After tackling corruption, then what?

If there is one thing many Nigerians are excited about the newly elected president for, it will be his ability to not shy away from punishing corrupt pubic officials. This is based on historical actions in the early 1980s. Nigeria has since changed significantly, corruption was in its infancy stage at that time, now it is full-blown – maybe a whole different ball game for GMB administration.

Observing what has happened in the last twenty years, our problem could not just be about stealing public funds, it is a bit more complex than that.

NNPC $20 billion missing money will be sorted, life will go on but for the sake of argument, when corruption is curbed, what else should the government focus on?

At a conference last year, a lady gave a passionate speech encouraging fathers to attend school PTA meetings so they too could be involved in discussions about events affecting their children in school. The lady expressing her concerns and disappointment in the fact that men’s views about PTA meeting is such that it is women’s job.

So I elbowed my conference friend who is a father and had four children at school to see what he thought of the speech.

He laughed and shook his head sideways and said to me ‘That’s women’s job.”

As we have sat together for three days, I felt comfortable enough to share my thoughts.

“You are right, it’s women’s job, but what I don’t get is why we have lots of men’s leaders when all responsibilities involved is beneath them.”

In the last few years, Kano alone has sponsored over a thousand mass wedding for women in the state. This is mainly because of high divorce rate among young adults. Women are mostly affected by this as they were married out young, and men are free to take on new wives on send out the ones they deemed no longer the right match on to the streets with their children.

To keep women married to ‘anyone’ the government spent 287 million naira in one ceremony to marry off 1,111 women two years ago. For some of the women, it is their second or third marriage.

How I wish these women could be given options:

To be re-married paid for by the state?

Or

Learn a trade and help with welfare support to keep children in school?

Buhari may not necessarily agree with Kano mass wedding, however gender imbalance of his transition team is disappointing.

Corruption likely to be brought into more manageable low, however, our leaders must represent the population they lead.

 

Photo credit: google

 

 

 



Categories: Africa, Nigeria, Women

Tags: , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. I think Miss Lola Oguntade is a fine example of a Nigerian. She sees beyond the usual culprits of bigotry in Nigeria, ie religion and ethnicity and comes across as a decent human being. I somehow can’t envisage someone of such conviction speaking for Goodluck Jonathan and be taken seriously.

    Imagine, in today’s Nigeria, some people have not seen electricity – that really is a crying shame and a damning indictment on today’s Nigeria and the society at large.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the clip. The lady is impressive! We need many more people like her to be true to what they believe. Let’s hope that this regime will benefit the youths in the long run.

      On electricity: Many of our rural areas have no electricity, my village don’t and it is only about 15 km to Ife. A few years ago some villages about 5km to mine were given electricity however, the truth is that some of these villages would be much happier if the state schools were refurbished, and safe drinking water such as boreholes were provided if they were consulted.

      Like

      • Electricity, my Dad’s village has no electricity either, but I would expect people to have been inside a building at some stage of their lives and seen electricity even if from a distance. What Oguntade said was that their are people who have never seen or experienced electricity in any form.
        As for consulting the locals, that has to be paramount. One does wonder, what is the purpose of all this bureaucracy that is everywhere? Development is thin and patchy and uneven, so is there a plan behind all this officialdom?
        With this track record, it would be better if Nigeria, quietly stopped disgracing themselves and black people around the world by unwisely claiming to be “the giant of Africa”. What a shame!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The lady mentioned Niger State, both Babangida and Abubarkar are both from this state so they knew about all of this and yet nothing was done.

          Well, I think Nigerians on ground are aware of this false self-important. it is a shame but these guys feel nothing.
          I do on many occasions doubt something is not seriously wrong with our past leaders in their head when I think about many decisions they have made and most annoyingly is the fact that they still feel they should be listened to today.

