By Bashorun J.K. Randle
In commemoration of the first one hundred days of the appointment of Professor (Ambassador) Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Commander-In-Chief, Armed Forces of Nigeria, Resilience Television will on Friday August 21st 2020 devote prime time to a documentary on the President’s Chief adviser and ally. Much of it is already well known to the public, especially the international community, courtesy of the website of the United Nations where he served as Under-Secretary-General.
“Ibrahim Gambari is an indigene of Kwara state in Nigeria. Gambari was the pioneer Chancellor of his state’s university, Kwara State University [KWASU] in Ilorin. Professor Gambari attended King’s College, Lagos and bagged his first degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in International Relations. He obtained his Masters and Doctoral degree in Political Science/International Relations from Columbia University, New York, USA.
Over the years, Gambari has had an illustrious career spanning academia, government and international diplomacy. He has held numerous leadership positions (both national and international) and gathered experiences that ratify his competency. Gambari was appointed Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid in 1990, a position he held till 1994. He was also the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in 1990 serving there for 9 years.
Between 1999 and 2005, he served the United Nations as it’s first Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General in Africa. At about the same time, Gambari was the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola. He operated as the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs between 2005 and 2007. Professor Gambari also served as a one-time Minister for External Affairs (1984-1985), joining the African Union at the time as a national delegate.
Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari has received several academic and national honours including the “Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” (CFR) and the “Order of the Champion of the Oliver R. Tambo” (OCORT) of South Africa.”
Following the formal announcement of his appointment on May 17, 2020, Professor Gambari was very clear about his job description: “I shall provide the President with advice, making sure the machinery of government runs smoothly. It is about the President and not the Chief of Staff.
I expect to be a loyal and dedicated man in terms of my priority to the President. The Chief of staff is not to be the head but to serve the President and carry out duties appropriately.” That statement, for reasons which are not entirely clear, reminded many of what General Yakubu “Jack” Gowon who was Military Head of State of Nigeria (1966 to 1975) was alleged to have said: “There are no bad rulers. There are only bad advisers.”The very cerebral Secretary to the Government of the Federation (1972 to 1975) Mr. Charles O. to Lawson who attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford University promptly delivered a heavily nuanced and sarcastic response: “Some leaders deserve the type of advice they get.”
As for General Olusegun Obasanjo who was Military Head of State (1976 to 1979) and civilian President (1999 to 2007), he was as combative and blunt as ever.
When swearing-in his advisers, he did not mince words:
“You are free to give me advice but I am not obliged to accept it.”
None of them resigned on the spot in protest.
We are not privy to what advice Professor Gambari has been giving to Mr. President. Depending on the tradition and culture of the country, case studies reflect huge differences regarding the obligation of the Chief of Staff to the President to document and disclose his advice. President Donald Trump of the United States of America has been vehemently adamant that it is covered by “Executive Privilege” along with his tax returns; his college transcripts and scores; military service/exemption; medical records etc.
Anyway, what is beyond doubt is that Professor Gambari’s credentials and temperament are formidable. From the front page of “The Tribune” newspaper of 25th May, 2020
“Gambari: Why Buhari Made A Right Choice”
“It is heart-warming to have such a quintessential gentleman, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, offering his services to Nigeria in the capacity of Chief of Staff to the President. Those that had the opportunity to encounter and relate with him while he served in diplomatic capacity can attest to his open-heartedness, impeccable character and integrity. This is a man that served the Nigerian nation for the most part of his life, who never compromised the interest and welfare of the Nigerian community in the United States of America. Having had the privilege of coming across and relating with him at close quarter on several occasions gives me the confidence to attest to his pedigree, capacity and ability to function optimally in his new office.
As a diplomat, Professor Gambari’s wealth of experience in Nigeria and offshore, gives him the credentials for the task ahead. Beyond his sterling performance as a diplomat, I was thrilled by his outstanding performances in two of the many assignments he was given while serving outside Nigeria. The first was when he served at the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990) and the other, his service at the Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur (2010). The apartheid assignment made him to work closely with many African governments in the coordination of UN policy to eradicate apartheid.
Despite the weight that comes with his multifarious assignments, he believes that privilege comes with responsibility. He once said in an interview in an African newspaper that, “I regard myself as a teacher by training and diplomat by accident, long accident, but nonetheless accident! In many ways, I have been privileged and with privilege come a lot of responsibilities.”
With his responsibilities as Chief of Staff to the President, I am wishing Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari a successful tenure in office, and as you have always done, may you do well in your new assignment.”– Bukola Adetula.
We also have the benefit of his perception, perspectives and vision in his own words: “If we are to succeed in nation-building, we must have a leadership that is committed to the rule of law and has a demonstrable sense of fair play and democratic tolerance; a leadership with ability and integrity; above all else, we must have a leadership that can see beyond the ostentatious pomp of office. We must have leaders who have a vision for a Nigeria which is better than the one they inherited; leaders who will lead by deeds and not by words; achievers, not deceivers.
Leadership is not everything, but it is an extremely important factor. Unless we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment, and vision, we cannot succeed at nation-building. In today’s world, skills, industriousness, productivity, and competitiveness are the determinant factors of national greatness. Not even the possession of the nuclear bomb is enough to make a nation great without reference to the industriousness and creativity of its citizens.”
At the appropriate time (perhaps in his memoirs) he will avail us of his candid opinion of his leader and President. Hopefully, he will match Chief Bola Ige’s candour: “I can’t be Chief Awolowo (my leader). Let me just be Bola Ige. When you talk of Awolowo, you are talking of a man who ate only when he was extremely hungry; and who measured the amount of water he drank. A man who cannot be moved by the nakedness of women of easy virtues. Nothing moved him, yet he moved everything in his way! A man who believed that thinking of the greatness of his country is a full-time job. He once told us: “Think inside your dreams, start thinking again when you wake up but if you did not wake up, you are a hero if you died thinking about the greatness of your nation.”
My leader was exceptional. He was like nobody else. So, I can’t be like him.”
History is on the side of Professor Gambari as virtually all the problems he is contending with have been with us for a while. Some even go back several decades. A case in point is the generation gap which the late Professor Tam David-West (an unrepentant Buharist) addressed about thirty years ago: “The generation gap is actually a fall out from the fissure in our social structure which is under considerable strain from our obsession with millions i.e. ruthless materialism.
It is instructive, to stress the point that, the means by which such millions are amassed is never called to question. For instance, it could be by cheating; stealing; by lying; by killing; by bribery and corruption; by manipulation; by contract inflation; by ‘pushing’ (cocaine); by ‘trafficking (in foreign currency), by irregular and illegal crude oil transactions; or similar self-serving smart practices. In a word, it could be dirty or godless millions. In a word it is apparently, totally irrelevant and uninteresting.
