Friday, July 10, 2009

Yar'Adua, the G-8 and other matters

"CONGRATULATIONS, they finally invited our man"

"Who is your man?"


"Who is that?"

"President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua"

"So, who has invited him to what? And why the excitement"

"The G-8. President Yar'Adua as we speak is in Italy attending the G-8 meeting. Recognition at last! Halleluyah o. I think when the man comes, he is likely to throw a big party."

"I don't see what the big deal is all about. Is it the same G8 which is yet to keep its promises to the underdeveloped countries of Africa and which in the face of the facts is claiming that it has spent $13 billion to address the food crisis in the continent? But the truth is that the G-8 countries have reduced aid to Africa. We should be talking about the G-8 playing politics with its own promises."

"All I know is that President Yar'Adua who was so unhappy when Nigeria was not invited to the London Summit of the G-20 in April must be happy that now Nigeria's importance is being recognized."

"He has probably been invited there to give the impression that the people of the most populous country in Africa are grateful to the G-8 for providing aid towards solving the food crisis. And you know the Yar'Adua government has been talking about food. The Vaswani brothers were deported, or have you forgotten because of rice imports."

"I don't want to join you in reading motives."

"Everything is about signaling. The international community does not ever act in vain, and the G-8 will not act in vain."

"Suppose this is the G-8's way of begging Nigeria. Their own way of telling President Yar'Adua that Nigeria is still an important country in the reckoning of the rich countries of the world."

"Now, you are the one reading motives. But let me tell you that President Yar'Adua is attending the G-8 meeting as an observer. He is sitting in the gallery. So what are you excited about? "

"Well at least the G-8 did not invite Ghana. So, if Obama goes to Ghana, Yar'Adua goes to the G-8 meeting in Italy. Ko worse. Ko -o - o bad."

"What you don't know is that our people wanted Obama to stop over in Nigeria, if possible. If the Americans had agreed to spend just one hour in Abuja en route Ghana, our man will not have gone to Italy for the G-8 meeting to go and look. In fact, they would have given Obama a pretty maiden as an expression of Nigeria's gratitude and hospitality, it is called Presidential man-no-be-wood"

"Stop kidding. That will be child abuse. Child trafficking really. Completely antithetical to the spirit of the American Constitution. Besides, an American President cannot collect certain kinds of gifts. Michelle Obama will not even allow that."

"Go and sit down. Is Obama not a black man like you and me? Go and sit down. Let the man go to Ghana. What I am telling you is that our people in Abuja could have treated him to better hospitality."

"The man is not interested. The message of his trip to Ghana is to tell Nigerian leaders to start treating their own people nicely, by behaving well, by running good elections and by focusing on good governance."

"What I even hear is that President Yar'Adua may sneak into Ghana quietly on his way from Italy to have audience with President Obama in Ghana."

"He cannot do that."

"He is the President, you are not in a position to tell him what to do."

"But he cannot disgrace Nigeria further by going to have dinner with President Obama on Ghanaian soil, when we can prepare better food in Nigeria."

"If he goes to Ghana, it will not be reported. It will be top secret diplomacy."

"And if word gets out, I assure you that I will join anybody who is ready, to ask for his impeachment."

"Which impeachment?"

"It will amount to gross misconduct"

"Don't waste your time. One member of the House of Representatives is already going about saying that President Yar'Adua will be impeached because he has violated the provisions of Section 173 (3) of the 1999 Constitution relating to pension. And put your mind at rest. President Obama and President Yar'Adua were both together at the G-8 meeting in Italy. So, he doesn't have to go to Ghana to see Obama."

"Okay. Fine. But who is the lawmaker, you mentioned?"

"I don't remember his name. He was talking about how President Yar'Adua has no powers to stop the award of contracts or tamper with the Constitution"

"There is only one thing I need to know."

"What is that?"

