Friday, 29th September 2023

Understanding the 10 Nigerians who broke Nigeria’s walls

By Martins Oloja
06 August 2016   |   4:30 am
It is quite inscrutable, why more and more trees have been falling so frequently on trees in our wonderful country, where forces of darkness apparently conspire daily to demonize our 17-year - old democracy and its concomitant governance culture.
Martins Oloja

Martins Oloja

It is quite inscrutable, why more and more trees have been falling so frequently on trees in our wonderful country, where forces of darkness apparently conspire daily to demonize our 17-year – old democracy and its concomitant governance culture. That is why the inconclusive issue of higher education that has been dominant on this page will still not feature this week. In our setting, when trees fall on trees, we remove the topmost first until the last one.

It is, therefore, still incredible how the current session of the National Assembly will, for instance, control the damage that reported impurities in their system have inflicted on their already battered image. The Senate that has been smarting from the scandal of its leadership appearing in the dock of the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged undeclared assets and forgery of its Rules has been smeared too by the ubiquitous budget padding scandal. Constituency projects breaking stories that should elicit benefits to the constituents in a democracy have seriously blighted Speaker Dogara and his men.

And the ‘gunmen’ inside Nigeria’s governing party are generally believed to be artfully devising some strategy to deal ruthlessly with the principal suspects who allegedly ‘stole’ the leadership show the other day. It is sad that the biggest casualty is the stillborn 2016 budget that the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti would have des000cribed as a dead body that curiously got involved in an accident. Now, confusion has broken bones in Abuja and there is “double wahala for the dead body and the owner of dead body”.

If the 2016 budget can’t perform, the angry and loquacious Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin and his colleagues will have to be blamed for the monumental impurities in the document . Senator Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara now in the eye of the storm, should note that their leadership of Nigeria’s legislature has been massively tainted. They need some soul searching about the violated chambers as it is unclear now how democracy can survive in the country without a credible legislature.

The 10 Nigerians to fix Nigeria’s broken walls: The context and the lost history…
My experience with this article as it appeared on this page last week has reinforced clarion calls on the authorities to reintroduce History now in the school curriculum. There were many responses to the article, which showed clearly that most of our young readers apparently lack some depth about concepts and critical national issues. Many of our young graduates do not understand contextual analysis of restructuring that now dominates media space. Sadly, they don’t know anything about 56 years of Nigeria’s independence and 50 years after the “soldiers of fortune” hit Nigeria’s politics.

A story is told of how a young graduate from Ikenne in Ogun State who has never heard about the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is, however, aware of a young footballer Obafemi Martins. It is just gratifying to note that all the elders that responded to the article had a clear understanding of the import of the message, which should have borne an alternative title, 10 Nigerians to ask if Nigeria fails…That is the context and the history missed. I wonder why most young people could not decode a message that it is just too late to expect the 10 prominent Nigerians to fix the walls they actually broke. That is why I would like to revisit the foundations of the special 10 Nigerians to show how and when they had served their fatherland how the land has lost some virtue from their service. Let’s navigate how:

Major General Muhamadu Buhari (73) – Governor of Northeastern State, 1975-1976; Governor, Borno State, 1976; Minister Petroleum & Natural Resources, 1976-1978; Nigeria’s Head of State 1983-1985; President 2015-to date
General Olusegun Matthew Obasanjo (79) Minister Works & Housing, 1974-1975; Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters, 1975-1976; Head of State 1976-1979; President 1999- 2007.
Lt. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (77) Chief of Army Staff 1979 -1980; Minister of Defence (1999-2003). He is a successful investor with substantial investments in Maritime, oil & Gas and Telecommunications, etc.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (74) Chief of Army Staff 1984-1985; Head of State 1985-1993; he is a member of the PDP that ruled Nigeria from 1999-2015. His business interests are not so documented.
Lt. General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (73) – Director General, National Security Organization 1985-1986; Chief of Army Staff, 1993; National Security Adviser (NSA) 1999-2006; 2010; Defence Minister, 2014-2015…

General Abdusalami Alhaji Abubakar (74) Chief of Defence Staff 1977-1998; Head of State 1998-1999 – Handed over to President Obasanjo on May 29, 1999.
Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari (91) Minister, Economic Development, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction (1970-1971), Minister of Finance (1971-1975); President of Nigeria 1979-1983; Buhari’s men overthrew his government and General Buhari sacked his democratic government.

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan (58) Governor of Bayelsa State 2005-2007; Vice President 2007-2010; President 2010-2015. His business interests are not on record. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (69) Deputy Director, Nigerian Customs Service till 1989. Governor-elect 1998 and drafted to be Vice President 1999- 2007. He has business interests in Maritime mid-stream sector of the oil industry (Shipping) from NICOTES to INTELS…He is generally believed to be very wealthy.

Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu (64) an accountant, worked for American companies- Arthur Anderson, Deloitte. Haskins & Sells, GTE Services; Worked with Mobil Nigeria; Governor of Lagos State 1999-2007; He is a National Leader of the governing Party, All Progressives Congress (APC), His business interests are not so recorded but associated with media platforms, oil &gas and energy, etc, He is the most influential political figure in South West and generally believed to have invested in many political office holders and leaders even in the North. He is recognized as one of the political figures that paved the way for the emergence of President Buhari in 2015.
Between Abayomi Oluwole & the Pen-robbers in Abuja.

You should be wondering what Abayomi Oluwole has got to do with the few state actors who daily give this country a bad name as one of the most fantastically corrupt countries in the world today. Hold your breath, Citizen Abayomi is not one of the infamous ‘budget padders’ and hardworking looters of our treasury in Abuja and the 36 state capitals. Nor does he work for any of them. The 40-year-old man is not a prominent Nigerian but he is very significant. Pastor Rick Warren in his classic, The Purpose Driven Life identifies two classes of people in life: the prominent and the significant. He says some people are prominent through the media but they may not be significant. And there are some others that may not be prominent at all but quite significant even in the eye of the people.

The American cleric says God who is not interested in prominent people, is daily looking for significant people who will remake the world…Abayomi is one of such significant Nigerians at such a time like this. This is my story: On Saturday July 30, 2016, I travelled to Abuja through the Lagos domestic airport (MM2) commissioned by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services in 2008. And in a rush to make the First Nation airline’s 11:30am flight to Abuja, I left my frontier office handbag, which contained money, two cheque books, my international passports, (old and new), two iPhone 5 handsets, a Toyota car particulars, etc. on the floor of the departure hall. I did not remember the handbag until we were told to prepare for landing at the Abuja airport. Even when I called Mr Remi Ladigbolu, Bi-Courtney’s Communications Manager at the airport, I was quite disturbed, especially about my passport. Remi told me to list the items in the bag for an inquiry at the security posts of the airport.

I was composing an SMS to him (Remi) when a call from an operative of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who later identified herself as Hajia interrupted my composition. She asked, “Are you Martins Oloja? She queried if I flew through the MM2 that day and I interrupted her with the content of the SMS her call had disrupted. She told me that a good Nigerian who found my handbag had deposited it at the FAAN’s airport security administration’s post. She asked me to collect the bag at the security post whenever I returned. I did not tell her any details about the content. I returned to MM2 on Tuesday and behold every item in the bag was intact. I asked for the identity of the good Nigerian who found the bag. I was sad when told the person was not on duty. I then left a call-card and requested that the person should please, call me whenever he returned.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received Abayomi’s call while I was paying for some books at the Glendora Bookshop, about 30 metres away from the security screening post. I told him to meet me there and I saw a lanky man who looks like a 25 year old, but says he is actually 40. I followed him to his office where I discovered that he works as a cleaner for a private cleaning company, SPAKLEEN that Bi-Courtney had hired to take care of airport, MM2. I met some of the managers in the office who were quite pleased that I called in, to appreciate them. The story of citizen. Abayomi, who hails from Egbe Yagba West Local Government of Kogi State, shows again that we are not all thieves and ‘padders’. When the David Cameron’s of this world would proclaim that Nigeria is a fantastically corrupt country, they should note that only very few public officers give us this bad name, after all. I am very proud to associate myself with a significant Nigerian, Abayomi, who is a sharp contrast to the prominent execu-thieves and legislooters in Abuja and 36 state capitals. It is 40 cheerful garlands to Abayomi who reinforces my belief again in my dear country: That there are fantastically good Nigerians too!

Inside Stuff Grammar School:
Mediocrity Vs Mediocre again.
This school has discovered that despite the post here in the beginning, many users still confuse the use of “mediocrity” with “mediocre”. Please, note again that “mediocrity” is used as an Abstract Noun and Common Noun respectively. So, if you want to refer to a person who puts up a mediocre performance, the person is described too as a “mediocrity” (common noun), not “a mediocre”. In the same vein, the performance itself is mediocrity (abstract noun). So, use “mediocre” only as an adjective, a qualifier.
Examples: There are too many mediocrities (not mediocres) in this company. 2. The trouble with the company is mediocre performance.
*Sorry for the devil in the printing detail last week, when “Grammar” was spelt as “Grammer”. We are so sorry.