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Saturday, 14 September 2013

A season of dinners!

 by Kabir Mato                                                       

Since assumption of office last year, the old PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has introduced a new twist in covering obvious failures of both the state and the party in power through stage management of dinner.
I thought General Obasanjo was cereberal in partying until this chairman came our way. Thank God! The military stroke in 1983, Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba states) would have had it really bad. At every turn in the corner one dinner party is organized or the other. These dinner parties often hold when the party or government notices they had a poor outing in one way or the other.
In May this year, celeberating what the government called the succeses of the transformation agenda, President Goodluck Jonathan organised a huge party where series of lies were told shamelessly to Nigerians. I remember on that day, my elder brother and a very sound economic technocrat, Dr Shamsudeen Usman oratorically entertained his listeners with lies as accomplishments of this government.
He told us how many jobs have been created, how much money came into the country as foreign investment, how much electricity supply had improved across the country to about twenty hours a day, among several other fairy tales. Despite that he was sacked from the cabinet few days ago. Soon after my humble friend, Inuwa Abdulkadir a few days ago, I knew many more were on the way except of course my strategic radar never sighted Shamsu. I knew my sister Zainab would go, so also was Ruqayyatu, a fantastic professor who remained humble throughout her sojourn in that difficult ministry and assignment under a government that is obviously clueless. Their sins were simple. Their sponsors are disagreeing with a president who is finding it difficult to live by simple agreement he had with them at a time he was desperate.
Soon after that another circus dinner was organized by the so called PDP family mainly carried of women in government under the leadership of the charming Diezani Alison-Madueke, popularly known as the queen of the cabinet. In that dinner a publication on the Jonathan adminsitarion was presented to the public and shamefully, Professor George Obiozor, a political scientist of repute was at hand to uncoodinately tell another bunch of lies on the achievements of this government. I am worried that when dirty job is being done, the brightest in the society are hired to execute it. Sometimes I ask the question: are we really living in the same country with these characters?
The recent dinner was the one organized by the Bamanga Tukur faction of the PDP after that failed convention which shamelessly marked the end of the traditional strangulation in the ruling PDP.
THE DINNER AS USUSAL WAS ATTENDED by all the loyal forces and as has been, it provided the opportunity needed to again embarrass those in power by brutally and provocatively throwing conscience to the dogs and spitting on our faces with saliva of falsehood and indecency.
I don’t belong to the category of Nigerians who believe that the way out of the political log-jam in the PDP is when the president promises he will not to run for the second time. No! I believe and pray he runs. My argument is that there must be free and fair elections in Nigeria in 2015.
If the nation feels that president Jonathan is right to continue, so be it. I believe he will be roundly defeated on the basis of one man one vote and the obvious failures of his government and any attempt to rig the polls may thus lead the country into the unfortunate. God forbid.
At the post-convention dinner, people as usual told irritating lies. I no longer worry when I see or hear people like Ahmed Gulak speak on this government. I see very clearly one of the products of Nigerian law school system and perhaps that is why ASUU is on strike so that the universities may be made to work otherwise the nation even after us would be infested by more Gulaks.
Zainab Maina, a woman I used to celebrate, has become an embarrassment. It’s unfortunate. She was reported to have said that hundred percent of Nigerian women are only waiting for President Jonathan to decide he will run in 2015. Some jokes on Facebook were quick to respond to that by saying yes! He must run but to Otuoke, I guess the village where the president hails from.
I am not aware of where Mrs Maina got her facts from. Certainly it is a bunch of lies because I know even in my household I have several women who vote and their votes are most likely not going to Goodluck Jonathan in view of how ‘well’ he has performed in the four years that he has run the affairs of Nigeria except if there are fundamental changes in the less than two years ahead. And this does not seem likely given the manner in which the administration is enveloped in increasing confusion and reprisals with opponents that it is to court.
My take is that the Chairman of the old PDP Bamanga Tukur loves partying and in his octogenarian thoughts the only way to show the world that all is well is by organizing singing and dancing in parties. What a rally! It was Frantz Fanon who while describing the character of African leaders and the OAU argued that the forum served few purposes among which was the assemblage of half breed fifteen year old African girls for …. 
This dinner series reminds me of a piece I wrote in 2006 titled ‘Obasanjo’s desperate meals’ as the ambition to amend the 1999 constitution and adjust the two term limits of the executives thickened, General Obasanjo began breakfast meetings with mainly members of the National Assembly especially those who were seen as recalcitrant. The ambition was defeated and Nigeria kept moving but unfortunately backward.
Like those desperate meals, so shall these desperate dinner parties also go. This is Nigeria. If anybody is thinking that it will be business as usual in 2015, then, he or she has not started. Breakfast, lunch or dinner where lies are told are only provocative and indication of the failures of the state and its political party.

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