A STITCH IN TIME …

I was  61 years old by His grace on the 12th December 2017. It also means I have spent one year in retirement. My hope for a peaceful rest after spending 35 years of meritorious service seem to turning into despair and resentments about the system, I thought would be there for me. 

While pondering on why in spite of the pension reform, one year  after my retirement I could not access my benefits. 
As I continued pondering on what may be the reason, I recall one of the major assignment I did early in my career was on the issues  relating to the pensions of the defunct Ex Nigeria Airways staff.  
The term reference given to the committee of which I was Secretary was to verify and ascertain the number of staff that were entitled to be paid their pension, pension arrears and gratuity; 
The committee was also mandated to examine and recommend to government if the  payoff option would be acceptable to the staff in order to put matter to rest; 
This was in the light of the fact that the issue was becoming embarrassing to government. 

The  defunct Ex staff of airline were threatening to shut the Nigeria space if their pension and pension arears were not paid.
The problem we faced at the time was the air line has been liquidated, all its properties at home and abroad had been sold by the liquidators without taking into consideration the plight of the personnel benefits. 

We flew to Lagos with the chair person of the committees Mrs Jaji Olabisi Bolanle to start the job we were confronted with problem of lack of  management on ground to assist in  the job the company has  liquidated some years ago. The only help that was available came  from the pensioners themselves. 

 We were shown  thousands of files and records heaped in some few offices dating from the time  when the company was then called the British Overseas Air lines to sift through. I was so astonished with the way the records were kept and didn’t know from where to begin. 

My initial reaction was to abandon the exercise  and advice government on what should be done in the circumstance, but for the  gloomy reality of suffering on the faces of the pensioners, my sense  of pity for the staff over shadowed my initial temptation  to walk away. 
Thirteen years down the line  in spite of the pension reforms that took place to sanitise the pension operation in Nigeria the process still leaves much to be desired.

The founding fathers of the Reform envisaged that when the reform act comes into force, it will eliminate some of the troubling issues that were part the administration of pension in Nigeria. 

Some of the intended benefits of the reforms are;

1. To establish uniform rules and regulations for the management and payment of retirement benefits to beneficiaries as and at when due; 

2. To stem the growth of outstanding pension liabilities and reduce fiscal cost to government, stimulate domestic savings, 

3. To generate a pool of long term funds for investment in social and economic development;

4. To ensure contributors receive their benefits as and when due and 

5. To assist improvident individuals to save in order to cater for their livelihood during old age;
These are some of the lofty ideals of the pension reform act.

For the thirteen years or so that the new arrangement is in force it has brought some level of sanity in the system.

We have not been hearing people dying on cues waiting to collect their stipends, the level of corruption that characterised pension administration is either not there or have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Unfortunately, however recently some hick ups have started pulling this noble objectives down.

The Reform instead of benefiting the pensioners may end up benefitting the Pension Fund Administrators and the government. 

It is a fact that pension funds base now ran in to trillions so why should pensioners wait a period of over one year before they access their benefits?
This is a  fact I retired from public service on the 12th of December 2016 and today is 13th December 2017 and each time I reach out to my pension fund administrator, I am always being told they treating payments batch by batch. This means I am not the only one.
What my pension administrator seem to have not realised the Accountant General of the Federation has knocked out my salary from the system on the 12th of December 2016. Worst still the bureaucracy only paid me the twelve days I worked for in December of that year no mercy. Here I am no salary no pension for solid one and the future is uncertain.

Might be pencom also need to look up to some states who have not join the system but are in the process to join and borrow some the innovations they have. 
I can at least advice Pencom to follow the examples of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State my home state. 

Today he is the only Governor who does not owe any worker a salary for even one month and ensures that as you retire you begin to receive your pension the following month you leave service, the transition from a salary earner and pensioner is seamless. 
Infact he has little or no backlog of salary or pension arrears as is the case in most states of the Federation.

Let me also say this before critics start shouting and crucifying me that  he pays the least salary. 
Yes even if this true at least he is paying them as when it due after all issues relating to wages and  salary by law is contract between the employee and employer.

If one knows Yobe, we are among the most poorest state in the Federation our internally generated revenue (IGR) is nothing to write home about. If Gaidam fails to pay the meagre salary he has been paying regularly the economy and living standard of the people would nose dive and in the light of the problems caused by Boko Haram, The number of the  refugees in the state would be phenomenal. 
I am therefore appealing to Pencom to do what is necessary to stop the ugly trend rearing its heads in the system by avoiding the  filling of pension payment so that the credibility in the system is not eroded. 

