Backlash: Feverish Search For Saints

Abraham Ogbodo

Abraham Ogbodo

THE search for saints may end in another 48 hours. It is still a wish, because President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) may wake up on Tuesday, September 1, with an amendment to the earlier proclamation to unveil the list of incorruptible men and women with whom he would run government in the next four years, in the first instance, to bring about change in Nigeria. Signs last Thursday were encouraging all the same.

In one stroke, five big appointments were announced. These are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Staff, Director General of the Nigeria Customs Service and two Special Advisers on the National Assembly, with one for the House of Representatives and the other for the Senate. This came before the September date given by PMB to do the appointments.

Since he didn’t specifically zero on any particular day in the month of September while making the pledge more than a month ago, technically, the President still has the entire 30 days of September to appoint his ministers and other functionaries.

Having survived100 days under a sole proprietorship, I am sure Nigerians can add another 30 days without too much sweat. Meanwhile, we can go ahead and congratulate the five men that have made the saints’ list.

It is not easy to be counted on that score in a land, where evil, according to our change agents, is a norm. I want to quickly add that the noise that has attended last week’s appointments is uncalled for.

The President needs absolute calm to continue with the search for other saints to join the ones already on board. Besides, PMB is a courageous army general who does not hide behind a finger to push a point.

He hinted of his approach early enough and everybody understood him because he spoke English not Hausa or Arabic. On the issue of appointments for instance, he told governors who could still be steeped in the old tradition under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), when the federal cabinet was largely designed in the state headquarters,that just as he would try not to intervene in the appointment of commissioners, he would cherish a kind reciprocation when it would be time to name his ministers and other federal public officers.

The President had also noted, even while on a visit in the US, that in the allocation of political privileges (and rights), every man and woman would reap by the same measure s/he had sewed.

He was kind of saying, the perfect sense of justice in Allah would not allow a man to harvest yam in place of cocoyam that was cultivated. Plainly, PMB said electoral votes, which determined who between him and Jonathan became President on May 29, 2015,would also determine the quantum and quality of political rewards that would go round stakeholders. Driven down, it meant Lagos State, for instance, with its contribution of about 800,000 votes in the presidential election, should not hop

e to rub shoulders with Kano that brought a whooping two million plus to the bargain when big allocations began. I am not talking of states in the Southeast and South-south geo-political zones that contributed virtually nothing to the cooking cauldron.

They should also get nothing. The same principle applies in international diplomacy and other engagements. For instance, at the table to discuss a new world order after the Allied victory over Nazist Germany and it was suggested that the Pope be given a more expansive role in the emerging order, Russia’s Josef Stalin had asked: “Where are his (the Pope’s) divisions?” The containment of Adolf Hitler and Nazism was a military task achieved with lives, guns, tanks and bombs.

The contribution of the Vatican on this scale could not be clearly quantified and the Russian dictator did not see why the Catholic Pontiff should be given a prime consideration in the allocation of arising war booties.It is the way of the world, and PMB, to me, is not doing anything unusual by insisting on action and reaction being same and equal in the matter of the April 28 presidential election.

What are we even saying in the first place? That PMB should invite evil people instead of saints on board the Nigerian state ship on the exigency of some geo-ethnic balancing also called Federal Character? This is not part of the initial blue print with which Buhari was recruited.

His was an unqualified mandate to refurbish Nigeria by any means possible and he should be allowed free hands to do his job.

He is on an epic mission on behalf of all of us. We are the ones that put him on that path and we cannot turn around to cause rain to impede his progress. Sincerely, I can’t understand why people are complaining. The man said he would change things and he has been doing very well.

He has run the presidency as a sole administrator for close to 100 days and we have seen the tremendous achievements within this period. Things are getting done without the usual long Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings on Wednesdays as was the case under the PDP.

In fact, from what we have seen, PMB does not require statements or a FEC to transmit and implement good policies. He has just invented a new tool in public administration called ‘Body Language’ that is working wonders for him.

Without spending a kobo or even saying a word, he has used ‘body language’ to improve electricity, domestic fuel supply, cut down on corruption and instill discipline generally in the public and the private sectors. When the Federal Character was religiously practised under the PDP, we ended up having evil men in high places.

It is only natural we change tactics and if God in His infinite kindness has guided Buhari to a location in Nigeria where saints are produced for recruitment into government, God Himself would be very angry if the President did otherwise.

Regarding the vision of a changed Nigeria, I can bet my life that God spoke only to Buhari, and nobody else; not even Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. It is not a shared vision; PMB has the complete patent to the vision, including the set of strategies required to deliver same.

His deputy, Prof. YemiOsinbajo is also not part of it. In fact, one source said there is a deliberate effort in Aso Rock Villa as I speak, to stop the VP from coming too close to taint the beautiful vision with the jurisprudence of equity, due process and all that stuff that SANs and law professors love talking about.

The source added that when there is a major decision to be taken, the Prof. is usually sent on a mission to the Northeast to commiserate with IDPs and suicide bomb victims and things will be wrapped up by the time he returns to base.

Na wa! I am saying in effect that in this APC’s Farm, where Comrade Buhari is always right, we cannot seek to re-write the rules mid-stream. We may only need to step up the advocacy to clear all doubts and bring everybody on the same page with the infallible comrade. I must add that Comrade Oshiomhole is doing pretty well in this regard.

He has abandoned his beat as Edo State governor to take charge as minister of information, in the main, while Comrade Buhari continues the search for a saint to man the federal information ministry. On the whole, things are looking up. Nobody is asking critical questions and the leader is not constrained as such to push through his vision.

When Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said ‘good governance’ should not be substituted with ‘public lynching’ he was told to shut up and mind his Catholic Diocese in Sokoto. Home and abroad, Buhari is acclaimed as the perfect man for the moment.

Even the removal of fuel subsidy that had proved too tough to crack by past regimes has become all too easy to handle under Buhari. Nigerians are now the ones inviting the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy for good! Nothing could be more evidential of real change!

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3 Comments
  • SurveyConcepts Online

    Sarcasm beautifully constructed! Saints are found only in the northern part of Nigeria.

    • amador kester

      Really? But i think there must be saints everywhere, only if we look well, even in a ghetto.zWeekend assignment: in view of the urgent need to identify a saint let everyone browse the lives of great saints like st Francis,Theresa Avila,Anthony Padua,JohnCcoss,Plotinus,Rumi,Shams i Tabriz,Avicenna, Prabhupada, Kabir,Paul Twitchell ,Pythogoras,Socrates,Guru Nanak,Fubbi Quantz,Supreme Master Ching Hai, zzPadre Pio,Epictetus and others. These will surely hepl us identify a saint

  • amador kester

    One : you never submitted the name of any one single saint you know for consideration..Dont you know at least one saint? Or talked with one? I am told they have an aura of a halo over their venerable heads. Two: you spoke as though mr president has already removed fuel fuel subsidy? Or has he really? Perhaps we need saints too to verify all news reports

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