FG:Beyond The Sacks And Resignations
When it was rumoured that Bamanga Tukur was going to be appointed the
Chairman of the Nigeria railway corporation, I thought it a huge joke.
That is a very critical sector to be toyed with. It is not a sector where
we should be playing politics with. It is a sector that needs a young
technocrat, not some old politician,I thought. To cut it all short, I did
not believe the rumour. Alas the announcement was made and it was Tukur
indeed who was appointed to head that sector. That was compensation for
his removal as the PDP chairman. The president had said he was going to
give him a tougher job and I asked myself,has Chief Bamanga Tukur not
served us enough? Will he be unreasonable enough to accept the
appointment? When will he retire and leave the stage?. Appointments like
this drag us steps behind. Are we supposed to,in this time and era be
giving critical appointments out as compensation for God knows what? We
cannot get there with appointments like this. It's time we started putting
right pegs in the right holes .
Technocrats, willing to work, abound in this country (and in Diaspora) and
it is time we started to engage them. The importance of the railway sector
cannot be over emphasized apart from the fact that it is a very good
alternative to the roadway transportation. This kind of appointment
reminds one of Chief Anenih's appointment as chairman of the NPA not so
long ago. These guys are guys whose better days are far behind them.
When the BMW saga as well as the certificate scandal broke out, the sack
(or resignation) of Mrs. Stella Oduah was inevitable. It was just too
much. In fact most people think the decision was made too late. In other
climes, Stella(if she resigned) would have resigned long time ago ,or
should have been sacked by the president(if he indeed sacked her)since.
Whether she resigned or she was sacked, the fact is she has left the scene
and rightly so. She as far as I am concerned was not doing badly
RELATIVELY, but she had to go. There is no excuse for corruption. Our
airports, the environment as well as the runways et al can be better. They
are nowhere near comparable to the standards in other countries, even
those countries we are better than. That is one critical sector. The shape
of a countries airport tells the visitor what to expect in such country.
If your airports are in bad shape, then the first impression of the
visitor is the country might be nothing to write home about. Sadly, our
country is nothing to write home about( today) and our airports kind of
That said, I think the president does not need to play politics this time
around with the appointment of who succeeds Stella. That sector needs a
vibrant and sound technocrat. The sector needs someone who knows his
onion. That is a sector not to be used for favouritism. Our aviation
sector can be one of the best in the world. Some of these countries that
have out of this world kind of Airports are not run by aliens. We have the
resources to make it happen, and with sound enthusiastic minds at the
helm; who says our aviation sector cannot be one of the best around?
Let's take a trip to the Niger delta. This is a part of this country that
has suffered a lot. This is a region that produces most of a country's
wealth and is nothing to write home about. How you can be the source of a
whole country's wealth and the most popular means of transportation is
boat beats me. Not enough bridges, No potable water (of course it's all
contaminated with the same oil), no roads, nothing!
Until the struggle got abused, I was in support of those that felt
cheated and demanded for a change, hence the protest by whatever means. It
was late President Yaradua (may his soul rest in peace) who thought it
right to create a ministry to oversee the Niger Delta. The ministry was
set up to make for infrastructure development, environmental protection as
well as youth development. I thought this was a mean feat and also
believed the end to the suffering of the masses of the Niger Delta is in
sight. Years after, here we are. Just ask an ordinary Niger Delta the
impact he has felt with the coming of this ministry, you are sure to get a
negative response. Why will that not be, when you have someone in charge,
whose interest is not even in running the affairs of the ministry in the
first place. It did not take days after the minister of Niger Delta was
sacked for him to declare for Delta State governorship. I am wondering
how he will convince the people of delta that he will take them to the
Promised Land, what with his performance as the head of the Niger Delta
Ministry. Just as I said as regards the Aviation ministry, Chief Orubebe's
replacement should also be a sound technocrat. The president needs to
appoint someone who has passion for change. That ministry needs someone
who is not distracted, someone who genuinely cares. It needs someone who
has a plan and can strongly convince the government at the centre (with
his plan) to release more funds for the development of that region. The
government is not so daft to see a good blueprint and ignore same. This is
no time to play politics with appointments. In fact time is running out.
The Niger Delta is yelling for change and it is time to give them that.
They have been in agony since we struck oil in Bayelsa. It is to say the
It's time we started having competent hands man our ministries as well as
other public institutions as doing otherwise does the country no single
It did not take long for the president to replace the service chiefs that
were sacked recently. I really do not know the criterion for the
replacements, what I care about is the protection of the ordinary people.
It was the Chief of defense staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh after his
appointment, who said the terror in the Northern part of the country will
end by April. That as far as I am, concerned is not an intelligent move.
You want to shoot, shoot don't talk. He should have just gone about his
plan discreetly and let his actions speak for him. That is what Nigerians
want to hear now, actions. Words? We got tired of that long ago. If terror
in the North is going to end in the next two months, how in the world did
Boko Haram kill close to 200 people over the weekend?
The president already made that change (service chiefs), I sincerely hope
he made the right decisions as the early signs are not encouraging at all.
WHILE WE ARE AT IT….
My sincere condolences go out to the family of Mr John Ndubuka. He was the
Personal Assistant to Chinedu Orji, the son of the Abia State Governor. We
knew way back from our days at Government College Umuahia. The
circumstances surrounding his death two days ago are somehow worrisome. He
was shot to death at a Rally in Umuahia is what we heard. We are yet to
hear by whom and for what reason. What he killed by the police? Was it an
accidental discharge? Was it deliberate? So many rumours have been flying
about, but we do not want to dwell on rumours at this point.
This is calling on the police to do all it can to make sure the killers of
John Ndubuka are found out and rightly prosecuted. Just imagining the
agony the family will be in, especially his young wife and little son. The
police should bring those responsible to book, if for nothing else, for
Rest in Peace Johnny .