We sure had a wonderful Inauguration last Friday. It was awesome even though there were obvious lapses in the protocols during the Swearing-in proper and other activities that followed. From the foregoing, you should be able to tell what I am set out to talk about. The side dis(at)traction!
These past few weeks I have deliberately fed my laziness to blog. Not necessarily because I couldn’t write anything but I knew the last few weeks of Jonathan’s administration were tales of woes and that was what many bloggers cum columnists would air . I was right as so many valedictory notes I read were just as I had thought. Jonathan, A Failure! Scorecard…!! Good Riddance…!!!
I was a bit rattled about the frailty of our ingenuity when I read some news items on social media. Please do not get me wrong: everyone and anyone has a right to air their opinion but let us try to help our newfound ‘political kinetics’.
There is no better decision than the Command Headquarters being moved to Maiduguri. Recently, we have witnessed how these same service chiefs would sit in Abuja and feed us with ‘second hand’ information which was usually proven to be untrue. Also, these same chiefs would constitute panels that court-martialed many officers of the Nigerian Army even when the commonest reasoning pointed to the fact that the guys were ill-equipped to face the insurgence before them. The Commanding Officers saw no wrong in their own act by embezzling the allocation meant for the training and equipment of the forces under them. They cited insubordination, treason and cowardice as their grounds for the court martial. Now is their turn to go feel the heat. Someone mentioned what if any of them opts to resign than go to Maiduguri? Then I answer, I will have him Court-martialed if I were the CnC. Neither does PMB necessarily have to retire these chiefs now until they are given the chance to redeem themselves by going to the warfront. I still want to believe the reason the military did not perform adequately was due to massive permissive corruption under GEJ’s watch. But now that a’ true Daniel has come to judge’, let us put these same guys to work and see their performance.
Secondly, the law requires public office holders to declare their assets through the Code of Conduct Bureau. During an APC rally, President Muhammad Buhari , out of his own volition, had said he would declare his assets ‘publicly’ within the first hundred days of office just as he would make sure all principal officers working with him would do the same. Now that PMB has satisfied the statutory end of this requirement, many Nigerians cannot wait for him to stand to the moral obligation of his own promise by doing it PUBLICLY. I strongly understand the hurried cry. No sane person would forget easily the experience of the past irresponsible administrations. But don’t let us be too much in a hurry that we forget some obvious lacuna. For crying out loud, the man said ‘within hundred days in office’. There are processes to be followed before public declaration of assets by public office holders. The CCB needs to conduct verification exercise amongst other things before the public announcement. Some are even telling the world that late Yar’adua declared his assets publicly but I have come to find out that he did declare his assets publicly after twenty seven days in office. Let us be patient with this new President. More so, we all know that PMB has a big farm in Kaduna with considerable number of cattle. A house each in Kaduna and Katsina, one wife and about six daughters, all of which were already in public domain. And majorly, we know he is not a corrupt or bibulous man. So what else are we looking for?
If anyone would remain blind and continue with this argument of public assets declaration when it is not 100days yet, then I will advise that such a person approach the Code of Conduct Bureau and invoke the Freedom of Information Act in exercising his right. I am not a journalist but I know so very well that part of that act says anyone can approach any government agency for any information so far it is not scheduled under national security.
What we should consider more germane now should not be the continued feeding of our fleeting vanities by looking for the cost of a wristwatch worn by the wife of the President on Inauguration day. We should start asking questions like:
What is the meaning of CHANGE that is being touted if their interpretation of a ‘lean government’ will be a carrying-on of Special Assistants/Advisers and Senior Special Assistants/Advisers even in the face of this austerity?
Why is it taking so long for PMB to appoint aides that will work with him directly like Chief of Staff and the rest? I want to believe that he does not want to expose his ministerial nominees at this time until the 8th Assembly is constituted, because they are the ones to screen the ministers. Not that he is confused as to the personalities he wants on his team. A man like Abraham Lincoln shouldn’t be bereft of a roadmap he wants to chart especially when he belongs to everyone and belongs to nobody.
The task ahead of all of us is how to make this change trickle down and from down to up or should I say we should make this matter of CHANGE a studious case of Osmosis and Diffusion. Not these obvious trivialities. We should constitute ourselves into a formidable opposition to APC. PDP has obviously gone under if you doubt me call Doyin Okupe a bastard if they survive to the end of 2016.
Graft, in whatever guise, has to be nailed and stopped if any system new or old is to work! But since greed is as old as mankind, no feasible change will be recorded even with new faces involved at the top if you and I would not change in our small corners.
Let the real work begin.
‘Debayo Coker is a wordsmith. Societal Fragments, A Man Like Me: Noteography Of A Father To His Son and Wobbled Words are his published works.