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WE HAVE PROBLEMS, SERIOUS PROBLEMS

By Funke Egbemode NBF News
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Election and its colourful seasons are here. From now till May 29, 2011, there will be no dull moment. Every carving knife will surface to cut up the dead elephant. Who cares how the elephant died? There would be noise. There would be accusations. The blame game would reach unprecedented levels and 'witches' would try to fly in the afternoon. We shall be seeing things, trust me. And the show is already on the road. Politicians have started 'permanent night shift' duty.

We all are crying that Maurice Iwu be removed.
He's bad news, bad coin, the stuff our nightmare is made of. Maybe. Maybe not. As far back as 1979, I saw at close quarters what politicians are capable off. They would go to any and all length to get elected. Oh yes, Professor Iwu and his INEC would rig elections next year. For who? 2011 will be a year of great bribes. Who would be giving it? Politicians with bad credentials will win elections. Who will be conducting the primaries and fielding the candidates? Thugs will snatch ballot boxes. Who would have paid them? Who would be buying the guns and matchetes? The houses that would get burnt, children and old men that would get kidnapped, would it be INEC behind all that? Would those be INEC officials or Iwu's cousins? But we all know the routine. Perhaps we should sack Iwu and see if it would solve our election problems. We all know what, who and where the problems are, maybe we will do the needful this time instead of leaving the leprosy and losing sleep over pimples.

The other body that would come under fire and the microscope in the days ahead is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the EFCC. Madam Waziri is one Nigerian I do not envy right now. She is going to be hit from all sides and I can already see the goons at work. The bad boys are wasting no time. Between the crooks and Madam Waziri's learned friends, we and INEC are going to swear in a few bad men next year. How? The cases EFCC took to court two years ago are still there. The lawyers have managed to turn EFCC cases into one big concert and all we have seen and heard are injunctions, orders, preliminary objections to everything under the sun, including the judges' number of children. Translation? The suspects are still keeping their loots. In fact, they have acquired more. And because they are still suspects, not convicts, they will contest elections next year.

The lawyers, the judges, the law books have conspired against us again. You cannot stop a man you have not convicted from contesting. The suspects have Senior Advocates of Nigeria on their pay rolls. They are running rings round us. The judges are not like Old Oyo Empire Obas. They can't just deliver judgment. The SANs, the lawyers hold the aces. We are but pawns in this game. To further worsen matters, the judges that have done anything to protect looters from using their loot to further loot Nigeria, are being transferred 'out of town'. The good judges are being transferred to courts where they will be handling divorce cases. Meaning? We may need to start our EFCC cases all over again. By the time the SANs finish with us, the suspects would have gotten their primaries tickets, contested, won and gotten sworn-in for another four years. And the looter-suspects have formed an association to hit Madam Waziri and EFCC. If she won't let them be, they won't let her sleep. So? There would be fireworks in the days ahead. The crooks will be whipping out everything that makes them crooks to fight. They must serve us at all cost and any attempt to retire them will be met with blackmail, force, curses and more court actions.

The problem with Nigeria is not that we do not have great institutions. Our tragedy is we pull our institutions down faster than we build them. We wanted EFCC, we got one. We wanted rule of law we got it. We didn't want Gestapo EFCC, Waziri gave us a decent arrangement. Now we want to frustrate EFCC cases and blackmail Waziri. To what end? When are we going to get anything done? For how long are we going to keep mouthing anti-corruption war when all we do is make mincemeat of the commission? Who is going to give us an angel to run our agencies if we conspire against everything, complain about everybody? America made room for steady progress and encouraged little efforts. That's how they got Obama.

…And youths are also angry
Did I actually see Omotola Jalade, Stella Damasus and Dele Momodu leading protests in Abuja? Was that Omawumi and Muma Gee there singing enough is enough? Did they actually push policemen out of their way, really? Nigerians are getting daring, are they? Is it true that the leadership of the National Assembly was so busy, so overworked and underpaid that they couldn't see those people? Were they making such earth-shaking decisions in the Senate and House that they could not dignify those who purportedly voted them into that place with five minutes of their distinguished and honourable time? Someone said they were not busy but afraid, that they were scared shitless (pardon my French).

I heard that those who knew incantations were chanting them and some were reciting all the Psalms they could remember. Many were shaking and sweating at the same time and when the motion was moved as to whether they should go out or scamper to safety, there was a resounging 'ayes'. So the 'ayes' had it and everybody ran into their offices, agabadas flying, caps dropping. Translation, our leaders can't face us. They have eaten sour grapes and their teeth ache. They have let us down in virtually every way possible. Nothing is working. Nothing. Let us not take what happened last Tuesday at its face value. One day very soon, it would become difficult, if not impossible, for our elected offers to walk the street, go to church or mosque openly. The chicken is steadily making its way back home to roost.

And who was that fast-talking human being called Ikenga Ugochukwu and his theory of someone sponsoring Dele Momodu and co? Another Daniel Kanu? God forbid. We don't know him and he obviously doesn't know us and our troubles. He does not understand our pains. I'm sure where he comes from, there are good roads, functional hospitals, great public schools and pipe-borne water from 'water works'. I'm sure kidnappers and armed robbers are so afraid of our powerful and effective security agencies in his state that every murder, every crime has been solved? Is he a young man? He is. Ah. Anyway, talk is cheap. That's why little-known Slim from Mexico upstaged Bill Gates as world richest man with his telecommunication empire. Let Daniel Kanu, sorry, Ikenga Ugochukwu talk on. We are watching him, very closely. He wants publicity? He'll get it.

Epileptic Parapoism
Please o, can someone tell me why we are having hysterics because old Ghadafi said Nigeria should break into two? From where I am standing, I can't see what he has done wrong.

If Muslims kill Christians at dusk and Christians kill muslims at dawn, why won't outsiders make such suggestions? Is it Ghadafi's fault? It is what you call your calabash that will determine how it is handled. We have displayed uncanny lack of respect for human life and Ghadafi's understanding of it is that it is a religious problem. The old geek is old. He's probably going senile. But he has voiced our fears and further frightened us. What he does not know is religion is not our problem. Christians and Muslims in Nigeria do not have a problem of association.

The problem is the rich who arm the poor against the poor.

This country is already divided along all kinds of lines; between those who can split open the heads of children and those who can't; between those who can have homes abroad and those who are homeless, between those who own banks and those who have nothing to bank; between those who rig themselves into office and those who can't do anything about it; between angry followers and thick-skinned leaders. Nigeria is already divided. We are just pretending to be one á lá epileptic parapoism, according to Igodomi Igodo, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Funke Egbemode NBF News and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."