Monday, 1 October 2007

After Etteh, Yar’Adua Next?

Hakeem Babalola

Once again Nigerians are all agog over the resignation of Patricia Etteh, the disgraced House Speaker who was alleged to have approved #628 million for the renovation of her official residence and that of his deputy, Nguroje Babangida, as well as the buying of twelve exotic cars. The battle had started almost immediately she assumed the exalted office as the number four citizen.

During the battle, one house member lost his life, but Etteh considered it appropriate to continue the fight. She must fight to be. As far as Etteh is concerned, #628 million is not that much to renovate an already renovated official residence and buying exotic cars. What do they mean by exotic cars anyway? No car is too exotic for a woman of Etteh’s status. Nigeria has money and so what is the increasing hubbub all about?

But the opposing house members fought till the end. At first, I had thought it was because Madam speaker did not palm their hands, but now I could see that the bone of contention is/was much more than that. Etteh committed a crime and she must be punished. As from now on, no erring public officials should be allowed to go scot-free – no matter how influential she may be.

Of course I am delighted over Etteh’s sudden resignation but as far as I am concerned, there’s nothing to celebrate yet. Why should I jubilate when the battle against ineptitude service to the nation is still rampant? Why should I celebrate when we have not even started battling corruption in a way to battle it? Although the exit of Etteh and Nguroje is a welcome development, there are still thousands of them in the public service. Etteh may be out but her soul pervades every nook and cranny of our society.

Nigerian society accepts and honours Etteh and her ilk. This vast country of 140 million souls nurtures and protects Ettehairstyle otherwise Etteh would never have become number four Nigerian. It is apparent that she did not prepare for such responsibility. Does Madam even know what it means to be a Speaker of the House? She was selected and imposed on Nigerians just like Mr. President whom I prefer calling a caretaker President until the Election Tribunal decides otherwise.

Etteh went to the Lower House with one aim: to accumulate wealth. I admire the woman because she didn’t mince her words or waste time about her intention. Perhaps she was too careless in her greed, thinking the emperor would always rally round her no matter how. Obviously she had fallen for his power. This emperor was also disgraced out of aso Rock. Birds of the same feather.

It is quite unfortunate that Nigerians are jubilating instead of planning how to remove every Etteh from the service. Honestly speaking, the profound problem is not Etteh but the system in place that often breeds Ettehairstyle. This is what every Nigerian should focus on. This is what should be our chewing words as from now.

It does not augur well to kick out Etteh and leave David Mark, the Senate President and Musa Yar’Adua, the President behind. This is because all of them were imposed on us by the power of that moment called Obasanjo. None of these actors by virtue of their personalities or utterances is qualified to hold the position of number One, Three and Four respectively. Was it not David Mark who told us during the military regime that telephone was not meant for the poor? Is there not trouble in his own House too?

Corruption and inefficiency come in different form. Rigging elections is perhaps the mother of all corruption and illegalities. Thank God Yar’Adua himself has admitted that elections which brought him to power was not without discrepancies. Let him also resign before people chase him out. It is not enough to admit that one is an armed robber. Let him who know he is an armed robber returns the loot and then repents. That is the hallmark of a virtuous man.

As Frederick Douglass once said, The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous. With David Mark as the Senate President and Musa Yar’Adua as the President, can we honestly say that our nation is secure? I don’t think so. And this is the main reason we should suspend our jubilation over Etteh’s woe and concentrate on expelling other impostors. Let us fight Yar’Adua’s imposition as much as we have fought Etteh’s.

In all, there are lessons to learn from Ettehairstyle. Power is not absolute but transient. Yesterday, Obasanjo coerced us into believing he’s almost God. He did everything with emotions or perceptual stimuli. He behaved as if he owns Nigeria and Nigerians. He mocked us with his sarcastic and expensive jokes. He reduced us to a mere slave in our own country.

And above all, he deprived us of our votes. He chose his comrades to succeed him. But that was yesterday. Today one of his comrades has been removed from the glass House. I wonder what would be in the mind of this Theology student. Is he too going to be prosecuted along the way? Time will definitely tell.

Copyright 2007 mysmallvoice@yahoo.com

9 comments:

Michael Ogunsola said...

I don't understand your point, when you ask for remover of number 0ne and three citizen. what about number two. Also can you give me honest leader or public servant in Nigeria. Let's all Nigerian be fair on our judgement.

Adeola Aderounmu said...

Author wrote:

As from now on, no erring public officials should be allowed to go scot-free – no matter how influential she may be.



What do you mean as from now on? We MUST go back in time and start to RIGHTS all the WRONGS with living thieves. No one has answered my questions on my blog and other places where I pointed out my lack of understanding for:

1)Why Babangida, David Mark, Buhari, Obasanjo and others who are thriving on our commonwealth are walking around as free men.

2) The exact role of EFCC and its loudspeaker, Nuhu Ribadu.

3) Are some people in Nigeria more equal than the others or they are just above the law.

4).... ati bebe lo



Author wrote:



Of course I am delighted over Etteh’s sudden resignation but as far as I am concerned, there’s nothing to celebrate yet.



