On the day after attending Buhari’s inauguration, I reached out to one of my campaign contacts to find out what was going to happen next.
Since the campaign team of which he had an important role had delivered an improbable victory, it was “obvious” that the same team and he would help run the government.
I wanted to have an idea of who was going where. As for me, I just wanted to know where I could channel my one pagers like I had done through the campaign. I had/have no intention in holding office.
My guy was traveling, and since there was no time to seat to chat, he asked that I joined him on the way to the airport.
After a bit of small talk and banter I got straight to the point
“Guy, now that the government has kicked off, we have to move quick. There should be clarity on the milestones to achieve by the first 100 days. So what is the plan, will you be taking X position based on the Y role you played during the campaign. Cos there are some one pagers I wanted to send to……”
“Oo hold on. The plan? Let me tell you what my principal (a current minister) told me”
Then he leaned forward
“THERE IS NO PLAN”
We both laughed.
Obviously, it was a joke. there was definitely a plan. Afterall, 4 years was so short a time and we would be moving quick to deliver the change promised.
It was just that a day after inauguration was too soon to talk about appointments or strategy execution. By next week, people would have settled down and things would be set in motion.
So I thought.
So he thought.
So we thought.
It then took 6 months to get Ministers into their offices. No economic advisers working with the president. Basically, it’s been over a year now and I still do not know the plan of this government I support.
And this was not the plan.
PS: The usual disclaimer. Looking back knowing what things were, and knowing what things are, if the options were Buhari or the continuation of Jonathan’s government, I would still chose Buhari a 1000 times over. Perhaps with a lot less enthusiasm. So no, I do not regret kicking out the last government. I only regret that this government has failed to take advantage of the opportunity to move this country forward.
PPS: My guy has since returned to his business. He still has his people everywhere in this government however, having friends in government was never the idea. Were that the case, there was no need to change government. That’s why outside politics, you should have a livelihood so you can make your decisions based on principle and not on government “stomach infrastructure” pipelines remaining open.
Thanks to my pre-election activism, anytime I leave my compound, the gatemen (onye kuzi, we have too) from the adjourning compounds greet me “Sai Baba!”
This has been the status quo EVERY SINGLE time I leave my house. It became tiresome to me because sometimes I just want to continue my train of thought while leaving the house.
At the turn of this year, it continued. This particular old soldier’s whose voice was always loudest would add “oga no worry, things go soon beta”
Yesterday, 3 of them were outside as I stepped out of my gate, as with the norm, I heard the “Sai Baba” chant and as I prepared to raise my two hands to respond “Sai Buhari”, I head the following from the old baba
“Abeg which kain Sai Baba. I don tire! Hungry wan kill person”
I turned and noticed the usual smiling face adorned with a crooked teeth was replaced with a frown. I quickly responded. “Ah Baba, wetin happen? No vex budget don pass things go start to change now”. He kept mumbling and I decided to surrender the 200 naira in my pocket to him.
He thanked me and gave me the equivalent of that polite smile emotion that is used to “die” chat conversations.
Little anecdotes like these let you know the true feelings of those on the streets.
So my dear General, I just thought you should know what’s happening. I still have faith in you and your ability to get this right. And you can be sure of one thing, I’ll always let you know what I truly think and what i see happening. Those “protecting you” from the reality do not mean well for you.
Remember, this will be remembered as the Buhari government. It’s your name on it.
The list of noisemakers Ministers comes out today. There is ONE Ministry that I think would ensure Nigeria grows aggressively in the next few years.
The Ministry of Regional Development.
This would be made up of 6 Ministers. One in charge of each of the Geopolitical Zone they come from. Basically, NDDC for each of the the zones.
The Federal Government would basically have Super Executive Governors that would intervene directly in each of the regions.
“Soludo, you think, you would be a better Governor of Anambra? Here Take 100 Billion a Year and be the Governor of the South East”.
“Hi there, Fashola, you would have been much better as a Governor of Lagos if not for the interference of the Lion of Bourdillon? Ok, Here, be the Executive Governor of the South West. No fear of Impeachment, PMB does not need to be settled”
SS, NC, NW and most importantly, NE (If i were a betting man, I’ll bet on an MK Ahmed)
The other Ministers (Works, Power etc) can theoretically act as the commissioners for these 6 executive Governors.
Before dismissing me as an SEO scavenger due to my choice of title, first understand the double entendre at play.
Inasmuch as the backgrounds of Buhari, Nigeria’s President and Corbyn couldn’t be more different, (soldier vs. activist) they have a lot of likeness and for that, I like the both of them.
For those that are not aware, Jeremy Corbyn was just announced the leader of the Labour party in the United Kingdom and he did so in spite of being a rank 1-200 rank outsider that was consistently pushed back by the establishment.
