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Author Name: Ifeanyi Izeze
Number of articles: 174

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Nigeria: Kanti Bello - When A Senator Decides To Be Openly Biased?
Author: Ifeanyi Izeze | March 31, 2010



The expressed disposition of Senator Kanti Bello at the floor of the Senate on Monday 29th March, 2010, during the screening of Dr Dora Akunyili as a minister nominee could best be described as disgraceful and disgusting with all due respect to the well-honoured Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. When a senator cannot control his emotions and ethnic prejudice even when he should have been aware that the proceedings were being transmitted live on several television channels, goes a long way to show how such a lawmaker must have been contributing to debates on issues that had to do with people who maintained different opinions from his. A senator, near Kanti Bello, at the heat of the Niger Delta crisis was bold and âpatrioticâ enough to ask that it will be better the military wipe out the entire people of the Niger Delta than for them to hold the entire country ransom. The question is, was Senator Bello not a part of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that debated and agreed to transmit power in acting capacity to the then Vice President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan? If he was, then why discolor somebody who was bold and patriotic enough to ask the nation to tow that path as a panacea for averting or rather reversing the dangerous cleavage that was developing along ethnic and sectional lines? How can a senator of the Federal Republic reduce himself to house wivesâ fables by forcing Dr Akunyili to agree by fear that she cooked and undertook other domestic chores for the First Lady, Turai Yarâadua, which may even include personally attending to the president himself? Even if somebody somewhere asked Hon Bello to say such thing, does the senator not have his own discretions? Haba Honourable! Senator Bello in his desperate attempt to cast Dr Akunyili in bad light goofed terribly. He even committed more heinous un ânationalistic, divisive and unpatriotic offence which was clear to everybody that watched the telecast of the proceedings. Is he a senator representing any of the constituencies in Anambra state or anywhere in the entire southeast? How come that the very intelligent people of Anambra did not see any other senator but Kanti Bello to route a protest of uneven distribution of federal governmentâs appointments and elective offices to the senate president? How can he claim to be more concerned about the injustice, welfare and spread of appointments in Anambra than the distinguished senators from that state or even the geopolitical zone? Senate Bello should actually face the senate ethics and disciplinary committee to explain to the Senate President and the entire senate how he took possession of a petition allegedly sent to the senate and which was addressed to the senate president. Conscience is an open wound and truth can heal it. Senator Bello should in his wisdom answer the following question: Which is more patriotic or rather nationalistic: Asking the federal executive council to do the right thing in the instance of the obvious manipulation of President Yarâaduaâs health issues to save the nation from the dangerous slide along ethnic lines? Or Kanti Belloâs agenda to pitch one section of Anambra state against the other with his campaign of marginalization and concentration of federal appointments and elective offices in Anambra central? A proverb in my village says that when a man thinks he is smarter than everyone else, in his smartness, he exposes his folly. The senator actually bungled the plan handed over to him to execute against Akunyiliâs clearance. He should have first presented the case of his alleged concentration of elective and appointed offices in Anambra central before Doraâs boy- boy work in Turaiâs kitchen and maybe Yarâaduaâs bedroom. That may have worked better. There could have been better ways to punish Akunyili for saving the nation from the embarrassing situation at the Presidency. It would have still produce the same result if covert measures were adopted rather than the ethnic warlord approach preferred by Senator Bello. He only succeeded in wining more sympathies for Dora who has undisputably turned out to be stronger and this will not diminish in any way whether she goes through the screening or not. Meanwhile, Senator Bello has other more serious matters to explain not only to the senate but to the entire country. He was last yearâs Amirul Hajj and he is yet to tell Nigerians why he was stoned and beaten in the Holy Land, Saudi Arabia. As last yearâs Hajj leader, Kanti Bello thought and acted different by dabbling into the sensitive issue of weighing of pilgrims luggage. Who sent him to do that? Where did he derive the authourity to enforce 40 kilogramm weight on all pilgrim? Or that no pilgrim will be flown home until their luggage is weighed and put on the same aircraft as the pilgrim? If Amirul Hajj, the representative of the head of state will entangle himself with matters of weighing and airlift of pilgrimsâ luggages, it should not therefore surprise anybody that he chose to tell Nigerians the âvery closeâ relationship between Dora Akunyili and the First Family. If you look at the Hajj incident which involved the senator and pilgrims, mainly from his native Katsina who gave him a beating and smashed his convoy of vehicles, there was hardly anyone to blame but Senator Kanti Bello himself especially for his unseemly and insultive outbursts against the pilgrims. As was rightly captured by a public commentator, âIn Kantiâs stoning incident and scenes of embarrassing demonstrations by Nigerian pilgrims in the holy land, there are important lessons for a government that experiments the mixing of politics and religion. Senator Kanti Bello may be a charismatic politician in his native Katsina. That does not now guarantee him a license for the authouritarian, ruthless and stubborn enforcement of his unpopular views on Nigeriaâs pilgrims. If you look at the conduct of the same responsibility by the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole the previous, it is hard not to give due credit to the younger politician for his shrewdness and a better branding or do I say maturity.â What else shall we say? Senator Kanti Bello is fast evolving his inbred âkantankerousâ nature which obviously suggested his name in the first instance. But the real worry now is that he continues to sit in the hallow chamber of the Senate thereby bringing smears to the entire House first from Saudi Arabia and now at home. IFEANYI IZEZE, ABUJA (iizeze)

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M. Z. Imam    Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia    March 31, 2010
Izeze you have spoken well at the beginning but ended up like your subject. It was enough to admonish the 'distinguish senator' on his utterances on skewed distribution of political office in Anambra state and probably, the alleged 'boy-boy' act of Lady Dora at Aso Rock.

However, you skidded into similar line by bringing the issue of Hajj of which Senator Bello did a herculean job by trying to tidy up the image of Nigeria during the exercise. Do you know what Nigerian pilgrims go through on their way back? 3-4 nights in the open at the airport is considered 'normal' and this is mainly because people carry more than the allocated 40 kg in the main baggage and 10 kg for hand luggage. His intentions were great and should it be up held, Nigerians may be spending about 10 days less during the exercise. I hope you would stick to what you know.
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