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For love of Blueberry

0705-558-8271: Presido, I want to  know whether the President returned vertically or horizontally? Do u need the latest blueberry? Tell Nigerians that he returned vertically& still fit to lead the nation and see whether “woman mountain” will not send you a dozen of it. AB, Warri”.

I will do anything for a blueberry, AB. So here goes the “authentic” report of what happened in the dark on February24 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

As soon as the cabin of the Presidential plane was opened, the President jumped from the top step down to the tarmac. He then did a 100 metre dash in five seconds; breaking Bolt’s Olympic record in the process.

After that he hurdled over three Boeing 747 planes, two Airbuses and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner taxing for take-off almost hitting his back foot on the tail fin of the aircraft. He claimed another record in the highest hurdles.

Finally, he proceeded on a solo marathon from the airport to the Presidential Villa; completed the race in 30 minutes without breaking a sweat; entered the Villa very quietly, so as not to disturb JG, who was certainly snoring (perhaps because he had no oil in his lamp like those foolish five maidens) and did not even know that the boss had arrived after breaking another galaxy record for marathon.

Then, he plunged straight to work and cleared all outstanding memos, he even sent instructions to his Special Adviser to make an announcement, that press release was later clarified, and the clarification was also later clarified, and even that clarification required explanations given in a newspaper – ad infinitum.

Then, after a great night’s work (three world records and unprecedented administrative feat you must agree qualify to be described as such) he went to bed with a sign on his door saying DO NOT DISTURB.

The sign is still there and I cannot understand why some blockheads who cannot understand simple grammar want to wake the man up.

Now where is my blueberry, wise guy?

“Nodoby knew about the wherabouts  of the prime minister of Israel today, with the Israelis not making an issue out of this”.

Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, quoted in Nigerian Tribune, March 1, 2010. p. 11.
An envoy is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country”. Sir Henry Wolton, 1568-1639.

That applies to ambassadors from foreign countries and perhaps to the envoys Nigeria appointed before the long reign of military rulers. Since then, the vast majority of ambassadors we have sent abroad lie worse than the worst of us and were generally appointed with that quality in mind. Our current ambassador in Saudi Arabia can serve as an example of the sort of people we now have representing us abroad.

Who can forget how many times the man told us that the “president will return home next week” without telling us that the man would be sent as air cargo and then crated and packed in a container, called ambulance on arrival.

Ambassador Kwande was an old hand, although a product of the military/civilian era when standards became abysmally low. But, he still managed to cut the figure of one who would not dissemble shamelessly. For that reason, one would give him the benefit of doubt and assume that he was “misquoted” by the TRIBUNE.

However, if the ambassador actually said what was published, then he needs to examine himself for a lot of reasons. But, two will be sufficient for now.

First, it is not true; in fact it is a blatant lie; that Israelis don’t know the whereabouts of their former prime minister. Not only the Israelis but other close allies of Israel know his condition and no government official who has a reason to know is prevented by a saucy Mrs Prime Minister from finding out the truth.

Second, the Israelis have appointed a new Prime Minister, not even an Acting Prime Minister, once it was ascertained that Sharon was incapacitated. Whether the likes of ambassador Kwande like it or not, the truth is Yar’Adua is incapacitated. If he is not, he should step out and disprove that statement.

It is people like Kwande who are actually exposing Nigeria to ridicule by encouraging a situation which would have been described as lunatic if an ordinary Nigerian were the subject.

“0805-516-0172: Presido, You warned Adeniyi. He threatened court action after calling you names. Now who is dodging the flaks!? Obi N Chukwukere.

Nothing less than seventy text messages and calls came through after Mr Segun Adeniyi made the first announcement after the President of Nigeria was air-freighted into the country in the middle of the night on February 24, 2010. Every one of them remembered my article in 2007. At the time, I was wondering if established journalists, who have built a solid reputation for truth, should take the risk of joining government.

It is almost impossible to think of anyone who took a stainless reputation into government who is still highly regarded today. One of them in the South East sends satanic statements to the press virtually everyday in defence of his boss who is also finally showing his true colours.

The Commissioner of Information and Strategy addresses everyone in gutter language while forgetting that he and his boss are public servants.

I would have not commented on anything Segun Adeniyi announced officially, to avoid giving the impression of being vindictive or gloating. But, my attention was drawn to his interview with Ike Abonyi of THISDAY on February 28, 2008 on page 77 in which among other things

(a)  he dismissed the vital issue of who gave him the statements he released, (b) he affirmed that the president actually wrote a letter to the National Assembly notifying it of his intention to go on vacation;

(c) he again dismissed the existence of a cabal in these words “I read about some imaginary cabals in the newspapers (the same medium which gave him fame!!!); and, (d) he defended the CSO and ADC by calling them “fantastic human beings” as well as ”thouroughbred professionals who love their country and are fiercely loyal to their boss as their professional duties demand. This should not count against them”.

He said so many other contentious things but these are the most pressing because they reveal what can happen when someone crosses from being a watch dog to joining those that must be closely watched.

All of a sudden, the language changes to suit the new situation. Fortunately, the matters involved are very simple and straightforward to people who are not shackled by demands of office and the secrecy which the current national embarrassment makes inevitabledemands.
To be continued

March 5, 2010


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