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.