Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, is embroiled in the thick storm, perhaps, because he too has raked up a storm in the murky waters of Nigeria’s stinking politics. This first class brainy technocrat first won my respect with his now defunct Hearts magazine, an excellent masterfully crafted romantic publication. Perhaps, his love for romance misled him into a dalliance with jackals.
However, this is a different kind of romance wherein there is neither affection nor tenderness. All that these jackals know is vulgar language and crudity. They are both herbivores and carnivores, rapaciously devouring every devourable with seared conscience. Obviously, this is too weird for Kachikwu’s Harvard washed brain.
He recently penned a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, lamenting his woes in the hands of Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of Northern (sorry, Nigerian) National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nobody knows how the letter was leaked, but Kachikwu resorted to write to the president when all efforts to see him failed.
In the letter, he chronicled Baru’s acts of insubordination and disdain for him, as supervisory minister and pleaded with the president to save him and his office from further humiliation. He also wants the president to cancel Baru’s unilateral, lopsided appointments that did not go through the corporation’s board.
This is a tall order that is dead on arrival. Kachikwu must be naïve to believe that the president was not in the know of his travails and that his request will receive positive look-in. Baru is on a mission for the masters. He was sent to checkmate the Igbo ‘slave boy’ from the South and ensure that the country’s cash cow is continuously milked for the masters’ famished children in the North despite adding nothing. Or is it not strange that Kachikwu, minister of state, has no access to his principal minister, the president? Is it not funny that any minister, for that matter, could not have access to the president, the chief executive officer of our floundering country?
Kachikwu is too ambitious if he expects any respect from Baru. Despite having now met with the president, Kachikwu would also have missed it if he thought the president would rein in Baru. The NNPC boss is not only on a mission for the president but also for the entire northern overlords. The opposition is alleging that the questionable billions are being stockpiled for the 2019 elections. Therefore, Kachikwu may have unwittingly exposed a plot of the masters too early in the day and he may not be forgiven for that effrontery.
The question that readily comes to mind is what Kachikwu is still doing in such a set up, when he could easily take a walk with his honour and integrity intact before they finally mess him up. Even this letter he wrote, raising issues of accountability and due process, is too audacious for his ‘servile status,’ on account of his geographical station; the masters may not take kindly to it. Nobody should be surprised if some hounds are set on the loose on Kachikwu’s trail very soon. That is how it is in Nigeria, where the hunter often becomes the hunted. Ask previous whistle-blowers; ask Hon. Abdulmumini Jibrin or Senator Isah Misau.
Kachikwu ought to have known that he has nothing and nobody to blame for his naivety. It is a joke that the president could grant his whining minister audience because of his public outcry and damning exposure of unwholesome acts going on in NNPC. How could Kachikwu not realise that Baru was a mere errand boy of the cabal, acting out the script handed out to him? How come Kachikwu did not know that due process or not, Baru had unfettered access to Mr. President or at least, his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and got his approvals nonetheless? Was it not Kyari that received his letter to the president? How could he have expected it to get to the president in the first place? Even if it did, it should have been apparent that his matter would have been a sniggering topic over gworo or bowels of fura.
There are different templates for fighting this corruption. I used to castigate those who accused the government of being selective. But I have since realised that those that hold this view may not be wrong entirely.
Beginning from the Dasukigate, which roped in the president himself, who admittedly received two bullet-proof vehicles from Dasuki to the MTN and Dubai property scandals, to the Ikoyi orphan monies and the millions spent to cut ‘iron’ grass at IDP camps, almost all those associated with this government are saints and exonerated while Jonathan’s men are the demons that must be exorcised for making the government tepid more than two years after.
It is amusing how supposedly intelligible minds are making a joke of the volatile issue of alleged plots to Islamise Nigeria. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had decried government’s plot to issue Sukuk bonds, a purely Islamic financial instrument in a secular Nigeria. Some people have derided the Christian body, saying CAN should rather Christianise Nigeria by floating its own financial instruments instead of opposing the Sukuk bonds. Is it not a shame, they argue, that the very first state that applied for the Islamic bond is a Christian state? This is non-issue because whoever did never told us they were Christians. There is much more to being a Christian than mere nomenclature or geographical location.
Of course, I have opposed the lukewarm attitude of Christians to evangelism but the argument by the Sukuk proponents is puerile and mischievous. However, I also urge Christian leaders, who have neglected their core calling and gone in pursuit of mundane things at the expense of soul winning to buckle up. We need not worry unduly; nobody has capacity to Islamise Nigeria if Christians get serious with the Lord’s mandate.
Nevertheless, we need not Christianise or Islamise Nigeria by whatever means. Let Nigeria remain as constitutionally structured: A secular state.