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The All-Important Non-Priority Agenda

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The trail of reactions that have followed the suspension of the Nigerian Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, are a reflection of a scenario of misplaced priorities that have seemingly come to characterise the Goodluck Jonathan administration. After making startling revelations about unpaid remittances to the Federation Account by the NNPC, Mr. Sanusi entered into an altercation of sorts with Mr. President. By Thursday last week, this development culminated in Sanusi’s suspension from the leadership of the apex financial institution on grounds of financial recklessness.

For me, the suspension wasn’t half as shocking as it was disturbing; disturbing because it makes mockery of a leadership that touts itself as having an agenda; a “transformation agenda”. This agenda, once highly regarded, now seems, from the facts on ground, to be putting the things which matter most at the mercy of those which matter least; or those that only matter in a fundamentally negative way. For indeed, why would a government so concerned with financial recklessness ignore missing N20 billion, and oust the person who brings our attention to it?

To be sure, the existence of the Jonathan administration’s “non-priority agenda” can be found here and there in his track record, from the brazen granting of state pardon to political god-father, Diepriye Alamieyeseigha, to the ill-fated attempt to change the name of the University of Lagos. I find it interesting that President Jonathan, whose country’s North East is still being unfortunately rampaged by Boko Haram, will present the lead paper at Nigeria’s centenary celebration security conference. The paper will focus on how to secure the continent against terrorists. I look forward to the insights he must have to share.

As the facts seem to say, the present administration is paying quite some attention to the clamping-down of dissenters and critics, as well as the pampering of political supporters and endorsers. This can only mar whatever positive policies the administration has effected or is still in the process of effecting. What’s more? Not only was Sanusi’s suspension inopportune, impolitic and ill-prioritized, it was also illegal. But then, what is priority and propriety to a government that exalts vested interests over national interest?

Now, while it is healthy and fashionable to be irate and to point accusing fingers at President Jonathan, it is probably more germane as Nigerian citizens, to discover some important home truths that this matter is weighed down by. To wit, on the one hand, I can safely reckon that many of us either have no idea, or are only remotely aware of what goes on in government. This is sad and unhelpful. It cannot be over-emphasized, the need to take an interest in the manner and calibre of governance in our country, especially with the amount of information available to us and the immense advantages of the social media. We must spice up our political culture and hold government accountable. Little wonder this generation of youths are always the “leaders of tomorrow”, never today. We have been entrapped in a web of ignorance and complacency, while the “leaders of today” have a filled day. Anyway, I have taken the liberty to share two articles on this issue that I found particularly informative and soundly written: Think Africa Press and Tolu Ogunlesi’s

On a related point, this is where I say something about my new favourite pastime—reading articles online. I recently found on Forbes, a rather profound article titled, 11 ways to Create More Time to Think. I did have my reservations about some of the suggestions in the article, but I found that its ultimate idea held a quite a dose of wisdom. From the article, I discovered that if we want to think, or come up with ground-breaking ideas, or contribute advantageously to our environments and society, it is important that we consciously create time to think. This would give us not just more organised lives, but would help us make better prioritized and far-reaching decisions. It is said that a person is free to make his choices but he is not free from the consequences of those choices. As a result, thinking can help a man weigh his options, as well as avoid the tactlessness that comes from getting inebriated by freedom and power and opportunity. I am of the opinion that President Jonathan and his advisers are not savvy with this line of thought, and their inebriation is starting to show. We must learn lessons from their errors.

I should think that President Jonathan would focus on fine-tuning and consolidating the priority items on his transformation agenda. That way, he can ensure at least, to leave a favourable legacy for himself as 2015 approaches.

Long live Nigeria!

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