"Is there any special festival around the corner? Like a religious festival or something like that"

"Soon it will be the Ramadan season"

"Ha ha. There you are. Some lawmakers are looking for patronage. My problem with some of these our lawmakers is that when they think they are hungry and they want to eat, they should just say so. Who does not know that in this country, a sitting President cannot be impeached? Who does not know that governance at the top is a family affair and that a President is bound to get an automatic second term ticket?"

"Obasanjo almost got a third term. Thank God we cried out."

"The president of Niger, 71-year old Mamadou Tandja is trying to do what Obasanjo could not do. He must have learnt what he is doing now from Nigerians. The man has dissolved the Constitutional Court and he is ruling with an Emergency Decree. He wants a third term. As for Yar'Adua, where were you when some PDP elements started saying that UMYA already has a second term except he decides that he has had enough."

"Don't quote me o."


"Even as we speak now, I hear some state Governors and their wives and commissioners have travelled to the United States to attend Michael Jackson's funeral."

"You mean our husband has gone mad again?"

"You know, oftentimes, I wonder what is wrong with Nigerian leaders"

"Are you sure some people have travelled to the US to attend Michael Jackson's funeral?"

"On my honour as a Christian."

"Please leave that. You know it is me. Talk to me. You know that I know, and that I know what I know."

"What do you know?"

"What I know, and you know that I know"

"I don't know what you know. What do you know?"


"Okay, I can tell you that some Nigerian lawmakers and at least two Governors were sighted at the Michael Jackson memorial, this week. You mean you also don't know that some people had a farewell party for MJ in Lagos? I mean, for real."

"May be the people who attended the Jackson memorial went to the US for a different reason. For medical check up perhaps."

"Medical check up? Well, I thank God that that would soon end. According to the Minister of Health, no Nigerian will have cause to travel abroad for medical treatment again by 2010, because this government would have fixed at least four teaching hospitals, which can offer the best kind of treatment that is available anywhere in the world."

"You mean the minister of Health is seeing Vision 2010 when the Federal Government is talking about Vision 2020?"

"I understand that the teaching hospitals will be fixed as a matter of priority."

"Incidentally, Health is not one of the seven-point agenda"

"I don't believe that."

"Go and check""

"Unbelivebale. You would have thought that President Yar'Adua will focus on the health sector"

"I also thought that former President Olusegun Obasanjo will do something about the state of Nigerian prisons. But for eight years, he did nothing concrete about the prisons."

"That is Nigeria for you. But let nobody tell me that by 2010, Nigerians won't have to go abroad again for medical treatment. Right now, workers at the National Hospital are on strike. And all the teaching hospitals that the minister wants to upgrade, these are the same hospitals that previous Ministers of Health offered to upgrade and in fact did. At least on paper. What happened to those hospitals? I can tell you that workers in all Federal Hospitals are currently on strike. What should be done is to first of all conduct an audit of all the funds spent so far on the same hospitals. Who got what? Who spent what?"

"You are even going too far. The thing is that the teaching hospitals are not budgeted for in the 2009 budget. And Nigeria's major health crisis is not at the tertiary level, it is at the primary health level which has since failed."

"One of these days, I am going to stop thinking about this country."

"Em, we can't give up. When you are preaching to the deaf, you have to be a bit more creative. And you can't give up"

"You know, the Minister of Education was shown on TV two days ago, dancing joyously at a party organized for him by his friends."

"The minister of Education was dancing at his own birthday party? I don't get the point."

"I don't think this is the right time for the Minister of Education to attend parties where he will be tempted to dance."

"At his own birthday party?"

"He cannot dance when ASUU is on strike. Total strike. And all the unions in the universities are aggrieved. I think he should be told that he is banned from dancing in public until the crisis in the education sector is resolved. Until further notice."

"May be we should not deny the Hon. Minister his right to be happy."

"You mean the Minister is in a position to be happy when the education sector is prostrate?"

"Let the man dance if he wants to. Ha ha wetin? And are you sure he was the one dancing? Sometimes people look alike you know"'

"I am sure."

"And so?"