By Emma Okocha
”I open a new chapter in the history of Nigeria and the Commonwealth, and indeed of the world”
– Late Prime Minister, Abubakar Balewa, Independence Broadcast to the Nation, October 1,1960.
”I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know; the only ones among you who will
be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve” – Albert Scweitzer.
Nobody can say exactly which constitution is working the actions of the Nigerian government since the eclipse of the Obasanjo third term aspirations.
We were not sure where it is written in the Nigerian Constitution that, a serving Nigerian President, or for that matter, an Acting President, must appoint a battalion of surrogates, mainly those who helped him win elections, into the executive seats of Federal Ministers.
After these years of over flowing oil income what have we to show for it? Why do we need more than forty ministers and deputy ministers?
At the end of the day, who makes those appointments and what are the parameters and considerations leading to those appointments? Secondly what exactly is the job description of these Ministers and their Deputies?
Apart from attending long winding conferences and attending Executive briefs, approving heavy estacodes for their ever traveling trains, awarding contracts to party stalwarts, relations, girl friends and etc., we are not sure, and we keep wondering what these Nigerian ministers really do from 9am to 5pm on a daily basis.
If the Nigerian Minister of Works and Transportation is alive and breathing , then who is ex Minister Anenih, and why are most of Federal roads like the roads in Katanga? And there is always a senior and junior minister living in Roman opulence in Abuja.
Why don’t the Ministers depart Abuja for once, and troop down to the killer Ore – Ondo road, and other bad federal roads, camp there until the jobs are done?Â Where are the Nigerian senior and junior ministers of health when the the Head of State disappeared on health grounds?
Hon. Nigerian Minister of Health, can you point to a village health care center built by your administration any where in the country? Minister my foot! Who is the Minister of Power? I figure he is enjoying the best of Abuja.
The Honorable is not embarrassed by the Nigerian peculiar power situation. In a most disturbing feature, the Washington Post recently disclosed that, Nigeria is the greatest importer of generators in the world.
Understandably, we are without restraints emitting carbon monoxide and slowly poisoning and killing our oxygen and environment. Who is the Nigerian Minister of the Environment and what are his antecedents before his appointment?
Who is the Spokesperson for the Government?
The Minister of Information or the Press Secretary to the President? And when is it important to talk to the people on behalf of the government? When there is a major commissioning of a landmark project, like the announcement of a new modern Railways, the commissioning of new Agricultural project aimed at improving the production of staples to stem mass hunger in the country.
An announcement of that nature would include the capture and the persecution of the insurrectors and religious savages, kidnappers, who have held the nations’ security agencies at ransom.
The Minister of Information is only relevant and can therefore speak on development projects and win the peoples approval of the governmentÂ which is seen as tacking those issues which are of maximum value to the citizens. Incidentally, andÂ automatically the value laden communication enables that responsible Government carry the people along.
Otherwise, the infantile issues of the President using the rest room or the details of how he presides over his battalion of Ministers are not within the purview of the citizenry. We are not interested.
Elsewhere,the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, like the NTA International are at this moment selling the false impression and portraying Nigeria as a Muslim country.
Over eighty percent of the NTA programs show bias and depict northern Nigerian peoples culture and civilization with very few pictures of other peoples ways of life in that federation.
This type of running order is detestable, as the leading Nigerian American population according to the US census figures are not Northerners. Who is incharge of NTA and who is the Commissioner of Information?
On the other hand,Â the Nigerian embassy as of yesterday, is still hanging on its large reception wall the face ofÂ Umoru YarAdua as the President of Nigeria. That has been overtaken by the events of the last fortnight.
A savvy Foreign Minister sees and projects himself as the reliable window of the country, he represents. In times of national impasse, he should, by all intents and purposes be held, to be credible.
If Christian Ambassadors cannot serve in the Muslim world namely; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Morocco, Kuwait, Yemen, Tunisia, Algeria, etc, then do not send to Christian America, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, England, South Africa, Muslim Ambassadors who will on Fridays close down their mission. Nigeria is a Christian country, also a Muslim entity, but a predominantly pagan society.
Ask the Egbusi Shrine of the Ijaw nation, the apostles of the Yoruba …meta lo-kan worship, and please read again two Nigerian literary deities: Achebe in the Arrow of God, and Cyprain Ekwensi’s, A Passport for Mallam Ilya. That is why it is always safe to call the whole contraption a secular federation.
The former Nigerian Foreign Minister like the Oil Minister have had their best days in the past.Â They are like most of the forty -two ministers, been in government for all their lives. If according to Bola Ige, ministerial appointment in Nigeria, is rather an assignment for those who want to ”come and eat ” the Lukemen, Ojos, Egwus, the Hon. Lames and the businessman Alieros should all call it a day.Â For one thing, we know that the former Attorney General is not coming back.
Which ever constitution you would like to reference from ; Mr. former Attorney General is from Benue. Already seated as the Chief Justice of Nigeria is Justice Katsina Alu. The President of the Senate, the highest law making body is General David Mark. All the three are from the Middle Belt region if not from the same state. The principle of federal character faults his recall.
Seriously, ifÂ the Acting President rides the moment and decides to carve out his niche he will not only appoint missionaries but should go ahead and cut down to only thirteen the number of the ministers. These important ministries are;
Finance, Justice, Health, Education, Defence, Power, Works and Transport, Agriculture and Water Resources, Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Economic Planning, Industries, and Environment.
What else can anybody say is the significance of a Nigerian Minister at this exigent period of our national life? My dear country men, Nigeria if you don’t mind, may not need the services of these type of officers. The Acting President is into more action since he fired all those Alibaba ministers. The world has not come to an end.