Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A HEARTLESS GOVERNMENT. A TACTLESS PRESIDENT.

HEARTLESS: Listening to the President speak during the last media chat I dare not say my President is stupid. No, no, I dare not. The statement uttered that corruption is not the number one problem of this nation can only come from a head that thinks nothing but ogogoro. I have not seen corruption so pronounced in my years of existence in this country than it is under this ‘transformation agenda”. How can just few people that are employed by us, paid from our collective revenue tell us we are not seeing what they are seeing?’ Ask the Coordinating minister of the Economy’ the President retorted; that is, talk to the Prime Minister, Ms Okonjo-Iweala.


The recent Oduahgate is long expected when many of us did not deem it fit to talk about the shams that are being done at the airport, especially Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), and we started praising Ms Oduah for her adroitness. Good work my foot. Billions were quoted for the renovations but what do we have to show for it: Leaking roofs, dark passage way to the tarmac, nauseating toilets, I know we all are thanking God that finally our airports are getting the much desired facelift that will make them to be regarded as world standard but in all we are much scammed than served, I think, this time worse than in the past. Billions have gone but our roofs are still leaking. They should have stuck to the earlier claim that Madam is rich enough to buy the armored cars worth 225 million naira from her personal purse, after weeks of noise from Nigerians, we would have swallowed that better. I would not want to talk about the blood sucking vampire in her because how can a reasonable person submit that these excusable air crashes are God’s doing even when we all know that God does not do evil. I am waiting to know the outcome of all the Administrative and Investigative Panels set up to investigate an obvious case of scam that the blind-cum-imbecile could even attest to. Anyway, it is typical of this government’s Transformation Agenda for billions to get missing and not a single pulled off the perpetrators. Oil Subsidy Scam is a current and will be a recurrent example. SURE-P is another, I wonder how Baba Christopher Kolade allowed himself to be so used in this regards. Baba!


They said we are not broke as a nation but only having issues with Cash Flow. Madam Prime Minister, I don’t get. Why do some people try as much as possible to present black as white? Aunty, it is obvious we are in a mess as it has been obviously stated by the Governor of Central Bank and Governors of some states as they said never have their allocation been so delayed and deducted like under the present dispensation.


We have accusations and counter-accusations. The economy is affected by about 400,000 barrels of oil being stolen everyday by oil thieves. One would wonder if the NNPC and the almighty Minister of Petroleum could give us an estimation of barrels of oil being stolen, how come we do not even have an estimate of oil that is legally being taken out of our wells to be refined in other countries. I have searched records I have not found such account anywhere. Please, if anyone has it, I will be glad to have a copy. I looked with so much anger as Ms Diezani fondled herself in front of millions of Nigerians, dipping her arm inside of her blouse and caressing herself during the Subsidy Regime Investigation Panel in the National Assembly and I asked what happened to decency? Was she practically telling the men or whoever on that panel ”let me go free and I service you free”? That attitude could only come from a whore, and that kind of buttresses the insinuations of the great services she renders to Mr President which makes her untouchable.


Promises upon promises but this government is never ready to deliver on anyone of them. Our universities have practically been comatose for months due to the government irresponsibly reneging on the agreement entered into by ASUU and the Federal Government in 2009. “LET YOUR YEA BE YEA IN ALL YOUR DEALINGS WITH ONE ANOTHER”, so says the Bible and one would have believed that after a return from Israel the President would have thought to act in line with the admonition of the Bible in dealing with people. The President, rather than honour agreement, foot-dragged to the point where a life was lost in the bid to finally resolve the crisis, a life taken by a government vehicle, on a road neglected by the government. Professor Iyayi, God bless his soul, paid the ultimate price.


TACTLESS:  Governors have been deified, the G7 Governors most especially. Take Amaechi for instance, he has become more popular than he was before the President picked on him wanting to make him a scapegoat but like the story of the donkey that fell into the well and refused to die shaking off the pieces of earth meant to bury him and turning such to make steps that brought him out of the well. Such is the case of Amaechi. He has used the media so well making him to be seen and read by all and sundry even in the remotest parts of the country and the world at large. I wonder what the aides of the President do. Any student of politics will know that sometimes in politics you court the friendship of your purported enemies in order to drown their popularity. Obasanjo Vs Tinubu and Obansanjo Vs Osoba should be case studies for them. I am using recent events so that the President’s aides will see themselves for the inept clowns they are. In the former, Obasanjo refused to give Tinubu, an opposition Governor, the allocation due to Lagos state on the premise that Lagos state created more local governments than enshrined in the constitution, the intention was to muscle and starve Lagos state of her allocation believing the state will not be able to perform well enough to be credible enough to win the next election so that the almighty PDP will take over the state. Tinubu being a tactful politician sourced funds internally and he left a mark that stands him out, such that even till today Lagos state has become a model for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) that other states in the country look up to, inadvertently making Tinubu a godfather. Rather than Tinubu going into oblivion, Obasanjo’s muscle made him to realize his potentials to go beyond the ordinary. Today, Bola is a political superhero, take it or leave it.


