Temple Chima UbochiWednesday, February 10, 2010
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Bonn, Germany



He shall fare well who confronts circumstances aright. (Plutarch)
Fools, through false shame, conceal their open wounds. (Horace)
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
You don't change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall. (Jawaharlal Nehru)
[There can be no] rational administration of government when good men are held in the same esteem as bad ones. (Polybius)
Virtue is harder to be got than a knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered. (John Locke)
Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without it we can't practice any other virtue with consistency. (Maya Angelou)


e’re just learning that the Nigeria’s national Assembly has just empowered the VP, Goodluck Jonathan, to take over for the ill president. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed measures calling on Jonathan to act as president and commander in chief until President Umaru Yar'Adua returns from Saudi Arabia, where he has been receiving medical treatment for a heart condition.

Nigeria is a country that defies all political senses. No wonder, people say that common–sense is not attainable only through education! Have the male politicians balls at all, are they a castrated bunch? Why has it taken Nigerian politicians so long to do the right thing? A simple matter that should have been resolved many weeks ago, was allowed to linger on for such a long time and made Nigeria a disgrace in the eyes of the international community. In South Africa, last week, Nigeria became an object of jokes or ridicule at a conference there. Daniel Elombah in quoting Reuben Abati posted this: "Where are we as a nation, 74 days after our President checked into a hospital in Saudi Arabia? Things appear to be coming to a head. The world is laughing at us. It has been reported, for example, that at an ongoing conference in Cape Town, South Africa, the Mining Indaba Conference, one of the speakers, David Hale dragged Nigeria's story into his presentation telling his audience: "In Nigeria, the President has been in Saudi Arabia for nearly three months for medical treatment and he refused to hand over to the Vice President, even though the people are calling for it. He is suffering from acute heart problems and should be dead in six months. So, in Nigeria, there should be a new election in six months after the death of the President." The Nigerian delegation to that conference is demanding an apology. The Punch reports, February 4, that "The remarks by Hale who is the chairman of David Hale Global Economics surprisingly elicited loud laughter from the participants. .." Loud laughter? Why won't the rest of the world find our circumstances funny?"

Now that the VP has been empowered, he should know that he would serve out the remaining part of their term, because, Yar’Adua may not be able to return to that office again. If he ever makes it back alive, Yar’Adua might not be strong enough to come back to his office.

I predicted this few months ago. I wrote this in my article of December 4, 2009 captioned “Nigeria: a place where a day before becomes worse than the one before (3)”:

“The report reaching this writer says that the Nigerian intelligence has requested the vice president not to leave Abuja till further notice. For those familiar with intelligence gathering and analysis, this speaks volume. Goodluck Jonathan has been living up to his name “Goodluck”. This was a man who never dreamt of becoming a governor the time he became one. True to his name, his boss then, Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State, was arrested in London on money laundering charges; he jumped bail by disguising himself as an old lady and found his way back to Nigeria. He was then removed from office paving the way for Goodluck Jonathan’s ascendancy as the governor. He never envisaged it when it happened.

Then before the PDP presidential nomination on December 16, 2006, everything favoured the nomination of Governor Peter Odili as the party flag bearer, until Nuhu Ribadu as the then EFCC chair, surfaced with damning corruption reports on Peter Odili, then, Obasanjo was forced to look for a successor elsewhere. Then after, Obasanjo was tending towards giving the vice presidential slot to Peter Odili as a consolation, after he had travelled the length and breadth of the country campaigning, but, people around Obasanjo told him that Odili has a strong personality and might try to overshadow Yar’Adua, the president. They reminded him (Obasanjo) of his own experience; how Atiku, his vice president, wanted to consign him to political oblivion (as a ceremonial president), while he (Atiku) wields the real power. So, with the benefit of hindsight, as regards to the altercation between him and his then vice president, Atiku, Obasanjo gave up on Peter Odili. But, the vice presidential slot must go to a governor from the south-south in order to assuage the agitations and placate the minds of the Niger Deltans.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan came to the PDP national convention held on December 16, 2006, as the head of his state’s delegation to support Peter Odili, his neighbour, at least for the vice presidential slot, but, little did he know that the post has been reserved for him. He was called up from where he was sitting and asked to fall behind Yar’Adua as his vice presidential candidate. That was how he became vice president without even campaigning for a second for it.

Now, it’s most likely that he might become the president of Nigeria without much input or asking for it. It might be only a matter of time before he ascends that throne without fighting for it, everything seems to be working out, as smooth as the silk, for him. What’s in a name?”