Human beings, when confront with a source of threat, if not corrected on time will begin to innovate and this has the capacity to bring in un wanted practices. 

So “A stitch in time they say…

MY ADVICE TO WAZIRI

Its amazing how the big and small are talking about Atiku’s return to the PDP after all he was a founding member of the party. They created, nurtured and took it to a level of greatness before some concerns forced him to shift ground.  The man has given reason why he had to leave APC and return home. I personally think people should allow him to exercise his rights as a citizen, since neither the national or party constitution prohibits that.  

We had instances where politicians who had used a flat form of the party to achieve their ambitions came out demonising the same party. 

Some became President of this country ruled for eight years courtesy of the PDP, yet when the going became tough, when their protégées were not forthcoming on their demands. He went on a public television tore the party membership card there by denigrating the platform that made him who he is in eyes of the world and no love was lost.

The real reason behind the hews and  cries  about  Atiku’s return to PDP by some members of the party, simply put  they are afraid Atiku has capacity, he has what it takes to give every party member who shares similar ambition of picking  the party’s presidential ticket a ran for their money. 

For those who are still crying foul that Atikus wanted to kill them and have taken it on themselves to  do everything to truncate his ambition. They still believe if he gets there, it would be very un safe for them.

Fear, greed and selfishness are  the reasons they are labelling Atiku as somebody who hob nobs from one party to another. 

Life is about choices and that is why  democracy flourishes, where there are multiplicity of parties to accommodate all shades of opinions and interests.

 It is therefore not un common to shift base to where your interest can best be served. 

To find answers to this dictum one does not need to go far. A cursory look at our political space will provide you with answers. The Senate President is an example of base shifting. The President was a CPC man when he wanted to fulfil his ambition he  entered into marriage of convenience with other  parties and today he is the President of the Nigeria because of  the amalgamation that took place.

In the end it is the electorates through the instrumentation of the will of  God,  they decides who becomes the President of Nigeria.

My advice to Atiku is, he should  not worry about what the distractors are saying. 

As Muslim he knows that power comes from God. No one and I emphasize no one among all those trying to play God can stop him from the achieving his ambition, If Allah swt ordains it. However it is not wrong for him to visit, consult and talk to people whom he believes are statesmen, elders in the party and even beyond. 

But you must remain focussed on what you want to achieve. The bottom line is, it is Allah swt who gives power to whom wants. Seek for  assistance, blessings and ask for power from  Him and forget about those who think they can anoint you, they are mare mortals none among them knows tomorrow but HE. 

Never give up WAZIRI

MY APPEAL TO BUHARI

Mr. President may I crave your indulgence to use this medium to reach you because I have no other means. Many tried to get things across but it never got through, consequently, they had to leak things to the press. I don’t have the resources no do I have access to the traditional media. This is the only medium that  provides the platform and a vehicle for me to reach out. It is my prayer if you do not see this appeal personally someone close to you would and pass the information.(No disrespect intended).

Nigerians have shown compassion, love and respect  to you when you were trying to hold on to life. We prayed in mosques and churches. We all went down on  our knees seeking for Allah swt intervention in what ever was the ailment that was affecting your health. 

Allah swt has shown His compassion and mercies to you by answering our collective prayers as a nation. You are well again and we are grateful to Allah swt who our lives are in His hands for healing you.

Mr. President we have known you to be a pious and religious person and I am sure you know what forgiveness in Islam is all about. I don’t intend lecture you on that, even though I may have to come  back to it in the light of the demands of this appeal.

Your Excellency, recently, I  read a lot about the flight of the former National Security Adviser, Mr. Dasuki,  the rumour mill is full with gossips and insinuations that  the executive is behind the continued denial of bail granted Dasuki by courts of competent jurisdiction. 

Mr. President don’t get me wrong I am not in anyway condoning what the former NSA did. And I am not saying he should not be tried for the mistakes and abuse of office he is being alleged to have committed. 

I am speaking from the point view of law and compasion. The judicial system we operate in this country works on the praxis that “one is not guilty unless proven by a competent court of law as guilty”

Mr. President I have never met the former NSA in my life apart from seeing his pictures on the pages of Newspapers or news clips on Television.

I was only moved by a write up of one Yushau Shuaibu on the plight of the former NSA. He was lamenting that “It’s exactly two years ago, in the morning of December 1, 2015, when the security operatives invaded the residence of the former NSA at Asokoro and whisked him away”. And since that day, he remained in detention even after being granted bails by at least four separate High Court Judges. 

