Conversation With Baba


“Baba, let’s go straight to the issues trending in the media. Nigerians are worried about your frequent junkets, saying there are important matters needing your attention at home.”

“First of all, let me say that I was in Niger Republic to discuss with President Mohammed Yusuf issues of regional cooperation towards fighting insurgency. These ragtag criminals called Boko Haram will soon be eliminated. I was in Chad also, where I met with President Idris Baby and discussed issues of regional alliance towards having a secure border and ending insurgency.”

“But why don’t you send your deputy to represent you, so that you can attend to important matters at home?”

“I have no problem sending Osunbade to represent me anywhere in the world if the need arises. But for now, my presence is needed in those countries I visited. You can recall that I sent Osunbade to Sudan. My visit to West Germany was on the invitation of President Michelle. Very soon I will be in Dahomey and Gold Coast on a working visit. In Gold Coast, I will meet with Coffee Annan to thank him for ensuring the peaceful conduct of election in Nigeria. Next month it will be Senegambia and Zaire. So if President Mussolini of Italy extends invitation to me on how to end Boko Haram, I will honour the invitation. You see, it is not for my pleasure that I travel frequently, it is for Nigeria. The terrorism in the Northern Protectorate can spread to Southern Protectorate if we did not seek alliance with our neighbours.”

“You are now going to South Africa, may we know the purpose of this visit?”

“Well I am going to Johanes-vogue to first thank President Zuma Yakubu for supporting Mr Ade-sinner to be the MD of African Development Board. Second issue is xenophobia. Third issue is how to improve our electoral system. You know Independent Nigerian Electoral Commission (Eye-Neck) has done well by introduction of card reader in the last general elections.”

“Sir, you mentioned West Germany… I am sure you meant to say Germany. You may be aware that Berlin Wall is no longer there, and West and East Germany are now one nation…”

“When did President Michelle do that? If Berlin Wall is demolished, Nasir el-Rufai would have told me… (laughs)”

“Ok Sir. Rumours are making the rounds that former minister of Petroleum Resources has returned huge sums of money to the nation’s coffers. And that you negotiated that when you had in-flight meeting with her on your way to the UK.”

“It was just a mere coincidence that I met Diezani Ojo-Madueke aboard British Caledonia flight to London. I have no any business with her except that her husband was a military governor under my regime as military head of state more than 30 years ago.”

“Sir you are still not in the Villa, and you still did not make key appointments.”

“There are some renovation works taking place in the Villa. Security agents are also sweeping the vicinity – and all the nooks and crannies. The marabous are also doing their work. When they finish, we will go in. On appointments, I was initially waiting for Joda report so that I would see who they recommend for me to appoint SGF, Chief of Staff, PPS, etc. Now that they submitted the report, I will find time to read it all before making a decision. Nigerians should exercise some patience.”

“But it is 800-page report… Isn’t it too much?”

“I will read it all before I make decision.”

“Baba, are you happy with the emergence of Saraki and Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively?”

“Well, Senator Bankole Saraki and Yakubu Dogari are not legitimate members of our party. Defying the order of our party shows that they were doing the bidding of another party. They shunned meeting with me and one of them called Osunbade mere commissioner. This is the highest form of indiscipline.”

“Some people argue that your trip to UK few days to inauguration was uncalled for…”

“But I was called for the meeting. Sir Windson Churchill invited me to see him at No.10 Down Street… (cut in).”

“But sir Churchill died long a go…”

“Sorry, Premier David Cameroon. So there is no problem since we discussed ways of fighting corruption and insurgency.”

“Sir, what is your plan for power generation. Previous government’s deregulation policy brought into existence different distribution companies…(cut in)”

“Wait please! What we know is NEPA, and nothing more. We have plans to generate power through new-clear energy. You know some people when new-clear is mentioned, their mind goes to new-clear we-phones. Well, when NEPA is available, Nigeria’s economy will certainly grow.

“What are your plans towards persuading OPEC to lower oil production bar so that Nigeria can benefit?”

“Even yesterday I spoke with President Salman of Mecca to see ways they can help Nigeria. Nigerians should give us a space”.

“Are you removing petroleum subsidy once and for all?”

“What is subsidy?”

–Jaafar sent in this piece from Abuja

Culled from


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