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An honour deserved

By Donu Kogbara

I am proud to highlight the fact that Engineer Abiye Membere – a consummate professional and highly respected son of my home state, Rivers – was, this week, conferred with a Fellowship of the distinguished Nigerian Society of Engineers.

Membere, a seriously impressive brainbox, studied Petroleum Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt and went from strength to strength thereafter.

He eventually became a senior Gas Production Advisor at a famous international American oil company (Exxon Mobil), the Managing Director of the Benin-based Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and a Group Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

His enviable career has taken him all over the world, enabled him to work with many world-class oil/gas industry experts and provided him with several intellectually enriching learning opportunities and valuable practical experiences.

Given that Membere also happens to be a warm-hearted Jolly Good Fellow, one can only express the hope that God continues to push him onwards and upwards.

Comic relief part one

The immediate past Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Maku, who recently resigned from President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet to contest the Nassarawa State governorship election, lost the PDP governorship ticket to a rival (Alhaji Yusuf Agabi) who defeated him and 3 other contenders.

So he flounced off into the APGA camp. Just like that. With hardly a backward glance. How very comical and undignified some of these Naija politicians are!

It is only a matter of weeks since Maku could be seen on international and local TV channels, passionately defending the PDP, the President and the government.

It is only a matter of weeks since Maku left a job that made him one of Jonathan’s right-hand men and gave him control over government media outlets such as the Nigerian Television Authority and the Federal Radio Corporation.

Now, all of a sudden, he is an Opposition guy whose priority is to fight the PDP candidate to a standstill! And, by the way, APGA was not Maku’s first choice when the PDP ticket eluded him. He initially tried to secure the Labour Party ticket. But the Labour Party wasn’t having any of it and firmly sent him packing.

And it’s not as if Maku’s protestations about his reasons for leaving sound sincere. According to him, he left because of irregularities that allegedly took place during the PDP primary. “I opted out in order to seek for justice , “ he said.

Governorship flag

But he has always, in the past, loudly sung the PDP’s praises; and we all know that if the PDP had chosen him to fly its governorship flag, he would have assured the world that the PDP primary went very well and was laudably transparent!

Let’s face it: He refused to graciously accept defeat only because of vanity, only because he can’t bear the thought of looking for a normal job after years of enjoying excessive government perks, only because he reckons that he is entitled to be a Governor by any means possible and only because he has no shame.

As for APGA’s Nassarawa State branch: It must be absolutely desperate!

Malema mocks Jonathan

Julius Malema, a radical South African activist, mocked and criticised President Goodluck Jonathan a couple of days ago.

First he made fun of Mr President’s first name, describing him as “Goodlook or Badluck or whatever his name is…”
Then he described Jonathan as “irresponsible” for saying nothing about recent Boko Haram killings in his own country, while releasing a statement about the recent Islamic terrorist killings thousands of miles away – in France (where l8 people were gunned down by Al Quaeda thugs).

Considering that at least 2000 innocent citizens have been murdered in Baga and other parts of North-Eastern Nigeria in recent days – and that many have also lost their homes and entire possessions – one can only agree with Malema.

Sure, I am not happy about a youngish pup like Malema cheekily mangling the President of Nigeria’s name. But Jonathan is always doing stuff that encourages people to diss him and deprive him of the reverence his position should attract.

And it IS downright irresponsible – and utterly OUTRAGEOUS – for a Head of State to offer condolences to foreigners and then seem to completely overlook far worse crimes that are being inflicted on his compatriots in his backyard.

Jonathan has a habit of coming across as heartless. I keep harping on about his decision to bestow a national award on Abba Moro, the Minister of Interior who presided over a botched recruitment exercise that led to many deaths.

I keep harping on about this gross insensitivity because it shocks me deeply. I find it traumatic and unforgiveable; and I cannot understand why Jonathan would rather heartlessly cling to a lacklustre minister he can easily live without than display a genuine concern for the dead and their families.

In a normal country, Abba Moro would have voluntarily resigned or been sacked. In the warped land of Jonathan and his cronies, Moro not only retains his posh post but winds up being publicly rewarded for handling it so disastrously!

Na wa for Nigerians for putting up with such amoral, insulting rubbish!

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