BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON,
asking after Lai Mohammed
Liars and cheats occasionally win a war but seldom win a battle.
"The continued reoccurrence and persistence of repression through
economic, political, and social-cultural means in the mistake called
Jonathan’s government has created a nation of traumatized and
dehumanized citizenry. The indicators which the evil ruling class
refuse to see include declining economy, political instability,
pervasive and entrenched dictatorial and repressive mode of
governance, mass poverty and growing worsening condition of social
and personal insecurity and disharmony, widespread opposition
against the government, a conglomeration of geo-ethnic and
parapoitic associations both sane ones and confused ones.
Consequently there are doubts in many quarters about the
desirability and continuing existence of Nigeria as an indivisible
and dissoluble sovereign nation.
The above paragraphs reminds me of epic Lai Mohammed when he was
spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (Then APC was in the
opposition), there was hardly any day that one opened the newspaper
without one news item or the other from the indefatigable
Lai...christened Lie Mohammed by his numerous fans. Today I am
looking for my Lai…
Currently Lai Mohammed is occupying the office of the Minister for
Information, it is an office that has seen decent men like that
young honorable dude during Obasanjo, so decent many cannot recall
his name or that he even served, he was not allowed to learn the
ropes of lying…his name Chukwuemeka Chikelu!
The office has seen the likes of strong woman Dora Akunyili, I am
sure she'd be looking at Lai Mohammed and frowning. Chukwumerije has
joined her in the world beyond, with his white beard; I remember
there was another whited bearded one called Walter Ofonagoro, I
don't know where he is now.
In case many have forgotten, the man with acidic tongue Fani Kayode
was equally an occupant of that office, and lately we had another
liar, he was even more called Liebaran than Labaran Maku a name his
forbears called him. Infact my opening paragraph credited to Lai
Mohammed could belong to any of these Ministers and it would still
In a nation where the president is entitled to a spokesperson, with
the title Senior Special Assistant, and countless aides with media
related responsibility one would think that the job of the Minister
for Information would be easy, but alas it is not an easy one.
So where is Lai Mohammed, I hardly hear or put better, 'we' do not
hear him these days, even as mere formality, after the weekly ritual
called FEC Meetings we are hardly treated to the flamboyant Minister
from Kwara state.
When a square, round or triangle meal is almost unobtainable in most
homes, I do not see Lai Mohammed, is he now excommunicated from
reality? I may be under duress to agree with Lai, that the President
and his men are all working hard to make Nigeria great again. But
really, have you heard the Igbo proverb that says ‘of what use is it
running when you are on the wrong direction?’ When the President’s
best efforts is translating into untold hardship for the generality
of the nation.
Haba! Nigerians are not as difficult as your chaps on top think they
are; all they ask for is the basics of life of which Allah has
blessed us with the resources to have. Yet all the hard work of Mr.
President in the last two years has shown little fruits.
Mr. Lai Mohammed, I know quite a few things this government has done
fairly well, but these achievements are dwarfed by the reality. The
current recession was one that started as a result of a
democratically selected government’s confusion over where and how it
wants to get to its destination, if at all it has one.
However Mr. Lai, the government you serve in, has not done anything
different from the austerity measures or SAP of past regimes and
administration, which all failed, and even if we anticipate success
then I fear, not from reforms with no name, no definition, no
direction, no duration, and without people orientation.
As Minister, and Nigerian, you are a friend and not a foe, but the
current hardship, has caused a confirmed breach of human liberty and
dignity. It is the fact that Nigeria under the present “regime” is
suffering chronic crisis and measures; designed to perpetuate
widespread destitution and under nourishment of mind, soul and body,
mass poverty, unemployment, inflation and crime.
The present reforms has made it possible for access to critical
social welfare goods and service to be restricted to only the rich.
The rich that can still afford it from their loot of the so-called
national cake take scholarships meant for the poor. The “regime”
expectedly has found it difficult to do to simple things, mobilizing
the vast national and human resources of the nation, effecting a
proper restructuring of its institutions by reorientation and
mobilization of citizens towards humanistic values, productivity,
efficiency social justice, welfare and open accountability.
At this point I have lost the will to write further, I even ask is
there any need, the crocodile and alligator may look alike but they
are not friends either, so also the man who planted banana and
expected plantain on the premise they look alike would be
disappointed. There is a thin line between the success and failure
of a venture, there is no fence sitting, Nigeria is at the threshold
and brink of; a brink of where we have always been, as it was during
Jonathan, so it seemingly is becoming with your boss Buhari.
My beloved Lai Mohammed, I want you to shout your voice hoarse,
speak as government information points-man, tell Nigerians what the
government is doing, tell us that all will be well, give us fact
based, time set goals and how change is being effected. I need not
tell you and Nigerians alike that only truth can win the war called
Nigeria…on intent I have left out some of the bitter wars we are
waging as a nation, but with love if we start telling the truth all
may yet be well, when though—Only time will tell.