The end must justify the means. And in Nigeria, the cheer-raisers, the crawlers, the sycophants and the touts are never in short supply, to regularly dose the vanity of our soft millionaires, with the necessary adrenalin. There should be a new culture of reverse snobbery against these soft Nigerian millions. Such a psychological and social re-orientation will eventually cheapen these questionable millions as mega status indices in interpersonal relationships. I am worried because to the best of my knowledge, history has not known of a system that survived, operating the ethic of pockets of tremendous personal affluence living side by side with mass hunger and deprivation.”
Perhaps we should refer to the book: “The Duke And The Soul Princess” by J.K. Randle. “On the subject of the generation gap, we should acknowledge the incisive observations of Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, SAN, (ex-King’s College, Lagos; and Cambridge University) the Deputy Premier of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria who recently (at the Annual Dinner of the Oxford and Cambridge Club, at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos) lambasted the nouveau riche for not only coming into wealth and power through brazenly dubious means but also exciting the envy of the poor through their ostentatious display of such wealth and thereby compelling many (the deprived) to take to robbery in order to share in the free-spending but unproductive life-style which is the new vogue.
According to Chief Fani-Kayode: “This phenomenon was unknown in he 1930’s; 40’s; and early 50’s when integrity, honesty, intellectual achievement, class and style (not money) were the standards of society. The society cracked, the elite was subdued, the old standard was destroyed and a new class of unprincipled characters emerged, which increased from year to year up till today. All the old virtues were discredited; wealth, lies, and cheating became the accepted norms for the struggle to the top. Mediocrity became an asset and the nation’s path to degeneration commenced without reaching the heights of excellence most nations attain before falling.” Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, Q.C., SAN, CON died in October 1995.
Professor Gambari is keenly aware of virtually all the grievances and fault lines in our social tapestry, political fabric and economic misalignments as well as financial misadventure combined with sheer folly and recklessness. They have been lingering for far too long. Now, we are hovering at the precipice. The new Chief of Staff has been presented with a unique opportunity to make a significant impact and epic contribution.
We must join hands with him in the pursuit of the “Common Good” which simply translates as what is good and common (beneficial) to all of us without prejudice to race (tribe); gender; or religion. It all boils down to:
WHAT THOSE WITH POWER MUST RENDER TO THE POWERLESS.
After all, all pain is personal. Indeed, all lives must have a meaning and purpose (even those who are trapped in the grief of survival in the camps meant for IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons).
Living is learning and through the process of accepting every challenge as real we may succeed in changing the perspectives of the Chief of Staff and eventually the lens and prism through which the President, with the rank of General in the Army, draws up his battle plans.
On the raging issue of structure and restructuring, we are entitled to remind ourselves of the encounter with Chief Ufot Ekaette, who was the Secretary To The Government of the Federation from 29th May 1999 to 28th May 2007 under General Olusegun Obasanjo. Incidentally, Chief Ekaette was in Payne’s House, King’s College, Lagos (same house as Professor Gambari, although they were not contemporaries). The current National Security Adviser to the President, the dapper Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) was also in Payne’s House!!
All it took to convince Chief Ekaette (and we do not have any reason to believe it would be any different with Professor Gambari) was to remind him that regardless of whether you were a science or arts student, in the Sixth Form at King’s College, the tutors – Norman John Miners and Tim F. Doust (both of them ex-Oxford University) would insist on introducing you to philosophy. They enjoyed the active support of the Principal (Headmaster) Philip H. Davies (ex-Oxford University). Also on the exotic list were classical Greek and Latin for the eclectic and adventurous. What bliss it was to savour Homer’s portrayal (in classical Greek !!) of Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae and leader of the Greek army in the Trojan War (which lasted ten years).He was a great warrior but selfish ruler, famously upsetting his invincible champion Achilles and thereby prolonging the war and the suffering of his men.
Anyway, he got his comeuppance when he returned from ten years at the war front only to be murdered by his wife and her new lover !! He totally failed to read the “DO NOT DISTURB” notice on the bedroom door. While urging Professor Ibrahim Gambari to make his presence felt in the seat of power, we must add that the philosophy of “presence” is not incontrovertible. Indeed, the French philosopher, Henry Mensonage, who is the undisputed High Priest of “Structuralism” and “Deconstruction” has devoted years of study to proving the absence of presence.
He is unrepentant with his declaration: “I have always tried to stay true to the philosophy of absence – by not being there when needed.” His definition of structuralism hinges on the concept that everything is a sign. “I am a sign; you are a sign. I am trying to signify to you and you are trying to signify to me.”
In simple language. You cannot discharge your responsibilities fully until you are clear in your mind as to what you are trying to signify. In other words, you must demonstrate your capacity to send out the right signals and in turn be receptive to the signals coming from below. However, to further compound matters, Mensonage argues that “Deconstruction” also says everything is a sign – but it makes no sense. I plead with you not to surrender to despair when nothing makes sense. The answer is not to quit – rather it is to dig deeper in the search for a meaning.
It is also worth bearing in mind that another French philosopher, Jean Paul Sarte held tenaciously that existence preceded essence i.e. it is existence (“existentialism”) that is accorded primacy. His theme was that we have a choice between Being and Nothingness. Mensonage, who was a student of the towering Sarte, contends that the choice is impossible – since Nothingness had already won! It is therefore your duty to ensure that Nothingness does not win – even when all around you are counselling that yours is a thankless job. Nigeria, to my mind, deserves to be saved from Nothingness. For as long as the public sector plays such a dominant role in our economy, it is the obvious place to commence the salvage operation.
The majority of our people appear to have persuaded themselves that if they do not have power – they are nothing – they are of no significance; hence the ruthless struggle for power (especially political).”
Perhaps, we should add the verdict of B.J. Neblett: “We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are at any given point in our lives. And like a flowing river those same experiences and those to come continue to influence and reshape the person we are and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday nor will be tomorrow.” As confirmation that our ailments and underlying issues have been festering for several decades, “The Guardian” newspaper published on its front page forty years ago, the views of Professor Lambo who had served as Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation [WHO]. His was a diametrically different perception form that of Chief Remi Fani-Kayode.
Headline: “LAMBO BLAMES WOES ON HIS GENERATION”
“Renowned psychiatrist Professor Thomas Adeoye Lambo yesterday indicted his generation for throwing a spanner into the works in the noble attempt at raising a virile post-independent Nigerian nation. His indictment came in Ibadan as the government raised an alarm on the swelling army of lunatics in the streets.
