by Stanley Azuakola
Nigeria’s six arms do battle
Nigeria’s six arms of government -executive, legislature, cabals, protesters, judiciary and terrorists- have been engaged in a weekly battle for supremacy over which arm would dominate the news headlines. At the turn of the New Year, the executive gained the upper hand when they removed the subsidy on fuel. Reports say this made President Jonathan very proud and happy but it was to be short-lived as the protesters arm took over the next week, and even gained international media attention. The jealousy from the other arms was palpable. Next to make the news was the terrorists arm in Kano, then the legislators through the house probe panel in which the cabal arm made guest appearances. Last week was the judiciary week as the angry courts deposed the Obong of Calabar, remanded the Edo Attorney General in prison custody for 4 days, sentenced Al-mustapha to death, ended the tenures of 5 governors and acquitted ex-speaker Bankole and his deputy. As the strategy sessions continue and a new week begins, the question on the lips of all Nigerians is which arm would seize the momentum this week?
President Jonathan has 32 teeth -media aide
Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, got involved last week in a bitter bust-up with online news outlet, Sahara Reporters. Problem started when Sahara reporters alleged that contrary to his promise of reducing his entourage during foreign trips, the president travelled to Ethiopia for the African Union heads of government meeting with two different bloated delegations comprising 32 and 25 people. Surprisingly, Abati misread the allegation and countered by saying that “President Jonathan did not travel with two different dentitions but with a single dentition of 32. As you know, the president is a full blown adult, I don’t see how he could have travelled with a dentition of 25, where would he keep the remaining seven teeth? Are they saying he could be an adult with 32 teeth sometimes and at other times a child in disguise with 25? Conversely, are they saying he now has space in his presidential mouth for 57 teeth? The report is nothing but malicious fabrication.”
Nigerians couldn’t believe their ears when they heard ex-president Ibrahim Babaginda swear to dust up his military uniform and fight as a one-man army if he realises at any point that the gentleman’s agreement which has guided all governments since 1960 is broken. He said no matter the government that comes or goes, the agreement is settled and must remain. The agreement which he called “the doctrine of settled realities,” includes:
1. No challenge in Nigeria can or should be solved without setting up a committee first.
2. At every given time, there must be at least one labour union on strike in the country.
3. The serenity to understand that some things like cabals and terrorists cannot be uprooted; they’ve come to stay.
4. Nigeria must operate a capitalist system at all times. No time for small stuffs, everything must be bold and in capitals.
Crowned Clown (CeeCee) of the week
One of the worst jobs one can wish for is to be the mouth piece of an unpopular government. In the present setup at the federal level, Reuben Abati owns that job and he gets the CeeCee this week. If ever there was a competition for the person who experienced the most sudden loss of public goodwill, Abati will come a close second to his principal. Recently his fangs have bared haplessly at imagined foes, the most recent of which is his old friend Dele Momodu. Abati’s response to Momodu’s Thisday critique of the Jonathan administration was a jumbled mixture of platitudes, innuendoes and adhominems, and a proper disgrace. As Momodu remarked in his response, “How would posterity remember Reuben? I guess: A man who voluntarily set fire to everything he ever wrote.” And a certified clown, if A Pinch…might add.
Editor’s Note: A Pinch of Salt… is satire – a riff off news over the past week.
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