On the other hand, during the 2003 Gubernatorial Election, Ogun state, the homestate of Obasanjo needed to be “captured” by all means to give the sitting President, Obasanjo, the credit of delivering his state to his party. Obasanjo devised what I call “eat from the same pot but poison the enemy” tactics. He went to Ogun state on the day of the election, invited his brother, Osoba, to his home, they ate, chatted and played the game of draft while the election was ongoing. That is, Obasanjo courted Osoba’s friendship and doused his vigour on the day of the election so that he won’t be able to make any last minute moves he might have had up his sleeves.


These current President’s aides are not even trying to rescue their boss’ image from the pit of incompetence where it is currently wallowing. They are making him look so incapable of playing the politics that is expected of him. The years of “wet e” politics are long passed. What is happening in Rivers state is just making Amaechi more prominent because he is not coming back for a re-election so he has nothing to lose in a way but it would have been a plus for the President if he has one more friend in Amaechi. Muscle does not beget friendship especially when you are playing this game called POLITIK.

 
Ms Okonjo-Iweala, when she came during Obasanjo’s government, helped in negotiating many deals that took us out of our deficit quagmire, but lately I do not think this Madame Prime Minister is doing what is right. She is the only one seeing that the economy is good even when her brother in CBN is saying otherwise. Kudos should be given to Obasanjo, though he is a man fraught with  faults, he should however be commended for standing his ground by not allowing anyone to come with CVs to intimidate him and today it is obvious that he himself did some brain work , I think more because he had shoes when he was in the military so nothing must have entered into his system to have gone to affect his thinking to believe that once you have a CV that reads IMF, AFDB, and some numerate skills that do not translate to obvious developments and growth of the common man, then you should be taken as the almighty even when you yourself claimed to have a PhD.

I will urge the President’s aides to let him know that one does not cut a red tape at the foundation laying of a house, but until such a building is completed; one does not talk from both sides of the mouth, such will betray one’s mental acumen when as a sitting President you respond “I don’t give a damn” on national television to an issue bordering on national malaise. They need to arrange his schedule to allow him do some reading and get him books on topical issues bothering on nation building because it is demeaning for the office of the President to refer questions on job creation and national growth to a private individual. “Dangote has said he will help us….”


Please let the President do more brainwork that will translate to national development so that he can salvage his present sorry records.  The world is a civil place where election and re-election is based on records and achievements respectively. And I must confess that people are wiser and will not fall for I HAD NO SHOES the second time.


ADEBAYO COKER

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A VIP'S EXPERIENCE AT A GVIP EVENT

Well, if I have to come back after three months of going AWOL, I might as well come back with a big bang *KABOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM* That’s the big bang right there… Hahahaha *just kidding*
 
The Big Bang is no other thing than the masterclass of an event I was extremely lucky to have attended on the 3rd of November. It was the #ColourfulWorldOfMore Concert organized by Guinness Nigeria. My oh my, that was a Concert!!! In Nigeria, as it is in most places in the world, knowing the right people in the right places will give you access to the right things at the right time…  all I am saying is I got VIP tickets to the Concert – I am just saying, bragging not intended, but if bragging achieved, all well and good. If you are into entertainment and the publicity as well as the promotion of the Concert did not make you want to kill for the tickets, you need to reassess your priorities. All media outlets (both conventional and new) were awash with the news of the “MostColourful Concert of the Year”, and every time I saw the names TuFace, DBanj, Olamide, P-Square, Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Phyno, Chidinma, Flavour, Waje, Tiwa Savage as on the line-up, and DJ Xclusive and DJ Neptunes on the wheels-of-steel and MC Bovi planning to crack our ribs, I knew I just had to get myself tagged, and that was exactly what I did in a VIP way *grins*

Excitedly, Wifey and I graced the occasion and it was an evening of undiluted fun sitting up there in the VIP area munching on our small chops and drinking Malta and Stout (all complimentary for VIPs if you know what I mean), and enjoying a panoramic view of the magnificent stage. Now, let us get down to the matter: the stage lightning, the giant screens, the announcement of the artistes, the ambience, the ticketing, and crowd control was simply world class. Of course, there were issues around crowd control, but that was because some people had no tickets yet they left their houses for the venue, and some people had regular tickets yet they wanted to get into the Hall through the entrance reserved for VIPs and VVIPs. Aside some people losing their phones and wallets in the pushing and shoving at the gates, of which you cannot really blame Guinness, everything else worked like clockwork.
 