Thankfully they failed.
So why do I like Corbyn? The same fundamental reason I like Buhari. Consistency over the years. It is such a tragedy that the “hater politicians” that tried every underhand tactics to keep Corby at bay have failed to understand that a vast majority of the people are tired of “typical politicians”
To be honest, I really did not know Corbyn until a little over 3 months ago. my heart warmed up to me immediately after I read the other candidates pushing for “policies that will win power” as against policies that are backed by belief.
As I read more about Corbyn and read more of the embarrassingly hapless interventions by the likes of the war criminal Blair, it was obvious my mind was in the right place. Like with Buhari, they threw the kitchen sink and it made him stronger. It also helped that like with Buhari, Corbyn is a fan of government backed/ public owned institutions and infrastructure.
I actually find it amusing that the pseudo capitalist who scream “free market” run quickly to government when they fail.
Would Corbyn succeed? I do not know. But we need clear alternatives of policies and government and we should try all out.
What I do know though is that were Corbyn PM, the disaster in Syria, Iraq, Libya and co would not have been and this work world would have been a much peaceful place today.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln
The quote above best summarises what I think of Buhari’s first 100 days. But I’d like to expatiate a bit using an extended analogy that factors in the perception of Nigerians vis-à-vis the typical Nigerian leadership.
I would liken Nigeria to a large vehicle. The President, a mechanic-driver (who repairs the vehicle s/he drives); the passengers, Nigerians, and our a very long journey, our future.
The mechanic-driver has a lot of assistants for navigating, communicating with the passengers, fixing the car etc.
We have a car that has always been in a pretty bad shape making lots of internal noises, lots of scratches and rust on the body. Every 4 years we, the passengers, have had the chance to choose our mechanic-driver. And for the past 16 years, the passengers have kept on choosing the same company to provide the driver.
Typically, when a new driver from this company takes over the wheels, they quickly open the bonnet change the fan-belt (which reduces the noise) spray here and there on the body (they have assistants) and start driving. After a few kilometers, the noise gets worse again and the whole scenario repeats itself. During the journey, the assistants quickly shut up complaining passengers. Even some passengers shut others up. It can be really rowdy!
The passengers got tired and CHANGED the company that provided the mechanic driver and this new guy took charge 100 days ago.
Unlike the other guys though, this one has been doing things from the fundamentals. Instead of quickly jumping in the car and appointing those who will take charge of different departments, he decided to take time and find out what has been happening. Why oil dey always short, why the wheels are always wobbly. Most of the passengers are not used to this. They are getting hot and they need to know they will reach the next stop in time. Those that campaigned for the new mechanic-driver know it is better to spend time finding what is wrong and fixing it from the source. So we have a smoother ride with less stops along the road.
When the mechanic-driver is under the car, it is the job of someone to let them know what is going on. After all, it is not everyone who can see what is going on there.
Well, it’s 100 days gone and the interviews are over. The security department has been filled. He has found out why the fan belt is always cutting, crank shaft get as e be, oil short e.t.c.
Now is prime time!
The guys that communicate to the passengers need to really step up or be changed. Calling passengers wailing wailers is disgraceful (though I find is hilarious lol)
Oga mechanic-driver should understand passengers like to see a bit if activity going on. It helps calm nerves
In a little over 3 years, it would be ONLY the progress made that would count when choosing a mechanic-driver for another term. Intention and ‘what is almost done’ will not count.
I have total confidence in the capability of oga mechanic-driver. Carry go, my General!
PS: Forgive typos and fill in the gaps if you notice the analogy breaking down anywhere ;). If you liked the post, please click here to tweet it.
Today it took me about 3 hours to complete the barely 25km journey from Ikeja to Victoria Island.
“Why didn’t you leave earlier? ” would be the typical response. But why the fuck should one leave earlier than 9am for a 12 noon appointment at a place that should not take 30 minutes to get to.
Of course those Nigerians that optimize for the substandard would point out the traffic in other cities like New York without explain that the public transport alternative is available and quite predictable. You have an option. In Lagos, everyone is meted the same punishment.
In London, you go,”we’ll meet at 1 pm”. In Lagos, you go “we’ll meet around 1-2 by God’s grace.” a one hour range needs the intercession on the creator.
The reason for this absolute fuckery that kills hours for millions of Lagosians daily is because of the absolute absence of any resemblance of a city plan that takes into cognizance the need for business districts.
Why I’m doubly pissed is that the opportunity to avert this was as recent as this past decade. The Mainland – Island traffic horror had always been known. As at the year 2000, the area after Oniru towards Epe was practically virgin. But rather than plan for the expansion of the VI – Ajah axis the Lagos State Government was napping, or rather spending billions and a decade focused on creating a business out of tollgates on the less than 15 km of road.
