The Hands Of Esau, The Sheriff And The Sighs Of A Collection Of Marble Statuary, By Jimi Bickersteth
Prologue:This piece on the hands of Esau, the biblical son of Isaac and Rebecca and twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright is akin to the minister of state (oil) experience in the NNPC/Baru saga and the Sheriff’s inability to hit the ground running; quite an interesting anecdote, but full of unintended contradiction.
In defence of PMB’s responsibility the first contradiction was that he in his body language, was honest enough to admit that there is the need for lateral changes in the nation, by electing to give his minister of state (Oil) audience, speaks volume of the basic standards and frame of reference in the corridor of power on one hand and the hues that attended Kachukwu’s meeting with his boss on the other. But, when is he publicly announcing the meeting with Baro.
In this matter, to reach a valid decision one way or the other, PMB needs to question more people, otherwise he would be seen as a statute in size and dignity and reducing the minister to a sinecure of no or little work, but gave him status. While patience is a sine qua non for a good teacher, I doubt if same could apply to a leader of a debased nation.
Opinion:The fear this raw October morning is borne out of the perception of the people about the impact the chief change agent is having on the nation’s political, economic and social circumstances in a raw portrayal of a nation that promises so much but always delivered very little: and for Nigerians, particularly, after 57th year of pretty rough deal of rampaging political and public servants in the nation’s chests,impunity and utter disregard for laid down regulations, all of which in different combination has made the nation become like a tainted tracery of veins on a leaf,even as it continued to waddle in wanton penury.
The people are now sighing in utter trepidation on what has suddenly became of PMB. While it could be argued that the status of his health has began to create waves and a myth of marching forward looking backwards, and this has began to elicit a quiet rumble across the length and breadth of the country.
The little lateral movement that imbued in all some ray of hope apparently were as a result of some shove without push and attitudinal change on the part of the nation’s public servants and did not include the fear factor that comes with a bang in a change of government political power and directions.
It is now clearer in this’hand of Esau’ relationship in the highest echelon of power and authority has shown that the nation’s leaders are the ones in charge of the manipulation of the group dynamics and the president as a leader is a marquee player in the affairs of state, and who must of necessity need stoicism, and should exude self-confidence to bear his burden lightly and shed humour and good advice over a nation ,that is looking up to him for leadership and directions. Who should reveal to himself and others unsuspected weaknesses, but perhaps discover too a new secret strength, and the Nigerian expects the president to have mastered the art of finding in himself more than he has got. The opulence and grace around that office is not for starters.
The position the nation has found itself is appaling and defy logic and Nigerians must love the nation, but do not love the president any less, but his inability to earn his corn and measure up to standard as expected would naturally draw the peoples ire and wrath, and the indignation should be as indignation can be. In the heat of indignation – things that we normally shrunk from are easily tackled in a flush of anger, sometimes they bring the desired results or take us to an expected end. The attempts to hush Nigerians up is a greater disservice to the nation’s growth.
As if we haven’t enough of distractions, now this. A scenario where the minister of state (Oil)and the GMD of a subsidiary conglomerate supposedly under his ministry are trying to one-up each other. You’ll wont to think that, even where there purviews dovetailed and motivations way different,but should be with the aim of reaching same goal,in offices that require compatibility derived from a very strong sense of duty; but the two dynamo-in-the-sack are at the risk of being set adrift like a hard-luck astronaut.PMB must sort this out, otherwise things can quickly erode. He must foster strength and harmony not strife and confusion in his kitchen cabinet.
I’m aware that there are several options and channels open to PMB, Kachiukwu and Vary with varying degrees of implications, however, the two combatants should stop trying to be perfect dancers to an unseen drummer or drummers, or look super intelligent, but should strive to perform their assigned tasks with a genuineness others will want to emulate;and to in various combining degree and efforts use their gifts, passions and discretions to help build a strong, virile units that would elevate the nation from its present rut and rot,to the path of prosperity and progress.
The duo must stop showing us what we know! What? That both of them and the rest of the PMB’s crew are all imperfect people and are prone to fend for personal interests. In politics, this may come too easily, because of ego and sheer vanity. In the matter, non of them should stay hurt,if at all,longer than it’s absolutely necessary. Using this poor one-upmanship togetherness-not-too-together ( that’s been the nation’s bane)to boost their self-worth is absolutely unnecessary. What’s important is to make sure all are singing from the same page, and not breeding a tower of Babel, concerning the nation’s expectations or else there’s trouble ahead.
To me,it’s not a’right or wrong’ issue. The PMB administration’s main goal is to win the nation over, not with tussles or arguments for and or against look for solution. The nation will succeed only as we identify in life or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend and blend to that one objective.
Time is at a premium and PMB must note that he must not allow himself to be caught in the web of presumptions for which he’s bound to suffer distractions of a kind that would require him to let his administration be controlled by the antics inherent in his ideological posturing and allegiance to the nation. Irrespective of the distractions weaved or contrived to put his pan Nigerian resolve off balance.
He owes the nation a responsibility, even if it meant standing in the middle of the power-bloc and political base in disgrace for failing to surrender state power to any oligarchy.
Whether PMB is suave and savvy enough to rise above any primordial instincts and set a new national agenda in a nation that highlights a grim reality of a nation in dire need of self-discovery is another matter; but the nation expects him (ill-health or not) to as a matter of fact and urgency, lead with a display of authority and grace.
The Kachukwu/Baro saga is slowing things down, because the mainstay of the nation’s economy. As days go by, feeling is getting stronger, he must see and correct all that is wrong and fix it. To the warring executives, they should not over flex on the contending issues. Things must always ‘be a certain way’ ; and instead of dwelling on the problems, they should not focus too much on what’s wrong, or on one another’s imperfections; dwelling on flaws – your own or someone else’s- it’s unnecessary. Now, let me be clearer; one is not talking about striving to do it better. That’s a good thing. I’m talking about obsessing about what’s wrong. There’ll always be a better way to do something. #
Jimi Bickersteth is a writer and a blogger.
He can be reached on Twitter@bickerstethjimi