Of Ojukwu, SSS, Wise Senators, Polite Minister Rufai, And Missing Ships; God!
Tuesday, 21 September 2004
Nigeria's security apparatus, the SSS, invited Mr. Ojukwu for a "chat" because he is a national security threat, he might well be; But foreign ocean-going vessels legitimately arrested on Nigerian territorial waters, is reported missing? It vanished or disappeared, after Nigeria's efficient and effective SSS, Police, Customs, Immigration Department, Navy etc were paid off? Or after they collectively fell asleep? Which is worse? Were they bribed or were they asleep on the job? Or is it the fact that these security agencies would divert their meager resources, to hunt for government real or imagined political enemies? While gapping holes are left in Nigeria's security, which is the real security threat!
The Wise Senators! Nigerian senators deserve all the respect that they have earned, but what respect have they earned from the average Nigerian? What is the hallmark of their legislative achievements? How have the lives of Nigerians and Nigeria improved in the last five years and how are such improvements measured? Employment is still scarce or non-existent, infrastructures are still decayed, neglected or non-existent, Nigeria's national budgets are routinely delayed, and when budgets are eventually passed, the legislature has not monitored implementations by the executive arm of government.
The current federal government ought to be able to do more for Nigerians and Nigeria, particularly, in view of the fact that the PDP government has no credible opposition. The legislature or national assembly is not known to have pursued public policies that enhance the lives and happiness of Nigerians. And so, they have not accomplished much for Nigerians and Nigeria the legislators have not garnered respect anywhere. Any cursory examination, would indicate that our legislators, seem only to have passions to fight for personal allowances, furniture allowances, car allowances and for the personal aggrandizements through the so-called monetization policy, why do I have the impression that, our lawmakers are only awake when issues are such that touch and concern them personally?
Why is it, that our law makers were all riled and revved-up by the silly comments of the errant Minister Rufai? Why do I feel queasy and embarrassed for these senators, who demonstrate myopia and parochialism to the hilt, by choosing to close down Nigeria's highest lawmaking body, because of personal insults by one person? Even as the senators threatened the president, blackmailing him with threats to dismiss the errant minister? Why won't these wise senators go on strike for more worthy national issues, such, the disgraceful value of the national currency, the Naira?
Or such other matters concerning national insecurity, as it currently pervade the nation? I have been reading of how Rivers State has joined the group of states with civil strife, River has turned gangland. Why won't these senators go on strike to compel repairs of abandoned public infrastructures and amenities? Water, electricity, bad roads under-funded hospitals and universities among others. Why is it always about self-interests in our beloved country? How about leaving a good legacy?
These senators would not react to riots in Kaduna, Benue, Rivers, Niger Delta, where hundreds of our fellow citizens have been killed! I bet if some foreign person or institution or government insulted Nigeria, these senators would not even notice, but a curse or personal insults directed at them, becomes a federal case or national emergency? The Polite Minister Rufai?The ever flippant minister Rufai has probably learnt his lesson finally, once and for all times, this time. And hopefully, from now on, he will concentrate his fabled intellectual power on meaningful public policy pursuits, that will be of benefit to Nigerians alive today and those yet unborn.
Mr. Rufai must cease being poster boy for public silliness or an enfant terrible. He Shuts up, sit down, do some work! So he can be remembered as one of the firebrand new generation ministers, with accomplishments and verifiable achievements_ some of us are watching what difference, he, Ms. Iweala and Mr. Chikelu, (the new-breeds ) fosters. In the deep recesses of my mind, I still wonder about a possible conspiracy to intimidate Rufai for revoking certificates of occupancy and bulldozing choice properties of the well connected, could his comments have played into the mouths and weapons of waiting vipers and rattle snakes and their friends? Was there powerful lobby/conspiracy to "deal with" Rufai for some unstated transgressions? For revocation action /bulldozing?
Nigeria senators should be informed that Shell Oil Company has been censured and fined and such other actions are being contemplated by the British, American and French governments, for mistakes or blunders Shell committed outside of the shores of America, Britain and France, while the Nigerian government, the executive and legislature are squabbling over the impoliteness and imprudence of Mr. Rufai! I think the US fined Shell $150 million for overstating its oil reserve or for engaging in fuzzy math_. It is good to hear that Halliburton will finally or eventually be punished in Nigeria, for Halliburton's millionth transgressions in Nigeria, of tax evasions, bribery and all.
Two Ships-Oil Tankers Disappear Poof! Just like that in Nigeria, this is the elephant in the bedroom, sort of story, it is so funny, except that it is also very dangerous, extremely dangerous!
What is at stake, is larger than the incidences of these ships disappearing, it is the huge security implications, it is free-look into porous national state of alertness by our security operatives and our national government; Nigeria's national interests overall, but particularly, the national security implications of the sudden disappearance of ships under watch by Nigeria's security agencies or national security apparatuses, is deeply troubling, as it is embarrassingly dizzying.
What if some foreigners come to kidnap our president, will some Nigerians accept bribe? Will some those on sentry duty be too asleep to notice? In all these, the question to ask is where is our navy? Where is our Police, Army, Customs, Immigration and of course the SSS? The SSS was busy-bodying while ships under arrest and detained, court order and all, vanishes? Who is in-charge in Nigeria?
The entire National Assembly of Nigeria should go on hunger strike for 40 days and 40 nights, until and unless Mr. Obasanjo dismisses the heads of all, our security apparatuses, or specifically, those who were directly and or even remotely connected with making sure that the seized ships, were safe, secure and intact, pending adjudications of all the issues that led to the seizure of these foreign ships, in the first place. There should be severe penalty to pay for this huge lapse and national security and the consequent embarrassment to Nigeria. Too many breaches of security have occurred in Nigeria in recent times, and the ships' disappearance caps it all! I have come away with the conclusion that something is terribly wrong, our security forces are not keeping a proper look-out or alternately, that they can be bought by foreigners to undermine Nigeria's security and national interests!
The Ikemba Factor in national security _. a phantom threat?Mr. Ojukwu must confess his sins through an e-mail or telephone call to the SSS, apologies to Mallam Usman Yerima
(http://www.gamji.com/NEWS3942.htm and the SSS must curb their own excesses and confirm what we all already know, the loss of the ships is a threat, a result and as a consequence of human and structural ineptitudes of and in our security services, this is the threat, the real clear and present danger, not the Ikemba of Nnewi
While I await terminations and dismissals or prisons for those Nigerians who let the detained ships flee, I also await the hunger strike by our national assembly members to compel action on the part of Mr. President, when these are done, I will personally pay for lessons in politesse for Mr. Rufai benefit, so that he can learn respect for our suddenly active and respectable post-hunger-strike senators, the hallowed halls of our national assembly and the lawmakers who occupy it, deserve reverence and adulation by one and all, when the senators earn respect, by working assiduously for Nigerians and Nigeria's best interests, the senators will be showing self-respect, and respect for the electorate, respect for their high office etc, for after all, respect, begets respect!