Now we have the whole of Lagos coming to Victoria Island to work at by the same time and leaving at the same time by 4pm. to spend another minimum of 2 hours on the road (as for those living more than 20 km from VI, I sorry for them)
Lagos requires leaving home at 5am to get to work 20 km away, early. Leave home 5 am, get to work before 6am. Leave at 6am, get to work after 9am! And this aplies to those coming to VI from Ikeja or Ajah. The Ajah – VI axis is more ridiculous. Only two lanes on each side and just a single access (Fun anecdote. Once there was a protest on that road because of an accident and there was NO WAY for people living in Ajah to get to work that day. Madness!!!)
A simple development of the shoreline (in black) and creating a new business district (orange rectangle) out it the area around the Lagos Business School would have eased of the pressure on Victoria Island and would have rapidly developed the Epe area as a residential zone which would key into the Lekki Free Trade Zone plan and the 4th mainland Bridge (in red).
Of course someone somewhere would be very excited to explain why the above is not really possible.
If Ambode wants to really solve this, he should live in Ajah for a 3 month period and go to work in Lagos Island form there everyday. Of course with no sirens.
Of course the above would mean politicians prioritizing the needs of citizens.
PS: forgive typos and errors. No be that one dey worry me now.
As a result of the mindless Xenophobic attacks by some Black South Africans on their fellow brothers, especially those who are citizens of countries that sacrificed for their freedom, there has been understandable anger.
However, I have seen a lot of this anger being directed towards ALL South Africans. As a Nigerian, I know how unfair it is when I am punished daily as a result of the criminal activities of a very tiny fraction of my fellow citizens.
I know a lot of very decent South Africans who are as outraged and embarrassed as a result of these evil attacks. Any irrational reaction from other countries would make it bad for the good guys. The ignorant xenophobic folks would lose nothing if we target South African companies. As the saying goes, “he that is down fears no fall.”
Let us be clear on something, the failure of Black South Africa is the failure of the ANC. Not the whites, not the foreigners, and to an extent, not the criminal Afro-Xenophobic wretches who feel subdued even in barbarity.
Black Africa is in dire need of effective leadership. Unfortunately, the top two most powerful countries in Sub Saharan Africa have had the worst of leadership for the past have decade at the same time!
When I speak to Nigerians who can process beyond renovated locomotive trains, we agree that Nigeria has a responsibility towards the black world. We are the “most powerful” and most influential black nation and we have not really set the bar high enough. I am hopeful that we will start seeing things begin to change for the better.
As for these Xenophobic attacks, the culprits are clear. Jacob Zuma and the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini are clearly responsible. I have no idea how thay can be punished right. As for the tragedy of black South Africa, the ANC as an organization has failed.
Hopefully, things change before they run that nation into the ground.
Unlike in the Presidential Elections, I am not vested in the Lagos Guber race between APC and PDP
For APC Lagos – although the Fashola/Tinubu combo have arguably been the best performers in Nigerian governance, their handling of a couple of things leave a lot to be desired.
For PDP – It’s PDP.
Back to APC Lagos – Fashola’s handling of the unforgivable Toll Gate issue (beating protesters on top of a wicked venture), LASU school fees (insane increase forced down the throat of poor students) and the Lagos Doctor’s strike in 2102 (sacking all Lagos Doctors) stems form a type of arrogance that overconfidence breeds. Over confidence that stems from the belief that you know everything and the people do not determine your fate
For me, the Lekki Toll Gate is personal. I promised myself I would not vote for APC Lagos and renew the vow anytime I queue up at that toll.
As for PDP – PDP is PDP. there is nothing more to say. The impunity exhibited for the past 16 years and the evil meted out to Nigerians has resulted in a permanent brand damage.
All PDP candidates are merely unfortunate carriers of that legacy. Just like Lawrence Anini’s cousins and relatives (that guy single-handedly retired a surname sha!)
Looking at the candidates.
Ambode – Starting with the pluses. From the look of things, Ambode has the requisite administrative experience needed to govern a complex state like Lagos. And on the surface, he deserves a clean chance and should not be punished for the “sins” of Fashola.
But on the other side, since he wants the pros of Fashola’s administration to rub of on him, at the very least, he should be questioned on the cons.
This is where Ambode has not done so well. He has not shown in any way how he will be different from the previous administration. He is as defensive on obvious “mistakes” by the previous administration as the owner of these “mistakes”. So for instance, on the toll gate issue, he tows the arrogant and condescending line of “If you do not support the tollgate exactly as we want it (opaque and inhuman) then you do not support or understand how public-private partnership works.
Fashola can get away with that as he is not running for reelection. Ambode has now forced himself to be weighted with sins of another man.
