And Four Other Things…


An ad-hoc com­mit­tee of the house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives has in­dicted Vi­cePres­i­dent Yemi Os­in­bajo for “il­le­gally” ap­prov­ing N5.8 bil­lion north-east in­ter­ven­tion fund for the Na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (NEMA). It also rec­om­mended the dis­missal and pros­e­cu­tion of Mr. Mustapha Yunusa Mai­haja, the NEMA DG, over al­le­ga­tions of “cor­rup­tion and em­bez­zle­ment of N33 bil­lion emer­gency in­ter­ven­tion fund”. Os­in­bajo had in June 2017, while act­ing as pres­i­dent, ap­proved the N5.8 bil­lion un­der emer­gency, but there are pro­cesses to in­voke such pow­ers be­fore spend­ing pub­lic funds. Were the pro­cesses fol­lowed in line with the rel­e­vant laws? Wor­ri­some.

And so, fel­low Nige­ri­ans, we need N242 bil­lion to fund the 2019 gen­eral elec­tion — ac­cord­ing to the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) and the se­cu­rity agen­cies — and the best way to do this is to cut bud­gets for power, ed­u­ca­tion and health, among oth­ers. The se­nate says that was the agree­ment that was reached with the ex­ec­u­tive, and so we should not com­plain. I am not say­ing we should not fund elec­tions — the other op­tion is not to hold the polls at all, which is not an op­tion — but we had four years to prepare for the 2019 elec­tions and now ed­u­ca­tion and health have to suf­fer the con­se­quences of our last-minute way of do­ing things. Dis­heart­en­ing.

Sheikh Ebra­heem El Zakzaky, leader of the naughty Is­lamic Move­ment of Nige­ria (IMN) who has been in de­ten­tion since 2015, has been con­sum­ing food worth N3.5 mil­lion a month, ac­cord­ing to Al­haji Lai Mo­hammed, the in­for­ma­tion min­is­ter. Al­though the in­for­ma­tion was not for pub­lic con­sump­tion (no pun in­tended), I find it in­ter­est­ing that the feed­ing pro­gramme of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment could cost an av­er­age of N100,000 a day for some­one who could be feed­ing him­self at home af­ter be­ing granted bails sev­eral times by the courts. Some­thing tells me the feed­ing cost cov­ers his wives and chil­dren. There is the price we pay for dis­obey­ing the courts. Costly.

Is your fa­ther a fa­mous op­po­si­tion politi­cian but no­body knows you? Do you want to em­bar­rass your fa­ther in ex­change for two min­utes of fame? Do you need to be fast-tracked to Aso Rock for a pres­i­den­tial hand­shake? Your wor­ries are over. Sim­ply send an email to the Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s cam­paign spokesman, Mr. Fes­tus Keyamo, and you will find your­self on na­tional TV in a jiffy. Ola­ju­won Obasanjo and Di­tan Okupe have been suc­cess­fully signed on for this em­bar­rass-your-fa­ther ini­tia­tive. Tafawa Balewa, son of Nige­ria’s late prime min­is­ter, also joined Pres­i­dent Jonathan’s cam­paign in 2015 al­though for a dif­fer­ent game. Blood­line.

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