“Na only you waka come?” “Stomach infrastructure” and 8 of the worst quotes of 2014

by Wilfred Okiche


The people who appear on this list desperately need a crash course on how to speak publicly. From a president whose media chats exist primarily to provide fodder for hilarious internet memes, to his first lady, unrelenting in her assault on decorum; unchecked ministers, profligate in their spending, to two particular words (stomach is one of them) that need to go away, these are the worst of the worst.

10) “Na only you waka come?”- Patience Jonathan

It was the video that launched a million YouTube hits. The first Lady, Patience Jonathan’s private shame was exposed to the whole world when she attempted to do some damage control of her own after her husband’s administration failed to respond swiftly to the tragedy of 276 school girls kidnapped from their secondary school in Chibok. Rife with bad grammar, fake tears, shoddy acting and lacking any real empathy, Mrs Jonathan’s viral train wreck of a performance was both comic and tragic.

9) “I was not in office at that time, but even then, a presidential directive is not law and is not gazetted.”- Diezani Alison-Madueke

The Minister for Petroleum, brazenly telling the Senator Makarfi- led committee investigating the allegations of the missing $20 billion funds as well as the fraudulent kerosene subsidy payments why she continued payments on a kerosene programme that had been terminated by president Musa Yar’adua. According to her, she felt no compulsion to obey Yar’adua’s directive as it was not gazetted and could not be interpreted as law.

8)  “Let me inform you that you are late, you should know that you are only but the King of Kano, King of Central Bank, King of money, you are only Sanusi Lamido”–   Abubakar Shekau

The most reviled human being in Nigeria showing that terrible lyrics aren’t the exclusive preserve of Nigerian musicians. He waxed lyrical in a violent message that threatened to dispose of the Emir of Kano and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria after the Emir advised his followers to protect themselves against Shekau’s depraved followers.

7) “Nigeria is ready, because the (Health) ministry has taken every precaution, including getting the vaccines and medicines in case there is any incident in Nigeria”– Labaran Maku

Former Information minister Labaran Maku, a chronic sufferer of foot-in-the-mouth disease displaying symptoms once again while assuring the nation of government’s preparedness at dealing decisively with the Ebola crisis, should it make its way to Nigeria. This was in April and no one had told Mr Maku that Ebola had neither vaccine nor medicines to treat it. Anyway, the country’s index case, Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian, walked into the country unhindered, months later, despite Mr Maku’s so called readiness to deal.

6) “Over 70% of what are called corruption (cases), even by EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and other anti-corruption agencies, is not corruption, but common stealing,”- Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Mr President going on the record to differentiate between stealing and corruption, and defending his administration’s perceived softness on corruption. Explains a lot.

5) The fact that Buhari has left office for so long and he says he is poor is nothing to celebrate. It is indolent and shameful. Is that a role model? Is that who you will want your children to be?-  Doyin Okupe

The SSA to President Jonathan on Public Affairs displaying all that is sick and rotten about the present Nigerian psyche when he went on one of his infamous Twitter rants against Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

4) “Doctor MLK dit it, Lee Kuan Yew did it, Nelson Mandela did it, Barack Obama did it, Goodluck Jonathan is doing it”– Protectors of Nigerian posterity

This campaign advertorial by the faceless group, Protectors of Nigerian Posterity was offensive and insulting on so many levels. There are ways to tastefully ignite a politician’s candidacy but this one arrived dead on arrival. Comparing President Jonathan to the greats listed above does their memory no service. In any case, only posterity can truly decide Jonathan’s place in history but right now, from where we are standing, he is a long way from greatness.

3) Stomach infrastructure- Aftermath of Ekiti guber polls

The Ekiti state gubernatorial elections will forever be remembered as that which brought to the fore the well-meaning, but ill applied term “Stomach infrastructure.” Legitimised by eventual victor, Ayo Fayose who created an office, complete with special adviser, Stomach infrastructure is a metaphor for our failed politics and policies. The term needs to go away with 2014.

 2) “If Sanusi hadn’t been suspended he would have come up with a different figure… If anyone steals $50 billion or $20 billion anywhere America will know, they will tell you where it is; it is their money”-  Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Mr President in a media chat in May, dismissing the allegations made by suspended CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that millions of dollars in petroleum receipts were unremitted by the NNPC. We are still trying to wrap our heads round the America will know part.

1) “The applicants lost their lives due to impatience, they did not follow the laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise, many of them jumped through the fences of affected centers and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner to make the exercise a smooth one. This caused stampede and made the environment insecure”-  Abba Moro, Minister for Interior

How do you cause the death of over 16 young Nigerian lives, whose only sin was trying to get themselves gainfully employed, through careless ineptitude and then come around and say this publicly? And how does one get away with spewing such abomination as this? How does Mr Moro sleep at night? And how have we allowed him to get away with it?


– The writer tweets from @drwill20


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