Temple Chima UbochiSunday, October 8, 2017
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Bonn, Germany


The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it (John Hay)

If you work hard doing the wrong job, is it really work? Or is it some kind of fakery? (D. J. MacHale)

When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don't belong (Benjamin Hoff)

A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery; a leader makes it interesting (Russell Ewing)

rom the beginning, I was against Buhari's candidacy as president, because I knew right from the start that he has nothing to offer. When he was "elected", it took him about four months to appoint his ministers. Buhari was elected by people who falsely believed in his ability to end corruption and through that eradicate poverty, because corruption is the root of poverty. But he has failed them right from the kind of ministers he appointed.

As CACOL noted then, the nominees is replete with either cross-carpeters who earlier lost out in the intra-party power play in the past or those who were only brought on board as payback for party-jobs done and not on the basis of performance record or competence; not even on the antecedence of selfless leaning to the cause of the common man in Nigeria. Infact most of the nominees contributed to the rotten state of affairs in Nigeria in the past 18 years. Except for a few fresh hands, Nigerians have not witnessed the true change they actually yearn for. President Buhari should have realized that administering a complex entity like ours, with its equally complex challenges and demands, requires far more than sheer party loyalty and patronage; it, infact, goes beyond merely being gentlemanly or uncontroversial. Just as the president had promised, on assumption of office, Nigerians had expected to see a crop of new, fresh, uncontaminated blood, with intimidating credentials of outstanding technocrats and authorities in their various fields, being brought in as co-captains in the ship of governance. Sadly, what we now have is nothing but sheer recycling of the same old and outdated hands.

I was also skeptical and warned any professional who wants to maintain his prestige not to serve in this government or else he will be disgraced along the line. I warned that the worst job in Abuja will be working for President Buhari; and that Buhari will be the worst boss in that city. Onasander, a Greek philosopher, wrote that "Most men are distressed when placed under the command of ignoble individuals. For no one voluntarily puts up with submitting to a master or a leader who is a man inferior to himself"! Tell me how people with intimidating resume or qualifications agreed to serve Buhari, who's educationally challenged - an illiterate? That's one of the paradoxes of Nigeria: A country of intellectuals being led by a man who has no WAEC result. All over the world, Nigerians are trail blazers, in their various fields, but are being ruled by a man who didn't even pass WAEC.

Let me isolate only two or three ministers to show how na´ve some professionals can be. What was Ibe Kachikwu; Geoffrey Onyeama; Okechukwu Enelamah etc thinking when they accepted to serve as Buhari's ministers? How can these giants, in their respective fields of endeavor, join Buhari's parochial government? Buhari, as a man with inferiority complex, would not allow anybody space to operate optimally, thereby preventing the person from bringing out the best in him or her. Buhari is a man who can't even express himself well in English , as such that his English needs to be translated into English for somebody to understand what he's talking about. Buhari is a man on a mission to northernize the government of Nigeria; even if a southerner is heading a ministry or agency or parastatals, a subordinate from the north can still be calling the shot. Now, it has been alleged that Buhari may announce the dissolution of the federal executive cabinet in the coming week. Many of these professional giants would be asked to shove off ignominiously. They will have only themselves to blame for accepting to serve this sadist.

Look at the above photo. It was taken during the recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. There, president Trump met with president Buhari and our foreign minister, Onyeama. From the picture, one can see that Trump was explaining things to Onyeama so that he can translate it to his boss, Buhari, because, Buhari can't understand Trump's English, while Trump can't understand Buhari's English, so Onyeama became the interpreter. In that picture, Buhari looks like a boi boi (houseboy) there. I can't stop shaking my head!

Tell me what Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of state for Petroleum, was looking for in Buhari's government when he has reached the pinnacle of his career somewhere else? He was the Executive Vice-Chairman of Exxon-Mobil Africa, with a monthly salary of about 1 million dollars, before joining the Buhari's government that is messing with him now up. Academically, Dr. Kachikwu was a paragon, as he's a distinction graduate of Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Nigerian Law School. He bagged a first class degree in Law and was the best graduate and multiple awards winner from both Institutions. He also obtained a Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Law from Harvard University, with distinctions. How can a man with such intimidating credentials and money serve an illiterate president? It beats my imagination!

What was Geoffrey Jideofor Onyeama, the Foreign Minister, looking for in Buhari's government, when he had an accomplished career? He worked at The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is one of the 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). WIPO was created in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world", according to Wikipedia. Onyeama, a son of a former judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, and a grandson of a popular Warrant Chief, during the colonial era (Daddy Onyeama), whom one of the coal mines in Enugu was named after (Onyeama Mine), joined the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), in 1985, and rose through the ranks to become the Deputy Director General for the Development Sector in 2009. In November 2015 he was tapped to become a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari

Academically, he was also an accomplished man: He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in Political Science from Columbia University, New York, in 1977; and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in Law from St John's College, Cambridge, in 1980. He holds a Masters of Law (LL.M) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in 1982; and a Masters of Arts (M.A) in Law from St John's College, Cambridge, in 1984. He was admitted as a Barrister-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1983; and was also called to the English Bar of the Grey's Inn in 1981.

