by Pius Adesanmi
I actually like Nyesom Wike’s idea of a Real Madrid Football Academy in his state. The idea is good. The vision is okay.
It is just that in Nigeria, every good idea a public office holder manages to come up with once in a long while will have twenty and a half K-legs attached to it.
Wike has been doing generous photo-ops for nearly a week now in Madrid. Please don’t insult me with any nonsense about his Deputy Governor holding the fort in Port Harcourt. We all know that the substance of governance travels with Oga in Nigeria – whether there is official or unofficial handover to anybody. An Oga on medical leave abroad recently kept the oil contract signing part of his duties while his Deputy coordinated things in his absence.
So, basically, one of Nigeria’s major states has been governed from Madrid now for nearly a week on account of just one football academy. Add to this the fact that virtually all of these Governors govern their states from Abuja even when they are at home – joro jara joro every day to Abuja – with the exception of Fayose.
I have been in the Western world for 20 years now and have lived in France, Canada, and the United States in that time. I have seen Nigerian delegations – Ministers, Governors, Senators – arrive here for assignments that their counterparts will delegate to low-level civil servants.
You see a Nigerian Governor coming here to sign an MOU that his Canadian counterparts have assigned to junior directors in provincial departments – even junior to Commissioners in Nigeria. Then the poor Canadians will learn that the Nigerians are actually coming at the highest levels for such routine signing and they will scramble to shift their schedules around for equivalent representation.
Often, the provincial premier will be able to meet with the Governor just for five minutes. A whole Governor will then loiter and idle around for a week, taking useless photo-ops with junior people – the photo-ops splashed on social media by aides using it to shakara our people who don’t know any better.
I have witnessed too many of these scenarios than I can recount. In one instance, a Canadian Chief Executive gasped in surprise when she heard about the size of the delegation coming from Nigeria to sign an MOU:
“Pius, I had signed my own part of the agreement”, she told me, “we emailed it to Nigeria and told them to print, sign, scan, and email it back to us as an attachment but the Nigerians insisted on coming for a signing ceremony. Now they sent us a list of a ten-member delegation at the senior level. Who is going to run their establishment while they are here?”
I don’t know what Wike is negotiating and signing in Madrid that his sports commissioner and two directors in the Ministry cannot do if he delegates duties and empowers them accordingly. He didn’t really need to go to Madrid. Even after his photo-op with Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, the real purpose of the visit if you ask me, he still won’t come back home.
— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) October 17, 2017
Not too far from Wike, Saraki and Dino are also in Russia for meetings. They will meet equivalent Russian representation for about five minutes on the first day after which they will spend the next one week meeting with clerks and messengers and having their aides fill social media with useless photos.
We are pathetic.
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