Obviously, how can you celebrate when the actions of some people will results to more than 100 000 deaths yearly. When some families cannot spend 1 dollar a day at the same time that one idi ot is keeping OVER 10 billion US dollars since the gulf war of 1991. And nobody is asking him. How much will that money be now sef?

Author wrote:


With David Mark as the Senate President and Musa Yar’Adua as the President, can we honestly say that our nation is secure?



Please tell David Mark that I have more than enough mobile phones in my closet now. Yeye man. Tell him how honored I would feel if he goes down with the woman he so much loved: Mrs. Due-Process.

Author wrote:

I wonder what would be in the mind of this Theology student.



Do you mean to write: THIEFOLOGY?


Yar Adua's exit (voluntarily or thru one of those SC's popular judgements) could be the catalyst that would initiate the historical turning point of our history.

Na me dey write:
http://aderinola.wordpress.com

Adeola Aderounmu lives in Sweden. He is the author of THE ENTRAPMENT OF A NATION

Mikhail said...

I agree with most of the points raised in this article except the highlighted:

It is quite unfortunate that Nigerians are jubilating instead of planning how to remove every Etteh from the service. Honestly speaking, the profound problem is not Etteh but the system in place that often breeds Ettehairstyle. This is what every Nigerian should focus on. This is what should be our chewing words as from now. >



We keep referring to some nebulous system forgetting that people create the systems in which they live and as far as one person can rise above the system no one else has an excuse.

The plain truth is that people have already made up their mind what they would and as someone else remarked in another article "the spotlight does not get rid of our inadequacies, it only highlights them", (my paraphrase). Let us stop blaming systems and address the root of corruption that is potentially in all of us. Etteh cannot blame anybody but herself and the same for all us.

Oproko said...

I agree totally with all points raised above, no human system is free of aberrations though.
Nigerians should also learn the power of a vote, this apathy towards elections maybe because of all the riggings going on, is also a factor. People should stand up and be counted.
we've just given up on the Nigerian system and let anyone be put in position of authority by not voting at all.
Because voters will refuse to queue up in the sun/rain only for the election to be manipulated, so i guess folk just sit home with this "na them, them" while the country dies from inefficiency, gross incompetence and corruption.

VOR said...

Aproko,

Where were you during the April elections?
In the April elections, Nigerians DID NOT just sit at home, they tried to vote, they were PREVENTED from voting, with thugs aided by police and other security personnel intimidating voters and dealing with those who attempted to prevent them from carting away ballot boxes.

Nigerians were killed, severely injured and wounded all because they wanted to exercise their right to vote.
Majority of Nigerians do participate in elections, they do go out to vote, in fact I will say voter turn out in Nigeria is better than here in the UK. However, wanting to vote, going out to vote, in Nigeria does not mean one is allowed the right to vote .

Oguguo Yakere said...

Adeola ,

Ku ododo oro, Ojare! Maku maku ijo wo ni ko ni ku. O ye ki a so oto oro fun ara wa! Ki lo de? Iru Orile ede wo ni tiwa yi?

(transliteration)
Greetings for good talk. When will the obvious not happen even as we wish otherwise. We ought to tell ourselves the truth! So what? What kind of country is this of ours?

If we don't call a spade a spade nothing will change. I am begging to feel that some of us have retained the good lessons we learnt from our good parents.

You really cracked my ribs with yours above which you wrote in response to the well thought out points of the author. I agree with both the author and you.

The truth needs to be told as is. Sugar coating, or even political correctness will not help us. Those criminals need to be brought to justice, retrospectively. Yes!!

Don Juan-Carlos ABRAXAS (III) said...

Hi, folks!

Maybe I am naive, or simplistic. But, I keep thinking that, if I was Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (UMY'A), I would publicly acknowledge the flaws in the 2007 general elections, and call for a repeat of the elections at all levels (federal, states, and local government), so as to revalidate the eligibility, or otherwise, of current holders of public offices.

I am sure, with such an approach, it should be possible for UMY'A to decisively win his mandate from Nigerians in a free and fair setting, over and above any of his competitors: Okotie, Buhari, Atiku, Ojukwu, Utomi, Kalu, Bafarawa, et al.

Of course, a key success factor for credible, free, and fair elections in Nigeria is the complete re-engineering of INEC. It should be possible to complete the reformation and transformation of INEC by mid-2008, and have general elections by October 2008, with inauguration in January 2009, signalling the end of the Fourth Republic, and also ushering in the Fifth Republic.

I believe, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua eminently qualifies to be the first president of Nigeria's Fifth Republic. Historically, he would be the second and last president of Nigeria's Fourth Republic if this idea of conducting fresh elections is given serious considerations.

Muchas gracias.

Don Juan-Carlos ABRAXAS (III)

Mulan said...

Don Abraxas,

This option is not too naive, not even far fetched

In fact it is downright practical and very credible

But there are powers behind and bigger than UMYA

The question therefore is; Will they agree?

godfather said...

I like to dream and also dream that my dream becomes a reality! :D