Dr. Okechukwu Enyinna Enelamah, the Industry, Trade, and Investment Minister, worked as an Audit Senior and senior Consultant at Arthur Anderson (now KPMG Professional Services), in 1988. He later worked in the New York and London offices of Goldman Sachs in 1993, before joining Zephyr Management as an investment manager where he rose to Principal in the Johannesburg office between 1995 and 1997. Enelamah founded African Capital Alliance (ACA), a very successful private equity firm, in 1997 where he served as CEO (the head of the Nigeria's biggest private equity firm) until his appointment as minister in November 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Enelamah; whose father, a Methodist priest, was the spiritual adviser to Dr. M.I. Okpara, the then premier of Eastern region; earned a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1985. He earned a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard University in 1994, where he was a Baker Scholar and Loeb Fellow. He is a member of ICAN (1992), and became a CFA in 1997. He earned Dean's List honours in his MBBS graduating class at the University of Nigeria, and was awarded national prizes in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) examinations.

These three men have money, envious career, connections and everything anybody can think of. Why did they belittle themselves, leaving all they have worked for or acquired in life to join a government of a dunce, who has no respect for intelligence and excellence, and have no qualms in disgracing them? How can these accomplished men join Buhari's inept government, as ministers, when he said that ministers are noise makers, and that he prefers the permanent secretaries as the leaders of the ministries? That baffles me till today.

As a dictator, when Buhari appointed his 36 ministers, after 4 months of keeping the nation waiting, he gave them some Dos and Don'ts which are expected to be followed strictly by the ministers, and not by Buhari himself. It was just like a headmaster admonishing his pupils. Wonders will never cease! Why didn't these men reject the appointment that was meant to cage them? Here are the Buhari's Dos and Don'ts to his ministers then:

  1. Foreign travels must be duty-related

  2. Ministers must operate within lean resources;

  3. No more flamboyance

  4. Strict adherence to the rule of law

  5. Compliance to Civil Service Rules

  6. Living above board;

  7. Co-operation with Permanent Secretaries

  8. No more rancour between ministers and ministers of State

  9. Appointment of some aides should be from the civil service

  10. Drastic reduction of vehicles in convoys

  11. All decisions must lead to change.

Now, the chicken is coming home to roost; Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu is "crying". He has himself to blame. The irony is that Kachikwu's former global boss, the former ExxonMobil chief executive, who's now the United States' Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is also in the soup, after a report claimed he had branded President Donald Trump a "moron" during a Pentagon meeting. There is a report that Trump is furious, and might be considering firing Tillerson. Advisers and allies of President Trump have suggested replacing Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, according to an Axios report. Trump is said to have a good rapport with Pompeo, who delivers the President's Daily Brief. According to Axios, Pompeo would be seen by world leaders as a member of Trump's inner circle in a way Tillerson is not.

Previously, the MSN reported that "Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, according to senior administration officials who were aware of the situation at the time. The tensions came to a head around the time President Donald Trump delivered a politicized speech in late July to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization Tillerson once led, the officials said. Just days earlier, Tillerson had openly disparaged the president, referring to him as a "moron," after a July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of Trump's national security team and Cabinet officials, according to three officials familiar with the incident".

Just as I warned against serving in Buhari's government, I did also warn against serving in Trump's government, because both of them are clueless, and paraphrasing Eugene Robinson, one of the most appalling aspects of the Trump presidency, and that of the Buhari's, is the sycophancy they require of the officials who serve them. Trump, as well as Buhari, demands not just loyalty but flattery, too. They insist that their courtiers treat their pronouncements, however absurd or offensive, as infallible holy writ. Members of their Cabinet have made a humiliating bargain: humor them, suck up to them, and maybe - just maybe - they will leave you alone and let you make policy.

Now, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, writes Buhari, accusing the NNPC boss of insubordination, and called for the cancellation of the recent appointments in the NNPC. The Minister of State said for over one year, he had tolerated the disrespectful and humiliating conducts of the Group Managing Director on his office, and has decided to bring the issue to the attention of the President. The NNPC GMD, Dr. Baru, even awarded $25 billion contracts without Kachikwu's knowledge or approval. Kachikwu will be na´ve to believe Buhari didn't know about these contracts, so complaining will come to a dead end.

