First of all, let me seek the permission of my readers to invent a new word. The word certificateless does not exist on the English dictionary. I invented it due to the peculiar situation we find ourselves in, in Nigeria.
The word is created to be a noun which simply means the absence of a certificate in a situation where a certificate is required. For instance, both President Muhammadu Buhari and the 20,000 Kaduna State teachers in the midst of Nasir El-Rufai’s brouhaha are certificateless.
I will state this saga with a true story.
In Edo history, there existed a particular Oba who lived for a very long time. Now his edaiken (first son and heir apparent) was growing tired of waiting for the throne, so he sent his father a calabash with ash in it. His father got the message and sent back the calabash but this time, he mixed the ash with honey, indicating to his son that life was still sweet and he was not ready to quit the scene.
I am a deep political animal. I do not believe that local Kaduna issues are all that has led to the brouhaha of El-Rufai’s threat to sack 20,000 teachers that failed a primary four test and are thus certificateless.
I think that El-Rufai, who has styled himself as magajin Buhari sees himself as something like an edaiken.
You may ask, what type of subliminal message is Nasir El-Rufai passing to Muhammadu Buhari by threatening to sack 20,000 teachers without CERTIFICATES?
Think about it! If a teacher cannot teach without certificate, is it a President that can preside without certificate?
The threat is El-Rufai’s calabash of ash to Buhari and Nigerians in the know are waiting for Buhari’s response.
Be that as it may, The 13 SANs defending President Buhari in his certificate issue should be prevailed upon to also defend the 20,000 Kaduna teachers facing sack. After all, their cases are the same!
And on Monday the 13th of November 2017, the Presidency released a statement declaring that President Buhari supports El-Rufai’s plans to sack the certificateless teachers.
The only difference between President Buhari and the 20,000 Kaduna teachers whose sack he endorsed is that the Kaduna teachers don’t have the money to hire 13 SANs. What is the difference between Buhari and those teachers? Who has a certificate between them? Do these people have any shame at all?
How can Nigeria progress when we sack teachers for not having certificates and install Presidents who don’t have certificates?
It is rather like a company saying a messenger without WASSCE is unqualified meanwhile its MD is in the same boat. How will the company be profitable? You cannot fight certificatelessness in primary school teachers and promote certificatelessness for a second term. Make up your mind. It is either you are fine with certificatelessness or you are not!
Certificateless teachers teach Kaduna children and you are not surprised when they fail. Certificateless President runs your economy and you are surprised when it fails? Can zero plus zero ever equal more than zero?
And the President’s certificatelessness has reverberated beyond Nigeria. He is not considered as someone to be reckoned with in Nigeria by his peers on the continent.
African leaders even respect Rochas Okorocha more than President Muhammadu Buhari. They fly into Nigeria, go straight to Imo to see Rochas and check out without ever going to Abuja. Could such a thing have happened under Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua or Jonathan? That is how irrelevant President Buhari has become even in his own country.
And why will they not think that the President is a joke? A man without certificate who is so backward in his thinking that after former President Jonathan opened the floodgates for women combatants to join the Nigerian Army, this Stone Age despot that we call a President unilaterally overturned the policy ostensibly because Northern Muslim leaders are opposed to women serving in the military.
Can we be surprised about this action from a man who believes women belong in the other room?
And that rightly named Lai Mohammed had the guts to say that President Buhari is cleaning up the Peoples Democratic Party’s Augean Stable. Really?
Which mess PDP is President Buhari cleaning exactly?
* Cleaning N87 fuel for N145 fuel
* Cleaning N199 to 1$ for N375 for $1
* Cleaning N8k bag of rice for N18k bag
* Cleaning N1 bag of cement for N4k bag of cement
* Cleaning women combatants from army?
I mean the facts speak for themselves.
And in the midst of the economic chaos that President Muhammadu Buhari has unleashed on Nigeria, his number one priority is not finding out why the United Nations has projected that Nigeria will have more people in extreme poverty than India by February of 2018 even though India has eight times our population.
The President is in re-election mode and has shifted focus from governance (not that he was ever focused on that account).
His latest re-election gimmick is to visit a Southeast that he had never once visited before as President. But the President is making a big miscalculation if he thinks he can buy the support of the Igbo for his re-election.
What the Igbo need is not a Presidential visit. They need to be included in government. There isn’t a single Igbo man heading any of the military or paramilitary forces in Nigeria. They are all headed by Northern Muslim men, except one (Navy) headed by a South-Southerner.
The Army, Air Force, Police, Customs, Immigration and Prisons are led by Northern Muslim men. Only the Navy is led by a Southerner. That is why the policy allowing women combatants was almost scrapped by Armed Forces Council but for the mass protest it prompted, because the North opposes it and the South, which supports it, is underrepresented.
The Buhari administration is a thoroughly discredited government whose focus should be to help the President pack his load and move back to Daura to tend to his cows that never increase in number rather than this focus on his re-election.
This is why I was rather surprised at the surprise of the Ikoyi whistle-blower that he had not been paid.
That Ikoyi whistle-blower should have known better than to expect the Buhari administration to keep their promise to him. Have they kept their promise to Nigerians? If they can’t keep that one is it his they will keep?
In fact, some of the mad people you see on the streets may just be whistle-blowers who blew the whistle for the EFCC. You never know. You just never know!
Now I understand why The Buhari administration has refused to fulfill its campaign promises. It is not their fault. Just like the Ikoyi whistle-blower, they do not want us to get mad if we see too many fulfilled promises. For example, PDP fulfilled too many promises and we got mad and voted for APC! President Buhari is preparing for re-election and does not want that type of madness again!
And as the 75-year-old President Buhari surreptitiously kicks off his re-election campaign, he should not test the Nigerian people, who have borne the weight of his unprecedented misrule, too much.
What we want from him, even if he intends to run in 2019, is a free and fair election.
Already, we are seeing the business interests of likely rivals being dealt a massive blow. If their contracts with the Federal Government are not being illegally cancelled, then expatriate quotas are being revoked. This in a country screaming that it wants foreign investments.
Saudi Arabia has a 32-year-old Crown Prince who is fighting corruption, growing the economy and has now allowed women to drive while Nigeria has a 75-year-old (allegedly) President who has ruined the economy while pretending to fight corruption and has no single youth in his cabinet! Different strokes for different folks!
We must Vote out the certificateless Buhari and his Lying APC…. period!
By Reno Omokri