Now to the reason we all went there- the Performances. If I forget to mention any of the artistes that actually performed on the night, that is because I cannot remember anything from the performance, so you cannot blame that on me. Olamide was his usual Baddo self, and the rapturous applause he got coming out on stage and later leaving the stage was attestation to the fact that he is the rave of the moment. Ice Prince had stage presence and enough hits to keep the crowd yelling all through his performance, and I believe that his performance of the “VIP” track was specially dedicated to me on the night.  Flavour, Phyno and Burna’s performances were also very energetic and they were able to sustain the tempo all through. Starboy himself was at his crowd-pleasing best, reeling out songs after songs from his list of hits. Davido was daring with his choice of a live-band, and that made his performance shaky at the beginning, but he took control later and wowed the crowd without passing up the opportunity of showing that he is the Omo Baba Olowo by promising $1000 to anyone who could dance Skelewu best. DBanj also showed why is regarded as the No1 performer among the Naija new school of artistes. His mastery of the live band was second to none, and his crowd-engagement was top-notch. His performance was arguably the best of the night. The dynamic duo better known as P-Square also gave a performance worthy of a finale thrilling the crowd with a host of hits from their repertoire, throwing in dance jigs from the simple to the complex, and engaging the crowd all through. Personally, with the artistes performing as if they were auditioning, you couldn’t have asked for more from the performances. Even the absence of TuFace Idibia could not take away from the awesomeness of the night.

Nevertheless, I felt a “colour” was out of place on the night. Before I go further, let me confess that sometimes I overthink. Overthinking is actually one of the reasons why I do not frequently post on this blog; I write, then I start questioning if it is good enough, if it will be worth the readers’ time, if it is discussing a relevant issue, if my perspective is original and sensible, if the issue has not already been dissected enough by others, if it is well written at all, if it is an improvement on previous posts or if standards have dropped, if… Actually, if there is a Club for over-thinkers, I will definitely be the face. Moreso, I work in an industry where colours are more foregrounded than the name of the company, such that “Yellow Boys” and “Green Boys” come up during meetings more than “MTN” and “GLO”. So when I saw Burna Boy donning a light blue blazers and WizKid decked in a light blue two-piece suit at a “Guinness” concert, my alarm just went off beeping “NOT RIGHT! NOT RIGHT!! NOT RIGHT!!!” To put this into better perspective, Guinness Nigeria’s major competitor in the Alcoholic Beverages Industry (and that is a helluva competitive industry) is “Nigerian Breweries” whose dominant colour is “light blue”, and when you consider that WizKid has made a track (Let’s Get The Party STARted) together with some other Nigerian artistes for the promotion of Star Lager (Nigerian Breweries’ flagship brand), you might start seeing a conspiracy. Of course, artistes are independent entertainers who peddle their talents to whoever has the means to meet their demands, but there are also standards that should be upheld because it is a trade, sometimes the artistes do not know, so it is up to organisers to intimate them of the least acceptable standards. Huge resources go into a public relations event like that concert and it had to be milked for all the benefits therein, allowing artistes who are also on the payroll of a competitor wear a competitor’s colour to your event is one oversight too many. But you should not forget that I hold a Ph.D in “Overthinking”, and for all it is worth I might be the only one at the Concert who noticed and attached any significance to the colour.

Seriously, I have heard some people after the Concert questioning why almost all of our artistes could not perform with a live band; as much as I share this sentiment, I would not use that yardstick as a measurement here because I am sure no one left their house for this particular concert expecting the artistes to perform with live bands. Of course, I would love to see artistes do more than miming while on stage, but I think it is hypocritical of us to demand such when Wizkid still sells more album than Beautiful Nubia, performs at more shows in Nigerian than Asa, and enjoys more airplay than Lagbaja.

Interestingly, as it is my nature to always make every experience educational, I must not end this post without sharing some of my learnings from the event - I saw some of the latest trends in fashion, I found out that any skirt/gown which is longer than 7 inches below the waist is not trendy; I also found out that any shoe which allows the wearer to walk comfortably is fashion no-no for the ladies; I equally found out that for the guys, it is not "sagging" unless the waist of the jeans is right above the knees; and finally, I found out that if you consider all these fads surprising, then you are definitely old-school. Really?! I am already old-school?!


Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!
 
Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi