O, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott)
Some who are too scrupulous to steal your possessions nevertheless see no wrong in tampering with your thoughts (Khalil Gibran)
I am happy that Oshiomhole told the leader of the Good Governance Tour, Labaran Maku, to go to hell. It is a big scam (Prof. Wole Soyinka)
Government isn't a good way to solve problems ... [G]overnment is concerned mostly with self-perpetuation and is subject to fantastic ideas about its own
capabilities. ... [G]overnment is wasteful of the nation's resources, immune to common sense and subject to pressure from every half-organized bouquet of
assholes. ... [G]overnment is distrustful of and disrespectful while being easily gulled by those with money, influence or fame (P. J. O'Rourke)
In Igbo parlance “the lizard said that a hot topic shouldn’t stay long on the tongue”.
his topic demands prompt response, because, the Nigerian ruling class’s corrupt tendencies are getting out of hand. The rulers of Nigeria don’t give a hoot about the feelings of the ruled as they continue plundering Nigeria to the point of extinction.
Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said what other governors may be afraid to say. Ndiigbo say “that if a king misbehaves, his subjects will cover their face with basket to admonish him”. President Goodluck Jonathan has disappointed so many of us who thought he would have ushered in a new and a better dawn for Nigeria, but, lo, he has turned out to be worse than his predecessors. Not only that corruption is at all time high, but, development has stalled in Nigeria. Everyday, Nigeria gets worse as the president preaches another thing while doing another.
Adams Oshiomhole changed a lot after he escaped death by a whisker when Comrade Chima Ubani, who was this writer’s friend, a fellow Ngwa man and a fellow lion (UNN alumnus), died his death for him. Remember that Adams Oshiomhole was the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) before resigning to contest for the Edo State governorship post. In 2005, Oshiomole decided not to travel with others in his jeep from Maiduguri to Abuja and along the way those riding in that his jeep all perished. Chima Ubani died in that car crash in Potiskum, Yobe State on September 21, 2005, while returning from a nationwide sensitisation tour of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to protest fuel price increase. Chima Ubani died alongside a photo journalist, Tunji Oyeleru of Vanguard newspapers and three others, the driver, an NLC staff and a policeman, as they were travelling in the official jeep of the NLC president, Mr Adams Oshiomhole. They were on their way to Abuja to connect a flight to Lagos after an anti-fuel price hike rally in Maiduguri, Borno State (Chima Ubani, 43, was a leading human rights activist and mobiliser. Until his death, he was the Executive Director of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO). He was the brain behind Campaign for Democracy. May his soul and those of others continue to rest in peace).
After this crash, Adams Oshiomole became a changed man. May be that accident scared the hell out of him. He let the fire in him to be at low ebb; he let down the gauntlet and started dining with those he was criticising hitherto with only occasional foray into revolutionism. Adams Oshiomole is, no doubt, one of the best governors in Nigeria at present as he has transformed Edo State overnight, but, he’s still carrying moral baggage alone due to the sexual assault accusation hanging on his neck (although he claimed it was false allegation). But, this previous week, the old Adams Oshiomhole, we all knew and cherished, re-surfaced, after a long time in hibernation. He made two comments which were like music to this writer’s ears.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said that he won’t use state resources to finance Good Governance tour. The Vanguard, and infact many Newspapers, of Wednesday, February 20, 2013 wrote that “Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that he was not prepared to spend the state’s limited resources to finance the Federal Government’s Good Governance tour, led by Minister of Information and Orientation, Mr. Labaran Maku. Oshiomhole, at a seminar on Tax Laws in the state, organised by Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, in Benin, explained that he had opposed the proposal for state governments to sponsor the team, when the matter came up at the Governor's Forum.
He said that the Good Governance team had sent in a proposal, imploring him to provide accommodation, feeding and logistics for over 120 delegates, when they visit the state next week. Oshiomhole, who lamented what he called the bogus proposal from the team, said: "Whenever Edo State government officials travel to Abuja for official duties, the state takes responsibility and not the Federal Government. So, it is not proper to use Edo State tax payers' money to finance a Federal Government programme. If they pay me a courtesy visit, I will receive them, but I don't have a dime to spend on them because I do not need them to come to tell Edo people how I built roads and schools. My achievement speaks for me."
Then, the following day, Governor Oshiomole also said that Nigeria needs radical change and not slogans. The Vanguard of Thursday, February 21, 2013 wrote that “Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole Wednesday insisted that solving Nigeria's problems required revolutionary agenda and not transformation as is being orchestrated in some quarters.
The governor stated this when he received the new leadership of the Edo State Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by Desmond Agbama. Oshiomhole said Nigeria should wake up to its responsibilities of giving direction to other countries of Africa. "What Nigeria needs is a revolutionary agenda because the level of decay in our society and the amount of dysfunction in our society is high. The gap between where we ought to be and where we are, is such that we can't make up through just reform. I think we need a radical strategy to make up for lost grounds. We are in trouble; we need to sit up to meet up with those who have started working while we were sleeping. Today, the Ghanaians are asking Nigerians to go home, when we were at our best, we said 'Ghana must go' and they went, they fixed their politics right. They have changed their political system; different political parties have formed national governments there. Ghanaian democracy is on; power truly belongs to the people. It is clear that Nigeria has to wake up. The African elephant has been on its belly for too long, it has to get up and run. So what we are doing in Edo is more of a revolution".