They are, Justice Adetokunbo Ademola and Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, as well as Justice Hussein Baba- Yusuf and Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Courts, they all considered the merit of his applications and granted him the bail”. 

The ECOWAS Court of Justice also ordered for his  immediate release with compensation of N15 million for the unlawful detention” 

I became curious why should a government that has rule of law as one of its governance principle be involved in such draconian abuse of due process of rule of law.  I didn’t believe what I read so I decided verify the claim.

During the  research I conducted before I wrote this appeal, I came across  Newspaper reports, Court documents and listened to personal accounts from people of goodwill and the rumour mills that corroborated the claims made by Yuahau.

In fact at some point I was almost discourage by my colleques who believed  I will be embarking on a futile exercise as the state is behind the incarceration of Dasuki for some personal reasons.

Un perturbed by their  insinuations I decided to dig deep to know the real reasons why the government is behaving in this manner.

I quickly recalled Yashau in his write up, made this comment which I initially over looked; He said, “While I won’t like to talk about your past relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, especially on 1983 Coup and others which I published in previous articles and my recent book “An Encounter with the Spymaster,” the toxic speculation and misleading information that you arrested Buhari in 1985 remain unabated. Even while you have denied the allegation, with principal actors including, retired Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu publicly admitting their involvement, the rumour is sustained for ulterior motives.”

In my continuing search for the truth I stumbled on a press statement credited to Hon. Minister of information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lai Mohammed; giving official position of the government on why Dasuki should continue to be in detention.

The  Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism disclosed this in an interview with journalists, after a Ramadan lecture in his home town, Oro, in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, that “Dasuki had bluntly refused to disclose the whereabouts of $1.2 billion traceable to him.”

 According to him, unless Dasuki does that, he will not be released by the Federal Government. He said further “Dasuki was in custody of a sensitive document which could not be divulged for national security reasons, stressing that at any point in time, government was bound to take a hard decision between personal liberty and national security.”

In contrasting the two positions the one by the Hon. Minister would be more believable and one would ordinarily want to associate with the   government position.

 Conversely, however  if one  considers the decisions of the four (4) High Court Judges who had ruled on the same case,  with each and everyone of them returning a verdict that Dasuki should be granted bail, this too appeal reason 

Why should government interfere in the judicial process by denying Dasuki his rights to bail?  For this reason one would lean towards Yushau’s position that the matter goes beyond officialdom. 

Mr President if the government is still refusing Dasuki to exercise his fundamental human right to bail for reasons adduced by the Hon. Minister of Information Culture and Tourism then one would like to pose the following questions

1. Why was Nemdi Kanu the proscribed leader of IPOB allowed bail by the court of the same jurisdiction that granted Dasuki bail but federal government did not object to the bail in spite of the fact that Kanu’s offence borders on treasonable felony?

2. If the offence committed by Kanu is bail able, Dasuki who committed a lower offence should be allowed to enforce his fundamental human right to bail;

3. Why are  the government agencies handling the Dasuki prosecution frustrating the efforts of the courts by refusing to produce him in court to defend himself through the due process of the law? 

4. We know the Minister of Information said government is keeping Dasuki for security reasons and that he has in his possession certain security document or information’s that are too sensitive for the public to know. Government should in the light of the above classify those informations and I am sure Dasuki knows the consequences of divulging classified information;

5. Is the  government afraid  Dasuki would spill the beans which may have some consequences on hegemony just like in the Halliburton oil saga?

6. Another reason given for keeping Dasuki by the Hon. Minister is that Dasuki has refused to disclosed where he kept the $1.2b traced to him does the Minister realy want us to believe this?. 

7. Records released by EFCC has shown the beneficiaries of some of the monies collected from the former NSA  and culprits are still enjoying their freedom could this be a plausible reason to refuse him bail and at same time frustrate his prosecution?

Mr. President your government is being accused of double standard and this is undermining your crusade for due process? Rule of law and the image you have built over years as a just person and fearless 

Mr. President in the opening paragraph of this write up I  appealed to your sensitivity by showing the love and the solidarity the people of this country showed to you and how we stood by you in your times need. 

I also said we see you to be an upright human being, who is very pious and religious. A person who understand what forgiveness means in Islam.

Islam recommends forgiveness, because Allah values forgiveness. There are numerous verses in Quran and the Hadith recommending forgiveness. Forgiveness is mentioned 35 times in Quran. However, Islam also allows revenge to the extent harm done, but forgiveness is encouraged, with a promise of reward from Allah.[23][24]

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: for (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.

