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Great expectations

‘When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves’- Confucius

Elections
Elections

Last week, like millions of Nigerians, home and abroad, eagerly anticipated that last Saturday, the general election was a done thing.

We woke to the unexpected news that it was postponed. It was surprising but not all together unexpected.

In Nigeria, you come to expect the unexpected. This has always been the normal; unpredictable and indifference.

Of course, it is a way of Nigeria. Sadly, but true.

For whatever the reasons for the postponement, it was very clear from the run up to the election that, all was not well. The cynics amongst us, would say, when was it ever well in Nigeria.

Crucially, the postponement also gave Nigerians, a time to pause, reflect and think.

Far too many people have been pulled in to frenzy, too much fluff and not enough substance of how to move the country forward. It was difficult to understand the message behind the political razzmatazz.

There was a lot riding on this election and everyone had their changes they hope to see after the electoral outcomes.

For the ordinary people; a stable, peaceful, safe, prosperous and a progressive living standard for all, not just the select few.

It has been announced the anticipated election will now hold this Saturday, 23rd.

Nigerians expect so much (and so they should), but everyone should play their part in making Nigeria live up to its potential. It is fair to say that there were a huge teething problem that was resolved in the run up to the Election Day: 11 million prospective voters were waiting to collect their PVCs, which they had to present at the polling stations. That is 11 million! The 11 million can make a difference between who wins or loses. Also there is the case of 180,000 smart card readers that required reprogramming ready to be deployed across the country.

Ordinarily, it is a logistics nightmare but INEC has given the assurance that the machines to verify voters are the machines used to verify voters – 180,000 smart card readers have been deployed to polling stations across the country. INEC pressures the public that the process is completed and the machines are ready for use. There are so many kinks in works including replacing 4,600 smart card readers destroyed in a fire in Anambra State and they are redistributing devices from other states, it will still leave one deficits number of back-up machines in some polling stations

Saturday will be the judge of that.

I know that many potential voters, have made up their minds, it is far too unsafe to go out to perform their constitutional duties. I understand their fears but, here every vote counts and they cannot expect change if they choose to opt out of the process.

One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors-Plato

From my archives

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” -Maya Angelou

Words really fail me for what I am about to write but, write I must. The behaviour of Nigerian law makers has sunk to the lowest depths. I  would have thought any right thinking person could not have imagined a depth this low. The Rivers State assembly had the dubious venue of the crime most foul.

These hoodlums parading as honourable people have not only brought their position to disrepute but they have also given us a glimpse to the type of  people we support and put in high office.

I wrote some months back, in “Ladies, jets and big egos” that Jonah was flexing his FG muscle to intimidate the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi and that trouble was afoot.

The latest antics are deplorable and if the finger of blame points to the FG and Jonah, then Nigeria is indeed ungovernable and the leaders are scoundrels.

They should hang their heads in shame and accept that what happened on the floor of the assembly was truly despicable and shocking, period. If grown men, and I mean, grown men behaved in such thuggish manner, waving the mace and using it as a weapon, what example are they displaying to the young and the impressionable.

No wonder Nigeria is going to the dogs!   On July 9th, Bipi led his rent a mob then attempted to take over the assembly chambers. Where he proceeded to make himself the speaker of the House, with no assailable majority, they refused to abide by the rules when faced with descent. He then starts to beat up some principal officers of the house. The farce was cringe  worthy as he paraded himself  with his goons as the speaker, before Governor Amaechi personally intervened to thwart his charades.

So ensue the most farcical tussle when a pro-Amaechi lawmaker, Chidi Lloyd smashed a wooden mace on the head of another lawmaker who has remained hospitalised overseas.

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There seem to be silence in the aftermath, which can only be reserved for the mischief makers because no one need tell them that what they did was s unlawful and totally unacceptable. They should be a shining example but instead they behaved disgracefully and dishonourably, sadly these scoundrels have shown the nation how not to behave.

They have the temerity to go on boasting that their behaviour as if it is justified and that they were merely responding the governor’s stubborn stance. They have already made themselves judge, jury and executioner! What a country and what a people! We definitely have scrapped the barrel to be represented by these uncouth, bully boys and narcissistic men.

They are ready to compromise the safety of Nigerians because of their over inflated egos. It is about time Nigerians insists that those found guilty of this raucous behaviour should face the full weight of the law, put them in chains and throw away the keys. Really, when is enough, enough? We cannot pretend it did not happen, it did and it should not be swept under the carpet like all the others before it.

I see that some people remain deep in their trenches blaming others for what happened and refuse to lay the blame for the shambles with the culprits how do we justify the unjustifiable is beyond me. When someone is wrong, they are wrong, there are no two ways about it, so more pussy footing about, we need to grow some moral backbone.

These anti-Amaechi lawmakers in Rivers State House of Assembly in particular, the Hon. Evans Bipi, representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, had the gall to declare himself  a  worthy replacement for the speaker of the house and also attempting to remove the incumbent governor for insulting Patience .

He said “why must he (Amaechi) be insulting my mother, my Jesus Christ on earth?” “I have no mother, I have no father. She (Mrs Jonathan) is my mother,” he said. Well, one cannot make this up even if one wants to; he spoke like true deluded loved up puppy this man is not fit to be a law maker or anything else for that matter. So is this man really sane? Not sure that is what one wants in their law maker.

So what has the fragrant Patience got to do with the melee? It seems the lady is not an innocent  bystander; the blame should be shared by her and her cronies of sycophants for  meddling in the state business. Me thinks  the lady is acting like a tyrant “she who must be obeyed” is pulling some political might and no one seem to be stopping her by rightly putting her in her place.

