JONATHAN'S FACE-TO-FACE CABINET…WE ARE WATCHING
Scientists have finally found out what’s wrong with the politicians' brain. They discovered that on the right side there's nothing left and on the left side there's nothing right. Anonymous
Often people ask me why I write on certain topics and issues all the time, like bashing government, and seeing very little good in persons in government and government actions and my takes on education, health and power, politics of ethnicity and more.
My answer is that I do because I believe that such subjects are important for Nigeria and Nigerians as they are for other nations, but when it appears to me Nigerians and our leaders particularly do not react to these topics the way they should, I repeat them in new essays to remind old readers and recruit new ones to participate in the continuing dialogue.
One painful part of our democratic journey is the disconnect between people and government. As Jonathan prepares his cabinet, I am not one of those that will really bother about whether he has a kitchen cabinet or even has a kitchen in the first place. The fact is that one, the kitchen belongs to Patience the umblella woman and, two the last time we talked about a kitchen cabinet, and it was of no-good to Nigerians.
Politicians are not really so bad, it’s just that 99% of all politicians make the rest look bad. And I am sure for the next four years that will be the case. I stand to be corrected that the Jonathan administration is going to be largely a "combination of contradictions".
Today Jonathan supposedly has the people mandate, forget all the CPC ranting and noise, even if they went all the way to the World Supreme Court. A politician once told me you had to be popular to rig and in this case, the PDP or rather Jonathan was popular enough to rig. And now his party control both houses, so he’s got no excuse for not performing.
Unfortunately there so many early signs that this administration will hardly move as passionately as Nigerians expect and we as usual will be the victims of expectation fatigue once more.
In the first line of offensive, Northerners' have made sure there is fuel scarcity, and NNPC is now full of Niger Delta persons, after all everything that goes wrong should be blamed on the next person. After all the noise of 'we have Kerosene to last 50 years' by the out-going Minister for Petroleum is tales by moonlight. In the last decade the fuel palaver, diesel dilemma has continually plagued us.
If the president is not the Minister for Petroleum, he always will have a senior special assistant or some commission or body doing something and nothing about the industry. Who will Jonathan pick for the position?
The Jonathan/Sambo contraption is faced with a conglomerate of jobless politicians, jobbers and ex-this and that, they require settlement of one for or the other. Can Jonathan damn them? For example, in Ogun state, what will happen with a troublesome Obasanjo and his image Iyabo. What will Bankole be doing, even unconfirmed sources say he was denied VISA to the US, (I am sure that’s not true)? How about the PPNPDP man Gbenga Daniel and the new ruling ACN boys on the bloc.
In Kaduna, Yakowa and Sambo are not best of buddies and Markafi is in need of a job after his services were no longer at the Senate, in Plateau, Tallen, Shagaya, Kwande, Useni, Sango are the few that will be looking for where the easy money will come from.
The man who breached zoning has zoning in PDP as the first hurdle that he has to cross. Jonathan will not be able to come out with any fascinating cabinet that will thrill Nigerians. An Iweala here and Okonji there and at the end of the day we may all still ask really what the benefit of the debt relief was.
Paying back billions, which we were not under force to pay, billions we could have used to move forward, although its better we paid it then allow some few to pocket it. Sadly we are starting to owe again.
I often ask what does the Ministry of water resources do, I for one cannot recall when last water ran from a tap courtesy of their effort. Many Nigerians want to know what will Jonathan's Minister for transport do, infact the NURTW, FRSC, and Okada people have more visibility than that ministry?
Any hope for improved roads, beyond the politics of malaria and HIV/AIDS, what is the new health Minister do? Apart from the Civil Defence, and SSS, really the internal or is it interior ministry’s visible task is to announce public holidays.
Without bias, will the present group around Jonathan facilitate a collection of the best brains without recourse to godfather, mother and uncle, without recourse to politics of convenience?
I would not even discuss power, because Nigerians are fed up of all the process, from NEPA to PHCN and now Independent something-something, two stand-out facts are that one, the president's workplace and home Aso Rock has budget in millions for diesel to power generators and also we are one of the highest importers of generating set.
With the new universities, all the somersaulting in policies, whether it should be 6-3-3-4, or 9-3-4, unity schools or violent colleges...maybe we could do with three ministers and a special minister for universities.
We keep increasing the cost of poverty by doing nothing, facing the reflection; we are yet to go beyond the level of two-fighting and one killing the other in our politics. Jonathan is going to be faced with giving or sharing the bounty on very mundane reasons. Ministers who failed as governors, legislators who contributed nothing and persons who lost elections and others whose father and mother was former this and former that.
They will keep sharing the cake, I said to a close pal, I would be shocked if Jonathan disappoints us by performing, but we would be pleasantly surprised if he does.
This is my admonishment, Jona, Jona, my friend Jona, you do not have an enviable job but with passion make it a worthwhile one and start to leave a legacy.
Get off all the crap of unity government, party leaders and start earning your salary as president. After the moonslide it should not be so much of a task.
Nigerians want Ministers, advisers, aides, legislators that know how it works face-to-face. For a nation that has a very low expectation ratio, for sure we are not asking for the impossible from Jonathan considering the rot he has to contend with.
Written by Prince Charles Dickson.