— Quran 42:40

In the light of the Quran verses above,  if the reasons for frustrating the judicial process and  keeping  Dasuki away from his family is for personal reasons as is being rumoured.  Mr. President we urge you show compassion and magnanimity to direct the agencies holding Dasuki to allow due process of the law to take its course.

Mr. President, I know as you equally do. There will be a day when you as the leader of all Nigerian Allah swt will hold you in chains and ask every single Nigerians whether you have been just him. Think of that day,  if Dasuki is guilty of the crime he is being alleged to have committed and deserve to be kept in the gulag, How about his family  who are being agonised daily by the system for failing to give  their bread winner a fair trial? They would certainty want the  legal process concluded so that they pick the pieces of their lives and move on.

Mr. President I am saying these because according to Yushau,  Dasuki has said, “ I have forgotten and had “no ill-feelings against all ‘good friends’ who are currently on the other side and other ‘people’ who cannot do anything in the case”.  He added with this “In every Challenge, every temptation and every situation one finds himself, there are lessons to be learnt and to be thankful to Almighty Allah.” 

Your Excellency this shows remorse and  this is what inspired me to write this solo appeal. 

Secondly Mr. President,  You and Me  come from the North, we have seen the type of solidarity and the clamour the South Eastern Nigerian people did to rescue one of their own in spite of the gravity of the offence that was committed.

We in the North are orphans, our leaders because they want play the game by the book, hardly come to our rescue when  the chips are down.

My appeal to you Mr President is not to stop the prosecution of Dasuki but show compassion and reconsider government  position in the matter. 

By continuing to keep and frustrating the prosecution of Dasuki justice will not be served. Two years has passed since they took him away from his family. Everyone would be happy if the rule of law is allowed to take precedence. 

Mr. President I appeal to your sense of modesty, decency, compassion and justice  to do the needful by directing those holding and frustrating the legal process to allow the rule of law to take its course.

I wish Mr President increased good health and long live the Federal Republic Nigeria.

Civil Service a Cesspool of Corruption?

Civil Service A Cesspool of Corruption? 

My parents sent me to school, I mean western education type school believing they were charting a better life for me. They believe life would be better and rightly so. They made sure I had the best  education. The education provided by the state during our time was better and comparable to any country of the world. It was one of the best legacies of the colonial admingistration. 

During my days in school, it was fun everything was paid for by the state. Our books, uniform and other basic supply were un ending, the teachers were like our parents, you don’t miss home that much while in school. It was really a family away from home. Unknown to me, I was also building relationships that would prove so dear to me later in life. The love, the candour, honesty and sincerity we shared as classmates was endless. We never knew the bond and love would last through out our adult lives. We cherished those moments and the nostalgia to date each time we meet .

As we moved from our elementary schools to the higher institutions the bond that existed between us kept waxing stronger life was full of the anticipations of the good things ahead. 

When we come home for holidays we are the darlings of our communities, the “Bature’s in the making “. The University life made us look like the white men who occupied the colonial offices we were being prepared to take over. 

Our mates who were not lucky to progress with us to higher institutions look at us with envy each time we were home . Though, they no longer look like us but the bond we developed while we were younger never faded away. Our new outlook mesmerised them, the clean left over school uniforms, the clean shaved head, the sport canvases given to us for physical education  are part of the paraphernalia that mesmerised our friends in the village. 

Soon came the time when we have to leave the walls of our Alma Mata, ready polished in ethics and etiquette to join the elite club of the public servants . 

The most amazing thoughts about leaving the University was the dreams and hopes of the good things out there we were about to start enjoying.

 The question of struggling how to find a job does not even come to mind.  The jobs were there for us,  just for the picking without sweat or struggle. 

 Months, in some cases a year before our graduation, some had already gotten several job offers from their regional, state governments or companies. Some even come our to institutions on graduation day to ferry us away to the good things of life our parents wished for us. Picking a job was  therefore a matter of choice depending on which one we liked or the one that suits our callings. 

It didnt take time for us to discover that life in the public service was going to be amazing, fascinating and interesting. It had all the good future our parents had wished for us. 

On assumption of duty you are spoilt with the goodies of life, a car and house and the promises of good future without lobbying for it. You instantly begin to feel the aura and the dignity and sense of responsibilities that goes with it. 
The hallmark of all these were service, respect, and dignity and professionalism. The mentoring by our senior colleagues were excellent,. Your ability and hard work you put in duties determines your successes and what you become. 