In critique of what he tagged Nigeria’s slow march to greatness, the former deputy director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told government officials and fellow psychiatrists at their yearly conference that “the cumulative result of the decadence and inept leadership foisted on the nation had resulted in dislocation of all ramifications of the country’s political and socio-economic life”. Going through the nation’s history, Lambo discovered that it was characterised by conceit, blunders, corruption, and indecision-a situation he said was responsible for the ailments afflicting the polity.
“We went into the first republic with a great deal of idealism, hope and trust, sincerely believing that it was an independence to end colonialism social inequality and poverty – one that will bring more freedom and democracy to the people of our country, but when the corrupt republic failed, we accepted the fact without rebellion,” he recalled. To shake off the decadence of the past, the respected academician advocated a “new political institution and a very new constitution,” but quickly noted that the first act of military intervention was the suspension of the constitution: “We will need new concepts with a new social theory. We don’t know when we will get these and what they will look like, but we know we are disenchanted with government, primarily because they do not perform, he said.
His antidote for inept and purposeless government is “a government that can and does govern, focusing on its specialization.”
Just before Oyo State Governor, Col. Adedeji Oresanya had sounded the alarm on burgeoning lunatics. Lambo warned on the rising incidence of mental illness in developing countries, describing the upswing as a new challenge to governments in the Third World. These countries are facing a rapid increase in the frequency and severity of health problems which until recently were erroneously associated with affluence and civilization. He listed Nigeria’s health related problems as:
i.) high incidence of infectious diseases; (this was long before the COVID-19 pandemic !!)
ii.) increasing concentration of people in urban areas with attendant problems of alcoholism, drug abuse and other social vices; and
iii.) lack of co-ordination and national health policy.
In Lambo’s view, Nigeria’s first attempts at development were at variance with its socio-cultural peculiarities. “Too often when we look for assistance, we look in the wrong direction, whereas we could achieve the same end by using our talents and employing our energy to great advantage.” He said.
There is also a class dimension to our problems – going back to the days of the IMF/Structural Adjustment Programme under General Ibrahim Babangida.“Many of the problems revolve around the middle-class who are traditionally the guardians of our social values and economic relativities.
However, the evidence before us provides abundant proof that the middle-class is itself an endangered species – crushed from all sides by the new economic game of survival. When economic pressures become suffocating, social values are inevitably the first victims. This is what probably prompted Professor Dotun Philips, the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) to ask the damning question: “Who bears the burden of SAP (Structural Adjustment Programme); to what extent; and with what relativities? So, it would appear that the brunt of the burden is on those with fixed incomes – wage and salary earners and the middle-class. The question that should constantly agitate the minds of policy-makers is whether this category will be compensated and to what extent? History teaches that in virtually all countries, it is the middle-class (not the rich or poor) which constitutes the major agents of dynamism and progressive change in a society. Nigeria cannot escape this historical lesson. She must not destroy her middle-class on the altar of SAP.”
Perhaps, we should add what Vincent Ezenwa declared on CNN: “Our society encourages corruption as criminals and crooks who amassed their wealth by hook or crook are publicly idolised and worshipped; and those who can’t make it through corrupt practices are jeered at and openly mocked in their communities, because there are no mansions and flashy cars to show for their stint and toil in the public service. So it is even a sin in Nigeria, given the scale of rampant corruption, for an honest and faithful public servant to live within his legitimate income.
Without belabouring the point, there is clearly a linkage between what obtains in our schools and universities; and what prevails in the outside world where the norms established by a previous generation have been ruthlessly crushed by the new generation – impatient, unscrupulous and unrepentant.”
Who is listening when Ezenwa adds: “Corruption would be greatly curbed when Nigerians are not prepared to die at all costs because of naira; when they revise their value system outside naira and kobo (money); and believe in other ennobling values, sacrifice, hard work, devotion and commitment to one’s duties no matter what they are. Those who laid down their lives for the economic survival of this country in the first military coup could be weeping in their graves because these vices they fought against are still very much with us, and worse still, it seems it is now a sin for paupers and nonentities who could previously boast of only mud houses in villages not to leave office as millionaires.’’
The late ken Saro-Wiwa, the Niger-Delta activist who was hanged by the military government of General Sani Abacha was prescient. Long before he was given the death sentence for murder, he virtually wrote his own obituary: “What is wrong with pain? We go through that all the time. Living in Nigeria is to die so many times in one day.”
Even athletes have long-standing grievances as exemplified by the following publication on the front page of “The Republic” newspaper thirty years ago.
Headline: “VICTOR EDET TURNS HIS BACK ON NIGERIA”
“The treatment meted out to some U.S. based athletes who represented the country in the last Olympics in Seoul is still fresh in the memories of some of those concerned. One of the athletes, Victor Edet who ran the best time in the 4 x 100m event in Seoul has vowed that he would never wear the national colours again. I have nothing to do with the green white green colours anymore. I would never wear them again.
I am not proud to be a Nigerian anymore because we don’t know how to treat our people. Our athletes are treated as if they are animals, not human beings”.
Victor who is a student of Ohio University U.S.A. noted that during the Olympics while other countries were paying their athletes to train instead of racing all over Europe, Nigeria did not bother to ask her athletes how they were preparing. Victor’s bitterness stemmed from the fact that their allowances were withheld by NSC; (National Sports Commission) was resulting in their borrowing money in order to return to their base. He warned that people should not be surprised if they hear that he had taken an American citizenship. “They, at least know how to treat their athletes. I will only come to Nigeria on visits but not to stay permanently and never to run again.”
Victor Edet is not alone in his being disillusioned by Nigeria. He is in good company having regard to the following “Breaking News” on CNN:
“Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources (from 2010 –2015) Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, who is in exile in London says societal values have disintegrated to the extent that online fraudsters otherwise known as “Yahoo Boys” have become role models in Nigerian society.
Diezani said this while delivering a lecture at a virtual event which was also attended by her former boss, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Speaking at the event which was organised by the Ijaw National Development Group, Diezani stressed the need for mentorship of Ijaw youths.”
In order to ensure that Professor Gambari is not unduly dismayed, we should remind him that at King’s College, Lagos both Christians and Muslims jointly recited, in the Assembly Hall: “Let us sing the praises of famous men, and our fathers who begat us, through whom the Lord established his renown and revealed his majesty in each succeeding age. Some held sway over kingdoms, and made a name by their exploits. Others were sage counsellors (Chief of Staff !!) who spoke out with prophetic power. Some led that people by their knowledge of the nation’s law; out of their fund of wisdom and gave instruction.
