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Author Name: O.S Aniagboso
Number of articles: 1
For over 70 days, the Nigerian state has been left rudderless after the president absconded to Saudi... (1) Comment

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Nigeria Leadership Crises: The Paul Dike Option
Author: O.S Aniagboso | February 03, 2010

For over 70 days, the Nigerian state has been left rudderless after the president absconded to Saudi Arabia for emergency medical treatment. Since then, the president has not been seen in public and his exact location remain unknown. Government officials have remained evasive and dishonest concerning the health status and whereabouts of the president. Nigerians were only told that the president is suffering from pericaditis(inflammation of the heart). We also know that the president has been battling a chronic kidney ailment which has made him dependent on dialysis and has forced him to make countless sudden trips to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. It is therefore not far-fetched to conclude that the president is in a terminal state and may never be able to resume duties. The president is reportedly on life support and there have been speculations regarding the authenticity of the signature appended to the supplementary budget and the frail voice that was heard on the BBC. It has been repeated in several quarters that the president should not be persecuted for being ill because as humans, we have no control over our health. While I agree with that, the truth is that majority of Nigerians have been sympathetic to the plight of the president and have been praying fervently for the president’s recovery. What Nigerians find appalling is the secrecy surrounding the president’s medical battles and the failure to transmit power according to constitutional provisions.. Government officials have done everything in their power to keep Nigerians in the dark regarding the president’s health status. One question that has continually sprang up is whether Nigerians have the right to know the health status of their president. The answer to this question is a resounding yes. If the citizens of a county are going to put their fate in the hands of a man, they have every right to know that the man is capable and fit to competently pilot their affairs. So for the president’s henchmen led by the bumbling attorney general to shamelessly state that the president’s health status is a personal information, is not only insulting but horrifying. The Attoney general , Michael Aondokaa is a metaphor for everything that is wrong with this country. I have consistenly followed the antics and utterances of this man since he was appointed , especially during this present crises. Aondokaa’s blunder and double speak is legendary. This is a man that also said that Yaradua can rule from any part of the world, infact that can be extended to mean that he can rule from any planet. He has made a fool of himself throughout this debacle by standing logic on its head and exposing his ignorance of the constitution. Why should a half-baked lawyer be made the attorney general in a nation seething with thousands of eminently qualified, experienced and competent legal luminaries? Perhaps I should first ask why a frail, reluctant and uncharismatic man should occupy the number one position in a country where there are thousands of well educated, visionary and vibrant candidates who are brimming with ideas on how to develop this country. That exactly sums up what is wrong with our dear country. I will not waste time and space by focusing on personalities, instead I will be reflecting on how to salvage Nigeria from the doldrums of despair and hopelessness. How did we get to this sorry state? How did an ailing nation end up in the hands of an ailing president? The answer is obvious to most discernng Nigerians. We have an elite political class that is bent on perpetually colonizing and ruthlessly exploiting the rest of the citizenry. They are the reason why good people do not get the chance to occupy ladership positions in tis country. They will go to any length to make sure that their narrow selfish interests are protected and if it means foisting a dying man on the country, so be it. In the past weeks, several organizations, notably the Save Nigeria group have trouped out to demand an end to this impasse. Several eminent personalities have also added their voice to the clamour for the president to hand over to his deputy. Some shady personalities have come out as well to align with the Nigerian masses. The peak of this drama occurred last week when former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to rewrite history though his lame attempt to exonerate himself from this shameful situation that he helped to create. While the calls for due process and common sense are commendable, it is still clear that Nigeria needs urgent salvation. The major problem with the country is not the absence of President Umaru Musa Yaradua, but the dearth of responsible leadership in the country. Afterall, our president never inspired great hope or aspiration in us; very few expected him to perform. The hasty and crooked manner he was recruited into the race and imposed on the populace through a very flawed election left few in doubt of his unpreparedness. With time, he didn’t disappoint the cynics as all the promises he made went unfulfilled. He cut a very uninspiring image as he continued to sluggishly traverse the polity, rushing out of the country at the shortest notice under various pretexts to attend to his medical needs. While he was busy attending to his needs, the country’s needs were neglected. Almost three years into his tenure, nothing has come out of the 7 point agenda that Nigerians were inundated with during his campaigns and early presidency. In recent times, the president’s henchmen has been touting the successful amnesty program as his only