It was Prof. Dora Akunyili who broke this impasse; out of 42 Ministers, only Akunyili had the gut to ask her boss to hand over power. It was this lady who single handedly made this possible and it’s not out of place to say that she sacked the president everybody was afraid to sack, albeit temporarily. Prof. Akunyili did the right thing when her male counterparts and all male politicians were displaying their cowering tendencies. Prof Dora Akunyili presented her memorandum asking her colleagues to wake up to their responsibility to the Nigerian nation. Then as she presented the memo, tempers flared, voices were raised and she was threatened with a sack, but, she refused to be cowed. Some of her male counterparts attacked her just as a ploy to cover their shame, because a woman has beaten them at their own responsibility to the Nigerian people. The Katsina mafia even asked her to resign, but, that was rubbish. The Katsina mafia should just shut up their mouth unless they want us to invoke the tenets of Orkar’s coup and expunge them out of Nigeria until they pledge to be of good behaviour. Afterall, what is Nigeria gaining from them than misrules, corruption and religious fanaticism?

Why did it take an awakened Dora Akunyili to spur the slumbering ministers and politicians into action at last, why is it that Akunyili, a woman, had to blaze the trail, before the male politicians followed? Why is it that our male politicians and officials are afraid to tread where some of their female counterparts have no qualms walking into? Why did it take a memo from a woman to force all politicians into action and to make Nigeria to start working again? What was hard in section 145 of the constitution for our male politicians to understand and implement, which Prof. Dora Akunyili had to force into their hollow brains? What was hard for the presidency, the national assembly and the federal executive council to understand here?

Why must it take the first move by Dora Akunyili, before 30 other ministers towed her line and called for the empowerment of the VP; before the national assembly resolved to make the VP the acting president; before the Governors Forum paid Jonathan a solidarity visit and even lobbied the national assembly to empower the VP; before the speakers of the 36 states house of assembly asked Yar’Adua to do the right thing; before PDP accepted the fact that Yar’Adua’s era is almost a bygone? Our male politicians should hide away their ugly faces in shame, they have failed Nigeria and humanity, and they’re a disgrace to themselves and Nigeria.

Prof. Akunyili might have made mistakes since becoming a minister, but, there might be a reason for that, which is, she’s in wrong position in a wrong government, otherwise she has been an epitome of service and a paragon of beauty. As the NAFDAC Director, she achieved what men, before and after her, have all been unable to accomplish. Her enviable record at NAFDAC can never be equalled or diminished, and now she has, once again, shown the stuff she’s made of. It’s not a sin for one to miss his or her way as long as he or she finds it back again. That might be what Dora Akunyili has done. We hope that President Jonathan Goodluck would re-position her in his incoming government by giving her a portfolio in the health sector, her area of competence.

After Akunyili presented her memo, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), public enemy number one, attacked her ferociously and accused her of “trying to make herself an angel and a cheap hero”. What gibberish is that? Aondakaa also said that Dora Akunyili displayed her ignorance of the constitution by the memo she presented. It’s also alleged that Aondakaa made libellous statement against the information minister, linking her (Dora Akunyili) with corruption when she was in-charge at the NAFDAC. The alleged statement credited to Aondakaa is: "Let her (Akunyili) go and confront herself with what happened in NAFDAC." Prof. Akunyili has threatened to sue him, if he fails, within seven days, to retract his statement.

Aondakaa is a goner; he’s just like a drowning man looking for a straw to clutch to, his days are numbered, because, he will be sacked soon. Aondakaa has been deceiving Yar’Adua all along. No wonder the Organisation for Character Reformation and Integration of Nigeria (OCRIN) has described him as “a bad law officer, who is aiming at using the nation's misfortune to profit himself politically”. I (this writer) think that it’s Aondakaa that is ignorant of the tenets of the constitution. I wonder who made him the AGF, I wonder who gave him the SAN title, and I wonder if he saw the four walls of a law school. Since the SAN title has been bastardized and they have refused to give it to Falana; I support those suggesting that we the masses should award Falana, a SAM (Senior Advocate of the Masses) title instead, since he has stepped into Gani’s shoes.

