A VERY BIG GRAVEYARD
Let the records show that Patricia Olubunmi Etteh has a curious history. According to her resume at the National Assembly website, Mrs. Etteh served as Minority Chief Whip in the House of Representatives between 1994 and 2002.
Actually, that is impossible; in 1994, our nation was in the rigid hands of General Sani Abacha. The history books remind us Abacha died in June 1998 and was succeeded by another soldier. In other words, Mrs. Etteh's may have been Minority Chief Whip somewhere for five years before 1999, but it was not in Nigeria.
If she actually served five years there, it is out of character. Mrs. Etteh's first job was as a Data Processor in the Oyo State Ministry of Finance in 1973, for one year. (I wonder why). She then worked for Etteh Aro and Partners, again for about one year (I wonder why!)
By then, it seemed she had had enough of the tough life. In 1976, at the age of 23, she declared the Diploma era open. That year, she took a "Diploma in Modelling" in London. In 1977, she took a "Diploma in Beauty Culture." It would be another 25 years before she would touch another Diploma.
That year, 1977, fresh from the famous Morris School of Beauty, location un-named, she became Managing Director of "Foloons Beauty Centre in Ibadan, a position she would hold until 1999. Apparently, while she was Minority Chief Whip (Somewhere), she was also MD at Foloons.
Around that same time, the Diploma bug returned. To placate it, she rushed to the University of Abuja and took the Diploma in Law (2002). That set the stage for an important transition, because in 2003, she became Deputy Chief Whip, a position she would hold until this year. That does not mean she was lazy: in 2006, she headed for the famous Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and received a Certificate in Leadership Development.
Mrs. Etteh was then set to introduce herself in bigger and brighter lights. By the time you read this, she would have fulfilled her destiny as a socio-political scandal. In one of the more bizarre chapters of our national life last June, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), unleashed Mrs. Etteh on Nigeria as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Very little has been accomplished in the House since then, as Mrs. Etteh led the House into its darkest hours. Although her greed and duplicity had been firmly established by a panel of the House that indicted her for corruption, the hairdresser clung to the job of Speaker.
Her name certain to be emblazoned in large letters of thunder and lightning in the hallways of infamy, she returned to the House last Tuesday, determined to remain Speaker. After all, the House has a PDP majority.
Her return and insistence on presiding over her own fate was a tumultuous disgrace that could only have been topped by what followed: tragedy. In the midst of the fighting, someone dropped to the floor, dying. It was not Patricia Etteh; she was too busy welding herself to the title of Speaker.
Aminu Shuaibu Safana (PDP, Katsina) was soon pronounced dead, a midday sacrifice at the altar of hypocrisy and greed. Unimpressed by the symbolism, Mrs. Etteh fled the scene, having made certain that she was still Madam Speaker.
Now, we can blame Mrs. Etteh for her corruption, and for her greed, and even for the death of Representative Safana. But wait.
Let us remember that Mrs. Etteh - a beautician with little education and even less political and legislative savvy - was minding her own business when The Snake came along.
And The Snake said: "Madam, you are so beautiful. Your skin is lovelier than Ambi cream and your face fairer than the rainbow. You have been making others beautiful year after year after year. How would you like to be feted and spoilt and worshipped?"
And Mrs. Etteh said, "Who, me?"
And The Snake said, "Yes, lovely one. The position of Speaker of the House of Representatives is vacant. You could Speak."
Mrs. Etteh, her large eyes rolling behind heavily-painted lids, laughed. "Stop kidding," she said to The Snake. "What is a Speaker? Is it that thing they use for music?"
The Snake slithered closer. "Aha!" it said. "There is nothing to it. You will be the boss. You will have legions of servants of all categories. Whatever there is to be done or said, they will tell you and write it down for you."
Mrs. Etteh's heart began pound her ribs. It seemed The Snake was offering her a new life. "They will take care of h-everything?"
"Of course they will. But that is not the best part. You will run a budget of billions of Naira."