Methinks that Dr. Kachikwu wasted his precious time writing Buhari, as the president supports what Dr. Baru is doing to Kachikwu. Instead of reprimanding Baru, Buhari might even ease Kachikwu out, during the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. In other words, Buhari might punish Kachikwu for complaining. Based on the report by The Sun, Baru is playing to a script written by Buhari or the cabal surrounding him. The Paper wrote that the problem between Kachikwu and Baru has been simmering for quite some time now, and that it actually started when Kachikwu, as the minister of state, redeployed Baru to another section of NNPC, but President Muhammadu Buhari made Baru the NNPC GMD in July 2016, when Kachikwu left that post to become the substantive minister of state. Baru is disobedient, disrespectful and arrogant to his boss, Kachikwu, because, as a northerner, he knows there will be no consequences for his actions, as he will always have Buhari's support against Kachikwu, a southerner.

The Sun wrote that when Baru took over, as NNPC GMD, he ignored some of the things Kachikwu started and began implementing his own programme, bypassing the minister and the board. One of the things he did, which is at the root of the feud, was the hurried resumption of crude oil search in the North, despite the fact that the government, for over three decades, spent about $340 million and additional N27 billion, in seismic expedition in an elusive search for hydrocarbon in the Chad basin. Baru has no respect for Kachikwu, and reportedly ignored queries from Kachikwu on his actions, which amounted to gross insubordination.

Oke Umurhohwo wrote (post by Waribo): "In 1977, $2.8 billion was discovered missing in the NNPC. Guess who was Minister of Petroleum? Muhammadu Buhari.

Bukola Saraki's father, Olusola, was the senate leader at the time and he headed the committee that was set up to trace the missing money. The money was traced to the Midland bank (U.K) fixed account of Buhari who was Minister of petroleum and head of NNPC then. The Olusola committee presented the report to the House towards end of the Shagari regime BUT the House decided to act on it after general elections.

However, on December 31, 1983, Buhari hid under the political commotion that followed the election results to overthrow the Shagari government.

Olusola Saraki granted an interview to Vera Ifudu, an NTA reporter and told her how the missing money had been traced to Buhari's bank account. But Buhari sacked Vera Ifudu immediately from NTA! She challenged her dismissal in court and won. Court also ordered she should be compensated.

Fast forward to Abacha Era. Buhari was appointed as PTF chairman and he brought his family members as consultants and contractors to the PTF. Obasanjo assumed Presidency in 1999 and set up an interim management for the PTF to audit its activities. He was shocked by the outcome.

In November 2000, Obasanjo directed that the PTF should be scrapped and its headquarters handed over to anti-corruption agencies. OBJ discovered that Buhari's PTF paid out over 9 billion naira to contractors WITH NO WORK DONE! But he covered up because of "army arrangement".

So when I start reading about corruption, NNPC, Buhari in one sentence, it does not surprise me. The man has a history in that field and it is not a pleasant one".

The best Dr. Kachikwu can do now is to resign otherwise, even if he survives the imminent cabinet reshuffle, he will be made redundant, as Dr. Baru will be the unofficial minister of state for petroleum resources, even though he's only the GMD of NNPC. Just as Buhari wants to northernize all important positions in the Nigerian government, he has appointed Aisha Ahmad as the new Deputy Governor of the Central Bank. Ahmad will be replacing Sarah Alade who retired in March this year. Soon, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele will be relegated to insignificance, and this young lady, with little experience, will be calling the shot. I heard she's bringing not much to the job - she's not qualified for the post. Working for Diamond Bank, and being married to a retired Brigadier are not enough. Her outstanding qualification is that she's a northerner, and probably, highly connected.

Dr. Kachikwu is now complaining because he's having it rough, otherwise nobody would have heard anything from him. He's now whipping up sentiments, remembering that he's an Igbo man, because Buhari and his cabal are "maltreating" him; otherwise he would have claimed not to be an Igbo man, since many of our kinfolks, across the Niger, were brainwashed to deny their Igbo origin.

Concluding, and in the words of Lloyd Akakem, the best Kachikwu will do now, is to resign the appointment, without which, the Hausa/Fulani will rubbish him and his CV. Buhari knows everything; he will not allow Kachikwu to see him or say anything about the issue. Buhari is the minister and Baru is the minister of state. Kachikwu didn't see it when he was removed as GMD. This is Nigeria.

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has dragged his own name through mud by leaving one of the best jobs in the world to work for a booby who doesn't appreciate the value of excellence. Whether he stays or resigns or is sacked, the stain, of agreeing to work for a dolt, will still cling unto Dr. Kachikwu for a very long time to come. As the Executive Vice-Chairman of Exxon-Mobil Africa, Ibe Kachikwu was like a "Lord" in all the African countries with oil deposits, but see how Baru, whose PhD is questionable, is demeaning him, even in a country he calls his own. The saying that "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country (Mark 6:4) becomes a reality here. Kachikwu really missed his way here!