Another minus for Ambode is that although he started to campaign over a year ago, he does not seem confident enough. I hardly remember him being on the campaign trail alone. It is either Fashola and, or Buhari and, or Tinubu and, or Osibanjo and Ambode at X rally. For a man who needs to prove independence, that has not been a plus. This of course brings me to Oba Akiolu who said
“no one knows how I CHOOSE Ambode to be Governor”
No need for elections then.
The rantings of Akiolu threatening the Igbos was a chance for Ambode to SHOW independence. Such chances to not come up often. All we saw were press releases. The fact that people are no longer shouting about it does not mean it has not had a permanent impact on the mind of the electorate.
In finality, for good and for bad, we do not know what Ambode is. Buhari is strict, Agbaje is eloquent, Amobode is …..?
For a campaign that has lasted this long, I do not know what to fill in that blank. I know he has nice watches though.
Agbaje – The good thing about Agbaje is he sounds right for the job. Appearance, words, content, etc. His campaign has been top notch. A little dirty has existed but it has been relatively ok. You cannot really avoid dirty if you are in the proximity of Aye Dee and Ohimai (Mr Fix Nigeria).
If we are to be honest, if Agbaje had the APC machinery, we would have been preparing for May 29 by now in Lagos. But he doesn’t. He is with the PDP.
I’ll give it to Agbaje, he has tried to show independence, appeared on TV and rallies as the top dawg. etc. However, running a state is not a one man show. Who will be the empowered if he wins.
Whereas, APC has consistently shown governance and competence especially in the South West, good governance in PDP is an exception. Who are Agbaje’s squad members?
Another more worrying aspect is that Agbaje’s well of public sector and management experience is at best one bucket full. He began “his thing” immediately after he graduated from University. His main thing has not really grown beyond one shop. Basically, the question is, isn’t going from a one man business to running Lagos a leap?
His membership of boards is not the same as experience. Daddy’s investments handed down cannot substitute for the bureaucratic experience and knowledge needed to move this city sate called Lagos, forward.
Where I Sorta Stand
I have things to do this morning so let me quickly conclude.
Know that I am NOT voting any on the candidates.
Who do I think will win tomorrow? I don’t know. But if push comes to shove, I sentimentally and kinda objectively will prefer Ambode to win because
He belongs to the party of my General.
A lot of my comrades whose judgement I trust are working with him
Alignment in policy (power, social welfare etc) at both Federal and Lagos State level will be good for the state.
But this is my prediction
The result of last elections was based of the true mind of the people and not Jonathan’s billions
The Yoruba’s in Lagos see a PDP victory as losing and betraying their Oba and marshal a massive turnout in order to make a statement for their kingdom.
The Igbos are still relaxing home for Easter and do not turn out enmass to show rebellion.
Ambode will win. But barely. There is a high chance for an upset though.
Some things to consider.
The race was already tight enough two weeks ago. Then again in 2011, PDP won the state hands down for the presidential and the result had no reflection in the guber election. But then again, Fashola had personal recognition just like Jimi has.
Too many people want to break the hold of Tinubu in Lagos and SW. And this is not limited to those outside his party. Internal sabotage is the worst kind of sabotage.
Tinubu and APC have a 16 year old structure in Lagos. That cannot be wiped overnight especially as Fashola was no Jonathan
A Buhari victory has given a negotiation upper-hand for Tinubu. He can make more feasible.promises.
Damn, this is going to be interesting. may the best man win!
I write this to bring awareness to something crucial as we approach the final stretch of the most important election Nigeria has ever had.
Although a lot of us are on different sides of the aisle, quite a number of us want to get to the same destination, a great Nigeria. Most of us even agree on the road we’ll take but we differ on the driver that will get us there best.
However, we should be very careful not to destroy our vehicle as we argue this out. We should be VERY careful of those who may seem to be on our side, but are motivated by selfish interest. They do not want mind our vehicle not moving (perhaps they sell pure water and the more we stay on the same spot, the more money they make). Some of them would prefer the vehicle gets decimated (maybe they sell parts).
The next 72 hours will be crucial and very tense in our country (Interestingly, I wrote this line driving through Kaduna earlier today). Nigeria with its historical tribal and religious tensions is like a plot of dried wood. Election time is when a tanker spills in the vicinity.
Any spark can ignite the flames. When fire buns, it is not selective.
I ask that you do not let yourself be a part of the tool that can be used to crate the spark. Resist sharing or spreading rumors. Cross check and double check every information. Do not spread propaganda even though you think it may help your side.
Resist the urge to be angry or act on anger. Return a kind word for every angry word. Commit to put the interest of Nigeria first. Commit to being the same voice on your side of the aisle.
God willing, we’ll come out stronger after this experience.
I pledge to Nigeria my country To be faithful loyal and honest To serve Nigeria with all my might To defend her unity And uphold her honour and glory So help me God