This post is not late; it has only bowed to the significantly greater need of prayers and work with respect to the recent Boko Haram insanity. They struck again this morning, the devils, in Chibok, Bornu state. They visited a school, according to BBC reports and abducted over 200 female students. We will do well to remember that this has happened before…tsk tsk tsk.
Still ON TOP D MATTER however, I found this interesting piece that is a worthy summary of the fourth week and into into the fifth week of the National Conference.
The Opportunity Cost Of The National Geriatric Conference – Engage Offor Honest
Don’t ever say talk is cheap, except off course you consider 12 million Naira, a sum to be paid each delegate of the Abuja talk shop, a small amount of money. For the stupendously rich political elites, 12 million Naira may just mean a weekend getaway to Dubai for some amorous rendezvous with a coterie of their girlfriends and even boyfriends, but for the average civil servant with a paltry minimum wage of 18,000 Naira, that sum certainly means a lifetime of savings. Now that the live feeds we are getting from Abuja are pictures of grey haired men dozing absent mindedly and another playing scrabble on his laptop as if nothing was at stake, I think we may start counting the opportunity cost of sending some delegates that are nearly as old as the nation itself to discuss the future of the youths and children.
Some of the delegates themselves are part of the problem we are trying albeit unsuccessfully to tackle, one of them even remarked rather impudently that the military has no apology for its years of locust and desecration of our national values. Since the government of the day has suddenly realized the imperative of convening a national conference or whatever name they call it, at a whooping sum of 7 billion Naira, one would have thought that this attempt will be a clear departure from the norm where the same old faces are recycled to find solutions to the problems they created.
We cannot stop a tired old man from taking a nap, but we sure could’ve left them to sleep in their country home than at a conference where solutions are needed to solve a 100 year old problem. Is it that we lack competent young men with fresh ideas and unadulterated loyalty to the Nigerian project, that we resorted to sending a former minister under Sir Tafawa Belewa’s era, a former minister of finance some 39 years ago and some bunch of thieving politicians that should be serving jail terms behind bars, as our best hands for a conference of such national magnitude. As it is, we can only watch and pray that the wisdom of Methuselah has not become obsolete for the challenges of today.
I am hoping that this conference will find possible solution to the problems facing our fractious union. The war in the north is stilling raging unabatedly, corruption has assumed a devilish proportion, the educational sector is dying slowly, and our federalism is skewed in favor of the federal government which is stifling the growth and development of the component states, the number of employed youths can equal the population of a whole country, poverty has pitched its tent in our country as a recent world bank survey shows that the 26th largest economy in the world is home to millions of people living in absolute poverty. I wonder how someone whose task is to find solution to these problems and many more, can afford to sleep.
7 billion naira can solve few of our problems, so if we are to forgo other needs and sacrifice that large an amount for just talking, then talk they must! They must do whatever it will take them to stay awake and discuss our problems exhaustively. We demand nothing but wholesale value for the hefty allowances we are paying each delegate. This may be our only and last chance to save this union from imploding.
Engage Offor Honest on twitter @honest4change’
P.S: the controversial picture which has been circulating the Nigerian mediasphere is fictitious. It is not a National Confab delegate playing e-scrabble during deliberations, it is those ‘vultures’ we mentioned last week (see who they are here) attempting to smear mud on the honest efforts of a few people to make a positive difference. I therefore, refuse to give it any more credence by pasting it here. Odeeshi!!