Materialism was never in our lexicon but rather ethics, practice and procedures determined how we operated. 

The ethos built into us were honesty, integrity, dignity, professionalism and respect of the public trust we have sworn to uphold. Sanctions and reward were applied across board. There were no them versus us. Merit and hard work were the rules of the game. Everyone knows his ranking in the system. This was how things worked out. Promotions were carried out when due, no jumping from one cadre to another. The hierarchy in leadership were never abused. 

The political class that took over from the colonialist were nationalistic in their outlook and conduct of the state affairs. 

The civil servants who were there at that time built a career on honesty and  hard work. They were not afraid to tell the truth, and never bent over backwards to succumbent rules and regulations to accommodate personal or sectional interests, service and public trust was the key. 

This was what the generation that came before us  met. They inherited Nigeria full of opportunities, the semi egalitarian state that our founding father tried to build and bestow to those coming behind them. 

Suddenly, the journey was trancated by the Military, the once near perfect civil service was destroyed. Indiscipline, nepotism, selfishness, greed and materialism took over. 

The confusion created by the intervention of the Military also affected our way of living. It introduced the unitary way of life of the military. The single command structure which was the rules of engagement of the military was wholesomely transferred to the civil service. The dictum of do first before complaint became the norm. 

Several years since the military went back to the barracks the once near perfect civil service never came back to its glorious days. 

The change also left behind the burden of how to deal with the fragmented society arising from the civil war that took the life of about one million Nigerians. 

 It also affected and severed the bond that was developing after  the independence struggle .  

The nationalistic fervour demonstrated by the founding fathers of the nation gave way to acrimony and despair, the once communal society degenerated into individualism, the once tolerant society succumbed to chaotic sectionalism and religious bigotry, nepotism, regionalism, greed and personal interests took over merit  and due process, consumptive life and materialism gave rise to corruption and mal – administration. 

Soon the writing on the wall became apparent, the good future our parents had hoped for us  started disintegrating, heading for the abyss.  The rules of the games started changing rapidly, the destruction started in earnest 

Nigeria became a laboratory where all kinds experiments were conducted. Every administration that came into power formulated some hypothesis on how to move the country forward. 

No sooner they begin to test the hypothesis anther government will take over. The fallacy about all these changes were that some of these hypothesis remain untested, those that  were about to be implemented were either left on shelves or discarded completely. The country remained a guinea pig where all sorts of reforms were tried, in the process we lost our forecast as a nation. 

Several reform were introduced by successive governments, from austerity measures, structural adjustments, power reform, pension reform, national health insurance reform just to mention a few. 

We also had our fair share of political programmes introduced by successive governments , the green revolution programme introduced by Shagari administration to move the country from over dependence on oil, operations feed the nation by Obasanjo, the structural adjustment program by Babangida, the seven point agenda by Yar’adua government, the change mantra and fight against corruption by the Buhari administration. 

In order not deviate from  this polemic since our concern is not to ex Ray successive governments in Nigeria but rather to try and understand why the once vibrant civil service was destroyed. 

To locate the causes of the problems we need to examine some historical events that took place in our political development viz-viz the distraction of the Civil Service. 

The first salvo was fired by the General Murtala Muhammad administration. When the government came into power with the zeal to sanitise the civil service. According to Ajayi, the former president of the Association of Nigerian Professional Bodies, when  he said  “the foundation for the destruction of Nigeria’s civil service began in 1975 during the military reign of late Murtala Mohammed.

He said during this period, the late Head of state commenced sacking civil servants through announcements on the radio and that this act drastically reduced the morale of the country’s civil servants.”

Ajayi, however said “though it was unintended because it was supposed to sanitise and strengthen the civil service, it ended up destroying the civil service because it was counter-productive as there was no longer security of tenure among civil servants.

But rather than strengthen the service, it created opportunities for serious job insecurity and corruption.

In this case, civil servants who no longer felt safe, had to resort to corrupt acts.

He said successive governments have since relegated the importance of the civil service and reduced it to just carrying out the orders of the President or the governors as the case may be. 

As a result, junior officers are sometimes imposed on their senior officers just to balance the political equation and this, according to him, only destroys the civil service

The former Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Alhaji Isa Bello Sali,  blamed the regime of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), for laying the foundations of the rot that currently permeates the nation’s civil service.

Sali said the reforms carried out between 1985 and 1988 were largely responsible for the dearth of professionals and committed public officers in the public service.