For now, let’s look at the ‘Good Governance Tour’ issue: This writer wants to know who sold the president this idea of sending the minister and a bogus delegation to states to inspect projects? Has the federal government inspected all the projects it awarded their contracts all over Nigeria before sending a delegation to states to inspect what the states are doing? Many Contractors who were awarded federal government contracts absconded after collecting mobilization fees because nobody was there to supervise them or to inspect the work they were supposed to have done, but, this president is at ease with sending out his minister and a bogus delegation to go from state to state inspecting what the governors are doing in their respective states when he is doing nothing at the centre. The minister, who was supposed to be sitting behind his desk always, working for Nigeria, has been junketing from state to state, collecting patronage and campaign resources for the president as well as wasting the states’ resources, after the local politicians have embezzled the greater chunk, which could have been used to provide one service or the other for the people of those states.
This writer arrived at Port Harcourt International Airport from Frankfurt Germany on 18th of January, 2013. As he was picked up, the Abia State radio station was incessantly announcing that the “Good Governance Tour” has arrived Abia State and would inspect projects in all the local governments of Abia State to the extent that it turned into a cacophony. The following day, the radio station announced that the leaders of the delegation have praised the governor of Abia State for the massive development he has wrought in Abia State. I was wondering which state those fools were talking about, because, in Aba, despite that January was a dry season month, there were no motorable roads there, people were just managing to get through. If thing are so bad in dry season, think of what the condition of the roads would be during the rainy season, and still, the delegation sent by President Jonathan to Abia State was praising the governor of Abia State to the high heavens for bringing development to the state. That must be after the state government has given the members of the delegation millions of Naira for their master in Abuja and after treating them to sumptuous meals, providing them with drinks, accommodation, free ride and free women. Nothing works in Abia State and still, somebody sits in Umuahia and call himself the state governor.
President Jonathan and his cronies need to be jolted in words and actions. If nobody tells them what they don’t want to hear, they will take all Nigerians to be fools. This writer is happy that Governor Adams Oshiomhole summoned that courage to tell them that he’s not ready to waste his state’s resources on frivolities. That’s the old Adams Oshiomhole we knew, and, what he said was in line with the words of W. Clement Stone (1902 –2002) “Have the courage to say No. Have the courage to face the Truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity”. The federal government should inspect its own projects and not that of the states. Stooges such as Governor Uduaghan of Delta State, who has justified the tour, can support such waste, because, by their fruit we shall know them. Afterall, he’s James Ibori’s cousin, so no one would ask from where embezzlement and deceit entered that family, these have been their trademark.
This writer agrees with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) where it described the Good Governance Tour (GGN) currently embarked upon by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and a retinue of people as a huge scam and an illegality. The party said the tour must be stopped forthwith and those behind it made to account for the public funds they had collected in the process. The party also commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for rejecting a multi-million-naira proposal from the minister asking the state government to bankroll the Edo leg of the tour. According to the Party “To now have a team assembled by the Federal Government inspecting the projects being carried out by the various states is not only fraudulent and illegal, but amounts to a blatant waste of public funds. It is a carry-over from the days of military rule under which Nigeria was governed as a unitary state. "It is also a case of double jeopardy for the states, whose projects are made to look like they are being executed by the Federal Government, while at the same time they (states) are being made to pay for the meaningless tour.“We say, unequivocally, that this tour fits into other fraudulent schemes concocted by this Federal Government to swindle the people, enrich a few and pad its war chest for the 2015 elections, and we are talking here of SURE-P as well as the oil subsidy and the pension fund scam. This jamboree must end today." ACN said. The party asked whether the Federal Government that initiated the tour had allocated any funds to it, adding: "If this answer is yes, why are states being asked to cough out millions of naira for it. And if the answer is no, why must states be made to pay for a Federal Government-initiated tour?" It added: "If the Federal Government has any project to showcase anywhere in the country, it is its prerogative to do so without extorting money from the states. And where it has nothing to showcase, it is fraudulent to be showcasing the projects embarked upon by state governments, many of which are not even under the same party as the Federal Government, hence they have their own mandates based on their party manifestoes. "Would not it be laughable to see the Minister of Information questioning contractors of projects being executed by state governments or issuing ultimatums to contractors he did not hire? Minister Maku should immediately put an end to the jamboree he is leading, declare all the public funds he has collected in the name of this tour and return such to the state governments that have been swindled under the so-called Good Governance Tour."
The so called Good Governance Tour has been to many states of Nigeria already, but, we haven’t been informed of any state it has criticised for shortchanging the people based on the amount of money collected from the federation accounts and what’s obtainable on the ground in those states. It has been “all-is-well” in all the states the delegation has visited so far while Nigeria is decaying, so who’s fooling who here? This writer observes that Adams Oshiomhole was able to stand firm against this tour because he’s from the opposition party. The opposition parties’ governors are doing better than their counterparts from the ruling party. Take for example: Oshiomhole of Edo State (ACN), Peter Obi (APGA) of Anambra State, Olusegun Mimiko (LP) of Ondo State and few others are doing wonderfully well vis-à-vis their PDP counterparts. May be, it’s time for Nigerians to take back their country, possibly, by electing governors based on character and not on party platform.
There’s nothing good about the ‘Good Governance Tour’ as it’s a waste, a fraud and has a hidden agenda! What’s the sense of divesting states of scarce resources, which is just a little left over remaining after the states’ politicians have embezzled and mismanaged the huge chunk? There’s no rationale in sending an unwieldy 120 man delegation to inspect projects and asking states to feed them, provide accommodation and transport for them when two or three persons can comfortable undertake the same inspection tour, if and when that’s necessary.
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!