Thursday, October 26, 2017

Let Them Go If They Won't Accept You

Friday, October 20, 2017

When Silence Means Contempt

By Sam Omatseye

The president has always seen silence as a mark of dignity in a time of crisis. When he opens his mouth eventually, he spews out venom that neither gives him nor the office he occupies any form of dignity.

Tall, gaunt, lean of face with a straight stare and loping strides, his smile comes across more like a lickspittle than a royal. Yet, behind that simpering exterior is a granite heart. However, little cunning or high thinking dresses up his hearty resolves. So, in the final analysis, what we have is not the Buhari of nobility but a pretension to the high moral act. Sometimes that façade confronts us in the form of silence.

Occasionally he does speak. When he breaks his silence, he ruptures not only peace but logic. As I have noted in the past, Buhari’s soul is a battle between the martial impulses of his breeding and the entitlement of his ambience as a Fulani hierarch. And then there is a third. He has managed, since his ouster from power as head of state, to cultivate the talakawa. So, he sees himself as a sort of royal with a common touch. He is simultaneously on top and at the bottom, a prince and pauper, a head and herdsman, at once erupting from the floor and swooping down from heaven.

How does such a man operate in a democracy? Well, unless democracy tames him, he will see it as his right to tame democracy. That is the war going on with the man we elected president. His silence on the N9 trillion scandal only portrays his contempt for institutions and persons who want to tame him like colt to the discipline and humility of popular persuasion. If democracy is about the triumph of popular persuasion over collective will, Buhari is bending to the side of the will. As French philosopher Jean Jacque Rousseau has argued, collective will often cloaks despotic arrogance. Robespierre and Danton, even Napoleon, were culprits.

As a soldier Buhari works with diktat. As a royal, he sees the world from the hill top. As a talakawa patron, he gives them love in his own light. In return, they give him worship. Democracy therefore will work for him the way he operates with the talakawa. He expects us to bow down to him. He is the king of our democracy. He abides the contradiction. Men like Churchill or General Dwight Eisenhower had high-born sensibilities, but hey were cowed by the institutions of democracy. Buhari acts otherwise. The thing is that Buhari is not high-born, he has acquired the streak by age and his rise in the military and social graces of the land. When you expect to give, it means you define the love in your own image. The targets of your love only do one thing: worship you.

What we have is the making of the Aristotelian tragic flaw. Like Sophocles’ Oedipus and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Buhari’s flaw is hubris. That explains why his speeches and comments in times of crisis tend to be condescending.

We witnessed it early in his tenure when he would not set up a cabinet. Or when his wife rattled him, or when he reacted to the scandal around his army chief, or when recently he fouled the air when he returned from his medical leave and came down in primitive anger against the Southeast. There are some storms he has never found worthy of his tongue. Chief among them is the poisonous lop-sidedness of his appointments. He is still mum on Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke, and even the rumbles among his principal officers in the presidency. Some jump out of the shadows. Like his request to a World Bank chief that the institution should focus work on the north.

This perhaps explains why he has been frozen from the neck up in spite of the uproar over his NNPC appointments. So, following from that, why would we expect him to say something about the new tempest on Nigeria’s oil. All he did was retreat to is familiar terrain on the N9 trillion ambush of our national treasure.

Now, he may see his silence has golden, as a way of standing above the rolling waters, of asserting his rectitude. But that could be so if he has come out with a line of wisdom through his lieutenants. His lieutenants have actually been quiet, too. It was all left in the hands of the culprit-in-chief to hand over the boil to his appointee, Maikanti Baru.

If his explanations had found traction in reason, we could have pardoned the president. We could say, well, it was all a case of mistaking a mouse for an elephant. But the big elephant in the room has remained one man: Muhammadu Buhari.

He acts as though it is mere matter. It will pass over, his image as a man of purity will shield him, so he does not have to be above board.

After all, some of his followers have been treating him as a god. They swear by him, they risk cholera by drinking water on dirt roads, they worship head on the ground as though on prayer ground. So how can he submit to mere mortals to explain.

