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Don’t breathe air! – and more in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Information

by Cheta Nwanze

You see, there is power in the spoken word, and when someone constantly prefers to “rule” rather than to “govern”, then you know that the country is in trouble.

Since the fatal shooting of her husband in 2009, Adiza Orjieh has been on a quest for justice. Sadly, she will have to wait until February 19 to find out whether justice will be any closer to her and her children. On Tuesday, 27 October 2009, Friday Orjieh, her husband had gone to his job at a BDC in Ikeja. On that day, as many Nigerians are wont to do, Elizabeth Olubunmi walked into the BDC with armed soldiers to “punish” a colleague of Friday’s. While it was acknowledged that the it was definitely not Friday who’d pissed Elizabeth off, the person responsible had high-tailed out of there before the soldiers came, so Friday paid for the offence. With his life.

Perhaps the reason that Private Audu, the soldier who allegedly shot Friday has not been brought to book is simply because he is in the Nigerian military. Historically, our military has a way of dealing with the police. Come on, the score card since 1995 between military units and the police reads 26-0-0 (not dead bodies), almost all have been knock outs. So you can understand the reluctance of our policemen not to ruffle the feathers of those who’s uniforms are made of khaki and not baft. Thus it was that the scorecard was updated to read 27-0-0 over the weekend as some naval personnel took exception to the police reminding them that they could not ride their bike against traffic. By the way, it is not only Naval ratings and soldiers that are badly behaved. Hey, even our military pilots are in on the act as Bernard Amaminiye and Passman Golukomor found out on Saturday. My advice to them, go and give your pastor a bag of rice and a young goat. It could have been worse…

But then again, the ratings who decided that might is right have good examples to look up to. You see, when someone presents facts and figures to back up her argument that the government you serve in has been the most profligate in Nigerian history, the best way to react is to go all ad hominem on her. To be honest, having read the entirety of Madam Pre-process’s argument, I have come to the conclusion that her statement on the $67 billions was taken a tad out of context. What is more important, are the figures that her entire speech is littered with. Figures which government mouthpiece Maku failed to challenge in his rather weak thesis. More disturbing to me though, is his continued use of the word “collected” when describing sums released to ministries that Madam Due-Process was in charge of. You see, there is power in the spoken word, and when someone constantly prefers to “rule” rather than to “govern”, then you know that the country is in trouble. Ergo, when someone in charge of a ministry “collects” money, rather than being “allocated” funds, then we should be checking his/her accounts. Is there something Mr. Maku would like us to know?

To be fair to both Maku and Ezekwesili though, they could have been misquoted. Sadly, our journalists tend to have a penchant for constructing headlines in order to sell papers, or gain hits on their websites as the case may be. Take this as an example, poor Ibrahim Farinloye did not in any way tell residents of Lagos “not to breathe air”!

Bits and bobs

Back to Mr. Maku, and in his rejoiner, he talked about the resuscitation of the Lagos-Kano rail line. I don’t consider it progress if it takes four days to make half the distance.

Various groups are up in arms over last week’s excursion to visit the ailing Enugu suit. How naive can you guys be? Don’t you know that any one of them could be next? They will need all the solidarity they can get.

Following last Friday’s blatant robbery, Papa Eagles have arrived in Rustenburg for tomorrow’s 1-1 draw with Ethiopia. To be fair to them, for the first time since 2004, the Nigerian senior team is going into the last game of a round-robin without us having to whip out those calculators. All they have to do is to win. Expect Ethiopia to equalise in the 92nd minute after Obi Wan Kenobi has laid a beautiful pass which Emmanuel Emenike will duly convert.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


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