The beautician could barely breathe. "Billions?" It was a whisper.
It was the turn of The Snake's eyelids to flutter. "Billions," it repeated, casually. "You can vacation in Canada, celebrate your birthday in Washington, D.C. You can travel in executive jets and stay in the finest hotels. Only the best will be good enough for you. All you have to do is say "YES.'"
"Just ÔÇśYES'? Are you joking? Give me a hug!"
And with that, Mrs. Etteh dashed into the slithering, treacherous arms of the PDP. But The Snake proved to be true to its word. In days, she was traveling in style: LagosÔÇŽLondonÔÇŽWashington D.C. People were waiting on her. They provided every hotel suite and every adjective she needed. They even showed her the numbers: columns of Naira so massive she could not believe them. The estate was hers, The Snake said.
And that explains why, in the past month, the hairdresser stuck to the mace like 419 to a Nigerian. The party brass told her the Speaker-ship would remain hers. Party leader Obasanjo headed for Abuja in her support. Some chose not to speak, such as President Umaru Yar'Adua, but their silence alone was support. Their allegiance was to their party, not their country. They were telling Mrs. Etteh to touch up her make-up; she was going to "win."
Now, this has taken me nine years, but I have finally figured out the menace of the PDP. Minutes before Representative Safana lost his life in the shameful physical confrontation on the floor of the house, Mrs Etteh's "supporters" were singing a song in which they repeatedly praised her as "winner."
Winner? This woman, remember, was indicted for several ugly offences, and ought to have vacated her position as a question of principle. Elsewhere, that would be the province of right and wrong, otherwise known as morality and ethics.
Apparently, this is not the case in the PDP, where they measure only by the letter ÔÇśW.' That confirms the party's behavior in elections, where no measure is too ugly to be rejected in the bid to win at all cost. We have seen them cheat, condone, cover-up, confuse, and carve-up.
Winner? Etteh? This is about party victory, PDP?
What about responsibility and leadership; Nigeria and her best interests; electoral promises and the betrayed voter? What about our corporate interest?
Mrs. Etteh will remain the face of this international embarrassment, and I am sure the government will soon vote billions of Naira to "repair" our damaged image. But it is the PDP that provides the philosophical milieu for night to become day, and wrong to be celebrated as right.
Just as Mrs. Etteh took the House hostage, what the PDP has achieved is to justify Nigeria being kidnapped by their "winners". This clarifies the difficulty of trying to prosecute them. Under the PDP, the looting of Nigeria is not really a crime; it is a privilege. It is a game that is neither right nor wrong. You can "win" or lose.
When you think about it, that is exactly the philosophy behind Advance Fee Fraud. Remember the famous lyrics of Nkem Owoh from the song, "I Go Chop Your Dollar"? In the PDP, those lyrics emerge as follows:
"Nigerian man I go chop your Naira,
I go take your money and disappear
Government is just a game,
You are the loser I am the winnerÔÇŽ"
Translation: If there is any Nigerian truly concerned about Nigeria, there is only one thing to do: join the PDP, or be prepared to fight. Up ahead, there is a real war. This is a seriously damaged country, and a big graveyard will be required.
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Idi-ogi posted on 10-20-2007, 22:59:25 PM
From the look of things, if you can write up your resume accurately, you don't qualify for leadership in Nigeria. From birthdays to university qualifications, our so called leaders lie through their teeth.
I plan to go on hunger strike if this woman remains the speaker beyond October 31st 2007. I just can't take it anymore. While this charade is going on in the House of Representatives, the Senate may be getting embroiled in its own bruhaha. For now, political leadership in Nigeria is for the most corrupt and shameless. It will take many more recycling until the current class of jibiti looters are dead or disgraced and then our land will be free and open for credible, competent leaders.
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Alexa posted on 10-20-2007, 23:07:52 PM
I fail to understand why she is still in office.Has she no shame at all,even a little bit?
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Fjord posted on 10-20-2007, 23:51:58 PM
This is vintage Olumhense.