achievement. The Niger delta condition is still precarious and it is too early to declare success. Nigeria’s status in the international commnity has never been so dim, and Nigerians have continued to watch helplessly as our profile plummets So beyond adherence to the country’s constitution and handing over power to the next man, the real issue of visionary leadership still persists. Who is going to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of the rapacous elites who are perched at the helms of the major political parties, bleeding the nation dry and hoping to continue pillaging our commonwealth. Vice president Goodluck Jonathan is definitely not the man. While the vice president’s track record of unwavering loyalty is admirable, it will not usher in the urgent progress this country needs. It does not appear that the vice president has the guts to call the bluff of the PDP hawks. We need a leader whose first loyalty would be to the long suffering masses of this well endowed nation. If the vice president takes over , the subsequent pattern of events is predictable. He will retain the inept Federal executive council members, maintain the status quo and then by 2011, step down for the next stooge that will be picked by The PDP vultures. The antecedents of the Senate president, David Mark cleary shows that Nigeria will not fare any better under his leadership. Despite his long years of public service, he has not been associated with any patriotic act or visionary policy. In short, David Mark has not made any positive contribution to nation building. The behaviour of most legislators throughout this imbroglio have left much to be desired. The opposition figures in the national assembly have remained mute while this leadership crises has been brewing. The legislators have continued to employ political subterfuge and constitutional misinterpretatons to bamboozle Nigerians and to avoid their responsibilities.Some characters in the Federal executive council who are positioning themselves for the number one or number two job have not distinguished themselves as responsible and patriotic leaders in all their years of service. Their stewardship will only lead to more of the same thing and Nigerians certainly do not want things to remain the same. We want an urgent change, a complete overhaul of the polity. Nigerians need someone that will shake the system and dislodge the evil rogues in power. It is true that we have had the misfortune of being ruled by a succession of leaders who have woefully failed the country. But that doesn’t mean that Nigeria cannot produce a good leader or good legislators. There are lot of credible and honest candidates who can improve the fortunes of this country and the lot of the masses if given the chance. Most Nigerians are discerning enough and can sepeate the wheat from the chaff. In other words, if there is a level platform, Nigerians wil be able to elect good leaders. But our past experience has shown that having a credible electoral process in this country is an uphill task. President Umaru Yaradua failed to live up to his promise of reforming the electoral system. The Justice Mohammed Uwais led panel on electoral reforms made viable recommendations that would sanitize our electoral system but predictably, the executive and legislative arms have deftly swept the report under the carpet. In the absence of a transparent electoral system, good governance and economic progress would be unattainable. The man that presided over the worst elections in the history of this country is still comfortably on the saddle, getting ready to pull another stunt in Anambra state in a few days time. Transparency and good governance will not come on a platter of gold. It is becoming abundandtly clear that Nigerians have to employ drastic measures to reclaim their birthright. The fat pigs that have been running the affairs of this nation for decades will not willingly relinquish their hold on power. Forty four years ago,precisely on the 15th day of January,1966, a group of young military officers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu carried out a coup against the Nigeria first republic which led to the killings of some top government officials and army officers. The coup triggered a series of bloodbath and violence that culminated in the Nigerian civil war which has remained a blight in the history of our nation. The military officers were rightly fed up with the excesses and rising corruption amongst the political class. Their reasons were patriotic and idealistic but their means was ruthless and it backfired. Sadly, those same issues that compelled these young military officers to embark on the perilous mission are still rife today. The greed, embezzlement, corruption, and misrule of the political class has risen to phenomenal proportions coupled with the impunity with which they ride rough-shod over the citizenry. Today, more than ever before, we are in dire need of a saviour who will rescue the masses from the thieving political class and sanitize the system. The dangers of military intervention in governance is widely acknowledged and it might sound foolhardy for anyone to imagine us going down that route again given our past experience. But the truth is that these are no ordinary times; these are desperate times and desperate times call for desperate measures. The implications of doing nothing and sustaining the status quo will be far worse. We have a ruling party which have done nothing but cause tremendous hardship and economic deprivation for the masses of this country while cornering all the wealth for themselves . This same political party has sworn to hold on to power for sixty years and they have the means to keep their promise: a corrupt INEC that has a dubious chairman and an ailing police force. If they have succeeded in leaving us in this pitiable condition after just ten years, I shudder to imagine what will be our fate after 