The Head of Service made the allegations in a paper he delivered at the opening session of the 36th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSAN). 

He explained that the implementation of the Professor Dotun Philip’s report and subsequent promulgation of Decree 43 to give legal backing to the implementation of the recommendations of the report largely eroded the vitality, standard of performance and cohesion of the public service.

He said: “The subsequent reforms of 1985-88 which arose from the recommendations of the Dotun Philip report was given legal effect through Decree 43 of 1988. The legislation paved the way for all comers into the top echelon of the civil service.

The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, in the same vain also accused former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida of “destroying” the Nigerian Civil Service.

He made these assertions recently while delivering a keynote address to mark the State’s Civil Service Day, held at the Cultural Centre Complex in Calabar, the state capital.

According to him, IBB’s implementation of his Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, during his eight year rule destroyed the civil service built as far back as 1934.

The civil service remains the hope of the vast majority of Nigerians and it has direct impact on the success or failure of any administration. But in just eight years, the Structural adjustment programme instituted by the Babagida administration destroyed the values, dignity of civil service which have painstakingly been built since 1934″. 

Apart from the reasons given above, the untold real reason was that the Military, were  envious of the professionalism displayed by the Permanent Secretaries of those days. Many of which have resisted to take orders from them while they were in the Ministry of defence. So when they took over power their main goal was to deal with those super Permanent Secretary as they were then referred to. 

As a result of these the purging of officers in the Civil Service was not careful thought out and this resulted in eroding the moral and consequently the destruction of the Civil Service. 

In capturing the mood of what is going on in the civil service today,  the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Dahiru Kuta, lamented that civil service jobs in the country are now meant for only those who can bribe their way through.  Jobs are now go to the highest bidder. 

He added that marginalization and ethnicity in the civil service have robbed the country of dedicated workers.

What is more worrisome of recent is that, jobs and promotion in the service are now meant for the highest bidders.

“Many workers now do not put in their best where they work because merit and professionalism have given way to cronyism and nepotism . 

Heads of MDAs give undue advantage to people from their ethnic origin or cronies to ensure that they continue  milking the system  long after they have left the service. 

Appointments to the top echelon of the service also follow similar considerations. 

The exam system popularised by the former Hos Oransanya is perhaps the second most damaging innovation introduced in the Civil Service. The process is riddled with manipulation, corruption and nothing about it is transparent no matter how much they want us to believe. 

The arranged exams produces only those who the cabals want to become Permanent Secretary or Leaders in the system .

 For instance how can you explain how someone who just become a Director in January and by February he is a Permanent Secretary. He comes back to the same Ministry after the “so called exam” and becomes a boss to his seniors who mentored him on job for several years. What sort of work environment are we creating? How can anything meaningful come out of this? That is why today we have the types of Maina the embattled chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team in the civil service. 

In considering these types of appointments in my view so many  factors ought have come into play not just “exam”. The civil service is a professional body governed by rules and regulations. One is  required to spend certain period of time on each post in order to equip him for a higher responsibilities . You need some experiences in order to do certain jobs. But just because some people want to succumbent the process and become big men we jestession reality for parochialism 

Oransanya who was  the architect of the exam policy, came from the private sector and got himself into civil service through the back door to become a permanent secretary and head of service within no time. 

To perpetuate this mischief he brought in phony consultants who were usually their cronies to set the exams, which they quickly mark and come with phony results that are vetted by committee headed by former Hos and Permanent Secretaries who were themselves beneficiaries of the scum to choose from among their candidates and pass the names of the so called successful candidates to the executive for approval. 

Governor Liyel Imoke reminisced the long forgotten ambitions of our parents when he said, “the ambition of most Nigerians in the past was to become a top civil servant as “such was a guarantee for a good standard of living then and it also afforded many to sponsor their children to schools, build houses, and buy cars.”

“Even the Youth Corps members on passing out would think of buying a Volkwagen Igala for a start. My father was a civil servant. My mother was a civil servant and when I was growing up I wanted to join the diplomatic service so the civil servant should be celebrated because they are the ones who are daily in touch with our people”.

Sorry, Mr governor things are no longer the same the Civil Service has over the years turn into cesspool of corrupt officials,who buy their ways through corrupt processes. The professionalism, the respect, and dignity that keeps the system together has broken apart. The wishes of our parents for a good, honest and decent and professional life in the Civil Service has given way unbridled corruption, nepotism, cronyism and graft.

 Hope may not be totally lost, but it requires a massive commitment on the part of all to reverse the rot.