A random IQ test would have made Mrs. Olubunmi Etteh unfit for any responsible public office. But in a country where the minimum qualification for political office at the House of Reps level is a School Certificate (with no stipulation on performance and/or achivement at that level), you get what you get; secondary school leavers as law makers. When the bar is set so low, intellectual and mental rubbles like Olubunmi Etteh end up holding the country to rotten ransom.
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Jah Guda posted on 10-21-2007, 04:54:50 AM
Our collection of Politicians, past and present, are a reflection of our collective mind-set.
These Kleptocrats have got bolder by the day, required experience and qualification
for our politicians is simply non-existent.
Today, in most Countries, to be able to act in such a disrespectful manner towards
your fellow citizens, a politician will need, at all times, a team of heavily armed close protection guards,
and bullet proof windows, at home and whilst out and about.
We make it so easy for them to operate and carry on as they do.
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Igwe posted on 10-21-2007, 09:10:58 AM
Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, Nnamdi Emmanuel Uba, Alhaji Adedibu, David Mark, Maurice Iwu, Christian Uba, Peter Odili, Etc, etc. I'm inclined to include UMYA but would rather wait.
These are dubious characters (to put it mildly) who wined and dined with Olusegun Obasanjo and to whom he gave strategic positions to run Nigeria on his behalf.
Ahmadu Ali is warming up become an ambassador representing my country somewhere!!!!
BABA CARRY GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
STTOPP posted on 10-22-2007, 03:45:06 AM
Parliament must avoid mob action, says Oshomegie
From Adamu Abuh, Kano
KANO-BASED lawyer, Christopher Oshomegie at the weekend reviewed the House of Representatives scandal and concluded that mob action rather than due process was being applied to displace embattled Speaker Patricia Etteh.
He warned against what he called using unconventional method in place "parliamentary norms and practices."
His words: "I have no business with whether or not Etteh is the speaker. Whether the allegation leveled is true or false is not the issue now. The issue is that this is a parliament, which is the second arm of the Nigeria 's legislative arm. If we talk of rule of law, democracy and the nuances of parliamentary practice, we expect the best of conduct, nobility and honour to be exhibited in all acts within the hallow confines of the parliamentary building. My difference in the generality of opinion exhibited so far is what would appear to be a misconception as to sitting in judgement in your own cause because a lot of people have been saying you cannot sit in judgement in your own cause.
"Of course, no one is arguing about that but in doing that, there are processes and procedures to be followed. The thing about law and practice and parliamentary practice and rules is that it is not a mob action; it is not a market thing - there are laid down ways and means of doing things that must be observed. The reason is simple; it is not for today alone- it is for tomorrow and eternity. The Hansard would always bear testimony that truly these were men of nobility.
"The issue was that Etteh was accused or the principal officers were alleged to have awarded what is now considered a scandalous renovation contract. The House in their wisdom set up a panel to report to them what they have found about this allegation. Now the panel made their findings and said this is what they have found and brought the report to the House. No other person, body or authority has any right to come to conclusion about this report except the House itself.
"The issue of actual debate of this report and ascribing blames or exculpating anybody, is the business of the House. So, that was what this House was supposed to have done last Tuesday and there should have been no emotion about this thing; there should be no sentiments about it because these are our representatives. So, when on Tuesday, that matter came up, in parliamentary practice, Etteh still remained the Speaker at that point because there was no other person because there cannot be a House without a head.
"Now, the report was displayed and she had two ways to have gone about it after discharging all the minor things on the agenda of the day which she did because I had cause to monitor proceedings of the day shown by major television stations across the country. If she had been given opportunity to make a comment, the possibility would have been she would have said 'this issue is about me, I don't think I may be able to preside over this matter. So I would step aside or if the House so wish, let the House decide whether I should step aside or I remain.'
