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INTEGRITY IN SERVICE TO NIGERIA BY NIGERIAN POLITICAL LEADERS

Note: First published on Janury 15, 2020. The “published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. Though some issues in this piece may still be current (depending on…), this info is to avoid your mistaking the piece as current news.

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Greetings!

This piece is premised on my position that the president of a country does not have to know so much, personally, nor does he/she even have to be brilliant, in order to be a great leader. All that the president needs is the SMARTNESS to surround himself or herself with brilliant Ministers, brilliant Aides, and brilliant Advisers who specialize in various sectors of the society and economy, period, shikena!!!

My thematic question here are: How smart is Nigeria’s President Buhari in picking the right Advisers and Aides? And, how well do the ones that he picked serve him, in the interest of the nation? This is not all about the brilliance of the aides, but also about their integrity. It’s about being sincere and objective in advising or representing the president. It’s about complimenting the president with ideas, and not being a “Yes-man.” It is about respecting the president, without being foolishly too scared of him to say one’s own mind. This, is about standing up like a “man” to say something like: “Mr. President, sir, I don’t believe that your decision is right, for ‘X’ and ‘Y’ reasons, sir,” for your own good, and in the national interest. Here’s my little illustrative comparison between two public servants in President Mohammadu Buhari’s government:

Garba Shehu is President Buhari’s man by appointment; he is his Media Aide. And, Professor Itse Sagay is also President Buhari’s man by appointment; he is his Adviser on Corruption Matters. I want to compare Sagay and Shehu on integrity, as it relates to the good of Nigeria, as well as Buhari.

Recently, President Buhari, possibly and probably unaware of the law, gave his daughter our presidential jet to use as her private toy. It is said that the girl’s couple of hours jolly ride cost Nigeria ten million naira. I started by stating that Buhari does not necessarily have to know the law. So, my problem is with his Aide, a professional media man, Garba Shehu. Unbelievably, the motherfucker pronounced that there is nothing wrong with such act by the president. Shehu presented himself to be very ignorant, because he should know such laws. He also seems unwilling to learn. If he tried, Google would have easily informed him about the law in a jiffy. The man is a trained journalist, for kingdom sake! And he does not know that there is something called “Conflict-of-Interest” Law in Nigeria (and around the world). The law clearly states that Buhari’s act is definitely and clearly illegal.

Any which  way that one slices it, Garba Shehu goofed, big time! We need him to advise or represent our president well, in the interest of the nation, and for the president’s own good!!! If indeed he does not know about the “conflict-of-interest” law, then it makes he is an incompetent idiot. On the other hand, if he knows that the law exists and still pronounced that there is nothing wrong with the president’s act, then he has virtually confessed that he is a hypocrite! I choose to believe that Shehu knows about the law, he is too schooled not to know. Besides, Shehu couldn’t have completely missed the news when the wife of Islaeli President, Benjamin Netayahu, was prosecuted for ordering food worth just a few thousand dollars at the expense of the state. The Israeli First Lady was promptly convicted, and she had to plea-bargain in order to avoid prison. She pleaded guilty, and refunded U$D12,490 to the state. Hence, I conclude that Garba Shuhu’s goof was not due to lack of knowledge, but due to hypocritical sycophancy, or sycophantic hypocrisy. He probably did not want to go contrary to Buhari’s will; so, he chose to disgrace his own intelligence/knowledge. He pretended to be ignorant of the law, presumably in order to please his boss.

The sad thing is that President Buhari probably wants his aides to stand up and be “man enough” to tell him the truth. But many are too scared shitless to find out if indeed he listens to advise. I do know that Nigeria is so lawless that we do not comply with many international Charters that we are signatory to. However, Shehu, in his position, should be ashamed to admit such lawlessness. He could have come up with more mature diplomatic defense for his boss. Otherwise, a smart way out is to shut the fuck up and don’t say a word on the subject, meeeeeen!!!!

In contrast, and shortly after Garba Shehu’s blunder, Professor Itse Sagay (also a president’s man), took a stand against the presidency that he serves under. He bluntly condemned the position of the presidency against the Southwest region’s “Amotekun” security initiative. Sagay condemned the Justice Minister Malami’s pronouncement that “Amotekun” is illegal. Sagay asked the Southwest governors to ignore the Minister. I hail Sagay, because that’s how I feel about “Amotekun.” Mind you, even if I disagreed with his position, I would still say exactly what I have said here. My personal feelings have nothing to do with my objective index, which scores Sagay as a “No-fear-no-favor” great man of integrity. The point being that, Sagay knows that the president could get offended and fire him, because Minister Malami spoke for the president. But Sagay didn’t give a damn; he said his mind about Minister Malami’s pronouncement of Buhari’s position. What makes it so objectively great is that Sagay is not from any of the “Amotekun” southwest states. So, whether he is right or wrong, he spoke in the national interest. He spoke to the best of his knowledge and true belief, not to please the president.

Hence, I see in Itse Sagay, an example of the few Buhari advisers and aids who try to tell him the truth, for the good of the nation. How I wish that we had more of Sagay’s type as presidential Advisers and Aids who can tell Buhari the truth! Nigeria would have been a much better place than the rot we have today. But, alas, it appears that most of what we have are a bunch of sycophantic ‘Yes-men.’ They only echo what the president wants to hear, or worse, what they think that the president wants to hear. That’s a whole lot of bullshitting, meeeeeeeeen!!!

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