 I am looking forward to the time when I can proudly tell my children to join the civil service as my parents did to me. 

CHOP CHOP PALAVER

*DIFFERENT GRADES OF CHOPPING IN GOVERNMENT.* 🇳🇬
_* When U chop alone in government and no one chop with U, dem dey call that one *OBJ.*_
_* When U chop in government, come allow others to chop their own, that is called *IBB.*_
_* When U chop in government, come bring democracy and people come forget say U chop, that is called *Abdusallam.*_
_* When U chop in government and the place U are choping eventually fold up, that is called *Atiku.*_
_* When U dey chop in government, U no remember your driver, secretary, office assistants, that is called *Gowon.*_
_* When U dey chop alone in government, no remember anybody, so tay dem come drive U comot, that one is called *Shonekan.*_
_* When dem just appoint U for government position, and U just chop small, auditors kon come say bring all papers, that is called *Nwodo.*_
_* When U chop in government and U die while chopping, that is called *Abacha.*_
_* When U chop and drink in government so tey U come intoxicate, and others come dey do U wayo, dey chop their own join, that is called *Goodluck Jonathan.*_
_* When U over-chop in government and U call your friends to come chop their own, that is called *Ibori.*_
_* When U chop and clean mouth like say U no chop anything, that is called *Fashola.*_
_* When U chop in government, come dey abuse people wey give U opportunity to chop, that one is called *El-Rufai.*_
_* When U chop from government, come spread your boys for government, dem dey chop U dey chop, dem dey chop U dey chop, that one is called *Tinubu.*_
_* When U chop in government so teeey U scatter ground, three houses for America, two for London, six for Maitama, seven for V.I, as madam dey go shopping for Dubai, children dey go summer for Spain, EFCC kon gbab U, that one is called *Diezani.*_
_* When U chop well well for government and people know say U chop well well but U dey deny say U chop well well, that one is called Rotimi *Amaechi.*_
_* When U chop in government so tay U come even dey richer than the place U dey chop from, that one is called *Rochas.*_
_* When U chop and chop so tey U come tire, come begin dey distribute the chopping to other people, that one is called  *Dasuki.*_
_* When  U see  government money and refuse to chop and refuse to allow make people chop, so tay hunger come dey wire dem, an your main men come deh chop deh blame “rats and cockroaches and spirits”that one is called *Buhari.*_

ONE LEAK TO MANY

For sometimes now the traditional and the social Media have devoted a significant percentage of their news space with leaked materials. Some of the leaked material were government sponsored while others are politically motivated to serve personal interests and political agenda.

In fact the leaks have now become a vogue and the best way to speak to this government. 

The executive and all the other tiers of government now have their pages on Facebook and Twitter, some are managed by their Media Staff, others by faceless individuals and groups masquerading behind banners that depict state symbols , but in the actual sense they are fake. 

Ministries, Ministers, Heads of Extra Ministerial Departments have also joined the band wagon. 

Ordinarily one would welcome the pluralism in sources of information, but to what extent the pluralism assist in governance is what is of concern us. 

The danger of these leakages are that  you don’t know which  to believe or trust. I am sure the Honourable Minister of Information is having a sleepless night  how to deal with the situation. 

To put this discourse into perspective it necessary to understand what is a leak and why do we have leak information ?

 Leak is defined as “a way (usually an opening) for fluid to escape a container or fluid-containing system, such as a tank or a ship’s hull, through which the contents of the container can escape or outside matter can enter the container. Leaks are usually unintended and therefore undesired. The word leak usually refers to a gradual loss; a sudden loss is usually called a spill.”

“A news leak is the unsanctioned release of confidential information to news media. It can also be the premature publication of information by a news outlet, of information that it has agreed not to release before a specified time, in violation of a news embargo “.

Coming back to our question, why do we leak information?  We leak information for some of the following reasons :

1. Politicians and Policy makers may leak information because they wish to judge the reaction of the public to their plans before committing a social programme (a trial balloon). Leaked information may be plausibly denied without blame for proposed unpopular measures affecting their perpetrators.

2. People with access to confidential information may find it to their advantage to make it public, without themselves appearing to be responsible for publishing the information. For example, information which will embarrass political opponents, or cause damage to national security, may be leaked.

3.  People privy to secret information about matters which they consider to be morally wrong  or against the public interest — often referred to as “whistle blowers” — may leak the information to correct certain distasteful events or check the excess of the rulers .