All these won fame in their own generation, and were the pride of their homes. Their prosperity is handed on to their descendants, and their inheritance to future generations. Thanks to them their children are within the covenants – the whole race of their descendants. Their line will endure for all time, and their fame will never be blotted out. Their bodies are buried in peace, but their names live for ever. Nations will recount their wisdom and God’s people will sing their praises.”
Rather than be burdened by the premonition of danger and unpredictability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by nostalgia for bygone certainties, we have been offered solace by George Orwell (1903 – 1950)
“The future is a boot stamping on the human face for ever.”
However, we cannot ignore the warning by T.E. Lawrence (1888 – 1935):
“A man who dreams with his eyes open is a dangerous man. His anger is a cold and calculating one. He knows the quarter to direct his pent-up fury and he is more dangerous because he is highly educated.” This is the juncture when the focus should shift from the esoteric or eclectic to more practical issues. The late Professor Bisi Ogunfowora hit the nail on the head:
“Nigeria is predominantly an agricultural country. Before the advent of oil, agriculture provided the bulk of the foreign exchange earnings; generated employment for over 90 per cent of the population; and supplied the national food and fibre requirements. The oil boom of the 1970’s marked the beginning of the gradual neglect of agriculture with consequent decline in agricultural production and productivity.
The deteriorating performance of agriculture is reflected by:
i.) Declining share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP);
ii.) Declining share of agriculture in total export earnings;
iii.) Rising rate of food in total import bill;
iv.) High rate of increase in food price inflation;
v.) Excessive rural-urban migration that depleted rural labour force.”
We have to thank Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709 to 1784) for his homily:
“Poverty is a great enemy of happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.”
We should also beam the searchlight on our social fabric and at society itself, guided by Friedrich Engels’s (1820 to 1895) summation:
“The criminal statistics prove that a social war is being waged more vigorously, more passionately, and with greater bitterness every year.”
Perhaps that is what prompted Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh to declare in the manner of a cricket umpire: “As for British society, we are confronted with an avalanche of lawlessness which is threatening to engulf our civilization.”
He promptly resigned from active Royal Service !! Professor Gambari is by nature, disposition and temperament a man of peace as demonstrated by the number of peace-keeping missions he superintended during his career at the United Nations. However, here and now he is at the war front – actually, several war fronts.
On its front page, the ‘BusinessDay’ of today has as its headline:
“THESE EIGHT NUMBERS CAPTURE NIGERIA’S WORSENING SOCIO-ECONOMIC CRISIS”
“Rising inflation, a contracting economy, increasing poverty levels, plunging currency value and an ongoing pandemic amid a faulty health system can summarise the pains of people in Africa’s most populous nation.”
Where Resilience Television is obliged (based on the advice of its promoters, the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension) to exercise utmost caution is in airing a statement allegedly attributed to Lt.-General T.Y. Danjuma, the former Chief of Army Staff and Minister of Defence:
Headline: “T.Y. DANJUMA: FULANIS HAVE DECLARED WAR AGAINST INDEGINOUS NIGERIANS AND GRABBING OUR LANDS IN NORTH AND MIDDLE BELT AND WE ARE PLAYING GAMES WITH BUHARI…THE GAME SHOULD BE UP NOW.”
“Retired General Danjuma has urged all indigenous Nigerians from North, South, East and West to face reality, to rise up and defend themselves. The Nigerian Army under Buratai is working with President Buhari to grab lands from indigenous Nigerians owners and give it to Fulanis from West Africa and turn indigenous Nigerians people and land to modern day Fulani Colony.
Rise and defend your land now, rise now before it is too late. No election until this Fulanis killing is stopped and lands grabbed restored back people and the criminals identified, arrested and punished according to Law of the land. This pogrom must stop, yes, it must be stopped. We did not elect them to murder us.
It is a big shame to about 165million indigenous Nigerians from predominantly Hausa North, middle belt, Igbo East and Yoruba West to allow, only 3 million Fulanis (who are Arab Africans) we accommodated to take over Nigeria and be killing everybody in the name of Herdsmen and Boko Haram, and take over our ancestral lands. Big shame to the rest of the people crying like fools. President Buhari’s primary objective to use Nigerian Armed forces, Boko and Herdsmen to fight jihad and massacre the indigenous people and take over our lands and give to Fulanis have started.
They have conquered Hausa, they lost who they are, now, they are fighting and killing people across middle belts (Kogi, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Brono, Benue etc) sacking them from their communities and Presidency protecting and arming the murderers. They have conquered SW by half through Tinubu dynasty, after Middle Belt, they planned to workover South West to gather strength to fight the SOUTH-SOUTH and SOUTH EAST.
This will be the battle of Armageddon. It is a shame for indigenous Hausa, Igala, Tiv warriors, Idoma, Igbo, Yoruba, Calabar, Calabari, Benin, Ishan, Uhroboh etc to name but few to seat and watch Buhari destroy and turn Nigeria to Fulanis colony. This is a war against 165 million Nigerians declared by 3 million Fulanis headed by Buhari. It is time to rise and stop Buhari and his gang of murderers called Fulanis Herdsmen. He is their patron and his loyalty goes to the Fulanis in West Africa and Arabs.
If you are a soldier, police, members of national assemble, professor, academicians, Governors, from these indigenous 165 million being used by Buhari to destroy your ancestral inheritance and your people, you should be shamed and do everything now to stop Buhari.
Because in the end after using you to destroy your people, you yourself will be destroyed. We must all say no to Fulanis Herdsmen destruction now and stop them. Miyetti Allah now determines what happen in the presidency. They warn constitutionally elected governors of states and threaten destruction and Nigerian Army supports them. This is not about politics, it pogroms and ethnic cleansing by Buhari and his gangs.
Let’s the indigenous Nigerians rise now and say enough is enough. Our soldiers should refuse Buhari and Buratai command and secure their people. Senate and House of reps should stand up to their duties and stop this evil before Buhari destroy every one.
Enough is enough. We are tired of mass burials of innocent people from across Middle belt killed and murdered by Miyetti Allah and Fulanis Herdsmen and their land stolen and renamed.
It is time to rise up boldly against this killings and land grabbing and let us all say no to grazing root and planned illegal land grabbing by Federal Government to give Fulanis Herdsmen in the name of open grazing and ranching. Ranching should be a private business, not government business.
Let us all throw away our divisions and fight this war, unleashed on indigenous Nigerians by President Buhari and His Fulanis Herdsmen which he is their life patron.