We’re getting a taste of what a Jonathan’s presidency would look like. It seems he would be a no nonsense president. No doubt, after seeing how his predecessor floundered, we’re sure he must have learnt some lessons about how a good government could be organized. We just learnt that he wielded the big stick against two ministers by locking them out of a meeting for coming late. That Chief Ojo Maduekwe and Mr Lanre Babalola were embarrassed when they had the door shut against them for coming late by 15 minutes and 20 minutes respectively for a meeting. Jonathan also stopped two aggrieved ministers from resigning. The ministers complained of alienation in their respective offices. They said that the treatment being meted to them by those in control in the absence of President Yar’Adua was a reason for their intention to resign. The aggrieved ministers said they had been operating as second-rated ministers with their power to sign funds for projects seriously curtailed. Though the two are ministers of state, they complained that they were being reduced to mere figure heads in the office by the main ministers, who, in turn, must seek the favour of the so-called super ministers to sign for fund for contracts or execute major projects. The super cabinet members, mostly from Katsina State, are powerful mafia, dishing out instructions to their colleagues under the guise that they were acting on the order of the president or the first lady, Turai.

First of all, Jonathan should re-organize the government. He should sack all the unproductive, corrupt and saucy ministers. First and foremost, the AGF and Minister of Justice should be the first to go. (As I was about sending this article for publications, news came that the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, has relieved Aondakaa of his portfolio. In a report by Reuters Africa, Aondakaa confirmed it when he said: "There was a swap in the cabinet. I am now the minister of special duties while the minister of labour takes over from me as the attorney general and minister of justice"). If that’s true, it’s not enough, the man (Aondakaa) is dangerous and should not be allowed to remain in the federal executive council, unless Goodluck Jonathan wants the man to make life hard for him as the acting president.

Rilwanu Lukman should also go for his insubordination to him (the VP) and because of his old age, he has outlived his usefulness. Then the lopsided nature of the assigned portfolios should be redressed. People of northern extraction should not be in-charge of almost all the super ministries with huge budgets. The oil ministry should go to a person from the south-south, because, the oil is from there; NNPC should be headed by a south-eastern, as some of the states there are oil producing ones. Some of the nice policies and projects initiated by Obasanjo’s regime that was reversed or revised or cancelled by Yar’Adua should be looked into with the aim of resuscitating them.

Also there was news last week that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, may be appointed vice president any time Jonathan becomes the president. That’s unacceptable. Jonathan should not allow anybody to impose a VP on him; he should choose his VP by himself. We hope that the first official visit Jonathan, as the president, would embark on, would not be to the Sokoto Caliphate and some Emirs to swear an oath allegiance to the northern oligarchy. He should forget that bunch living on past glory. This is 2010, 40 years after the civil war and the year that will start the making or breaking of Nigeria as a nation. The caliphate and the northern oligarchy are living in the past; Nigeria must move forward now with or without them, because, they have been cogs in the wheels of Nigeria’s progress.

President Jonathan should know that there are a lot to do and little time left to do them, so he should get down to business immediately: He should make sure that the contract for a second Niger Bridge is awarded as soon as possible before a catastrophe happens there and the Enugu International Airport should be upgraded, refurbished, equipped and accorded the full right to operate international flights. Nobody wants to take that trash from the aviation minister, who wanted to deceive himself by saying that the airport is not yet internationalized; when it was clear to all that Yar’Adua approved its international status. The Lagos-Benin Expressway is a sore on Nigeria’s conscience; the new president should see to it that this most important road in Nigeria is turned from a death trap (hell on earth) and den of robbers to a well built and regularly maintained highway. The new president should also resolve the problem Lagos State is having with the “enemies of progress” in the federal ministry of works, who want to stop the expansion of the Badagry expressway into ten lanes by the Lagos State government. The new president should implement the amnesty agreement the government made with the repentant militants, their patience has been tested, and something needs to be done soon to avoid Nigeria experiencing once again major kidnapping and pipeline attacks in the Niger Delta. The religious crisis sprouting/flaring up every now and then in the northern part of the country should be addressed and every effort made to stop its outbreaks.

Our male politicians should stop being “goat breasts which do not give out milk unless when pushed”. Look at how Turai played Nigerians for almost two months without anybody challenging her. She hid her husband away and stopped everybody from seeing him; she brought the government to a standstill until her fellow woman forced the male politicians to act. Turai was ordering some of the male politicians in the presidency like houseboys, she took Nigerians for fools and nobody challenged her until now. Love or hate her, Turai is a high class political actress and despite her low education, she showed how moronic and myopic our politicians are. She held the whole Nigeria to ransom for two months, that’s not a mean feat. Dora Akunyili has initiated what her male counterparts found insurmountable. Without her initiating this move through the memo she submitted, our politicians would have poltroonishly sustained the status quo till now.

For more about our women excelling, please read the attached below: