They even had plays titled ‘Octorush’ to celebrate it in my time. All that is history – the calendar is determined by ASUU strike and even NYSC has adapted, it runs a two-tier course so that in-between, whenever your school happens to opena or close, you may find the batch that suits you.
Parents with the means now find themselves in a situation whereby the eldest gains admission to a public school and goes on and on, until the youngest meets up, is sent to a private school, graduates before the eldest, carries on a Masters’ and returns to teach his/her elder. Our education minister does not know the true meaning of the word agreement. And believe me he was two-time governor of a state in Nigeria. Do our government care – NO. They don’t and they shouldn’t why should they? With children in England, America and Ghana why should they care? Those ones run proper semester and they are recruiting.
We are talking about a nation with 20 ENT surgeons and three neurosurgeons to a population of over 150 million. Do we need a better understanding of our President going to Saudi Arabia or Germany to cure his common cold? Yet, with a quarter of his flight ticket, some of the basic equipment needed to do the trick could have been bought. But they only revel in capital projects – that’s where the money for 2011 selection and rigging could be got. I haven’t been to the National Hospital in a long while. The last time I was, most of the equipments were not working because Nigeria is yet to pay Philips Consulting the fees needed to activate them. The other day, NEXT did an expose on misplaced priorities. It showed how the Aso Rock Clinic bought 14 new ambulances while most of the public hospitals in Abuja have no functional one. The Aso Rock Clinic caters only for Mr. President and a few retinues of aides.
By now, Nigerians are used to our own way of doing things. Mr. President got into office with a pledge to declare a state of emergency on the power sector. It so happened that Mr. President, a graduate of chemistry did not know what a state of emergency meant and it has taken him more than two years to find out – yes – in the age of the internet.
In the two years of his governance, Mr. President is yet to commission a single project embarked upon and executed by him. But thank God, they have ordered a moratorium on contracts. After awarding N257 billion for a road project that could have been executed with a fraction of that cost. Nigeria is a comedy of errors.
Again, Mr. President announced that there would be an amnesty for militants in the Niger-Delta region. For those who care to recall, Mr. Obasanjo did a lot on this before he was forced to step aside, so one would expect Yar’adua to build on that. But he chose to announce an amnesty whose content and modality he obviously had no clue. Now, clever armed robbers are surrendering AK 47 rifles to the Inspector General of Police and they are in warm embrace.
Smart Aninis would escape with their long-gotten wealth and become Godfathers of the new recruits. Weeks after that announcement, our government is releasing the terms and conditions with somnambulist frequency. They do so in bits and pieces in ways that shows how convoluted and disjointed they are both in planning and execution.
For instance, the amnesty did not stop the aerial artillery and aerial bombardment of the creeks and the wanton killing of innocent civilians. We do not feel squeamish to display our capacity as a father that slaughters our own children even though we gave away Bakassi Peninsula without firing a shot! Government’s amnesty is announced in June, begins in August and ends in October.
The profiteering world has closed its eyes as it mourns the passing of Michael Jackson, but its conscience would be pricked one day and the caravan of news will turn this way – and then who knows, all efforts are rebranding will fall, like a park of cards.
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