An APC for Dangiwa’s headaches

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS -

Ap­par­ently the state of things has ran­kled firespit­ting rev­o­lu­tion­ary Col Dangiwa Umar enough to write. That’s odd. We were get­ting used to his si­lence. We were think­ing that he has sub­scribed to the no­tion that they that would not run for pub­lic of­fice nor ac­cept po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments have lost their rights to rue the way things are done in Naija. And we were get­ting used to their golden si­lence as we con­stantly lis­ten to the rab­ble-rous­ing el­ders who stoke in­cen­di­ary/ ethno­pho­bic vi­o­lence rather than build bridges of un­der­stand­ing. This was the ar­gu­ment on the streets.

So, what does Colonel Umar have to say? That those hold­ing pub­lic trust should re­cuse them­selves from po­si­tions likely to em­bar­rass them be­cause of the no­tion of con­flict of in­ter­est. Dangiwa must have been read­ing too much Amer­i­can fic­tion. Who takes their con­sciences into pub­lic of­fice in Naija? Per­haps Dangiwa’s neigh­bours and close al­lies. There is a cloak at the en­trance of pub­lic of­fice that says to those who come in - hang your con­science here. In Naija, we go into pol­i­tics and pub­lic of­fice to safe­guard our per­sonal in­ter­ests. Come to think of it, per­sonal in­ter­ests to the per­son who has them are na­tional in­ter­ests. Take per­sonal in­ter­est out of Naija pol­i­tics and what you have is ab­so­lutely not worth cam­paign­ing, ab­duct­ing, killing and rig­ging elec­tions for?

Maybe Dangiwa is un­aware that if ex-gover­nors drop out of the lime­light, their il­le­git­i­mately ac­quired prop­erty and in­flated ego would di­min­ish faster in value than the Naira and the em­pires (phys­i­cal and fi­nan­cial) that they have built would crum­ble like a house built with spu­tum. Hor­ri­fy­ing is the thought of the fair-weather loyal friends they have at­tracted like vul­ture to car­rion drop­ping off like ripened man­goes in the wind. Again, this would be a threat to per­sonal in­ter­est and there­fore a clear and present dan­ger to na­tional in­ter­est. So, what do gover­nors do? Well, they just make sure that they choose their own suc­ces­sors, some­one very un­likely to take blackmail too far be­cause they too are in­volved; then they plant them­selves in the sin­nate or some­where lower (since there is nowhere higher af­ter be­ing gov­er­nor than be­ing pres­i­dent or a sin­na­tor). Best way to guard se­crets.

The so-called ba­nana peel that slides many a sin­nate lead­er­ship is noth­ing but re­ac­tion against kow­tow­ing to­wards per­sonal in­ter­ests. Is Dangiwa sug­gest­ing that some­one with no port ex­pe­ri­ence be made the chair of the sin­nate com­mit­tee on ports? Sac­ri­lege, its like tak­ing APC for an­other man’s headache and our party won’t suc­cumb to that. The chair­men of the com­mit­tees men­tioned in the un­war­ranted dis­trac­tion by Dangiwa of­fered to use their vast ex­pe­ri­ence in the com­mit­tees they head to pro­tect per­sonal/na­tional in­ter­est. Blame should go to Sai Baba for choos­ing peo­ple who are known to be un­com­pro­mis­ing to head two agen­cies where the Naija econ­omy has al­ways haem­or­rhaged - the Cus­toms and the Ports Author­ity.

Hameed Ali is leg­en­dar­ily ap­proach­able. Even his smiles are plas­tic just like the late Tunde Idi­ag­bon. His gazes are more pen­e­trat­ing than x-ray ma­chines. Imag­ine the im­pu­dence of refusing to re­lease a con­tain­er­load of rice im­ported by a sin­na­tor? Who does Hameed Ali think he is pro­tect­ing - na­tional in­ter­est? If sin­na­tors no longer im­port rice, who else should - Dangiwa Umar or Balarabe Musa? Dangiwa Umar should tell us if Hameed Ali’s for­tunes have changed since he be­came CG Cus­toms. Has he opened an over­seas ac­count or aban­doned his di­lap­i­dated car? Now he is at­tempt­ing to com­put­er­ize the ports - without elec­tric­ity.

Any­one who knows the late Yusufu Bala Us­man knows that the ap­ple does not fall far from the tree. That kind of lin­eage is not good for the typ­i­cal Naija pol­i­tics. It is said that she has the Jega kind of stoic calm­ness that cures Orubebitis. She is also nat­u­rally beau­ti­ful and mar­ried, which is a shame since no­body get’s close too close to her without the fear of be­ing ac­cused of sex­ual ha­rass­ment? It is widely said that money doesn’t seem to sway her, just like her late fa­ther. I don’t know if Dangiwa has been de­ra­ci­nated. If he is still firmly rooted, he would re­mem­ber that in Arewa, you do not ap­point a young woman to head a big or­gan­i­sa­tion that em­ploys real men. In­stead of blam­ing the sin­nate ar­range­ment of putting square pegs in round holes, Dangiwa should blame Buhari. More as­tute pres­i­dents ap­point peo­ple who would guar­an­tee their se­cond elec­tions into po­si­tions where money can trickle down to the loot­ing clan. Ask thief Bode Ge­orge or Mr. Fix-It who have oc­cu­pied such strate­gic po­si­tions in the past without a spat with the sin­nate.

If Buhari pre­tends to be fight­ing cor­rup­tion, for­get­ting that money and in­flu­ence are the bread and but­ter of pol­i­tics, the cur­rent sin­nate lead­er­ship can­not af­ford such lux­ury. They have po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions, more elec­tions to win and are con­scious of the need to make pe­cu­niary al­liances and strate­gic po­lit­i­cal align­ments. It is ex­pe­di­ent to build nest chests for their fu­ture am­bi­tions. Dangiwa should take my APC for his headache - keep off or come aboard.

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