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          • I totally agree on the last point, their time is over and the money they have is not theirs. They will hang on to the money (no doubt), but please let them realise they (Babangida and Abubakar, and all the various governors of that state) are villains and at the very least keep quiet owing to the damage they have overseen.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I came across this post, a view from South Africa, on what Buhari has to do. In essence he has to tackle the management of the oil industry and security, it raises some interesting obstacles he will have to navigate around or over.
    http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-05-28-petrocalypse-now-and-other-nigerian-stories-whats-in-buharis-inbox/#.VXFalLw2xC0

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.

      Well, we’ll see what PMB cabinet will look like – let’s hope he stands by his words of merit over patronage.

      Just as the writer pointed out, I too, would love the President to use a little of his old self, how else can one curb corruption of such magnitude as Nigeria? It is fair to assume it is because of the ‘no nonsense’ attitude that got him elected.

      Like

  3. Hmmmmm, while it is good to hope, we must continue to speak out. We don too de place emphasis on video interviews just because we want to read body language but a few people know how to best that stuff. I do not respect the president elect because he is indeed part and parcel of the problem. Whether he can bite he fingers of the Generals that put him there is another matter altogether. I wish him all the troubles possible, so we do see what stuff he is indeed made of. While he can castigate the national conference for costing 7 billion, I remember he refused to attend, and his party refused to send representatives (what happened to one nigeria and supporting your president?) In the end the purpose of the conference was defeated because the north fought tooth and nail over even the simple issues. From independence when the north said they were not ready, till now, we kontinuu to carry dem on our backs and impede our collective progress. After three shots at the presidency, you should have trusty policies that you intend to implement but all we hear about is probe this, probe that. With which money? I sincerely hope this does not blow up in our faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your contribution prepin – I think most Nigerians feel the frustrations of failed state as you do.

      I think you’ve nailed it on the head by saying we should continue to speak out, maybe just maybe in our generation, things will change for better.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In this interview (length: roughly 30 minutes), GMB answers your questions.
    I thought he came across as thoughtful, pragmatic, knowledgeable and sober.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks.

      Yes, GMB did answer my question in his own way. How I wish the interviewer threw him a question on the importance of gender balance in his team – Oh well.

      Actually on that, he was very courteous to the lady interviewing… that counts.

      What a breath of fresh air though to have a President that one can listen to for a whole half-hour without hair pulling! Good eye contact, no mumbling, no slouching in chair and firm handshake!

      See what he said about Nigeria with wrong priorities? Spot on eh?

      – The need for good roads over local airports – airports are for elites he says, what a sensible man!
      – 7 billion naira for national conference while all tertiary institutions were on year long strike – mind boggles.

      Let’s keep hopes up that people around him have the same vision.

      Like

      • FK, I didn’t think you’d watch it, given your busy schedule and I’m glad you did.

        I was very impressed by the interview, it appears he has “his head screwed on properly”. The way he answered the question about the “national airline”, that was great. I thought that question was just a stupid one, as having a national airline is not what the average man/woman in the street would ask for. Nigeria had one and it was mismanaged and abused so there is no need to return to that position again. There are more benefits to having a railway system that affects more people and can be used for transporting people and goods around the place with relative ease.

        His knowledge about the pricing of oil and increasing the nation’s refining capacity also impressed me.

        The national conference was a big waste of time and money, whilst the lecturers are fighting hard for a modest pay increase.

        The question about being gender friendly was raised in another clip, but he didn’t answer it properly, it was answered in a light-hearted way. (At around 5.25). Though he did appear friendly to the idea.

        Yes, let’s hope that his team are not a bunch of “let downs”. He himself comes across as sound and wise, I hope he can fulfill his vision and that his health holds up throughout the period.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “pushback busybodies…”, you brought a smile to my face.
    One can’t expect to catch up with the rest of the world as female issues and political representation are generally dismissed with the exception of a few token appointments. Until this issue is addressed resources will continue to be wasted on “mass weddings” rather than provide a livelihood for victims of the system.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, we can’t catch up just yet, too much hangovers to sort out.