4. People may be enticed to expose secret information for other self-serving motives, such as financial gain. 

 5. Government also uses leaks to manage the press in order to maintains its own popularity. 

6. Leaks can also be used as signal to foreign terrorists or governments that you know what they are up to, this is done to deter contemplated actions .

7. Sometimes governments trade leaked information to reporters, to curry favour. 

8. In some cases leaks are used to hurt rivals within the public sphere, 

9. Leak can serve as a “trial balloon” to test the popularity of an idea or policy . 

10. Leaks also may help  President’s cabinet members build up their own internal empires, which can boost the president’s agenda.

Leak as un instrument of propaganda if used wisely by the Government can assist in governance but where it is used unwisely it can have a damaging consequences on the leaker, be it individual, group or state. Simply put leaks can be positive and negative. 

The worrying aspect of the leaks  that are going the round in our political space is that they are centred around individuals seeking for favours . 

Consider the following leaks that had been in the headlines, you would notice they have similar kind of  trends. 

You can recall the Maina saga, I mean the fugitive Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, if you peruse all the leaked materials that are in the public domain on the Maina saga, you can see the hands of the executive or apparatus of the state in the leaks. 

The leak by the Minister of State of Petroleum Ibe kachukwu against the Group Managing Director NNPC Mai kanti Baru, was deliberately released to the media to achieve some personal gains . 

 El Rufai’s leak of his personal letter to Mr President, was perhaps due the frustration the letter did not get to Mr President. 

The Leak by the NHIS boss on frosty relationship between him and the Minister Health, was possibly done to buy in sympathy from the public . 

The  most recent Leak was the one by the Head of Service of the Federation denying she reinstated the Ex Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina. She did this to protect herself from the blame game when it became apparent to her some people are trying to rope her. 

In all these instances the reasons for the leaks are self serving. 

The most disturbing aspects about the leaks are, they all came from officials who are highly placed in the corridors of power and they must have known the leaks had the potentials to embarrass Mr President and Government that appointed them to serve. 

Given the calibre and hierarchy of people  involved in the leakages something must be fundamentally wrong with the government. Why should we be having these discordant views from members appointed by the same administration fighting themselves on pages of news papers and social media? 

Curiously all the leaks seem to have the same objectives lack of “access”. Does this confirm the insinuations going round that Mr. President has been shielded by some cabals as they are popular being referred to?

The many embarrassing leaks from the big and mighty in the cabinet makes nonsense of the oath of secrecy  public officers, have sworn to protect in the act of governance. 

The manner and the way government businesses are being conducted is laughable and it begs to question,  if the authority is  really in control.  The ridicule and crass abuse of practice and procedures are so phenomenal that it makes us  look stupid and uncultured as a people and a nation. 

What is going on can only happen in a dictatorship where citizens have to buy favours to have un fettered access to the king. 

My second worry about the developing scenarios is how are we sure Mr. President is getting the information about what is going on in our political space?

The silence and the slow response by the President to issues  of national significance also gives us some sense of worry especially in the light of the hardship prevalent in the society, the break down of our infrastructure, the decay in our educational and health facilities and the hydra headed corruption that permeates the fabric of our society. The failure of the  agencies created to provide social services. 

These are issues that require the urgent attention of the President. But in the light of the unfolding events that even  the high and low hardly  have access to their leader in a democracy, then we must engage in a National prayer just like we all did when Mr. President was sick. We must seek for the intervention of Allah swt to open the eyes of Mr President  to separate the bad and the good in his administration so that we can “enjoy  the dividends of democracy”. 

As we continue praying for increased good health of  Mr President. We must not also forget to pray he reciprocate our goodwill with good governance by eliminating or reducing our  underdevelopment issues that are begging for attention. 

We also call on Mr President to direct the public officers to end the unnecessary leaks that are injurious to the administration and damaging to our collective image as a people and Nation. 

Entertainment 

A newly married couple was walking through a garden, suddenly a dog ran towards them.
They both knew it will bite them…
The husband lifted his wife to let the dog bite him rather than his sweetheart.
The dog stopped before them, unsure what to do, barked a little while & ran away.
The husband put his wife down, expecting a hug & a few kind words of gratitude from her.
But his wife shouted “I’ve seen people throwing stones & sticks at dogs, this is the first time I am seeing someone trying to throw his wife at a dog”
Moral : A Wife is a Wife 
“No One ELSE Can MIS-UNDERSTAND a Husband Better, than a Wife.”
Husband it is well. Take heart it is part of the challenges of being a husband.🤓