He does not need to explain when Baru says he sought permission from him (Buhari) to make such a consequential decision. He does not need to react when he bypasses the man he appointed to the position as board chairman of the NNPC. He does not see it fit that he set up a board that the NNPC Act invests with powers and a mere mortal he puts there as GMD subverts their authority and boasts about it in Buhari’s name. Does he not know that as president, the only person to whom he can hand over authority is a minister or vice president?

The constitution says so. Or does he read the constitution? If he cannot delegate to himself since he is oil minister, he automatically hands over to his minister of state. By bypassing that, he has violated due process. And he does not want to talk about it? By the way, is it damning to note that these contracts were purportedly signed when he was on medical leave? He himself had said his men brought him files to sign in London. If he did not sign Baru’s, did he give him a nod. If he did, he violated the oath of office, and is that not enough for him to resign, or for impeachment proceedings to begin?

Does he not know that matters like this should involve the BPP? Did he not hear the voice of Oby Ezekwesili on that? Did he not hear his GMD draw false equivalences by saying that Kachikwu did the same thing, therefore there was nothing wrong? Is that the way to fight corruption?

If a man like Baru can play fast and loose with our endowment as a people, where do we place those who are faithful like Dakuku Peterside in NIMASA and Professor Ishaq Oloyede at JAMB. The president was quick to order the probe of the predecessors and rightly so. But he is easy on the humongous erring of his “man” Baru. They say it is not cash contract, and so not contract “as such.” Abi dem think say we be mumu?

As far as this column is concerned, unless Buhari reviews and annuls the contracts, his war on corruption is melodious lie, an exercise in hypocritical grandstanding. He is therefore hiding in silence. The silence is roaring, and our ears are full with its every decibel.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Memories Of Midnight

By Simon Kolawole

It was midnight, not so long ago, when I woke up, used the toilet and returned to my bed to continue from where I stopped. For almost an hour, I closed my eyes in vain. I could neither induce nor seduce sleep. I was rolling from one end of the bed to the other, like a footballer faking injury. I decided to go into my study, to prove to sleep that I could use the time for something else. My study is a junkyard. I tip-toed through the wreckage of books, old newspapers and all sort, and aimed for a particular Ghana-must-go housing old magazines. I randomly picked three editions of Newswatch magazine and went back to bed.

The first was the March 12, 1990 edition, “Cult of Deaths”, on the growing horror of secret cults in Nigerian universities. I flipped through within one minute. I took the second. It was the February 20, 1989 edition. The cover story was “IBB’s Surprise Move: The Sacking of AFRC”. The all-powerful Armed Forces Ruling Council was the three arms of government rolled into one: executive, legislature and judiciary (it could overrule the Supreme Court). Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, the military president, had shocked the whole world by dissolving the body. I flashed back to the controversy that followed, particularly fears that IBB was about to become a full-blown dictator.

I leafed through the magazine again and shook my head on seeing the pictures of some of Nigeria’s most powerful military men at the time. David Mark, Nura Imam, Ndubuisi Kanu, John Shagaya, Gado Nasko, Larry Koinyan, Paul Omu, Yohanna Kure, Oladipo Diya, etc. Newswatch speculated that most of them would be dropped from the reconstituted AFRC. I looked at their 40-something-year-old faces and shook my head again. “Nothing lasts forever,” I muttered to myself. Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. Fact of life. So whenever I see the “men of power” today chasing us off the road with their siren, I imagine where their convoy would be heading in 2027 or 2037.

On page 19 of the same edition, I saw a story on the arrest of Chief Chris Okolie, publisher of Newbreed. His magazine had written a story, “A Harvest of Generals”, following a spate of promotions in the army. The military authorities did not like the story. Punishment? He was detained without a word. That was the fate of journalists under military rule. A little story considered to be an irritation was met with excessive deployment of state power. Today’s publishers of fake news would not have survived under a military regime. You didn’t need to publish fake news to be jailed. Just publish anything considered nauseating or “radical” and SSS or DMI would snatch you.

Flipping to page 31, I saw a short story in which Chief Ernest Shonekan, then chairman of UAC, warned that “there is little prospect for a return to the petroleum price which we enjoyed five years ago”. He was referring to the 1984 price of $28, comparing it to the $18 in 1989. He was wrong. Oil would later sell for $147 in 2008. Nigerians did not “enjoy” it, though. So maybe he was right. He also said the 20-fold increase in oil revenue in the 1970s killed productivity and only encouraged local assembly and packaging industries which “rather than become locally self-sufficient, depended on imported raw materials”. He was very right. And we are still saying the same thing in 2017.

