|President Jonathan Diezani|
Chido, when you wrote an article some months ago in support of Gay Rights in Nigeria, I agreed with you and thought you were different. I supported you, even though I am straight. I was operating by international standards, and believe Gays have rights. And that people should not be judged by their sexuality or dressing or how they look, or by their ethnicity, state of origins, colour or gender. I thought you were different to openly write in support of such a topic, regarded as ‘taboo’, especially in Nigeria. But how wrong was I.
Sadly, your articles since then have revealed you as another one of the “Never See Anything Good in GEJ”, a very strong association, that preys on gullible Nigerians. An association that laps up from “friendly” politicians and so-called ‘fiery’ Pastors. A set of people that refused to accept that the elections ended over 1 year ago, and as it is done in advanced climes and civilised countries, once elections are over, everybody rallies around the winner and gives them a chance, and gives them their support to govern. And should we have reasons afterwards to criticise, we should be constructive, and not seek to impose our views as THE ONLY VIEW. ACCEPT IT OR NOTHING! TAKE IT OR WE WILL PULL YOU DOWN (PHD)!
As Obama is currently now singing in America, that the people have spoken and that they heard the arguments of both sides and chose him. That the people voted for him to continue doing what he set before them to do. And armed with their mandate, he promised to negotiate with Congress, but he won’t sacrifice the mandate given to him.
Nigerians hear such speech and they applaud Obama and the US democratic process. However, they forget that they are doing the exact opposite in their own country. They forget that the same thing applies to Jonathan, who sold his “Transformation Agenda”, just as some others or parties sold their own “Manifestos” before Nigerians. And in the end, Nigerians preferred Jonathan’s agenda, just as Americans prefer Obama’s. The man has only completed one year and yet to complete the second year, and people are not giving him a chance to breath.
Chido, I have a lot to critic about your latest, and the preceding articles, regarding the conduct of Ribadu’s committee. An excerpt goes (while quoting Abati) ‘A few days after the report was made public by Reuters, Abati claimed it was meant to embarrass the government. According to him, “excerpts from the report could not be taken as an official document because the committee had not formally submitted its report to the appropriate authority. As far as the Federal Government was concerned, the report in the public domain was suspicious”. This was the first clear attempt to undermine the PRSTF report.’
Question for you. Would you not have done the same thing, if you were the President or even Abati? How can you see nothing wrong with that?
Firstly, I don’t know what your working life experience is and don’t know if you have ever sat on a committee before. And if you have, you should understand the importance of CONFIDENTIALITY. If you are a President or let us even say the chairman of an organisation, and you set up a committee to investigate an issue. And instead of receiving the report first, you find it published on the pages of Newspapers. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Applaud the committee for leaking the report to the press? And not even a Nigerian press, but a FOREIGN PRESS!
Second point, is this. Ribadu has sat on committees before; including a UN initiated one on Afghanistan. Question for Ribadu. Did he treat that committee with the same disdain that he treated this one, by leaking the report of the committee to the press before he reported back to the UN? If not, and if no Nigerian ever read the report in the press (that is if anyone ever saw it) before it was submitted to the INSTITUTING BODY, WHY DO WE THINK IT IS RIGHT FOR RIBADU TO DO SO NOW?
Thirdly, WHOEVER LEAKED THE REPORT, must be investigated FOR BREACHING CONFIDENTIALITY. It isn’t okay, to simply ignore that aspect of the process. That act, in more advanced climes, is enough to discredit the report. Why you don’t see that, surprises me. I haven’t yet checked the Nigerian Official secrets Act, but would not go as far as calling for prosecution. But such a person deserves to be exposed and blacklisted for a disservice and for being selfish and self-seeking. Otherwise, what would have motivated the person to circulate a report that is yet to be submitted to A FOREIGN MEDIA? That is most UNPATRIOTIC!
Fourthly, if the intention was to make the work of the committee open, then from the off, the Committee should have sat in public, just like the Farouk Lawan led House of Rep investigation committee on Fuel subsidy. And even then, Farouk’s committee still had the decency to report back to the House first before the report went public. How much more Ribadu, who has had international experience of committee work. What made him to leak the report to a FOREIGN MEDIA still surprises me and I am yet to fathom why he did that.
Moreover, the entire process leading to the submission of the report to the President is flawed. First of all, a committee work should never be a ONE MAN SHOW. Any report of the committee must be agreed by all the members. It should not be kept away from members (or some members), who only later find out on the last day or on the day of the presentation of the report, the content.
Ribadu exhibited or demonstrated that he is not a ‘TEAM PLAYER’. He lacks the ability to work cooperatively with others! To confirm this, I understood (by reading Abati’s piece that Ribadu actually asked AGBAKOBA, his senior, presumably, at the bar and in age, to ‘SHUT UP’. NO! NO! NO! RIBADU CAN’T DO THAT, if the account is correct.
I am sorry, no matter how brilliant the report is, but the above behaviour is unacceptable in our civilised world. That point, I thought, was what Oronsaye and Otti seemed to be making. Listening to them, I don’t think they were faulting the report or the content, but the PROCESS. They also did not call for the report to be consigned to the dustbin. LET US GET THE FACTS RIGHT AND STATE THEM CORRECTLY!
And rightly so, the President agreed to still use the report, and to also consider any issues that anybody has and any further or other contributions. Which is the way to do it, and NOT FOR HIM (THE PRESIDENT) TO FIND INSULT, AS YOU WISH HIM TO DO.
This leads me on to the other point made by Chido, that THE PRESIDENT WAS INSULTED. Only a person with the mindset of a DICTATOR or a SERVANT would believe that it is an ABOMINATION OR HERESY to argue or disagree in front of ALMIGHTY EMPEROR or PRESIDENT JONATHAN. Why can’t people argue or disagree before or in front or even with a President. IS HE GOD? Even GOD, I believe will accept a healthy argument or CONVERSATION. After all, JESUS accepted a healthy discussion and debate with the woman that JESUS compared to a dog. She argued and made her case, and Jesus applauded her faith and blessed her. WHY CAN’T AN ARGUMENT BE HELD IN FRONT OF A PRESIDENT? Presidents and Prime Ministers are even pelted with shoes, books and eggs in civilised climes, how much less, have an argument in front of one. And that, in CHIDO’S WORLD, IS AN INSULT.
HELLO! This is how we spread or encourage DOCTRINES that seek to elevate our Presidents, Governors and Local Govt Chairmen to a status that they are not, and people feel unable to be themselves or disagree in front of them or with them. I don’t see why a President would find insult that somebody disagrees with him.
I am glad the President did not view it as an insult as the likes of CHIDO and THE ACN have been saying. That just tells me one thing, that they are not DEMOCRATISED. If not, they would not view the Presidency or the President as an institution that people cannot disagree in their presence.
I recall when the President reached across the aisle and overreached to work with Ribadu, an opposition party Presidential candidate (don’t know if he still is or it was just a marriage of convenience to use/launder one party or the other).
Not a few people condemned it. Some people, including his party men, also sought to prevail on Ribadu not to accept to assist or serve his COUNTRY.
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