“An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys.”
Iain Sinclair

So we woke up one morning to find that our dear president had finally appointed members and chairmen to the boards of parastatals. First of all, there was collective concern at the lateness of the appointment. These boards were dissolved in 2015 immediately the new president came into power with a promise to appoint new board members and chairmen soon.

We, however, didn’t expect that these new boards would be appointed in the twilight of this governments first time. For crying out loud, Presidential elections are taking place in February next year. So the boards have barely one year to perform. More of this later.

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The next matter was when we started hearing from relatives how their dead ancestors were being appointed to positions. When the dust had settled, over 6 dead people were appointed into offices. Some having been officially dead for well more than a year.

Our president and his cabinet of the dead

The biggest surprise is what happened or has happened next. Rather than apologize to the nation and accept this was a gaffe, the presidency through its spokesmen has defended these ancestral appointments with one excuse after the other making it seem like it was a normality. The height of it was the raining of abuse on our heads by the erstwhile highly regarded Professor Sagay. It is really sad how hunger drives men to lose their sense of reasoning.

Malam Shehu first told us that the reason for the dead people being on the list was due to the list having being prepared since 2015 and was only being released. Chai!! as one former First Lady was fond of saying. Chai!! Can the man hear himself?

When the president had to publicly abandon his office because of rats, we raised an issue of the competence of the state house staff . This raises that alarm to an even higher level.

Whose job was it to vet the list? Is that how lists just make it to the public without vetting? Isn’t there a process of verification and vetting? These embarrassments are just too many. The bigger question for me is that if such grievous mistakes are being made concerning such public documents, what monumental mistakes are taking place on documents that we aren’t privy too?

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For example, all these gigantic sums being spent on statehouse repairs, state house clinics etc, is it the same group of people that can’t vet a simple appointment list that are vetting these complex documents? Chai!!! Now we can see why after the billions spent, the First Lady of the nation called the state house a sham.

Our president and his cabinet of the dead

Of course, we know what is happening with the appointments. We see a presidency that having seen it’s power base eroded, starts to grant favours left and right in an attempt to assuage the cries and hues from within its ranks. Bottom line it is all about 2019 and staying in power that is why the boards were so stuffed with politicians and cronies with no concern at performance. It is free for all chopping party to fund the next elections. If there was a concern at performance, they would have at least noticed that some of the appointees were dead.

I have big concerns. We have a presidency that shows through its utterance that it has absolutely no regard for its people. The hallmark arrogance with which the president and his spokesmen address and dismiss the Nigerian people is quite worrisome. It is very obvious we don’t matter. If this is the taste of a first term which we know is usually tempered due to hope of a repeat term, what would they do when given a second term?

No other government outside the Abacha period has been this arrogant – ruling imperialistically as if we are their subjects, not the other way round. The even bigger challenge is the quiet of those who should be speaking even louder.

Let’s not think it would stop at a second term. We had a president who tried to tinker with the constitution to go for a third term. He almost succeeded but was stopped at the last moment. A look at other “democratic” African governments with lifetime presidents would show that this is how it starts.

Hmmmmm, when your president starts to appoint dead people, it is time to seat up and shine your eye – a Word is enough for the wise.

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