“THERE IS NO PLAN” – A SHORT STORY

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”

I laughed.

He laughed.

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.

#TheList: One Nigerian Ministry I’d LOVE To See

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.

You get the drift.

Now let’s wait for #TheList

Like Corbyn, Like Buhari

Jeremy Corbyn

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.

Onward Jeremy, and godspeed!

My Take on Buhari’s First 100 Days.

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.

Buhari the Mechanic
Buhari the Mechanic

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!

Quick Notes

  • 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.

 

Thanks Boro for looking through this post.

 

Ambode vs Agbaje: My Random ‘Objective’ Musings on #LagosDecides

Agbaje vs. Ambode

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.

Lagos Lekki Toll Traffic

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

  1. He belongs to the party of my General.
  2. A lot of my comrades whose judgement I trust are working with him
  3. 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

Assuming

  1. The result of last elections was based of the true mind of the people and not Jonathan’s billions
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

 

PS: Forgive typos, etc. 

A Letter to my Fellow Nigerians on the Eve of Our Presidential Elections

My fellow citizen,

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

I remain your brother

Oo Nwoye, KCOB

@OoTheNigerian
@OoTheNigerian

Re: Nigeria drafts in foreign mercenaries to take on Boko Haram | Reuters

The West African security source said several hundred foreigners were involved in running major offensive operations against Boko Haram, and were being paid around $400 a day in cash.

via Nigeria drafts in foreign mercenaries to take on Boko Haram | Reuters.

Rather than empower our soldiers and train millions of our unemployed and capable citizens to guard, this government would rather pay mercenaries. What’s more evil is they are paying these guys in a day far more than they pay our guys in a month.

Isn’t that pathetic and evil?

We are not even talking about the danger of a government!!! (not rebels o) using mercenaries. What happens when they stop being paid? Or someone pays them more (they are mercenaries remember?)

If course, there is “little issue” of empowering the various tribal militias within Nigeria with contracts. Ensuring they have the cash flow to recruit more members and stock more weapons.

Jonathan is dangerous to the survival of Nigeria. There is absolutely no way Nigeria can survive four more years of his ‘leadership’.

Of course there are a bunch of Nigerians that see nothing wrong. Their myopic brains cannot process implications beyond 28th of March.