By Chidi Obineche
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN has a swirling vault of incandescence. He is bubbling in a smelly splash of flaks over some believably indecorous slants in positions of national significance, From a quibbling application to re-arrest the leader of the secessionist Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB Nnamdi Kanu, which raised some hefty tempest, with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo President- General Nnia Nwodo angrily chiding him “to respect his oath of office”, to his dawdling rationalization of why government cannot arrest the Arewa youths who gave the Igbo quit notice from their land, it has been a fiesta, a handgun loaded with smug excuses.
On the upside, he is in the ring in a hemlock with the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu dazing him with reasons why he is the cause of the wobbling fight against corruption. In his grinding grandeur of delusion and excuses he is stirring a hint that the nation will have same issues again. Sometimes reasons are not really reasons; they may just be stupid nonsense that history never accepts. Don Wilder, many decades ago warned that “excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.”
In a blissful way, men of silk can make a tell- tale of nothing. They can solemnly declare with a furrow on the forehead, mixed with elated gaiety that “My sister’s friend’s mother’s grandpa’s brother’s grandson’s uncle’s auntie’s goat was killed during sallah. And yes, it was tragic.” Real glory, as they say, arrives when one quits the refuge house of excuses and begins making changes. The wise would rather focus on why and how to make things happen rather than drown in subterfuges and excuses. In the good book of Success, by Rudyard Kippling, “there are forty million reasons for failure. But not a single excuse.” Sometimes excuses are lies fears have sold to the conscience.
When a rainbow of humans come with their own situations, pursuing their own brand of justice or happiness, a cacophony prevails and a god appears in the end and starts directing traffic. This is deux ex-machina. Excuses may get him feel better and relaxed, but it changes nothing. Words mean nothing in a swirl of suspicion. It’s cooler to suck it up, say a prayer, make a plan and just do something. Excuses don’t burn calories; they crush our dreams. In all circumstances, excuses can be found to be either good or bad, can proclaim that all earth is oval ; that the tortoise must die for being slow; that a predator should devour its prey because the latter smiled; that the trash took itself out. Eat your excuses for breakfast and move on. The minister may jolly well ache with the yearning to turn half into whole, and make merry with logic, but he offers no excuses for the beauty of souls and the conditional indivisibility of the beleaguered nation.
In any case, in the words of Ralph Marston, “When your reasons to move forward outweigh your excuses for staying put, you will move forward.” One cannot be more self-conceited than his leader who is looking for unity in the same place he lost it. The Ostrich game exposes the thinking parts. The player thinks nobody sees him if he sees nobody. When we close our eyes to the things we don’t want to see, can we also close our hearts to the things we don’t want to feel? After all, what the ostrich sees in the sand is not what the palm wine tapper sees on top of the tree. In the end, the mountain ahead will pose no bigger threat than the grain of sound in his shoes.
Malami was born on April 17, 1967 in Birnin kebbi, Kebbi State. His early formal education began at Nassarawa Primary School, Birnin Kebbi, before he completed his secondary school education at College of Arts and Arabic studies. In 1991, he graduated from Usmanu Danfodiyo University where he studied Law and was called to the Bar in 1992. He obtained his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Maiduguri in 1994. He was national legal adviser of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and was actively involved in the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. On November 15, 2015, he was appointed the minister of justice and attorney general of the Federation, thus becoming the youngest minister in the cabinet. He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria , SAN in 2008.