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Southern ministers doing dirty jobs

By Tony Afejuku
27 November 2020   |   1:54 am
Nigeria is gradually earning the reputation that it should not earn. This country is becoming famous globally as a country of lies and wickedness. In this country, there is so much hunger adding to the pains citizens suffer on account of the lucid corruption the so-called political leaders.....

Nigeria is gradually earning the reputation that it should not earn. This country is becoming famous globally as a country of lies and wickedness. In this country, there is so much hunger adding to the pains citizens suffer on account of the lucid corruption the so-called political leaders swim and luxuriate in. Indeed, our citizens and peasants wallow in poverty and suffering of the maximum category and kind that their corrupt so-called political leaders and their hangers-on of various categories and kinds subject them to be conscious of in concerning and souring ways that degrade them absolutely. And it does not take a thorough analysis or even an analysis devoid of subjectivity to know how really bad Nigeria is now at the present time.

Time after time and day by day our newspapers and respective columnists report the goings-on in the land and examine them in different ways that call to question the patriotic feelings and concerns of the ministers in government at the centre. To what patriotic guidance do the ministers, especially Southern ministers, commit themselves, we must truthfully ask? Their conduct in government, to say the least, is repulsive and devoid of patriotism. As a matter of fact, this observation is, unhappily, true. And I will not hesitate to add that their concern for self rather than that for our country or for others rule and control their behaviour. In other words, their egoistic instincts predominate over their altruistic and patriotic marks and considerations.

The champions of these absurd instincts are clearly without question four Southern-born ministers who are proving themselves – or have proved themselves – to be the hatchet ministers of this central government and administration. These are the Southern ministers who we will not be wrong to call “doing-the- dirty-jobs- ministers” of the presidency, of this presidency. I must name them and defend the appellation under the term(s) of my authority. The Southern ministers are Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, Mr. Timipre Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum, and Mr. Chukwumeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State Education.

The first named hatchet minister, Chris Nwabueze Ngige, came to the limelight in Nigeria as a former PDP governor of Anambra State. Then he presented himself as a counterblast to his political godfathers in the persons of the Uba brothers. Once he became the governor of Anambra, his state of origin, he set himself to do away with his benefactors who allegedly committed him into deadly oaths of allegiance and fidelity at the then highly volatile Okija Shrine of winged creatures whose appetence was to bring doom to betrayals of their oaths. Ngige’s betrayal and belligerence then were anchored we were made to believe on a strong Catholic Christian faith. The Alor, Idemili South Local Government, native was the most talked about politician and governor in the South Eastern Nigeria geo-political zone then for the right reasons. He was seen and accepted as the governor of the people and masses who believed, rightly or wrongly, that his faith put to sleep the bellicose power of the Okija deity and its adherents. Until he was kicked out of government house, in that his short tempestuous spell, his reputation soared and flew in the skies beyond Anambra State.

Now, the people’s governor of yester-years is now allegedly the highly wicked Minister of Labour and Employment, locking our public universities and combating needlessly the most patriotic union – the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) – in Nigeria. He can be nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing of myriad colours. We will not be wrong or off the mark to call him a political pretender, an unholy political pretender, who his South Eastern people cannot but unhappily detest as a political repressor of our educational advancement who has not in any way played the role of a patriotic conciliator in ASUU’s ‘combat’ with the government that he is serving as a doer of dirty jobs. Why is he happy to do this? What genuine peace or genuine reconciliation has he brought to the table in his position as expected or supposed fountain-head of disinterested or conciliating solvers of labour and employment issues, agitations and agitators?

And, in addition to the above, I must ask him now: Why can university professors not be remunerated far better than ministers or senators or the highest paid civil servants or generals in the Army? Who know book pass university professor, as the typical Warri market-woman would ask?

Let me skip further remarks on this minister and direct attention at the little known Minister of State Education. The other day Mr. Nwajiuba, Ngige’s fellow South Easterner – although from Ehime Mbano in Imo State, unlike Ngige – called university lecturers, derogatorily, farmers. For some time now, this young man who is just donning his political wings has really been bad-mouthing his betters with the strong bent toward disinformation or misapplied information. What pushed him to bad-mouth, slander and libel university teachers the way he did? Was it love of private fortunes promised him? Or was it the force of his political backers outside his region that compelled him to jettison his moral character and power for material forces of injustice and quest for what will not coincide with his genuine feelings and wishes and those of his Igbo people and all patriots of our land? These questions are apt and pertinent. Mr. Adamu Adamu, the authentic Minister of Education, as far as I can tell, has not bad-mouthed ASUU and university lecturers, whom he treats with utmost courtesy and respect. Or is he pretending, and allowing the Southern ministers to do the dirty jobs appointed them? Those who willingly antagonize ASUU and university lecturers are the two named Southern ministers, two Igbos of the South East in a central government where Northern ministers, by and large, keep mum and decline to do dirty jobs.

Let me be more explicit in another direction of Southern ministers who engage in dirty jobs. Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and Mr.Timipre Sylva are Southern ministers as we well know, from Rivers State and Bayelsa State, respectively. Both of them were former high profile governors of their respective states. Readers should happily (or unhappily) read the following quotation on them:

“Two sons of Niger Delta, one is from Rivers, the other is from Bayelsa. One is in charge of Transportation, the other is in charge of Petroleum.One is constructing a railway to Niger Republic while the rail track in his home state is dilapidated. The other is transporting crude oil to Niger Republic for refining while the refinery in his Niger Delta is in comatose.

Such irony of leadership!”
Is this a matter for rejoicing? The answer, the answer, is blowing in the Niger Delta and Southern Nigeria of dilapidated structures and severe and tragic environmental and human degradation despite their abundant natural and human resources. In any case, an explicit and immediate duty of all patriots who are patriots is to react justly and patriotically to our real idea of love of country. We must regain our courage, our bravery and boldness and feel ourselves new selves from what we were yesterday. On this score, I must appreciate the ENDSARS activists. Dem try.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.