Monday, 25 February 2008

Nigeria: Cut the cake society

Cutting social corners

This “cutting the cake” picture from one of ThisdayOnline's front pages which changes frequently, just about depicts the way we misplace our priorities in Nigeria, if one were to be objective or basically, it is the way things are done in Nigeria, if one were to succumb to the subjective.

The man in the middle is Senator Lee Maeba, and then from the left you have Govenor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, Goodluck Jonathan - the Vice-President of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan (The VP’s wife) and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

Senator Lee Maeba is married with two children, is a second term senator, the Chairman of the Petroleum Upstream Committee and member of the Establishment & Public Service, Agriculture, Culture & Tourism, Ethics & Petition committees.

Sylva replaced Jonathan as governor and they are all from oil-producing states which have seen so much revenue expended but no appreciable benefit to the people. Say no more.

The question then is why a man with a wife and children is cutting his birthday cake with political affiliates?

Birthdays are for families

One would think this is should be more a family affair, but the curse of junketry (that word again) and just the need to party at any opportunity - this has become a state religion with a horde and multitude of willing worshippers - has brought the Vice-President and two governors together to drink and be merry and that probably is just the tip of the iceberg of the many other idle “dignitaries” as they are known in Nigeria, who attended this lavish ceremony.

Anywhere else public figures celebrate their birthdays, it is usually amongst family with close friends gathering round to share the day with them.

I suppose we could forgive the man for celebrating his Molybdenum Jubilee, a landmark, milestone and grand old age not higher than, nor lower than but equal to the amazingly magnificent number of 42 – The birthday boy … as the caption proudly declares.

Governor Amaechi seems to be stretching out so much the buttons are about to come off the suit – in my opinion the best photograph should have been the Senator, his wife and two children put in the family album and kept of public view.

Maybe, it would be asking a lot for important Nigerian men to spend time with their families when there deals to be made and Jones’ to keep up with on the social calendar. Next, we'll have the Vice-President kiss the bride before the bridegroom does at a church wedding.

‘Nuff Said.

NB: Molybdenum derives from the mineral at 42 in the periodic table.

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