The Buhari Shocker By Tony Ademiluyi

It is now no news that twenty-two governors owe outstanding salary arrears. Ever since Buhari upset the apple cart by winning the Presidential elections on March 28, they have all hoped that he would bail them out of their respective mess when he got sworn in.
In his speech on the inauguration of the National Economic Council, he categorically told the beggar governors to source for funds to offset their gargantuan debts through the growth of their internally generated revenues. This was a big blow to their Big Brother bid as they have been told in loud and clear terms to act more responsibly by being more creative and resourceful and not putting the blame of their ineptitude on the door step of the Federal Government’s dwindling revenues.
There must always be a scape goat and in this case Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has become the poster boy of the country among the states owing salary arrears for reasons unknown to many political discerners. Ironically, he learnt at the feet of the great Jagaban as he served him as Commissioner for Works for eight years before ‘hearkening to the call of his people to serve them in the State of the Living Spring.’ Tinubu faced a similar problem at the height of his confrontation with the then President Olusegun Obasanjo over the decision of the former to create an additional thirty-seven local council development areas. For this reason huge amount of allocation due to the state was withheld. Did the Heavens fall? Certainly Not! The Asiwaju got extremely creative and with the aid of the Present Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was the then state accountant-general devised self-sustaining means to keep the state afloat without making the civil servants bear the brunt through non-payment of salaries.
The excuse of dwindling federal allocation that the former Speaker of the Ibadan Polytechnic Student’s Union Parliament has been giving for his inability to pay salaries is lame and shows lack of foresight and the uncanny ability to think out of the box. The signs of a possible reduction in the revenue from the centre were there as far back as 2013 when there was a slump in the prices of crude oil in the international market which led the National Assembly to adjust the benchmark to meet the new realities on ground. Did that stop Ogbeni from embarking on projects that caught his fancy without taking into critical consideration the paucity of funds and the need for the state to diversify its economic base? How self-sustaining were his so called economic empowerment projects? Did they meet the needs of the state?
The Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) was more like an extension of the National Youth Service Corps as the participants – mostly graduates were engaged by the state to carry out blue collar tasks for a year with the stipend of ten thousand naira being paid to them at the end of the month. It gulped billions of naira. Do you solve poverty by merely throwing money or giving the sufferers fish? Wouldn’t have made more sense to not only teach them how to fish but to create the enabling environment to make them independent for life? The Opon Imo (Knowledge Tablet) which was filled with past questions and answers as launched in Lagos. One why as Osun is not a vassal state of the ‘Centre of Excellence’. The scheme gulped about 9 billion naira which was equivalent to three months allocation. It was originally slated for all students from SS1 to SS 3 but at the end of the day, only the SS2 students got it in a few selected schools. The state is a largely civil service state. How will these students make use of this device when the grueling pang of hunger is now their companion no thanks to the non-payment of the salaries of their parents? Where then is the sustainable development? The Social Democratic Party alleged that the cost of building the new schools was between 750 million and 1 billion naira when it should not have cost more than 250 million naira. These grave allegations are worth thoroughly investigating. The ‘Marxist governor’ promised the people of an agricultural revolution when he assumed office in November 2010. He decried the ugly trend of food commodities from Asia, Burkina Faso and Niger flooding the Nigerian market and promised to not make the state capable of feeding itself but having excess to sell to others. He acknowledged the fact that the food market in Lagos alone was put at 3.6 billion naira on a daily basis at the time. One wonders what happened to this great promise by the governor to make the state an agricultural exportation hub that would have broken the monopoly of oil dependence! If a visionary agricultural policy was vigorously pursued, the civil servants wouldn’t have been turned to mendicants who ironically till the land. One is miffed because the governor has lived in Lagos state long enough and even served in the state executive council and was expected to bring to bear his knowledge and experience to turning the state into another food basket. Alas it was all empty rhetoric and cheap prattle! He acquired a large expanse of land in Atakumosa West Local Government Area to build a 200,000 seater place of worship for Christians. Was it necessary? How will that have aided economic development? Aren’t there more than enough churches in the state?
Many of the governors in the crisis ridden states toed the same path of embarking on projects that didn’t make overall economic sense or just lacked the foresight to diversify their economic base as they thought the goodies will keep on coming from Abuja without the recourse to what the meaning of true federalism stands for.
If they expect bail outs, they should be ready to hand over the reins of governance as they should not be entrusted to manage the funds of the emergency as that will worse than eating their cake and having it.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

#PAUSIBILITY: We Must Scale This Fence. – Adebayo Coker

I was not able to watch the clip of the jumping legislators till last week Sunday. Remember I told you I didn’t want anyone to put sand in the garri I was enjoying at Ake Arts and Books Festival (AABF).

