Monday, March 21, 2016


That Rotimi Amaechi is an irresponsible Federal Minister is the least of our worries. Our main worry is that he is still on the job - uncautioned, unquestioned, unsanctioned by his employer.

Why irresponsibility?

Come with me.

I am three months into administrative apprenticeship as head of an academic unit in a University. I've never been in Admin so it's a learning process and I am enjoying every bit of it. You can therefore pardon my naivete when the time came to leave my seat and be absent for a week.

Nigeria happened to me in terms of what I thought the procedures of absence would be.

I called my predecessor and asked him if he didn't mind being Acting Director during my absence and he graciously agreed. I thought that was it.

Poor me!

I was soon thrown into a daunting administrative architecture of disengagement. Two Deans must be notified of my absence; the principal admin staff of the two Deans must be notified; a certain number of people in offices I have never heard about must be notified; the financial office must be notified.

These are all arteries of the administrative system that must be aware of who has signatory authority for the unit in my absence. Oyinbo's work must neither stop nor suffer in your absence.

Throughout the week, the web of required notifications kept expanding. When I finally heaved a sigh of relief and thought it was all over, I received a memo from yet another office asking if I wanted to transfer electronic signature authority to the Acting Director.

Apparently, all I had done during the week did not cover electronic signatures as I could very well decide to hold on to e-authority and sign things electronically during my absence.

Knowing that there is no light, no water, no nothing where I am heading to and my access to the internet could depend on the strength of prayer warriors yonder, I respected myself by also transferring electronic authority to the Acting Director.

One week of painstaking procedures to transfer authority of just one unit in a University just because one society evolved a culture of hatred for impunity and lawlessness - a reality which makes the Institution bigger than the person.

As I went through this handing over process, my blood pressure increased and my health deteriorated. I grumbled to Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, Moses Ochonu, Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo, and Omoyele Sowore.

I told them that I am tired of Nigeria. Here am I being told that the life and work of one academic and administrative unit in a University is incompatible with the ethos of Oga is not on seat. You cannot just take off and go.

That is just one Unit in a University o.

Yet, some useless state governor will be responsible for the lives of about ten million people and will just take off and travel - no handover, no continuity, etc. The life of the state and the people stops once Oga is not on seat. No process, no institutional integrity.

Yet some useless Senators will abandon their duty posts just like that.

Yet some useless Federal Ministers will just take off and leave.

Think of how many Directors, commissioners, etc just take off and leave in Nigeria.

Just like that!

Who, for instance, authorized Rotimi Amaechi's week in Port Harcourt? What were the procedures of disengagement and continuity that were undertaken in his Ministry? How were the perm sec and the Directors in his Ministry notified and what was delegated to who? And which superior authority signed off on this trip to Port Harcourt? What did he say he was going to do in Port Harcourt? Did he tell whoever his superior is that he was abandoning his duty post to go and play gutter politics in Port Harcourt?

A Minister, as we know, has one superior authority. Did he authorize Amaechi's absence from work? Was he notified? Or is it just the Nigerian way? After all, Baba knows that it is APC work that I am going there to do!

How can a Minister just take off and leave?

This jungle society of impunity is not acceptable. It is not sustainable.

And to think that all he went to do was politics at the expense of his job.

Lives were lost. I hold Rotimi Amaechi and Nyesom Wike wholly and exclusively responsible for the lives lost.

There will be no end to barbaric elections in Nigeria until we evolve a process that will hold politicians directly responsible for the loss of lives during elections in which they are involved.

Our society is still too primitive and ignorant for us to expect that we can get civics across to the street and tell the youth beyond social media that useless politicians like Amaechi and Wike ain't worth dying for. No Nigerian politician is even worth missing lunch for - let alone dying. But we are not at that level of national consciousness yet hence the struggle must be to hold the politicians directly accountable for the loss of lives.

Abba Moro is today answering for the lives lost during his corrupt hiring process.

We must struggle for a society in which Amaechi and Wike will one day be hauled before a judge for the lives that were lost in Rivers state this week.

A good place to start is for President Buhari to look into Rotimi Amaechi's absence from work this past week. That is one week of work he has stolen from Nigerians. It should be deducted from his salary. Shior!