Friday, 27 March 2009

Look and Laugh!

Just when most Nigerians are questioning the purpose of a federal government that appears to be directionless at best or comatose at worst, we have now been handed down the latest in a series of unfathomable directives, which clearly shows our days of worrying are far from over.

For those who might not be aware, the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday this week, announced the withdrawal of police orderlies for the following; Justices of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge and Grand Khadi of a state, President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Judges of the Federal High Court, FCT and state high courts, Khadis of Sharia Court of Appeal, Judges of Customary Court of Appeal and Magistrates. The list also includes; Special advisers, Assistants and other principal staff of the President and Vice-President, Secretaries to state governments; State heads of service, Commissioners and Principal staff of state governors.

Just so you are in the know, the following will still keep their security; President, Vice-President, Chief Justice of the Federation, State governors, Deputy governors, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, President of the Court of Appeal, Head of Service of the Federation and Ministers.

So, the Justices of the Courts of Appeal who are the ones responsible for passing down judgements in such high-profile cases like the State governorship tussles, will no longer have security, but a Minister who for the best will in the world, is not in what one would consider a security challenged role, will have their police ordelies in place. Also, consider that all members of the FEC get to keep their security, then you have governance Nigerian-style.

What leaves me totally befuddled is the 'same world, different planet' mentality that this government appears to operate on. Do these people not live in Nigeria? Okay, let's break it down; aside from the Power crisis, what is Nigeria's most prevailing challenge? I will take a guess and say you have just mentioned the word 'security', so how is it that those who are supposed to be leading us to the promised land, have gone off on a different tangent? Of all the social issues affecting our ailing nation, where does this fit in? Who does it help? The Judge who will now sleep with both eyes open (he slept with just one when he had an orderly!), or the criminal who now knows that the path to retribution, has been cleared further for his nefarious benefit?

My late father used to be a Judge before he passed away in 2000, and I can assure you family members of those who sit on the Nigerian judiciary are always relieved to see the alloted policeman who is never too far away. They are aware that even though it might not provide infallible security (what does?), it bears the appearance of some level of protection, just in case an aggrieved party decides to take the law into their hands. I would have thought the obvious dangers of having no security were self-evident, but I guess not....not in Nigeria anyway. In Nigeria, we allocate police orderlies to foreigners (remember the picture of that mobile policeman holding the umbrella over the Chinese man), business people of dubious character, but leave those who are in clear and present danger, fallowing in the cold. We have clearly lost our way.

As expected, the directive has been challenged by the usual suspects; i.e the NBA, opposition political parties and the odd good egg in the PDP, so who knows, we might actually get a reprieve from out populist leader who afterall won more than 70% of our votes. For my part, as I am in no way connected or privy to the level of authority needed to reverse the decision, I will just do what Fela told us to do in these situations.

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