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Creative dysfunction is sometimes an unofficial government tool. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo occasionally set top government officials up against themselves to test their loyalty or ideas.
But there was no doubt who was in charge.
US President, Donald Trump, is reputed to have the worst cabinet in modern US history, comparable in its dysfunctionality only to Richard Nixon’s.
But again, there’s no doubt who is in charge.
In the last two weeks or so, there has been an outbreak of civil war in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, creating serious concerns about who is really in charge.
Buhari’s medical leave could not be responsible for it because there was no vacuum during his absence.
It started with the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama pouncing on the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri.
Out of concern for the misery Nigerian travellers were going through at the hands of immigration officials in a number of countries, especially South Africa and the US, Dabiri had advised travellers to restrict themselves only to essential trips.
This was common sense advice, which she was unlikely to make without first discussing it with the Foreign Affairs minister. She had barely said the word when the Foreign Ministry took up arms against her, advising travellers to ignore Dabiri.
Not that Onyeama offered an alternative or provided facts to the contrary. No. Insiders said the Foreign Minister was called aside by other “power centres” and advised to speak up and “put that woman in her place” or risk losing his job.
He threw the dagger without delay and, in a bid to reclaim his mojo, jumped on the next plane to Johannesburg with Minister of the Interior, Abdulraham Dambazzau.
But the visit only produced a brief encounter with former president Thabo Mbeki, whose promise that Nigerians would get an earlier warning signal did not stop three more Nigerians from being killed a few days later.
Has anyone asked Onyeama and Dambazzau why that happened or how many more Nigerians will be killed before the early warning sign begins?
The CAF election was yet another evidence of the serious infighting inside Buhari’s government. The President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, campaigned on getting rid of Issa Hayatou, who became CAF president when Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was four years old.
Pinnick campaigned openly against Hayatou for months. At the last minute, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who was obviously on a Boy’s Scout parade all the while, called Pinnick and directed him to vote for Hayatou to repay Cameroun for its support to Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.
Pinnick ignored the minister, lined up behind Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad and the world was invited, yet again, to see a house divided against itself.
Perhaps the most astonishing evidence of a meltdown in Buhari’s cabinet was the report by the Department of State Services, which the Senate used conveniently for a second time to reject the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
I still cannot understand why the Director of the DSS, who was appointed by the president and who reports to him through the office of the National Security Adviser, will lend the Senate a gun to execute the head of another organ of the executive, not once, but twice.
The first time a committee of the Senate rejected Magu’s nomination, the Senate said the first DSS report showed that he was living beyond his means and may have been compromised by persons he was supposed to be investigating.
Neither the DSS nor the Senate gave Magu chance to defend himself.
The Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, which later looked into the allegations, cleared Magu of any wrongdoing on the basis of which the Presidency represented him for confirmation.
But the Senate was not – has never – been interested in finding someone who can fight corruption outside its own terms. The same political elite hounded Nuhu Ribadu out of office; they smeared Ibrahim Larmode with allegations of mismanaging N1trillion worth of seized assets and once they got him out of office nothing has been said about the assets again.
They have sunk their teeth into Magu’s flesh and won’t back down under the current leadership.
The only thing worse than the combined treachery of the DSS and the Senate is the silence of the President, one week after he suffered a second humiliation with the rejection of his nominee.
There’s not been a word, no sense of discomfort, no feeling of outrage, nothing.
Those close to the president say that it’s his style not to get involved once he has put people in charge. He lets them do the job as best as they can.
That’s a good thing, but it’s precisely the sort of argument that former President Goodluck Jonathan used to justify his refusal to call to order ministers like Diezani Allison-Madueke and others who eventually ruined his government.
And surely, the President cannot forget that the other side of this two-edged sword dealt a fatal blow to his administration in his first coming.
Anyone who listened to Aisha Buhari and lately read Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s memo, might agree that Buhari’s government is in meltdown mode. It begins with absent-minded delegation. But we’ve passed that stage.
Authority has become very diffuse and the hijackers have become desperate to assert themselves. In the end, the cabinet is coming apart by the seams.
The meltdown is not irreversible but it must start with Buhari showing that he is present, presiding and in charge.