      Maybe someday soon, mothers will have to do the job of retaliating by refusing to give away their pre-teenage daughters out, that will take out the need for mass-weddings.

      Like

  6. I don’t envy GMB…. Corruption will be the least of his worries though. With the right people in place & the guys beneath them behaving themselves because they know it wont be business as usaul, the APC govt will cope. He should bother with corruption in the private sector and the legislature, he can’t do jack there. The economy will be the massive test for him & I worry this is where he will struggle the most, simply because he will try to satisfy Nigerians desire for awoof, and balance generosity with good business sense. That is always a recipe for failure. Look at the new Greek government, facing protesters already.

    And I do love to hear his take on the shooting of Nigerian Drug pushers in Indonesia…. sic

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for opening up space for me. Reading your posts, indeed, has been a new learning experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read this and was thinking, “FK you are dreaming…”, I thought that because I was misguided in thinking that only progressive developed countries have a sizable female allocation of seats in government. I put my hand up and confess I was completely WRONG.

    I checked this site
    http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm
    (figures collected as of February 1 2015)

    You will see that Rwanda, Bolivia, Andorra and Cuba top the list.
    Three out of the four are developing countries and none of those three are particularly rich. So I can’t use wealth of development as a reason to excuse Nigeria’s poor record on this matter. All of those developing countries are facing huge challenges, but they are characterised by having a dynamic and progressive leadership, which Nigeria lacks (I don’t think Buhari will be as dynamic as Bolivia’s Evo Morales, or as revolutionary as Rwanda’s Paul Kagame – hopefully he will out perform his predecessors).

    It is simply a matter of political will and foresight, that is sadly lacking in Nigeria.

    Seychelles (43.8%) and Senegal (42.7%, a predominantly a Muslim nation) have a respectable proportion of women, though still short of 50%. I mentioned Senegal, because those who would want to duck behind religion as an excuse have been robbed of that “get-out” clause. Even Saudi Arabia (a nation not known for women’s rights has a female presence in government greater than that of Nigeria, Saudi has 19.9% and Nigeria has 6.7%).

    Your idea for women empowerment for the Sahel (Sharia) states is good, why the fixation with marrying women? Especially as they have “been there and done that” as it were. Don’t they have a right to be single? Is it an offence? Why doesn’t anyone even question the notion that one must be married off asap?

    Do they have adult female literacy classes? I feel that will also help, as women can do more than cook snacks and “flip goods” ie “buy and sell”. Some of the intellectual potential could be unleashed too, which could really make a big impact on the local economy.

    Last point, in the UK, fathers do attend parent’s evening, when they can. There is no shame in that. The attitudes you highlight show how far Nigerians are lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to forward thinking. This is a handy tie in, as that is what this article is about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nonetheless, I am a dreamer, aren’t I? 🙂 Thank you for the link, very useful.

      Let’s hope GMB advisers would see that Change must include gender equality.

      About whether there is adult literacy classes in Kano, I am not sure but the news talk of people talking openly about the high divorce rate and also encouraging victims of domestic violence to report. Some of these groups are genuine but somehow I can’t help thinking ‘really? is this the major problem?” – maybe the big campaign should be to put end to child bride tradition.

      Oh well, I have very limited knowledge of what the folks up there face, national conference did well to highlight lots of these issues.

      Why fixating on marring women? I suppose whoever have answer to why child bride is the norm perhaps would be able to shed lights on this one. We have single women in the south too but no government would pay to mass-wed a group, the status is still a bit of taboo but lots are educated/independent enough to push back ‘busybodies.’

      Agree, our leaders lack foresight, fingers crossed someone sensible will come along to soften their egos!

      Like

      • I’m glad you’re a dreamer, without dreams there is no hope for a better tomorrow, without dreams there is no purpose or proress, so please keep dreaming and airing your thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

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