I threw the magazine aside. I then made the mistake of my life: I picked the May 30, 1988 edition. I wish I hadn’t. I still believe it was the work of the devil. The cover design was completely black, but for the two big eyeballs in darkness as well as a slender white outline and a thick red border. It screamed: “NEPA — A Nation in Darkness.” It was a special focus on Nigeria’s power problems. This edition could have been reproduced 29 years after — I mean this year — with just little changes: the principal characters and the anecdotes. At the risk of exaggeration, I would say things were even better in those days than today, especially comparing the expenditure with the results.

Ray Ekpu, the editor-in-chief, started his weekly note thus: “Sometime in 1981, the then president of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari, was poised to make a budget speech to the National Assembly… Everyone was seated and as the president began to make a speech, the brightly lit hall turned into pitch darkness. For 15 minutes the hall was enveloped in darkness and it remained so.” He also wrote about the embarrassment Babangida faced in Kano on April 16, 1988 when he was entertaining Flt. Lt. JJ Rawlings, Ghana’s head of state, to a state dinner. There were three power cuts during the event. Everybody was embarrassed, but Rawlings managed to make a joke of it.

Ghana also had power problems at the time. Today, Accra, its political and economic capital, enjoys uninterrupted electricity. Nigeria? Now don’t get me started. According to Newswatch, NEPA’s installed generation capacity as at 1988 was 4,000 megawatts. It wrote: “This is expected to increase to between 10,000 and 12,000 megawatts by the year 2000.” I’m not joking. A few days ago, some 29 years after,  the ministry of power happily informed Nigerians that power generation has now hit 3,000-4,000mw again. I’m not joking. Between 1988 and 2017, we have spent at least $30 billion on the power sector to generate uninterrupted darkness.

Let me amuse you a bit. In 2001, my landlord had promised to buy a generator big enough to power his flat and mine. Someone was relocating to the US and wanted to “fling” his generator. Suddenly, my landlord changed his mind. “If you noticed,” he lectured me, “power has improved in recent times. President Obasanjo has finally fixed the problem. There is no need to waste money on generator.” I nodded stupidly. According to official statistics, power generation had hit 3,000mw by 2001. It was time to roll out the drums. And so, 16 years after, we are still rolling out the drums to celebrate 3,000mw. Can you believe that?

When Obasanjo came up with Vision 20-2020, we were promised power generation would hit 10,000 megawatts by 2007 and 35,000mw by 2020, when Nigeria was expected to be among the 20 biggest economies in the world. The projections were brought in dead. When Obasanjo was leaving office in 2007, we were still celebrating 3,000mw of power supply. The plan, reviewed and re-presented by his successor, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, projected that installed capacity would grow from 6,000mw in 2009 to 20,000mw by 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, this is 2017 and we are still so glad to announce that we have hit 3,000mw again. A round of applause.

The excuses, or let me say the reasons, for epileptic power supply in 1988 are virtually the same excuses, I mean reasons, in 2017. Mr. David Oyeleye, then NEPA’s general manager, told Newswatch that “we cannot run many of the machines at Egbin because gas is not there yet… the amount of high pour fuel oil, HPFO, which is needed is not even produced in the country in sufficient quantity”. There was also the regular excuse, I mean reason: “Low level of water at Kainji and Jebba dams.” There were less than 80 million Nigerians in 1988; we are now well over 170 million. And we’re still celebrating 3,000mw. Another round of applause please.