Pass this and share until the indigenous Nigerians and their leaders wake up and fight this war and end herdsmen killing. They are not stronger than us. Our people in the Army, police, navy should rise Against Buhari and his Fulanis commanders of Armed forces. Share to save life. Do not fear President Buhari and killing squads of Nigerian Army and Fulanis Herdsmen; do not be intimidated, they are not stronger than us. We gave him our sovereignty and now he has abused it and started to kill us and give our lands to foreigners, we must take our sovereignty back now.
We cannot wait till 2023, it is to far. We must fear only God not man, we have to be alive to do election. Nigerians – 165 million Nigerians must arise now to stop Buhari and his 3 million herdsmen and Nigeria military who are killing the people paying tax that pays their salaries. The Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram they are supporting are not paying tax, they are foreigners – Arab Africans. This is more than religion, both indigenous Christians and Muslims are massacred under the supervision of President Buhari. It is land grabbing.
On 5th August 2020, virtually all the major newspapers devoted their front-page to the Audit Report/Forensic Audit Report delivered at the State House, Aso Rock, Abuja, by the National Security Adviser to the President, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd). The common thread was (and remains) the deplorable security situation in the country.
According to “The Nation” newspaper:
Headline: “BUHARI ORDERS SECURITY REJIG AS C.A.N, SULTAN RAISE THE ALARM”
“A rejig of the nation’s security operations has commenced in response to the growing insecurity in many parts of the country.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Major. Gen. Babagana Monguno, stated this on Tuesday after the National Security Council meeting at the State House in Abuja.
According to the NSA, President Muhammadu Buhari, who presided over yesterday’s meeting, gave the directive, adding that he is “working on something” with Minister of Defence Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi in that regard.
Gen. Monguno told reporters after the meeting that the Preisdent directed a “rejig of our strategy, both in terms of operations and intelligence, to further prevent catastrophes. We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected this government and at the end of the day, without securing the nation, all other things such as revamping the economy and fighting corruption cannot be addressed.
He added: “I know it has not been easy, there has been a gradual loss of confidence over the years and the president is determined to restore confidence. Equipping the security agencies.
Speaking specifically on what transpired at yesterday’s meeting, the NSA said: “What the President said today was virtually a reaffirmation of what he said the first time. Yes, Mr President said you are doing your best, as far as I’m concerned, but there’s still a lot more to be done. I’m more concerned about the promise we made to the larger Nigerian society and I am ordering an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus. This is something that I believe will be done in a very short time, but I just want us to keep hope alive.
“I know how everybody feels, I know how Nigerians feel. Definitely, the President is not oblivious of the fact that securing the nation is a primary responsibility of government and I believe in his sincerity, but again, since he’s not an octopus, since he’s not a spirit, if he delegates to people, then, the onus is on them to actually fulfil the legitimate expectations of the larger Nigerian society.
“The office of the National Security Adviser, in conjunction with other security agencies, will work on a blueprint in a short, medium and a long term to address this matter”.
Asked on President Buhari’s earlier marching orders to service chiefs to shape up and live up to their task, Monguno said: “basically, these are operational matters that are best dealt with by the Minister of Defense.
“I know that there’s something that he’s working on, which has led to this meeting being delayed slightly, this meeting was actually supposed to take place before the Sallah holiday, but I think one or two things have come up that I don’t think I can explain, but I want you to be comfortable that something is being done, following that marching order”, he said.
On the clash between Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, and the military, the NSA said he would get a better briefing after the meeting of the National Security Council with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
“Just like you have seen things on the social media here, again I don’t know the final details of what happened, but I know that the governor will meet with Mr President to discuss whatever led to the incident and the debacle. What I know, however, is that in another 30 minutes from now (yesterday), we are going to have a virtual meeting with the Governors’ Forum.
“My name sake has already told me that he’s coming for the meeting, it’s only after that meeting that I can really be able to understand the nitty gritty of what happened, but like you said, it’s unfortunate and I believe we’ll get over this issue”.
Gen. Monguno accused criminals of being driven by drugs: “These drugs basically are codeine, opium, cocaine, tramadol and amphetamines and of course cannabis sativa. The popular drug of choice is tramadol, it is easily acquired. Tramadol has been the drug of choice for terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. And if we don’t tackle this we are going to be immersed great problem by virtue of the fact that he who resides in the town, urban or rural area must be able to collaborate with agents of government in revealing these abnormalities.
“The second issue of course is also tied intrinsically to that situation of banditry in the northwest and north central zones, where you have a lot of illegal aliens working just like what you see in the mining sector, illegal miners working with bandits and kidnappers. Of course, there are also other issues of fully equipping the security agencies” he explained.
What has gone viral is the emphatic declaration by the National Security Adviser [NSA] that security is the number one item on the agenda; and without security virtually everything else – from the economy to education, health, banking, industry and agriculture etc. would collapse.
That cannot be the end of the debate. Unless Professor Gambari has discarded liberal socialism, which was drilled into him at the London School of Economics, we are entitled to expect a robust discussion with the National Security Adviser with a view to shifting utmost primacy from security to the ECONOMY. Perhaps it is an oversimplification to argue that if the economy is thriving, security would find its own level. Of course, the correct answer may be something in-between.
This is somewhat akin to John Maynard Keynes’s vigorous advocacy of liberal socialism and the imperative to borrow money to fund public services. According to Keynes, in pursuing liberal socialism the solution lies neither with nationalisation nor unregulated private competition. It lies in a variety of experiments, of attempts to get the best of both worlds.
In essence, the fate of Nigeria hangs in the hands of two ex-Payne’s House (“KCOBs”) – Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President and Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), the National Security Adviser. The critical issue is whether the final decision will favour Security (Monguno) or Economy (Gambari). Both of them cannot be right. That leaves room for Harman’s House to insist that both of them are wrong !!
The precarious situation is somewhat akin to what prevailed during the Nigerian Civil War (1967 to 1970). Somewhere in the archives is an iconic photograph of the two warring parties at a peace-making meeting (which was eventually aborted).
On the Biafran side were General Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu (leader) accompanied by his Chief Justice Sir Louis Mbafeno and on the Nigerian side were Alhaji Femi Okunnu (Minister of Works); Chief Anthony Enahoro (Minister of Information) , Chief Wenike Briggs (Minister of Education) and two Permanent Secretaries – Chief Allison Ayida and Chief Phillip C. Asiodu. All of them were old boys of King’s College!!
These are really turbulent times. This morning, the main item on the news was:
“NIGERIA ADDED TO WIKIPEDIA’S LIST OF FAILED STATES”
Wikipedia’s list of failed states has been updated and Nigeria is now one of the countries on the list.
