Image: The author
And finally the ministerial list was read on the floor of the Upper Chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, and in few hours the nation was under the couch, the wailing wailers and the body language experts went into over drive.
I sat back, and watched as Nigerians, who over the years have developed expertise in majoring in minors, and taking major issues with minor treaties. Showcasing interesting drama, with cast drawn from every corner, no wonder we are home to Nollywood.
Tony: So this was the list we waited for four months for, where are the saints, this list is just full of ex-this, ex-that, same people, no young person. Rubbish!
Maduka: Very balanced list, these are technocrat, Ngige “worked” in Anambra, even so did Fashola, and Amaechi too, anybody saying otherwise is just not sincere.
Akin: I think otherwise, how could one bring back Audu Ogbeh, a man who was minister over 30 years ago. It is equally not fair, and against the corruption mantra of this government, to bring an Amaechi, whom, a commission of inquiry in his home state has just indicted.
Solomon: What are we talking about, none of these men we sing moral blues about have been found wanting in any competent court of law. Audu is a simple and honest man, not a looter, one of the few ministers that was not even picked up for corruption during Buhari’s first coming
Ibrahim: I am a party man, no apologies, what do we expect from the list, these men worked for the party and what is wrong in rewarding them, we can only expect them to deliver and they would under “mai gaskiya”.
Aliyu: Deliver what, and how; with the exception of a few, all these men have been PDP at one point or the other. Was it not that Ngige that confessed with Chris Uba that they rigged elections few years ago? And how about Dambazu who practically was amongst those that defied constitutional requirements and smuggled the late Yar’adau during those dark periods before the law of necessity.
Kikelomo: For me, three women, no way, this is not what Buhari promised, Jonathan did better, maybe Aisha has no influence over him. I am hopefully though, that there will be women in the next batch.
Tony: Which batch, are we talking about; this list is just dancing “azonto” with common sense. I don’t see anything good from it. How, already Katsina would have two ministers.
Solomon: All is I see is bias, what else is performance, other than Fashola, whom at his height, the great Jagaban could not remove, or an Amaechi who against odd, stood for what he believed and fought his own to a standstill.
Tony: What bias, I even heard Fayemi of Ekiti say he was surprised, what “French” lie is that, when their CVs were collected and they were screened, what did he think, it was for?
Maduka: Listen to yourself, if they were screened by the DSS, police etc., and not found wanting, the more reason I stand by the list, and I believe they would perform. We must give them a chance, I know that anyone that refuses to do so, will be butted out.
Kikelomo: Another point for me is, why must Mr. President be Minister for Petroleum, is he saying in the entire nation, no one is qualified? And if we are talking diversification of the economy why would the President not man the agricultural ministry or be in charge of customs?
Solomon: You are standing logic on its head, look at the effect the President has had on the oil sector, and imagine how much he would just simply supervising the NNPC.
We have to take a break, as information reaching us confirms that DSP Alams, former governor of Bayelsa state, first Nigerian male public official to be allegedly seen dressed as a woman. He died at 63, amidst “rumors” that he was to be repatriated to the United Kingdom, to face corruption trial. May his soul find rest. Amen!
Well, back to the issue, for those that do not already know, the ministerial list has a former CHIEF OF ARMY, 4 former SENATORS, 5 former GOVERNORS, 8 LAWYERS, 3 WOMEN, and an AVERAGE AGE of 53.
And 15 states yet to get any representation. Also on the list matter, Saraki, and Dogara both leaders of the National Assembly, have met with President Buhari, we also gathered that Amaechi has visited Saraki, we equally hear that Tinubu is not happy with Buhari, an allegation that the presidency strongly denounces as utter rubbish, calling Tinubu the great man of our party the APC.
Tony: I do not see how these men and women that we already know before even Saraki read the list would perform. It is the same difference…
Solomon: I do not agree, we have to give them the benefit of doubt, which we gave the PDP, the last government, and if they do not, we have the ballot box. I am optimistic.
Aliyu: Well, the other half may as well be Mr. Buhari’s trump card. I recall during the era of late Dora in NAFDAC, she performed, even when we could not say same of the Health Ministry…so if for example our judiciary and legal system improves significantly under any of those 8 lawyers than we can shout “eureka”.
Maduka: There is hope, we are on the right path, pessimists, and wailers would wail, but I have hope.
Ibrahim: Thank you Maduka, people are not happy because the status quo is on change mechanism, there will be teething problems, we have forgotten how same Nigerians waited on Ngozi Iweala, Madam finance extra-ordinary. And what did we achieve.
MODERATOR WAVES HIS GAVEL
Nigeria remains a great nation despite all its equally great shortcomings, again though we are being offered on a platter of gold, or rather change, another shot at true greatness.
I dare say with a sense of certainty that these ministers may not do all we expect, but as a people we can do what is expected of us by being technocratic citizens: exponents or advocates of technocracy, members of a technically skilled elite.
So whether you are a mechanic, or Vincent Enyeama of the not so Super Eagles, or you are a doctor at the local hospital, a driver or carpenter; do your best. And even though you and I are technocrats and Buhari did not pick us, let us support the technocrats and off course, the question of whether Mr. President got it right, or are these technocrats—only time will tell.
Prince Charles Dickson is a Freelance Journalist