After allowing the devil to torment me for 30 minutes, I said “No Más”, like Roberto Duran, and moved to the next story: “Why Food Prices Are Up”. An Agege housewife said she used to feed her family of six with a weekly budget of N20. “A mudu of garri now sells for N16 [so] where does that leave my N20?” she asked. At that stage, I told myself I had had enough. Get thee behind me Satan! I flung the magazine far away like Christmas banger, switched off my bedside lamp and cuddled my pillow, muttering: “But where do I get this reckless confidence from — that Nigeria will change someday?” God so good, I lapsed into unconsciousness, snoring away my midnight sorrows. Zzzzzz.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

17 Years Ago My Lady And I Said We Do And We Have Been Dong Since Then

To God be all the Glory for the great things He has done for us

17 years ago, exactly Saturday the 14th day of October 2000, my Lady and I crossed the rubicon and gave our trots one to the other committing to living a fulfilling life for as long as we live.

We said we do and since then we have been doing!!!!

Join us to thank God for His Grace

As we enter our 18th year, please pray for us that God's grace does not depart from us

Thanks for your prayers

Sir, Dr. Jerry - the First: JP & Lady Oby-Jerry Oguzie
The Double O

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Good Morning This Morning

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

When To Be Silent

1. Be silent - in the heat of

2. Be silent - when you don't
have all the facts.

3. Be silent - when you
haven't verified the story.

4. Be silent - if your words 
will offend a weaker Person.

5. Be silent - when it is time 
to listen.

6. Be silent - when you are 
tempted to make light of 
holy things.

7. Be silent - when you are 
tempted to joke about sin.

8. Be silent - if you would be
ashamed of your word later.

9. Be silent - if your words 
would convey the wrong 

10. Be silent - if the issue is 
none of your business.

11. Be silent - when you are 
tempted to tell an outright lie.

12. Be silent - if your words 
will damage someone else's reputation.

13. Be silent - if your words 
will damage a friendship.

14. Be silent - when you are 
feeling critical.

15. Be silent - if you can't 
say it without screaming.

16. Be silent - if your words 
will be a poor reflection 
of your friends and family.

17. Be silent - if you may 
have to eat your words 

18. Be silent - if you have 
already said it more 
than one time.

19. Be silent - when you are 
tempted to flatter a 
wicked person.

20. Be silent - when you are 
supposed to be working 

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul away from troubles 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Facebook Money Making Secrets

You have heard that people are making money from facebook and you think it's a lie?
And you wonder if it is possible?

Well the only way to discover a lie is to find out the truth about the issue!

So, if you still think it is not true that people are making money from facebook or you think it is impossible, then attend my 3 days intensive coaching on #FacebookMoneyMakingSecrets and thereafter judge for yourself.

This Training is taking place in my JTF Training Hall on Whatsapp from Thursday 12th October 2017 to Saturday 14th October 2017

Would you like to be in attendance?
Then drop your names and whatsapp number for further information

Success comes to those who take action when an opportunity comes their way.

Don't miss this one

See you in Class


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Welcome To October 2017

Hello my Friends

It's Sunday, the first one in this new month of October, it is the beginning of a new week and since it is the 1st of October, it is also the beginning of a new month.

A new month usually arrives when men are tired of the old month and so it comes as a relief from the "stress" of the old month.

Thus new months come with lots of hope, new thoughts, new visions, new plans, new goals, new everything and if you were really stressed in the old month, you can take a deep sigh of relief as the new month steps in.

People, it's October, the 2nd of the "ber" months of the year and in a little over 2 months from now, 2017 will be over and passed into eternity.

I am not here to wish you good health, plenty wisdom, plenty properties, long life, much money, e.t.c. as others are wont to, because I have no control over those things, but there's one thing I have control over and that is the message of hope and which states that no matter who you are, what you do, where you are from, what your gender is or if you have no gender at all, my message of hope to you is that GOD LOVES YOU and His promises to you are YEA and AMEN.

This October, irrespective of what may come your way, I want you to hold fast onto that promise of God, He is not a man that He would lie, and He honours His Words even more than His Name. He is your Father and before Him you can always cry "Abba Father"

Hey, I said earlier that I am not here to wish you anything but I just remembered that I really have something to wish you and that is WHAT YOU WISH YOURSELF (you have more control over what comes to you than I have)

Be that as it may, just know that even when the storms of life blow from all sides and threaten to steal, kill and destroy, it shall always be well with our souls

God bless you in this new month and lift up His Countenance on you and all that concerns you to give you a hope and an expected end.

Your Friend

Sir, Dr. Jerry - the First Oguzie: JP