By the way, for some of us that are complaining about the dearth of the reading culture and literary life in Nigeria, we should endeavor to revive it by organizing, promoting and attending literary events like AABF, LABAF and the likes. I must commend the good work done by Lola Shoneyin and her team on the smooth organization of AABF. Kudos!

Back to where we were.

Watching those guys (I may not be able to call them honourable members of the House for now) scale that fence, reminded me of my truant years in the secondary school. I was a confused young man that did not know what he wanted to do with his life and thought malicious mischief was the way to go. Anyway, that confusion stemmed out of my belief that I have to be a strong man in order to be admitted into the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), climb the ladder to a point where I could  organize a coup, and gain power. That was the level of warped intelligence that was imputed in my feeble mind at that time; so it was laughable to me watching those guys do what I did many years ago. I wish I was wiser.

I promised you in my first note to you that I will not throw a chair in this house nor any other house. Let me explain that statement to you and what warranted that.

For easy understanding, I will like you to watch a video with me. You can even view the video on YouTube on your own. It was a video of some supposedly grown up men in our Legislative chamber.  They exchanged fisticuffs so raw, they graduated to throwing chairs at one another and eventually tore the clothes of one another to shreds. My son, those guys are some children’s fathers.  They were supposed to be honorable men but what they did was not at all honorable. Worst for their family members, amongst whom are their children, the video is uploaded online for the world to see and for generations to come for reference. 

If the children of such men are yo-mommaed in reference to that act, it won’t be a lie because whatever one does is recorded, somehow. Various videos of such acts and of some other people who have been so creative with the truth but were later found out during panels of enquiries into their acts or their stay in office, abound online. You will find them interesting.

Let me reiterate my promise to you: I will not for any reason bring disgrace and shame to you.

  • A Man Like Me: Noteography Of A Father To His Son.

Listening to the alibi of the Puppet – of- the – Presidency Police Force is another rib cracker. I ask them if their intelligence only picks information around the National Assembly. What happened to their radar around the North-East? And if truly any invasion was advancing towards the National Assembly, I believe the Police should have been at the main entrance of the NASS or that of the Three-Arms Zone; not at the set of the tragicomedy that was beamed live to the amusement of the whole world.

Again, the sub judis claim of the IG that warranted his refusal to recognize and address ‘Honourable’ Tambuwal as the Speaker of the ‘Honourable’ House of Assembly is sickening. Mr. IG (so unrefined),  I have advised you that  it’s too early to display the foolhardiness of your office in the course of history. I’m sure someday we’ll revisit all of these and your unborn generations and those of your instructors may never be able to undo history.

My good people, we all must cross the hurdles laid before us by these robbers of our good fortunes. There is no difference between this set of six and that half-of-a-dozen. We need not continue to be docile and render ourselves free rides for these heartless politicians that some of us see as demigods, whom we sometimes foolishly thank for performing their statutory responsibilities.


Let me paint a picture.

I placed an ad that I am looking for a house help. A guy applies, I screened him, reeled out what I expect of him; he agreed to the Ts &Cs, I employed him and he resumed. Whenever he performs the responsibilities of his office, I praise him. In the course of singing his praises to the high heavens, I ask my house help to do something for me that is part of his job description, but he tells me point blank that he doesn’t have the time to attend to me now as he will be going out with his girlfriend shortly. Because I have allowed him on many occasions to bring his guests to my house, I see nothing wrong in allowing him to go out again this time.

One day, he comes home and tells me he has just met a new friend and she will be coming to visit him, therefore I may have to help him get the house ready for his visitor. In my blind kindness, I oblige him, after all, the good Lord said we should help our neighbours.

Ultimately, the lady arrives and my house help calls out to me to come and serve the drink.

Fellow Nigerians, I am sure some of us will say he must have cast a spell on me but I put it to you that  not all cases like this are voodoo-perpetrated:  our complacency has got the better part of us hence we sheepishly accept whatever is thrown at us by our ‘political-employees’. So sad!

2015 General Election is around the corner. Look at the faces of those that approved 9.2Billion Naira for the purchase of Cooking Stoves in the face of austerity measures. Also, look at the faces of those that nothing else matters to other than their maddening quest to hold on to power; those that could not defend you against Ogwuche and his cohorts, before you cast your vote.

Remember, Baba Iyabo himself did not look well before he leapt.

Thank you.