I just read through
Clive Cussler’s “The Sea Hunters” (True Adventures with
Famous Shipwrecks), when the vendor delivered the Saturday
Guardian of February 20, 2010.
I read the article on page 9 entitled, “TURAI: Of a First
Lady, Power and Jostle for Jonathan’s Successor”.
The article helped me to win an insight into the Yar’Adua
presidency and how fractionally close to shipwreck we were.
In any “AGBATA-EKE REPUBLIC”, the winner takes all. Hajia
Turai Yar’Adua, from her Akashi records could have been
Queen Amina of Zazzau and so power-broking is not new to
Of course every power dispenser, demands utmost loyalty.
Honestly, I do not know the motive behind or in front of the
write-up at this delicate period, when we are pulling back
from the brink.
Why do some writers wait till political office holders leave
office before they go to town with that which discerning
citizens already know?
Who cares now what Madam President did or did not do? Every
Nigerian woman would probably have done the same. Crying
profusely over split milk is no chivalry and not my cup of
Our system or better the lack of it permits all sorts of
behaviour. Until we have a regulatory system of governance
that holds people to account firmly and quickly, the
“DESTROYERS OF NIGERIA” will continue to hit and run.
Our historic shipwreck can be avoided if we all put across
well-researched and rational suggestions to the government
instead of engaging in a quest for a paradise lost.
In this country, where the delights of vengeance are
thoroughly appreciated, the illuminations and splendid fetes
given to the population’s spokespersons will be rewarded
with a huge success.
In a situation, where mudslinging becomes the order, caution
will no longer be necessary amidst buck-toothed bites and
the general storm of invectives. This will be dangerous.
A national newspaper (not The Guardian) reported that
government was considering bringing back some former
officials, who served in the previous regime. Liberals think
that this is frightening and that government should be on
the side of caution because this would exasperate the
feelings of well-conditioned citizens, who see a new day.
I feel a frightful headache and a depression into the
If is the story is true, this would open the door to a
general Amnesty for all indicted persons because “Things
that are equal to the same things are equal to one another”,
if Euclid was right. There will be general remorseful and
rueful regrets among those of us, who have permitted
ourselves to hope.
The war against corruption would become an empty
sloganeering. There is need to put out a confirmation or
denial of that newspaper report.
It would seem that shortly after the general festivities and
the drunkenness that followed, we are about going back to
The concert of execration is quite unanimous among Nigerians
that such a development is incendiary, insulting and
It will be taking one step forward and two steps backward.
We cannot relish boiled eggs in which we have expressed
There is a jurisprudential maxim, which teaches
that”Justitia neminem excusat” It would seem that in
Nigeria, justice is selective, timid and indecorous.
This hare-brained idea that Nigeria must be governed by
ex-this and ex-that as if only those, who had failed before
are the only good ones is simply idiotic, simplistic and
wrong. A new thinking pattern must emerge.
In statecraft, poverty-stricken ideas lead to disasters.
Those with vulgar habits of mind cannot govern. These are
people, who are transported by the delight of being in power
but cannot perform, so they look for supermen, who will
adorn their government with frescoes.
They set up thousands of Committees and panels that
occasionally produce little results. Government by
guess-work, trial by error, learning period, belongs to the
days of yore.
With a teeming reservoir of Nigerian intellectuals both
within and outside this country, we have no reason to
harbour first degree graduates in the highest levels of
government. These chancers are rotated around the ministries
with every passing regime. They neither improve nor impress.
They are the Permanent Secretaries. They too must change up.
Some of them see things from the foot of the mountain, are
incapable of handling complex phenomena, so they depend on
the capabilities of others. Yet, the are the bosses!
They relate to their bright junior colleagues with
ineradicable suspicion about their possible overthrow in the
scheme of things. This creates cold comfort in ministries
and other work-places.
The most important thing now is not to write beautiful
essays unearthing ignominies but to engage in constructive
dialogue with government, ministers and others in suggesting
ways to lift our people up and not depress them further
because, from what I saw two weeks ago, when the people
demonstrated that Jonathan be sworn in as Acting President,
the struggle for self-determination assertion will be
There is a conviction I have that the future is always
pregnant and although it delivers beautiful things, it at
times, delivers mongrels.
Those Nigerians, who do not know the sources of our
retrogression should look back at how some people had
cheated the nation, brazenly in the past and have positioned
themselves for further escapades. So, where is the blessed
assurance that things will work differently?
We must pursue expansionist policies that should propel the
nation to gain acceleration in the right direction and not
panda to those, who see governance as solely, a means of
primitive accumulation of wealth.
Government must start on a clean slate. A patch-work of the
old and the new is going to lead to confusion. Each
minister, director or adviser must come up with defined
policies and the strategies for their execution.
The press should encourage critical appraisals of such
policy documents. No minister should read his or her
speeches but deliver them in an explanatory way to show that
he or she understands the nitty-gritty and kern of what the
topic is about.
We should work out counter-measures to plug the loop-holes
in the British- style civil service that always lead to
For example, no mail or enquiry should remain untreated,
three days after an officer receives such communication.
Every letter should be signed by at least two officials.
Every senior position must be subjected to yearly appraisals
to determine the officer’s effectiveness. Government owes
no-one the duty to keep dead woods.
Cronyism leads to selecting relations and friends but it is
bad for governance. The people so favoured put their elbows
on damask tablecloth and do little.
We have suggested some regulatory measures. If these
measures are already in the system, then, a vigorous
enforcement mechanism must be put in place. In Abuja, some
lazy officials get to work, regularly late without
sanctions. Our civil service must rescue itself from the
decadence that has engulfed it for years.
Finally, government must overcome the irresistible pressures
usually mounted by the Old Boy Network. The musings by the
loud, vocal critics should not be mistaken for erudition.
Very often, amidst the “sound and fury”, their cryptic
remarks and suppositions are usually hortatory and these
convey no relevant theoretical nor practical basis for
societal development after the tumultuous hand-clapping.
Some have been on this for decades and are still high on
heels. Their ramblings that often rattle governments and
individuals only pass as entertainment, when subjected to
Of course, in a predominantly, marginally literate society
like ours, such regular cymbals janglers are heralded, even
when they pontificate inanities of transient and
We cannot afford to fail this time around and government
must do everything necessary to succeed. The disaster would
be of cosmic scale, if we fail.
The declaration by some Senators that they will impeach
Yar’Adua is a belated, cowardly act by those, who have no
qualms now that the tide has turned.
GOD assures us his people that he will continue to overturn,
overturn and overturn. I have said this many times.
Injustice done to one man or a group of helpless minorities
can move the HAND of JEHOVAH NISI.
That article on Turai Yar, Adua should have been published
The newspapers we respect should publish news that should
prevent damage to the nation. Post-mortem excavations are
The Guardians’ editorials have always been timely and
comprehensive. This is why we politely suggest that The
Guardian may respectfully wish to de-emphasize juicy stories
about individuals (though these sell newspapers), as its
intellectual rigour returns to direct and canvass opinion
against retrogression and a possible shipwreck of our
Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the President of
the proposed AFEMAI UNIVERSITY, FUGAR, Nigeria.