One of the saddest things said by a foreign newspaper during Buhari’s medical leave was that, dead or alive, he no longer makes any difference to the lives of Nigerians.
The best response to that metaphor is performance, not the sort of abdication we have seen in recent times.
Special Present For Odion
I regret that I’m not in Lagos this weekend and can’t get back fast enough because commuting between Lagos and Abuja is now a traveller’s nightmare.
The point of my misery is that I will be missing out on the birthday celebrations of my friend and brother, Louis Odion, who will be 44 tomorrow.
In the babel of weekly punditry, his weekly column maintains a clarity and depth that I find refreshing and inspiring.
The least I can do for him on his next birthday, is to team up with Chief Tony Anenih, one of the most high profile targets of his righteous venom, to give him a special present.
Long may you live, Capacity!
Ishiekwene is the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview magazine and board member of the Paris-based Global Editors Network.
The South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lulu Mnguni, has said that South Africa is committed to working with Nigeria for a better Africa in a better world. Mnguni made this known while speaking at a welcoming session for the South African business delegation which arrived in Lagos on Thursday. The mission, which started…
The post South Africa committed to working with Nigeria for a better Africa — envoy appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and the Chairman of National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi have signed an undertaking to work for genuine reconciliation in the party. This is according to a communiqué issued after a meeting of the two rival leaders of the party with the National Reconciliation Committee…
Five migrants were found dead in the sea off Libya on Thursday after the boats they were travelling in sank, likely carrying hundreds more to their deaths, an aid organisation said. Proactiva Open Arms, one of several groups operating in the area, said it was notified that an inflatable boat was sinking and found another…
The post 5 corpses found, hundreds feared dead as migrant boats sink off Libya: NGO appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The House of Representatives on Thursday invited the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu to appear before it on Monday, April 7. The House ad hoc Committee on the Review of Petroleum Pump Price, which issued the summons, said the…
The post Reps committee invites Emefiele, Kachikwu over alleged forex diversion appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has commended the party’s members in the House of Representatives for their support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The chairman gave the commendation on Thursday at a meeting between the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members and APC caucus in the House at the National…
The post Odigie-Oyegun commends APC NASS caucus for support to FG, party appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The House of Representatives, on Thursday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently withdraw and destroy mutilated naira notes in circulation. The house also charged the National Orientation Agency to carry out sustained public enlightenment to educate Nigerians on the need to handle the naira notes cautiously with care. The resolutions followed a…
The post Reps urge CBN to withdraw mutilated currency in circulation appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district in the Nigerian National Assembly, Dino Melaye has shared photos from his Masters degree project. Recall that the Senator is embroiled in an alleged certificate scandal as publishing medium, Sahara Reporters questioned his first degree in geography from the Amadu Bello University in Zaria. Dino Melaye who according…
The post Nigerians React As Senator Dino Melaye Shares Photos Of His MSc Project appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The Nigerian Police Force has launched its own national broadcasting and radio service expected to serve the entire nation. The police force’s broadcasting service will be managed by the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service Limited, NPBS, which as been set up through a partnership between the police and a private outfit. The recent development was made…
Nigerian rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem has in a recent interview thrown shade at Nigerian singer, 2Face Idibia. The shade comes during the singer’s 4th wedding anniversary with his wife, Annie Idibia. Eedris Abdulkareem who had earlier credited Mavins boss, Don Jazzy’s success to his career revealed in an interview with Planet TV that he is not…
The post VIDEO: Eedris Abdulkareem Shades 2face In New Interview appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
The international friendly match between Nigeria and Senegal on Thursday ended in a 1-1 draw. Most fans were not able to watch the game on TV, while there was a poor turnout at The Hive Stadium in London, where the game was played. There was no goals in the first half, that saw the Super […]
Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim seems to have found herself a new bae as the actress looks to be dating Nigerian rapper, Iceberg Slim. The Ghanaian actress who has been linked to some Nigerian artistes in the past has been sharing cryptic messages on her social media page. The actress and the rapper took to their…
The post Ghanaian Actress, Juliet Ibrahim Now Dating Nigerian Rapper appeared first on The Herald Nigeria.
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