Tuesday, January 08, 2013

We must have an Igbo President

Even though he was born on August 4, 1933, exactly a year before Adolf Hitler became Der Fuhrer in Germany, sprightly youth, Anthony Anenih wants to take on a second job. He wants to add the leadership of the PDP's Board of Trustees to the leadership of the Nigerian Ports Authority which he assumed only a few weeks ago. Now how is that for a CV?

But then speaking of CVs, check out this CV for the next President of Nigeria. 1980, expelled from the University of Maiduguri. 1984, donated N250,000 in cash publicly to Borno State at the TBS. Next day declared wanted by the then governor of Borno State for lining three quarters of the cartoon containing the cash with old newspapers. Laid low for while. Then in 1995 he reappeared at a party chaired by Jerry-Boy at the Federal Palace Hotel with a "Ph.D." from an American university. Became governor Abia State in 1999 and somehow lasted until 2007. During his tenure, he became a student of Abia State university. He flies around in a private jet these days and still has various cases with the EFCC. His Slok Group is into buying and selling, although as of the last time I checked, none of his companies is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. But that is no offence, it's just a display of his faith in Nigeria's economy, which makes it even more pertinent, that only an Igbo man, meaning him, should be our next President.

You see, if there's one advantage to having an Igbo man as our next President, it is that he will not leave the country's treasury almost bereft of cash as a Bayelsa man will. I mean, how can you leave only N4,451 in the state account when parachuting out of office? That's just mean. No wonder Timpriye Sylva had enough to buy/build the 48 houses that the EFCC has now seized. However, the cruelty of that situation can be gleaned from the fact that with a population of 1,998,349*, the amount left behind by Sylva brings the state's per capita wealth to 0.22 kobo. Wow!

Another organisation/body/state that has my blood pressure up is the NNPC. Yes that behemoth which is unable to finance our costly subsidy regime has gone out of the way to impale yet another huge amount on our heads. As of yesterday, the NNPC had surreptitiously gone behind our backs to collect the sum of $1.5 billion from a syndicate. No word on the interest to the loan, but we are told that the collateral is 15,000 barrels of oil per day. Again, we were not told for how long this 15k barrels will be taken, so let's do some (admittedly quirky) mathematics here. At $100 per barrel, 15,000 barrels a day should translate to $1.5 million. Which to my mind means we are looking at a 1000 day loan which means that a syndicate owns a good chunk of our oil for the next 2 years and 9 months. Interesting.

Yet another interesting fact though is that the NNPC did not quite mention local oil marketers as the beneficiaries of this massive loan. Instead, we are faced with the prospect of buying more of our fuel from the black market as a marketer told The Punch rather point blank that "There might be another round of scarcity because most of us are still being owed by the Federal Government." You see, fresh from her Mummy's release, Madam NOI has forgotten to credit the CBN with that $1 billion which if you believe the conspiracy theorists, was her Mummy's ransom money. Yesterday, the kidnappers (according to the conspiracy theorists) went to the CBN to get their loot (according to the conspiracy theorists), and were instead, met with an empty vault. A council of war (according to the conspiracy theorists) will be held today, and the decision will be taken as to whether to send another delegation to Ogwashi-Uku, or simply deploy more black marketers near petrol stations.

But a scarcity will give INEC's headquarters some respite. It has become evident that the H/Q of our electoral commission has a way of attracting boys with cans-o-gas and matches, what, with its third conflagration in a span of less than two years, one has to wonder whether the building is made from the same material as the voters' cards are made from. Luckily, we will not have to stand under the blazing sun in just over two years and do the voters registration exercise all over again. According to INEC blazer Emmanuel Umenger, seven fire-trucks were on hand to ensure that the blaze did not spread beyond its starting point. "As you have seen, the fire incident began and only ended in the office of the Director of Voter Registry. Due to the prompt effort of staff on the ground who alerted the relevant agencies, the fire was put out before it could spread to other places and luckily, the voter registration data base was not affected and the saver was saved because the fire did not even get to that section of the building," he squealed in pleasure, while somewhere a few miles away, a contractor berated some failed arsonists for failing to ensure the supply of fresh voter registration machines in 2015.

Bits and bobs

Despite the worsening quality of phone calls, the telecoms firms are ever expanding. We now have a capacity for 219 million lines. Prepare for an even harder time reaching your dearly beloved as Hooke's Law must now surely be obeyed.

Even though the mountain of unpassed Bills on his table is threatening to displace Kilimanjaro as the highest in Africa, leading Senate kaftan, David Mark is more concerned about what bent people do in the privacy of their homes.

Being a First Lady is an executive position. So to prove this, Hajia Fatima Shema, in Katsina, has sacked a councillor.

Lagosians have gotten a ringing endorsement of Governor Fashola's fitness programme from the Nigeria Police. People going to the airport nowadays have to trek, especially since the new rail tracks were only laid yesterday.

*This population of Bayelsa state is based on the 2006 census

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