The free web-based encyclopaedia project which contains information on a wide variety of subjects, described a failed state as a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly.
It further added that a state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. For a stable state, it is necessary for the government to enjoy both effectiveness and legitimacy. Likewise, when a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total governmental collapse.
Some countries listed as a failed states include; Syria, Somalia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Liberia, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Sudan and South Sudan.
The statement attributed to Lt.-General T.Y. Danjuma on social media somewhat echoes what he had said previously:
“A former minister of defence, Gen TY Danjuma (retired), yesterday accused the Nigerian Armed Forces of aiding attacks by bandits on communities across the country, warning that if such attacks continued, the consequences would make what happened in Somalia a child’s play.
Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff, said the military could not be relied upon for the security of the citizenry, advising Nigerians to rise up to defend themselves or risk massacre.
He spoke at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University in Jalingo where he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
His Taraba home state has recently witnessed attacks and counter-attacks between herders and famers, leading to hundreds of casualties.
While speaking against the violence in the state and other parts of the country, Danjuma said it was time for everyone to rise up and defend themselves.
“The armed forces are not neutral,” he said, adding, “They collude with the armed bandits that kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them.
If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will die one by one,” he said.
He threatened that violence would result should the killings in his state and other communities in the country continue.
The ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State. It must stop in all the states of Nigeria, otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask every one of you to be at alert and defend your country, defend your territory, defend your state. You have nowhere else to go.” he said.
General Danjuma said Taraba was a miniature Nigeria with diverse ethnic and cultural heritage the armed bandits are trying to bring to ruins, warning that people must rise up to the challenge and resist them.
Earlier, the state governor, Darius Ishaku said the university was a great blessing to the state and appreciated the founders for the initiative. He said he would continue to support the university. The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Vincent Tenebe disclosed that 5,900 students graduated with various degrees. General Danjuma donated N100 million to the institution.”
Indeed, former Military Head of State and Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo spoke in the same vein:
“It is no longer an issue of a lack of education and employment for our youths in Nigeria which it began as, it is now West African Fulanisation, African Islamisation and global organised crimes of human trafficking, money laundering, drug trafficking, gun trafficking, illegal mining and regime change”
However, the most strident alarm was delivered from totally unexpected quarters by Dr. Obadia Mailafia, the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the “Morning Crossfire”, a radio programme on ‘NigeriaInfo FM’ on August 10, 2020:
“Some of us also have our intelligence networks. I have met with some of the bandits; we have met with some of their high commanders, one or two who have repented, they have sat down with us not once, not twice.
They told us that one of the Northern governors was the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. They have a sophisticated network. During this lockdown their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown. They were moving ammunition, moving money, and distributing them across different parts of the country.
They are already in the South, in the rain forests of the South. They are everywhere. They told us that when they finish these rural killings, they will move to phase two. Phase two is that they will go into urban cities, going from house to house killing prominent people.”
Even though Dr. Mailafia was invited by the Department of State Security in Jos and allegedly questioned for seven hours, he has stood by the alarm he raised in the radio interview.
Even more alarming is the statement attributed to the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ihejirika:
“Speaking to Vanguard Thursday, Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Ihejirika shot back at former minister of the FCT, Nasir El-Rufai, who earlier today accused Ihejirika of being a sponsor of terror sect Boko Haram. The former Army Chief called El-Rufai’s allegations a “diversion” to take attention from his own involvement.
“The (commanders), including El-Rufai, know where the problem is,” Ihejirika told Vanguard. “He should stop deceiving Nigerians by trying to divert attention”.
He continued, pointing an accusatory finger at the former minister, claiming it was he who kept the necessary weaponry and equipment needed to fight the insurgency from the military. “The likes of El-Rufai have been supporting Boko Haram. In fact, El-Rufai and his likes are the same group of people that ensured the army did not to get the requested equipment to deal with this menace once and for all, as they used their cohorts to tell the government that procuring modern equipment were not necessary.”
The former Army Chief also said that El-Rufai and others allegedly green-lighted Boko Haram’s activities and attempted to divert concern from the atrocities of the sect. “When the Boko Haram operation started, supporters of the sect like El-Rufai said that there was nothing like Boko Haram and that the army was just killing innocent youths,” he said, furthering, “El-Rufai said that I was re-inventing the killing of the Ibos during the Biafra war following government’s determination to rid the country of terrorism.”
Iherjirika also says that he was the first person to declare that the country was dealing with a war situation, but El-Rufai and others allegedly denied the gravity of the situation, disagreeing with his judgment. This move, the General says, gave Boko Haram time to regroup and redevelop.
“It is the same group of El-Rufai that started the human right abuses campaign. It was done in order to block any international assistance after the state of emergency was declared and the sect was initially tamed. That gave Boko Haram time and respite to build up again”.
Ihejirika also told Vanguard that El-Rufai and others are further involved with Boko Haram and its operations, but that he could not yet disclose that information.”
Here is what the late Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Dr. Walter Carrington had to say about Nigeria:
“When I came here as an ambassador in 1993, the first place I went to was Ibadan and I almost wept, I could not believe what I saw. In 1959, on the eve of independence, there was so much great hope and now with the 50th anniversary, I hope to be able to come back to celebrate, but I think the theme of it should be a new beginning.
Nigeria, as a nation has great human resources but also has natural resources. Nigeria has been one of the most successful in terms of their works in the US. With some right leadership, things will work out.”
The Ambassador who died in Boston, Massachusetts a few days ago should have added a quip which has at various times been attributed to Oscar Wilde; George Bernard Shaw; Winston Churchill and Georges Clemency:
“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”
As we speak, Nigeria like the rest of the world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our public health crisis has exposed the delinquency and waywardness which we have accumulated over the years in addition to endemic corruption as well as outright incompetence.
Headline: COVID-19: Nigeria’s Health System Zero, Fight By The Grace Of God — SGF Boss Mustapha
The Presidential Task Force Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has expressed concern about the inaccessibility of some COVID-19 hots spots in the country.
He said: “Some of the hots spots are not easily accessible. That we are still standing as a country in the fight against COVID-19 is by the grace of God because our health system is zero.
More worrisome is the fact that the initial hotspot areas were easily accessible to medical support. Albeit, the new ones are areas more removed from such support.”
Mustapha spoke on Thursday at the PTF media briefing in Abuja. He said the PTF would continue to get Nigerians to understand that the COVID-19 fight is about self-preservation.
“If we can get Nigerians to at least have slight attitudinal change, we would have flattened the curve. If we can up our game a little bit, I can assure you we will be able to handle the impact of this pandemic until any form of treatment comes up.
Similarly, this unpredictability is reflected in the last twenty-four hours when Plateau State witnessed the highest daily number of confirmed cases.
This call becomes more imperative when we realise that from an initial ten (10) hotspot Local Government Areas in the country, we moved to sixteen (16) and now have twenty (20) of such, indicating spread to other areas,” he SGF said.
On the recent reported cases of infection among some students sitting for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations in Gombe State, Mustapha expressed concern about the development and emphasized the need for more vigilance by those in the education sector.
“Furthermore, the recent case of infection amongst some students sitting for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations calls for more vigilance by the education sector and all of us.”
The PTF chair blamed low COVID-19 testing of about 3,000 daily on failure of some Nigerians to come for tests.
He allayed their fears, saying “everything we need to fight COVID-19 is at our disposal but the greatest challenge in fighting the pandemic has been the attitude of Nigerians”.
He said the pandemic curve would have been flattened the curve if many Nigerians had adhered to simple instructions. The ambitious target of achieving two million COVID-19 tests within three months between May and July 2020, was not met. The PTF Chairman said though Nigeria now had infrastructure to test up to 15,000 per day, the daily records show that tests done for now are between 3,000 and 6,000.
Mustapha said though it is gladdening to note that the country had been diligently following science in its national response, there is need for Nigerians to start seeing the need to take advantage of the improved testing infrastructure and go out to get tested for COVID-19.
He emphasised the unpredictable nature of the virus, adding that it had been more devastating with populations that had failed to regard advice on precautions, highlighting the viciousness of its unpredictable nature with the surge in case records in Plateau State in the last 24 hours.
“So far, our National Response has shown that Nigeria is following the science through effective case management but need to improve our testing. Our testing infrastructure has been increased to undertake up to 15,000 tests per day but we are currently testing between 3,000 to 6,000 daily due mainly to people still not subjecting themselves for testing. I, therefore, want to seize this opportunity to enjoin Nigerians to get tested.
The corona virus continues to display unpredictable characteristics that show its relentless nature on populations that disregard common and simple protective measures. Such behaviour has been amplified in the surge in some states of the United States of America.
On the planned resumption of international flights, the SGF said: “As we further open up the aviation sector with the planned operation of international flights from 29th August, 2020 beginning with the Nnamdi Azikiwe and Murtala Mohammed International Airports (NAIA and MMIA), the PTF seeks the cooperation of all stakeholders to work at arriving mechanisms that would be mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.”
Anger, anxiety and sadness have engulfed our entire nation. We are bleeding and battered but we must nevertheless remain unbowed.
On one point both the Chief of Staff to the President and the National Security Adviser do not hold divergent views – our situation is precarious and our mood is volatile.
That is precisely why the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension have been putting pressure on Resilience Television not to jeopardize their investment in the venture until they have thoroughly verified all the statements attributed to Professor Ibrahim Gambari; Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Lt.-General T.Y. Danjuma; and others.
Indeed, before the documentary is aired, it must be vetted by first-class lawyers – Chief Ladi Williams SAN; Mr. Kayode Sofola SAN; Senator Dipo Odujirin SAN; Prince Yemi AdefuluMr. Asue Ighodalo; Mr. Yemi Adeola; and the newly elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association Mr. Olumide Akpata. All of them were in Payne’s House !! Akpata’s father Dr. Henry Akpata was in Hyde Johnson’s House.
What is at stake is not just our investment (and our bequest to the next generation) but a unique opportunity to validate the philosophy of Professor Edward De Bono (of University of Cambridge), the architect of Lateral Thinking:
“Always ask why. Question everything. Nothing is sacred.”
He is a physician, author, inventor, and consultant from Malta and is regarded as the world’s leading authority on conceptual thinking as the driver of organizational innovation, strategic leadership, and individual creativity. He is known as the father of Lateral thinking, a brain training pioneer. He is the author of “Six Thinking Hats” and is a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.
What is on offer is the emphasis on the importance and necessity for imaginative solutions to crises.
He says lateral thinking is the generation of new ideas using insight, creativity and humour. By virtue of its freshness, it’s likely to succeed where old-fashioned linear methods fail. The idea of lateral thinking is to find entirely new ways of thinking and acting, to break out of set patterns that are going nowhere. It is both constructive and positive. It is not passive. Humour and enjoyment are vital. As with any process, what you don’t do is as vital in lateral thinking as what you do.
Think of consolidating your own position rather than attacking someone else’s. Negativity allows mediocrity to prevail. That’s why lateral thinking is always positive. It’s not hard to find something good about other people. You can at least try asking, “What can she/he do? How can she/he help me? What is good about her/him? How can we all pull together on this? What is the thing I’m best at? What do I enjoy doing best?
In dealing with problems, Professor de Bono is emphatic: “A problem is only the difference between what you have and what you want. To solve it, don’t go battering blindly or dig in your heels, put your hands over your ears and mutter, “Shan’t!”
Instead, you should ask yourself what you do want to do and go with that.
That is the use of “water logic” rather than “rock logic”. Water logic flows round obstacles, adapts itself to the prevailing contours of the landscape, and finds its own level. Rock logic remains hard and unadaptable and may become an obstacle in itself:
Linear (unlike lateral) thinking moves in one direction – step by logical step. On the other hand, lateral thinking being ready to explore possibilities, does not go down just one route. On the contrary, it releases talents and abilities we do not realise we have. It involves risk and daring.
The first technique is to search for alternatives. Instead of thinking: “This is the way it’s done” or even worse, “This is the way its always been done”, ask yourself, “How else could I do this?”
Lateral thinking improves with practice. Solving problems is enormously self-reinforcing. The renewed confidence that comes from these feelings of wellbeing strengthens your ability to deal with future problems.
We have been duly cautioned:
“So, don’t think “obstacles” – which can’t be got round – think “problems”, because they have solutions.
The powerful message and profound conclusion are that the purpose of lateral thinking is not to be right but to be effective. You can only be effective if you learn to sift the crucial factors in any situation from the confining structures.
Professor Anya Oko Anya, a renowned Professor of Biology and currently the President of the Nigerian Prize For Leadership has entered the fray with his warning: “FAILURE TO BRIDGE GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR COULD BE PRECURSOR TO CHAOS”
It was Richard Nixon, the late President of the United States of America who observed that no leader can afford to haughtily declare that he cannot suffer fools because:
i.) in any population, fools may be in the overwhelming majority and
ii.) those we regard as fools may not be fools at all !!
