Last week I promised that as soon as I am able to solve the problem of downloading texts from my phone into my laptop, I’ll reproduce some of the texts I’d received in reaction to my columns of the last several weeks, specifically those on the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State and my tribute to Dan Agbese, veteran journalist and co-founder of Newswatch, at 70.
Today I am reproducing those texts, plus some on my obituary about the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, last week, even though I am unable to resolve my digital wahala. Instead I’ve had to type them from my phone. I felt compelled to produce the texts to quickly correct several rather egregious mistakes I made in the obituary.
Before reproducing the texts, however, I thought I should devote at least half the column this morning to this not-so-small matter of a gentleman’s word being his honour.
The reader will, I am sure, recall that two years ago President Goodluck Jonathan gave us his word in a lengthy interview that made the cover of Tell newsmagazine (February 27, 2012) that by June last year no Nigerian would need the use of stand-by generators anymore. “I promise Nigerians,” he said in the interview, “we will stabilize power but if you ask me how many megawatts, I will not tell you.”
However, even though he said he would not be drawn on specific targets, he assured Nigerians that electricity supply will be so stable those with generators will “dash” them to him. “By the middle of next year,” he said, “you will ‘dash’ me your generator. I’ll send it out of this country because we won’t need it here anymore.”
About a year and a half before the Tell interview, on August 26, 2010 to be exact, the president unfurled the roadmap of his power reform agenda. It targeted 14,000 megawatts by 2013 and 40,000 by 2020. At that time the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was generating about 3,500, a far cry from the country’s demand in excess of 25,000 which itself fell far short of South Africa’s 40,000 with a population of 50 million, compared to ours which is more than triple.
This month it is one year since the president is supposed to have taken delivery of our supposedly superfluous standby generators and sent them out of the country. Yet it looks like, far from “dashing” him our generators, those who can afford them are indeed in need of more. And for those who can’t, there’s no light at the end of the dark tunnel they’ve been groping around in since the president unfurled his roadmap.
Nothing could be more embarrassing to the president over his failure to deliver on his promise than what happened on this year’s Democracy Day on May 29 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. The president had just climbed the podium to present a compendium of his achievements in the last one year to a select audience of youths at the night event when the lights went off. He stood waiting for nearly twenty minutes before the lights returned.
Given the importance of adequate power supply for the growth of our economy the president clearly has a lot of work to do to convince Nigerians that the recent rebasing of our GDP which his administration would want Nigerians to celebrate is nothing more than economic hallucination, to use the words reproduced below of one of my respondents.
And now to the texts.
As we crucify Nyako
You will always defend anything NORTH, be it north Africa. It is now clear that you and your elites know these uncommon criminals. Be bold and courageous enough to present them for DIALOGUE. Note that I don’t like you but I love your grammar that’s why I read your article. Detach yourself from NORTHERN agenda and be nationalistic.
Why did you not ask your criminal brothers to accept the amnesty offered by the President? I am not surprised you supported that mad man called Nyako.
Please let’s join hands together and push this country ahead. Complains will never help us.
Why are you always rationalizing things when it affects the north? Nyako should be in jail for all I care. Stop being divisive and educate your brothers on how to live with others.
A dull president with crooks manning our security. What do you expect? We need new thinking, new blood.
Anytime I need an increase in my system of adrenalin or better still bile, I read your piece. Please go and negotiate with your brothers Boko Haram and leave our president alone. President Yar’adua never went to the creeks to negotiate with the criminal militants. It was the good people of Niger Delta who supported the president and called the boys to order. Call Nyako, go to Sambisa forest, talk to your murderous Shekau to end the killing. If not, he will finish all of you.
What Governor Nyako said about GEJ was true. The First Family is a circus. The security chiefs are jesters. The government is a comedy of idiotic errors. That’s what they are.
Bashir I Wada.
Do help us tell Boko Haram that they are cowards. We the Niger Delta militants are, through this medium, challenging them to battle. We will not only kill them all, we will cook their flesh and eat every one of them like chicken.
The truth of the matter is that Muslims have been frightened into silence in this country. We all know that Nyako said the truth. See how Patience Jonathan was threatening Borno State governor.
Rebasing our economy
Excellent critique in your column of yesterday in The Nation on the maddening hallucination of our President and his so-called economic experts, first on the old debt relief of 2005 and now the laughable statistical ”rebased GDP” which is part of the self-imposed image of a balloon nation.
Professor Sam Oyovbaire.
Dan Agbese at 70.
I want to thank you for your beautiful piece on our Dan Agbese. I’ll always remember him for his article on the late Chief Awolowo prior to his last birthday in 1987. In that article Agbese eulogized the qualities and contributions of Chief Awolowo and wrote that he will be remembered as the best president Nigeria never had. The sage died a few weeks after the publication and the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu made the same statement thereafter. While Nigerians were crediting the statement to Chief Ojukwu, Dan Agbese was the author and originator of the statement.
Adefemi Aribatise, Lagos.
Several of the respondents to my piece on Dan at 70 wanted to know where they could buy his books which I referred to. They should contact him on 08033218058 or through his email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ekiti governorship election
You have just won the highest bid price for Project Kayode as contractor columnist. Please keep off paid job like this and do the real Haruna stuff you’re made of.
What you describe as a formidable rigging machine is as much an APC thing. In case you don’t know, the growing perception in the South-West today is that the APC is not exactly averse to the electoral infractions they are wont to charge the PDP with. This explains why the sympathy for Fayemi is not overwhelming.
Kuteyi R. R. Ondo.
I am not from Ekiti but I am a strong advocate of the social policies imparting on lives of the people. Fayemi has just done that. May Almighty God never allow the likes of Fayose to ruin the good works? Ekiti should be ready to defend their votes bearing in mind that Fayose’s antics at rigging remains notorious.
The death of Ado Bayero
Your Wednesday column of June 11 refers. 1. Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano is outside the city wall not inside as you stated. 2. Azare town is in Katagum Emirate not Bauchi and 3. You forgot to add that the emir was also Chancellor of UNMAID at one time. Thank you.
Prof. Yahaya Shehu.
I stand corrected on all three counts. On the second count, Azare is indeed the capital of Katagum Emirate. In addition, Emir Muhammadu Inuwa, as many readers pointed out, was an uncle of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi and not his cousin, as I said.
All the errors are regretted.
In your Wednesday June 11 2014 column you forgot to mention about the Maitatsine saga in 1984.
With due respect, I wish to make this correction. Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s father was a Chadian. He is Gwado-gwado not Babur as you mentioned in your piece.
Habibu Hamisu Ibrahim
Source- Mohammed Haruna – http://www.gamji.com/