"That is one option. But she was not even allowed to exercise this right or make any comment before the minority leader raised up his hand to say a point of order involving privilege. She did not stop him, she allowed him to canvass his argument which in the total sum was that he thinks that she should step aside. Before she would make a ruling on that issue, another member raised a point of order of the same privilege.
"Before that other member could even canvass that point of order, others who think that this must be a supporter of Etteh started an uproar and pandemonium ensued in such a manner that nothing sensible was done in that House to the point that Etteh couldn't even now make a ruling. She was not even allowed to make a ruling as to whether she would step aside or not or allow the House to take a decision to ask her to step aside or not.
"She has to make that ruling of that point of order that 'I am stepping aside or I am not stepping aside' which would have opened the way for the House to say 'step aside.' We have not got to that point.
"When you see people that are supposed to be learned and knowledgeable talking about you cannot be a judge in your own case- we have not gotten to that point. There is what we call the doctrine of ripeness. That was the point they were heading to but before they got to that point, a mob action took place. Then, take the next day, which was the Wednesday after the pandemonium of Tuesday. On that day, Etteh was still the Speaker of the House. At that point, whether she had been denigrated or her name soiled, she is still the Speaker of that House. She was coming to the House. Those who see themselves to be more in number said she would not enter the House to take her seat. They even tried to prevent her way of passage and we saw the pandemonium, the fight that ensued.
"With all respect, this is not the due process that we are clamouring for. It is not the public that would kill Etteh because already I know that those who say she should resign have succeeded in buying into the public and even crucified Etteh already in the public. What is left for them now is to bury Etteh having killed her in the public but the truth remains that in parliamentary practice, it is not the public that should kill Etteh, it is the House that should kill Etteh and bury Etteh. We voted for them and they voted for Etteh. Therefore, democracy is what we are practicing, we are not practicing authoritarianism and democracy is a game of number.
"The parliamentarians would have allowed everybody- whether Etteh or Integrity group to speak, allow all argument because it has been known that the best of all ideas consume lower ideas. When the time comes for voting, it is not Etteh that would do the counting. Those who are for Etteh would be counted and those who are against her would be counted and it would be so beautiful and serene. Look at the Senate, David Mark offered to step aside. He was given opportunity and nobody heckles him, nobody shuffles him, no one created tension on him. He said; ' I want to step aside' that is, he has exercised that right. But nobody has allowed Etteh to even exercise that right up till now. No one has even heard what Etteh has in mind. David Mark, exercised that right but it was his colleagues who said 'you cannot step aside over lousy allegation and rumour mongering.
Those who are calling on President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to intervene, are exhibiting ignorance. Intervene in what manner? He can intervene politically but with what is happening in the House, there is nothing he can do. The rules of men are ephemeral while the rule of law and procedure is eternal and stands the test of time. "
The parliamentarians would have allowed everybody- whether Etteh or Integrity group to speak, allow all argument because it has been known that the best of all ideas consume lower ideas. When the time comes for voting, it is not Etteh that would do the counting. Those who are for Etteh would be counted and those who are against her would be counted and it would be so beautiful and serene. Look at the Senate, David Mark offered to step aside. He was given opportunity and nobody heckles him, nobody shuffles him, no one created tension on him. He said; ' I want to step aside' that is, he has exercised that right. But nobody has allowed Etteh to even exercise that right up till now. No one has even heard what Etteh has in mind.
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I hope this would oil some rusted brain.
Re: A Very Big GraveYard
Dem posted on 10-22-2007, 05:17:09 AM
Indeed. Too tasking! A bit of thinking is required you see!
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the TRUTH!
In the PDP, the phrase used is: "the Party (or so and so) should not be disgraced". If it is wrong on injurious, as long as it emanates from them, they are standing by it come hell or high water. Not to do so (ie reverse and unpopular or insane course) is seen as a disgrace. Look at that warped reasoning!! Military mentality. That Party is completely unintersted in what becomes of, or the feelings of the rest of the nation.
Somebody has also probably told Andy Uba that he should not allow the Supreme Court to disgrace him out of Awka ....