I and many millions of Nigerians who saw the videos of their madness on the floor of the assembly watched with shock and horror, it was not pretty, in fact, it was downright gory. In full view, we can see Evans Bipi attacking a police officer and all hell broke loose, it seems that the break-away fraction of  the  House also control the use of the police and officials in the state.

They flexed their physical and political muscles, bullying their way through so as to  make the Governor a lame governor. They have misfired in fact it had made them look  instead uncultured, mediocre and self-serving.

So, no surprise there then, when the Rivers State Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari, stood up for the good lady and declares her innocent of  all suspicions!

Wole Soyinka has called on Jonah to call off his unruly, out of control wife. At   last   someone   with courage and wisdom calling   it   as it is that she is a   loose cannon, she meddles in the business that   she has not been elected for nor have the experience and qualifications for ;   she seems to have   the   knack of creating disunity and discord in   the Government and I   totally   agree.

For so long, Nigerians have   given lawmakers   unbridled respect that their high office deserve but the wrong type of people are chosen to represent this high   office and they seem to demand the respect they do   not deserve and thus cheapen the   position. It is high time, we make our elected officials and non-elected people accountable to the high office they occupy, there should be, and I believe a code of conduct that they must adhere to and if, they fall below what is expected, then they should face the consequences even if it means custodial sentences.   This shameful event   is   the   game changer here if the president operates in such cavalier manner and   conduct in a way that puts the office in jeopardy then, it is high time Nigerians take a stance that these behaviours are not acceptable and can no longer be condoned.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”    -Socrates

These past weeks, for me, have been intentionally politics free. The toxicity of the world of politics in particular, our brand of politics: ‘the do or die brand, is soul destroying. So it is for the sake self-preservation, it was wise to take time out and reflect; if one has a conscience, then it is preferred that occasionally, one leaves politics temporarily well alone, even if for a  very short while.

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If only one could. There is a saying that:   if you are not interested in politics, politics is  interested in you. Alas, one might as well get drawn in after a healthy sabbatical, a hiatus of sanity and decency.     It enables clarity and definitely sees the political woods from the trees.

As 2019 approaches, we see the same old suspects; they are busy playing musical chairs with the nation by decamping from one party to the next. It is as if the people have no say in who governs the country, the greedy and miscreants are already  and potentially carving out the national cake.

It is disgraceful and shocking as they attempt to cause unrest, uncertainty as they decamp from one party to the next, it beggars belief how these politicians were ever voted in the first place; do they really represent the voices and interests of the people? They are  like  conjurors, with the sleight of hand; they place old wine into new bottles and present it as new to the gullible. It has been done so many times before and they reckon if it isn’t broke why fix it? There lies the problem. These snake oil sellers have nothing but unrest and con to sell to the nation. If only they could deliver good news for once and promote unity and prosperity for all. It is not too much to ask for, is it?

For those who play to the narrative and engage in finger pointing; I have news for you: they are playing expensive politics with our lives and our future.

Those who call for the bad old days of grand corruption and day light robbery because they reckon, at least some of the ill-gotten loot will trickle down to the masses. What nonsense! Nigerians should not rely on hand outs from anyone and in the short term. The commonwealth if not coveted, was enough to change the lives of every Nigerian for the better.

The trouble is that people feel they have no power but they do. The civil duty of every voting age Nigerians is to vote with their conscience.

Knowing one’s worth is the key to the challenges of Nigeria. Crucially, ordinary Nigerians should not be begging for crumbs off the table of these thieves in fine clothes. The commonwealth is for everyone and Nigerians have been robbed and denied a better standard of life and yet, the subsequent administrations have feathered their nests and most Nigerians are suffering as a result.

So while Nigerians have not had it that bad, the politicians are running their hands in anticipation for more of the gravy train.

No, these people have not delivered on their election pledges  instead they have rubbed the nose of all Nigerians and then they continue to insult the intelligence of its citizens.

They jail corrupt bankers

Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for his part in the 2008 economic collapse. The charges ranged from breach of fiduciary duties to market manipulation to embezzlement.

When most people think of Iceland, they envision fire and ice. Major volcanoes and vast ice fields are abundant due to its position on the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (A hot July day in Reykjavik is around 55 degrees.) However, Iceland is also noted for being one of the Nordic Socialist countries; complete with universal health care, free education and a lot other Tea Potty nightmares. Therefore, as you might imagine, they tend to view and react to economic situations slightly differently than the U.S.

When the banking induced “Great Recession of ’08″ struck, Iceland’s economic hit was among the hardest. However, instead of rewarding fraudulent banking procedures with tons of bailout money, they took a different path.

Prior to the recession, Iceland had one of the more thriving economies in the world, in spite of the fact that their total population (327,000) wouldn’t even fill a mid-sized American city. When the recession struck, they were among the earliest and hardest hit. However, instead of running to the vaults to shower the banks with money, they let the banks fail. They also resisted traveling down the European/Republican austerity road. Instead, they kept their social programs intact at a time when they were most needed.

And, they sent fraudulent bankers to jail.

When Iceland’s three major banks collapsed, it resulted in defaults totalling $114 billion in a country with across domestic product (GDP) of only $19 billion. In October, 2008 the parliament passed emergency legislation to take over the domestic operations of the major banks and established new banks to handle them. They did not, however, take over any of the foreign assets or obligations. Those stayed with the original banks, right into bankruptcy.


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