60years. We may be worse than Somalia and Sudan or worse still, disintegrate completely and disappear from the world map. We have to reflect on the urgency of the present situation : Nigeria has been on a downward spiral most especially, in the past two years. Our infrastructure remain comatose, the education sector is in shambles and the economy has dwindled. Instead of creating jobs, we are losing them as the few industries we had have continued to move to neighbouring countries. The financial institutions which have always provided the bulk of the jobs for our graduates is in distress and thousands are losing their jobs. Our external reserve is being depleted and federal and state governments have resumed massive borrowing to finance their white elephant projects and boost their campaign warchest . Security is at an all time low as criminals and kidnappers are having a field day terrorizing the beleaguered populace with impunity. Our profile in the international community has plummeted steeply and we are being treated with scorn and contempt. Nigeria has never had it worse and our prospects has never been so bleak. We need urgent help. We need someone that will sanitize the polity, dislodge the carnivorous cabal, engineer the much needed constitutional reform which will include the implementation of the Mohammed Uwais electoral panel report. The present legislative body has shown that it is in no position to do this. The political landscape should also be reorganized and the political parties trimmed. Then we can have a credible poll organized by a truly independent and credible electoral body. If this is done, I believe strongly that Nigerians will elect people who are competent,responsible and responsive to the needs of the masses. These new set of genuine leaders will now set out to tackle our avalanche of problems with the unanimous support and cooperation of Nigerians. We are now left with the question: who is in the best position to salvage this nation and implement the agenda I have just listed above. My personal opinion is that the present chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike is best suited to carry out this mission. Several people have made the case for a people’s revolution in Nigeria but such a revolution without the support of the armed foces will be catastrophic and futile. It might have worked in Thailand and the Philippines but Nigerian ruling cabal is ruthless and would kill millions without bating an eyelid. I have taken my time to diligently study the profile of the present Chief of Defence staff and I was greatly impessed with his track record. Paul Dike is miles apart from the military rulers we have had in the past. His antecedents show that he is someone who will not be carried away by the trappings of power; he is someone we can count on to rescue us at this difficult time. This is a well educated, urbane and patriotic officer. He is a consummate professional in every sense of the word and has served this nation diligently. He has an unblemished track record and has handled several vital and sensitive government assignments in an excellent manner. Through sheer dint of hardwork, he diligently rose to the pinnacle of his profession. Air Chief marshall Paul Dike, the first Nigerian to attain the rank of Chief marshal in the Airforce is eminently qualified and can be trusted to assume the mantle of leadership at this difficult time and pilot the overhaul of our crooked polity. Once the necessary reforms are in place, credible elections can be conducted and we will start afresh as a nation on a journey to attain greatness. Nigeria and Nigerians need to start again because the current system is unfair,crooked and evil ; nothing good will come out of it. We need to start again on the platform of equality, respect and fairplay. And Paul Dike is the right man to engineer this process. The most striking thing about this officer is the fact that he is a Nigerian in every sense of the word. He hails from Delta state, was born in Maidugri, schooled in Ogbomosho and Ilorin and is married to a lady from Abeokuta. He is fluent in all major Nigerian languages. I believe that Nigerians have every reason to call on this bright officer to rise to the occasion and save Nigeria from the impending ruin and perpetual perdition.

(1) Comment


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fela    pomona, usa    February 03, 2010
this has nothing to do with the topic, just want to vent my splinn on the issue of lagos state trying to better the lot of its indigenes and the gworo crunching so called minister of works is trying to dampen the enthusiasm and work fevor of the dynamic forward thinking lagos state governor hon. Fashola, claiming the badagry express way is a federal road and shouldnt be developed by the dynamic goveror,

i tell you what, if i was fashola i will go ahead and do what i want in my state. this is no yar adua affair where supposedly incapcitated vegetable is been proped up by some nothern leaders to hang in dead or alive as president cos the likes of aondoakaa are looting and robbing the countrys treasury in day light and dearing any one to challenge them.

by the way mallam gworo crunching minister of work, you all are mostly known as do nothing officials if you are so concern on the development of nigerian roads why dont you ask your frog face former minister of works the so called aneninh what happened to the vast sum of 300 billion naira supposedly in eight years to fix nigerian roads and the roads are nothing but death traps killing hundreds of nigerians daily. the so called ministers, and commisioners should be made to drive these roads and experience the suffering the common man faces daily.

Sitting comfortably in his posh office in abuja and trying to stop the progress of a 20th century forward thinking and performing governor. shame on you. Eko o ni baje.
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