At the recent burial of Congressman John Lewis, the legend of civil rights movement in America, former President Bill Clinton delivered a spell binding eulogy which reminded the global audience that:
i.) We are poor not because there is not enough to feed the poor but there is not enough to satisfy the rich.
ii.) He thought the open hand was better than the clenched fist.
iii.) He lived by the faith and promise of St. Paul: Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart. He never lost heart. He fought the good fight, he kept the faith, but we got our last letter today on the pages of the New York Times. Keep moving. It is so fitting on the day of his service, he leaves us our marching orders: Keep moving.
Neither Professor Gambari (an Economist) nor Major-General Monguno (an architect) is a stranger to computer modelling and simulations. At its most basic, we are dealing with algorithms, data, statistics, projections and FALSE NEGATIVES !! Whatever turns up must be able to withstand rigorous interrogation.
The essence of computer modelling is to project, for example, the doubling of the budget for security/defence and the impact on other competing demands such as education, health and infrastructure etc. It could turn out that you are wasting resources that would be better spent on critical areas without compromising security provided the funds are spent judiciously with emphasis on the right equipment, training, welfare of troops and public enlightenment. It also affords us an opportunity to check how what we spend on security as a percentage of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) stacks up against a wide range of other countries – United States of America; Britain; China; India; Russia; Saudi Arabia; France; Germany; Japan; Isreal right down to Ghana; South Africa; Kenya; Thailand etc.
The share scale of resources diverted from military and security funds/budgets as evidenced by humongous loot recovered from military/security officers who have faced trial as well as embarrassing cases of mutiny by soldiers at the war front on account of allegations of corruption against their commanders (even to the extent of circulating on videos, without disguising their identity, serious complaints) make comparative analysis based on aggregate data a compelling obligation.
Both Professor (Ambassador) Ibrahim Gambari and Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) would benefit immensely from the outstanding seminal work of Professor Louise Mary Richardson (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford) whose area of specialisation is the study of terrorism.
Indeed, Professor Robert Irwin Rotberg of Harvard University can lay just claim to expert knowledge of the Nigerian conundrum as evidenced by his books:
1. “The Corruption Curve”
2. “State Failure and State Weakness In a Time of Terrorism”
3. “Governance and Leadership”
What we are entitled to expect from Professor Gambari is transformational leadership – the product of those lessons he learnt at King’s College, Lagos and London School of Economics, to wit:
A fairer and more equitable society will make Nigeria a better place for everybody.
The old boys of King’s College are solidly behind him. We shall address the issues raised by Ambassador Dapo Fafowora in his book: “Lest I Forget: Memoirs of a Nigerian Career Diplomat” and Mr. Femi Adesina (Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President) “The Slap Next Time” in Part II of the documentary.
In the meantime, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie (ex-St. Gregory’s College and previously the Administrator/Proprietor of the College) has delivered a cardinal salvo in a statement, titled: “CORRUPTION AND NIGERIA’S UNCERTAIN FUTURE”:
“Nigeria is a sinking ship being navigated by pirates. There is need to take urgent steps to rescue Nigeria from the hands of brigands. Not to do so would amount to flirting with violence. The current level of corruption is dangerous. The anger of the people may lead to a violent uprising whose consequences we cannot foresee. Let us step back from the road to bloodshed.
That is why we hear of huge sums of money getting into wrong hands. What we have is not politics of the common good but politics of selfish interests. And its agents in every government are going scotch free. The constitution we operate provides incentives for corruption, and where there is corruption there will be poverty and insecurity.
Our constitution is just a formula for sharing Nigeria’s wealth placed in the hands of politicians. It provides for so many offices, so many parastatals and ministries, and the bureaucracy it creates is consuming Nigeria’s money. The size of government has depleted Nigeria’s wealth. Politics is the largest industry in Nigeria. It is no longer news that many people go into politics because of the opportunity to enrich themselves at the people’s expense
We ought to have utilized the wealth of Nigeria to develop the people. But we have witnessed successive regimes of politicians in military and civilian garbs who enrich themselves by impoverishing the people.
The sad consequences confront us: no good roads, no good schools, no good hospitals, no good airports, no electricity, no security, no comfort. The average Nigerian has nothing to enjoy while members of the political oligarchy are living extravagantly. But for Covid-19, they would have been in Dubai. Fela Anikulapo Kuti once asked: ‘How country go dey make money when country people no dey see money?’ The question is yet to receive an answer.
Our country that God gave us is raped and robbed with impunity by those who should be working for the common good. The future of Nigeria is jeopardized in the present by politicians who show symptoms of kleptomania, an irresistible tendency to take what belong to all of us. Many of our leaders are getting away with daylight robbery and murder.
We are deceived into believing that a war is being waged on corruption. But we witness a circus, a shameless show of brigandage in government, where we hear of billions of naira being spent on frivolous projects that are of no advantage to the Nigerian people. We have been told that looted money is being returned. Yet, government is borrowing. There is a big contradiction here. If looted money is being returned, why does Nigeria have to borrow so much?
There is an urgent need to restructure government in Nigeria. Concrete steps will have to be taken. First, the constitution must change. The current constitution provides a recipe and a licence for theft in government, for poverty of the populace, and for insecurity in the land.
Each President and each governor should consider his single term in office to be a penalty kick. A player chosen to take a penalty kick has only one opportunity to put the ball in the net.
Nigeria does not need a bicameral legislature of 109 senators and 375 members of the House of Representatives. She can do well with just one federal parliament. The current bicameral legislature is wasteful and should be abolished by the new constitution.
The military origin of this constitution shows that it was conceived by people who thought Nigeria’s oil wealth would flow endlessly to the advantage of political officeholders. Now, we know better. The oil is not dry. But it is not being bought. This will have severe consequences on the standard of living of the Nigerian. Post-COVID-19 Nigeria cannot survive on a bicameral legislature.”
Not unexpectedly, the old boys of St. Gregory’s College are solidly behind him.
Professor Gambari is duty bound to restore trust in the Government. In my own case, my campaign to become the President of St. Gregory’s College Old boys Association is on track. I am entirely in agreement with Mallam Mamman Daura – “Election should be based on merit, not on the school you attended.”
In the fierce urgency of now, it is never too late
This is not the time to be speechless.
Our worst nightmare (in broad daylight !!) is the invitation from the President to join him at a feast (State banquet) but his bodyguards start shooting at us. It was only the timely intervention of Professor (Ambassador) Ibrahim Gambari that came to our rescue. As for our ancestors, they have handed down their wisdom – they always spoke in parables in order to avoid being misquoted.
––Bashorun J.K. Randle is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).