Tuesday 13 May 2008

Nigeria: Ali Must Go - We deserve a whole lot better

A great opportunity for leadership

As the full year of being servant-leader approaches for our esteemed President of the Federation of Nigeria – Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, he has opportunity to review the past year and kick out of touch members of his cabinet that have failed to perform.

He also has the opportunity to ensure that the dinosaurs that have roamed the landscape of Nigeria and turned it into a Jurassic Park – a haven of corruption, patronage, nepotism, sycophancy, inveigling, influence peddling and a showcase for the denigration of all that is good about Nigeria – are consigned to the scrapheap of ignominy to be fossilised into a better forgotten history of our great nation.

Dr. Ahmadu Ali

One such looming tyrannosaurus rex that should by all means be a natural museum piece is Dr. Ahmadu Ali, the erstwhile chairman of the PDP and the man who being a subject of a recent blog rejected a posting as ambassador to South Africa.

His Excellency, The President has one unique opportunity to show Nigerians that he is beholden to no one and Nigeria owes no one any right to be minister because they think it is their due.

Dr. Ahmadu Ali has been around for a long time, he was in fact, 31 years ago, a Colonel in the army and the Federal Commissioner of Education under General Obasanjo’s military junta where his sheer and rank incompetence in handling that brief lead to the Ali Must Go riots that closed universities for months and had some students killed for protesting against fee hikes.

It is clear that he has not performed with any political excellence that he was relieved of his role as chairman of the PDP and all his reforms are being repealed by the current chairman.

This man should long have been pensioned off but it appears he is now gunning for the post of Minister of Health, a position that was made vacant because of the misappropriation of funds .

A doctor does not a good minister make

Dr. Ahmadu Ali might be brandishing his certificates as an experienced medical doctor, but I wonder when he last saw the innards of a medical surgery, he probably still thinks leeches can cure headaches and chloroform is still used as an anaesthetic.

Considering how having 5 health professionals in the Senate Committee for Health could not yield a workable bill, there is no guarantee that a person like Ahmadu Ali would have the requisite competence to run the ministry with any distinction.

He is definitely no technocrat and the President by all means needs someone who can boldly carry out an innovative national health programme whilst respecting the wishes of the President when he orders administrative actions be taken with regards to the management of funds.

Outrageous lobbying

The news story suggests Dr. Ahmadu Ali has been lobbying through cash inducements, members of the National Assembly to garner the support necessary to be considered, I should expect the EFCC hounds to be sniffing around to ensure that anything untoward is counted against the eligibility of Dr. Ahmadu Ali for any appointment in service to Nigeria.

Nigeria would have been done the greatest disservice if Dr. Ahmadu Ali gets to prevail on the President to serve his whims and caprices. We all deserve considerably better than that man can ever aspire to offer, nobody in Nigeria today should be able to inveigle his way into any position of influence or authority.

In my own opinion, Ali Must Go, and he is in the slightest bit reluctant to heed that friendly advice, then Ali Must Go To Hell.

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