Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Letting our best go
In 1976, a bright 31 year old who had just finished writing his Doctoral Thesis on the Aerodynamic Design, Manufacturing and Testing of turbine blades at MIT forsook offers to work for the US Navy and Air Force, and accepted to come home to Nigeria. It must be stated that this same chap, prior to going to the United States, had obtained a Masters at the Kiev Institute of Aviation Engineers. It must also be stated that the Ruskies were not too happy to let him go o'er to the Yanks when he decided to do his PhD. He had been in the USSR from 1965 until 1972. That chappie returned to Nigeria in '76 and joined our Aviation Ministry and rose like a star through the ranks. He was seconded as a deputy director to the newly created Federal Civil Aviation Authority in 1990, then forced to retire because of his refusal to make compromises on safety when the Abacha regime found it prudent to "restructure" the aviation sector. After retirement, he found Afrijet Airlines which specialised in cargo operations. In 2005, he was recalled to national service and was appointed to a five year term as the DG of his former establishment, now renamed the NCAA. During his tenure as the NCAA helmsman our air safety record improved tremendously such that Nigeria was granted a US FAA Category One Certification in 2010. In other words, he is the reason y'all can hop on a plane to go to the US directly rather than the costly and tortuous route of going elsewhere first. Under his watch, Nigeria has successfully completed no less than EIGHT international safety audits. He was fired yesterday by the Prez because of his "unsatisfactory response to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector". It will be too much to expect an explanation of what the "unsatisfactory response" is of course.
Last year, in the aftermath of the Dana air disaster, Dr. Demuren made what I personally consider his only faux pas as the head of the NCAA when he declared that all the passengers had perished, less than an hour after the plane went down. That aside, his record was so spectacular, than in the knee jerk that followed Dana, when people called for his sack, assorted officials declared that there was no replacement for him. Therein lies the failing of himself, someone like serial Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, and some of the other shining lights we have had a failure to groom proper talents to replace them when they have to at some point, take the back seat. This failure is the reason why assorted suits at the NFF have shown a spectacular inability to make a proper decision regarding the imbroglio over he-of-the-Sunday-Sunday-goal, instead asking both Enugu Rangers and Warri Wolves to settle themselves. You see, once upon a time, we had proper footie chairpersons such as Emeka Omeruah, but somewhere along the line, rather than getting replaced by a Kojo Williams, we got people like Sani Toro and his successors, a group who successfully turned our Papa Eagles into what cats drag around, until the Big Boss accidentally came along...
Speaking of cats dragging stuff around, look what the cat dragged in!
Fresh from his little holiday at Kuje, Fakrook is giving us lessons about bringing facts to back up claims. Sadly, the story can no longer be accessed via the website of Channels TV (wonder why that is), but ThisDay picked up on it, so they let us have it here. You can watch it while Fakrook gives lessons to Enang on how to make evidence disappear.
While we are on the subject of lessons, schooling in Bauchi state has become a lot safer. You see, if this report is to be believed, up until yesterday, the penalty for being a truant from the Bauchi school system was to hang by the neck until dead. Yeeesh! However, after making a few phone calls, I can safely report that the reporter (and his editor) should probably be subjected to corporal punishment. That is what the Bauchi kaftan was speaking about. Phew!
Bits and bobs
Knowing that Indian hemp makes hair grow better, Giwa Ayoka Sikirat decided to give her hair better treatment. Cocaine.
Obafemi Martins has confirmed his retirement from all known forms of serious football.
Legal workers in Courts of the Law across the country have, err, taken the law into their hands. Our Chief Wig could not go to work yesterday.
I choked on my morning coffee when I found out that there are 45000 ghosts in the employ of the Nigerian government. I guess the ICPC choked as well as they are making frantic efforts to make sure that the ghosts rest in peace.
Some of those ghosts are probably in the NNPC, DPR and PPPRA. We might know about it if the heads of those bodies ever get to sing from the song-sheet dropped for them by the House of Reps.
Despite my opposition to it, the hypocrite that I am will benefit from Lagos state's acceptance that the Ladipo area will forever remain a disaster. I can fix the panel in my car now.