 

I have often seen foreign Nationals brandish their country’s flags here in Nigeria. But how many people have the Nigerian flag in their offices or homes? Even the men and women with all the National awards (MON, OFR etc) cannot boast of having our flag in their homes or offices. I have seen many of them being interviewed in their offices but you would never see our National flag there. That to a reasonable extent shows our level of patriotism and believe in the polity called Nigeria. Many of us wear branded t-shirts and clothes depicting other peoples’ flags, but how many people even the folks in the corridors of power wear branded t-shirts depicting our National flag colours?

 

Who even designed this our National flag? Many don’t know whether we do have a day for remembering our flag like the Americans do or not. I do feel if Nigeria had one day, on that day they would at least remember the man who designed our flag. Who do we see as heroes or heroine? Who and who deserved all these National awards? It is sad that we all do recognize those who had dainted and soiled the white in between the two green as heroes and heroines. The people that ought to be recognized, remembered and rewarded are not accorded the respect they ought to receive.

 

May be the old generation had failed to recognise, remember and reward this man because he had never rigged elections or carried ‘Ghana must go’ bags. May be because he never contested election to be part of the House that are always renovating their residence. If that man had been pursued by EFCC for contract scam or misappropriation of public funds may be he would have been remembered. This man is not the stooge of any godfather, so no man will mention his name in the Federal Executive Cabinet meeting. May be the ones who compile the list for National awards do not know who ought to receive or needed to be bribed to honour the man who designed our national flag.

 

The young generations are not and would not be part of this injustice done to this great man. The Green White Green Initiative with Mr. Jide Adeyemi as the project director did something on the 1st of October 2007. They remembered this great man and gave him an award. This is the time the people in the corridors of power should right the wrongs done to this man. They should look for this man, rehabilitate him and reward him accordingly. Giving him a car, house, a new lease of life or giving his children scholarship is not a big deal for this great country. The state where he resides (Oyo State) does not recognise him because he is not a political thug or stooge of the old man that reigns there.

 

We need to be patriotic enough to have our National flag in our homes and offices. We need to be truly Nigerian in all. We need to have a day to celebrate our ‘green white green’. We need to celebrate the man who designed our flag and give him the kind of recognition a hero like him deserves. God bless Nigeria. Nigeria must fulfill her place and assignment in destiny. Let’s not forget the real heroes of our nation.

 

 

 

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

arinze198@gmail.com

http://www.arinze198.wordpress.com

AT 47,ARE WE APPOINTING FOR COMPETENCE OR COMPENSATION?

October 5, 2007

APPOINTING FOR COMPETENCE OR COMPENSATION?

 

 

 

Many years back the Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, described the doctor that works like carpenter as ‘Pako’. He also described lawyer that works like doctor as ‘Suwegbe’. This song meant many things to many people. But Abami Eda was simply saying that wrong people were into many positions. What do you expect when you have square pegs in round holes? You would definitely expect misplacement of priorities, chaos, mismanagement, misappropriation, abandoned projects, agencies, companies and organizations going under. The reason why many things are wrong in our great nation is because we do have square pegs in round holes.

 

 

It is common knowledge that talents and natural resources do abound in our nation. What then is the problem? Are we lacking the discoverers of talents? Are we lacking the managers of the already discovered talents? Are we lacking people who can harness and manage the huge human resources? Are we confused about who handles what? We know that the reason we are many miles behind in many areas is because we have not managed are resources properly. Since we do not lack the human resources it is obvious then that our problem lies with channeling or positioning the human resources that abound.

 

 

Myles Munroe said, ‘When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable’. Leadership is abused in our nation because we do not know the purpose or the meaning. Many think leadership is about position. Position does not make leaders. Leaders add value to positions because of their influence and impact. Many are occupying several positions of leadership in different areas when they do know little or nothing in those areas. This is the reason they misplace priorities in those areas. It is rather sad that many vital positions are politicised and given out to people who end up compounding the situation on ground because they do not know about the field and their decisions are faulty.

 

 

Many have said that the biggest problem we have in the political system today is the continuous recycling of people that have no leadership quality. Even the present squad in the polity has been described as the same old wine in old wine skin but with different portfolio. Many questions have been left unanswered about the way and manner most positions of authority are not given to qualified career people who know about them. Vital positions, which are seen as money spinners for the godfathers are reserved for their unqualified sons and wards. It is now common knowledge that appointments into some leadership positions are used to settle political disputes from the opposition and compensate loyal party members for either failing to win or doing wonderfully in the party’s campaigns during elections.

 

 

 

 

Many thought it was the dawn of a new day for Nigeria when in 1999 we received democracy after a long spell of military rule and dictatorship. But the appointments made by that administration did not go down well with many observers. And when it seemed those appointments will rock the boat, many were relieved of their appointments. We had cabinet reshuffle a number of times. Those relieved of their duties were dully compensated with another. It has been business as usual. The death of the opposition and their inability to bring down the level of dominance by the Big Umbrella can be traced to series of compensations they received from the ruling big umbrella.

 

 

Sports administration had been politicised at the expense of our great country. Sportsmen and women who had taken active part in the game are left out in the appointment of administrators. People who do not know what it feels like being an athlete are put in position to administer sports. No wonder they are killing the fighting spirit our athletes used to possess. The game of football that had brought us so much glory and helped launder our image internationally will soon nosedive into a ditch if urgent measures are not taken in the football house. Let’s purge the house of people who do not have the genuine interest of the game and our nation at heart.

 

 

Recently, a young boy living in my neighbourhood walked up to me and asked me a question. He asked me, “Who is the chairman of our Communication Commission (N. C. C)? I told him I only know of Engr. Ernest Ndukwe He told me that the person I mentioned is only the vice chairman. Sincerely, I could not say if he is the vice or the chairman, because all I have known or heard about the communication commission all the while seemed to be Engr. Ernest Ndukwe. When the boy left, I began to think. Does it mean that the commission had a chairman who does not know much about communication but just needed to be there as a political appointee? There are many other areas where we have political appointees who know little or nothing but needed to be there to collect all the estacodes as compensation for the money he or she spent and did not win elections.

 

 

Many who did not win elections either during the primary ‘selections’ or general ‘selections’ in April had either become commissioners or special advisers or one thing or the other. The Big Umbrella did not ‘win’ in some states and it has not gone down well with their members, and party stalwarts. In the center of excellence, their inability to win at the polls was attributed to a lot of factors. Their failure at the polls pulled them apart and the umbrella started leaking. The leakage has not been repaired since then. They now operate in different factions, each trying to outwit each other seeking credibility or relevance in the scheme of things. It is the same situation in some other parties in the opposition.

 

 

 

 

When the present administration came on board, many people had many things to say. Some said this is the first time we are having academicians or real graduates take center stage. It was also expected that the appointments would go the way of real career people and not party loyalists or the stooges of the godfathers. Who and who were appointed? That is history now. It was very interesting watching the screening of the nominees on television. Some of our senators do not deserve to be senators, while some are too brilliant to be there. It was a drama of some sort. Though many were given the pass mark, others were not as lucky. There was no departure from the way it was always done in the past. The question remains, ‘Are we expecting new results doing the same old thing in the same old fashion with the same old or familiar people? That may be insanity on our part.

 

Have you seen the list of the ambassadorial nominees? Do the names on that list look like the people who should represent our great nation? Where are the career diplomats? May be there is a scarcity of career diplomats. The ones who are in the corridors of power have made party loyalty a criteria for anyone to be appointed into vital positions. Someone who failed to win a seat in the senate in the center of excellence is now a ministerial nominee just to settle the feud in the Lagos chapter of the big umbrella. People who failed to win elections in different states of the federation are now on the list of ambassadorial nominees. Compensation or competence? What qualified these men and women? The chairman under the Big Umbrella will soon be out of job and so needed to secure another. The list is endless.

 

Who is an ambassador? An ambassador is an official who lives in a foreign country as the senior representative there of his or her own country. He or she depicts the image of the country and represents the interest of the home country. The question is, ‘How can these people who had preferred party interest to national interest represent us at this time? What image are they going to portray to the international community who knows they were party to the electoral flaws we had and had seen all they were up to in the recent past. Let’s save this great nation all these embarrassment. Nigerians may not have the accurate data of these people, but not so with the international community. This seems to show the rot in our value system as a people.

 

It is time to put square pegs in square holes. It is time to put the interest of this great nation above party interest and loyalty. It is time for career people to occupy vital position and move us forward. It is time to put competence above sentiments. Let’s stop the use of political stooges to mess up the polity. Let’s stop experimenting with the lives of Nigerians in the name of compensation.

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

arinze198@gmail.com

www.arinze198.wordpress.com

HONOURABLE SHOW OF SHAME

October 3, 2007

HONOURABLE SHOW OF SHAME

Everything rises and falls on leadership. It is believed that when something goes wrong with the head, it affects the whole body. I do know that leadership is not the same as rulership. Leadership is not all about position; it is about influence and impact. It is said that positional leadership is the last in the cadre of leadership; it is a situation where position is what makes you the leader, you don’t command influence outside your duty post. We seem to have that kind of leaders all around us.

A leader is meant to go with or in front of the people to show the way or make them go in the right direction. But what we are seeing around does not show we have people who are really pointing to the right direction for us to follow. Some days back, I thought I was watching a boxing bout involving the likes of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, or a royal rumble involving Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Horgan. But I just realized these boxers and wrestlers do not use ‘agbada’. At a closer look, it was our dishonourable’ legislators in a free for all fight. Our different television stations showed this Honourable show of shame to the whole world.

Our legislators are the ones making, changing and passing the laws governing the nation. They are supposed to be men and women of unquestionable integrity and discipline. But I do not know whether this dishonourable display is depicting integrity or discipline. I do not know whether fighting and open display of rascality will soon be passed into law. These people are meant to put checks here and there so that the polity would be better governed. But has the dog eaten the bone tied to its neck? Is this a clear picture of the rot in our value system? Is this how to represent their different constituencies?

What actually caused this show of shame? This show would not have come up if there was no allegation of scam and subsequent set up of investigative panel. I have wondered how much it took to build the residence of the speaker and her deputy that it would require that huge sum to renovate. Is it not the same residence that the former speaker and his deputy occupied? Did they ransack their residence before leaving after their tenure? If they left those houses in good condition, what would have necessitated their renovation? Excess funds to play around? Abuse of power? Many are busy talking about whether due process was followed or not in the disbursement of funds and not the hugeness of the amount in question. It is rather sad that such a thing is happening at this time that the House has not even done enough work or gained credibility enough for people to take sides.

These men and women regarded as ‘honourables’ took a dishonourable path to show that the responsibility bestowed on them was misplaced. This is not the time to ask whether they were selected or elected. We all know the elections that got them to the house were described as charade. But if they were elected and not selected, I believe their various constituencies watched this show of shame on their television the way every other Nigerian did. It is now time for their various constituencies to ask for their recall for gross irresponsibility and misrepresentation. They may need to take the path of honour by resigning from the house, instead of being bad examples to the upcoming generation and marring the image of our great nation.

The picture they are painting right now is confusing. The people who are saddled with the responsibility of making, changing, passing laws and putting checks on the other arms of government are now the ones who need to be checked for their excesses. Do we blame them or the system that produced them? Is that the picture of the real Nigerian polity? Are we expecting too much from these mortals? After all they are all politicians in their own right. Will this be another drama that those under the ‘ BIG UMBRELLA’ will refer to as a family affair?

Many are referring the allegation of scam in the house to be a war or opposition against the feminine gender. Is it true that those men cannot stand having a woman as their speaker and head of the house? I heard someone from amongst the men who took the path of dishonour called the speaker a thief. And I do know she has not been declared guilty as charged by then. Why would a legislator call another a thief when it has not been proven? Does not it mean that he does not know what the law says? Do we have men in the house who do not even know the laws of the land or was it just a sheer show of rascality on their side?

I believe this is the dawn of a New Nigeria. With the way the rule of law is being preached by the new administration, these men who were involved in this Honourable show of shame should learn to obey the rule of law and allow due process of justice to take place in the present drama. We cannot afford this show of shame at this time. The time that would have been used to deliberate and pass relevant bills is being wasted because of their personal interests and greed on the other hand. It is not the time to tread the path of rascality, irresponsibility, wasteful spending and not following due process. It is time for our legislators to tread the path of probity, accountability and transparency. Enough of the Honourable show of shame! Let’s be truly Nigerian in all.

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA

LAGOS.

08033001782, 01-8964893

arinze198@gmail.com

http://www.arinze198.wordpress.com