“By doubting we come to question, and by questioning, we perceive the truth.”
(Peter Abelard, 1079-1142)

Arithmetic 101 a.k.a. Mathematics PDP
Gentle Reader, Perceptor knows that you turn to this blog to find out what are the questions of the day.  But sometimes, Perceptor turns from setting out the questions to providing ANSWERS.  Answers to questions that perhaps you did not know how to ask.

For example, many people seem to have been misled by recent events into confusing the heinous crimes of STEALING, THEFT and CORRUPT ENRICHMENT with the entirely Innocent, Harmless and Academic pursuit of MATHEMATICS.

In order to resolve this confusion, Perceptor has decided to explain MATHEMATICS in clear terms so that everybody will be clear in their minds.  Perceptor therefore offers the following simple definitions relating to the really simple branch of MATHEMATICS that every schoolchild knows as ARITHMETIC …

*DIVISION: is what happens when something is too big but it all needs to get through a particular narrow opening.  For example, a N200 million contract that has to get through a N50 million door – say, a ‘due process’ door.  By using DIVISION you can make FOUR N50 million contracts which can all squeeze through the ‘due process’ door.

*ADDITION: This is what is applied when a contract has been divided too much.  Suppose, for example, that instead of your N200 million contract being divided into only four contracts of N50 million each, you divided it into EIGHT contracts of N25 million each because you don’t want something to just ‘squeeze’ through the N50 million door.  But that leaves rather too big a gap between each N25 million contract and the N50 million door.  To reduce this gap, you can perform ADDITION which could bring each N25 million contract up to, say N45 million each.  These EIGHT N45 million contracts can easily slip through the ‘due process’ door.

*SUBTRACTION: Your EIGHT N45 million contracts are now worth a total of N360 million.  Whereas, you really only need N200 million to carry out the combined contract.  Once you are safely through the ‘due process’ door (but not before o!), once you are through the ‘due process’ door, you can then perform SUBTRACTION on the N360 million so that you have N200 million worth of contracts on the one hand.  And N160 million on the other …

*MULTIPLICATION (or ADDITION): With your have N200 million contracts on one hand, and N160 million on the other, you can use the N160 million to perform MULTIPLICATION or ADDITION.  Say, for example, you have to divide a big contract more than once, then you will have your N160 million (or whatever the amount is after you have performed Division, Addition and Subtraction depending on the original size of the contract) then you will have MULTIPLICATION of N160 million (or whatever etc.)  You can then carry out ADDITION of the N160 million (or whatever etc.)  to your own pocket.  But if you have to do it only once (☹) then it only qualifies as ADDITION.  But if you are more than one person, say, for example … er, a Board of … say, six, then the ADDITION into each Board Member’s pocket will be classed as MULTIPLICATION although of course, it represents a kind of DIVISION that will probably make it necessary for you to have some other contracts on which to carry out this particular branch of MATHEMATICS.

 Perceptor only wishes to add that while those people who carry out STEALING etc. should rightly be shunned and avoided by all right-thinking citizens, those Intellectuals who perform MATHEMATICS deserve to be fêted, adored and welcomed with parties and dancing at any time they emerge from any seclusion into which they may have retired to ponder the differences between STEALING and MATHEMATICS.

Perceptor hopes that these few words have entirely clarified matters, but if any reader remains in doubt, the distinction can sometimes be identified by observing whether the person in question is shunned and avoided by all right-thinking citizens  or whether they are fêted, adored and welcomed with parties and dancing.  That way you can tell whether they are thieves or … mathematicians.

Information v Secrecy
Perceptor was disturbed to hear that the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba Aji, has been boasting that he won’t allow Mr. president to sign the Freedom of Information Bill into law even if the Senate “repeats the mistake of the House of Representatives in passing the Bill”.

But having seen why Senator Abba Aji is talking tough like this, Perceptor advises him to go and consult m’learned friends and stop imagining that he is going to snatch any litigation bread from their mouths.
Meanwhile however, Perceptor is delighted to be able to step in and offer some clarifications which ought to be able to explain the difference between the OATH of OFFICE that Mr. President took on becoming President (and Vice-President before that), and what Abba Aji said was an OATH of SECRECY that Mr. President had taken.

Perceptor says that Abba Aji is confusing two entirely different Oaths.
*One was administered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and is found in the Nigerian Constitution.  It was administered in broad daylight and all the participants were fully dressed.  The only aspect dealing with confidentiality is that Mr. President swore that he would not reveal information that he didn’t have to reveal to do his job as President.

This is clearly quite different from any OATH of SECRECY in which Senator Abba Aji may have been involved in, or become aware of.  Such an Oath of Secrecy is traditionally administered at night, by the Chief Prie … (Contd. on p. 2011)

Laffitis: the Best Medicine
Readers will remember how delighted former President Olusegun Obasanjo was to hear that his own former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, had emerged as the consensus candidate of the ‘north’ in the Peoples Democratic Party to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the PDP presidential ticket.  It will be recalled that the General could not conceal his joy as he burst out to declare: “I dey laugh!” he declared in his delight.

No doubt the retired General’s laughter turned to tears when his friend and protégé was so soundly trounced by Jonathan in the PDP primaries, but Perceptor is sure that those tears will turn to tears of joy when he sees how many others have adopted the philosophy that Laughter Is The Best Medicine.  Indeed, Laffitis has even spread beyond Naija:

*Saif al-Islam, son of Libya’s Brother Guide of the Revolution (Muammar al-Ghadaffi) was asked about all the dead demonstrators and the fall of so many cities in Libya to the opposition, told the international news media that “We in Tripoli are just laughing”.

*The Minister of State for Works, Chris Ogiemwonyi, went to the palace of Oba Erediauwa in Benin, having reached Benin in a plane.  Reports at first had it that the Oba was so annoyed at the condition of the Benin-Ore ‘Expressway’ that he told the Minister to walk out of his palace and not return until the road was motorable.  It was said that only the intervention of one of the Oba’s chiefs allowed Ogiemwonyi to stay, but surprisingly, he later claimed that the Oba was “just joking”.  So amusing!

Although reports continued that one of the palace chiefs said that the Oba was not given to cracking jokes anyhow, being a man of ‘few words’, the Oba later came out with a statement denying that he ever asked the young man to walk out since he knows that he is trying very hard …
Perceptor says that from that statement alone, we can see that that palace chief didn’t know what he was talking about when he said that the Oba doesn’t crack jokes!

*The Minister, Ogiemwonyi also obviously appreciates a good joke.  Perceptor says this because he later came out to tell the nation that the Federal Government was going to hand the Benin Ore ‘Expressway’ over to a private contractor who would charge TOLLS for using the road.  Now, travellers on the Benin-Ore ‘Expressway’, isn’t that funny?

Igbo enw’Eze: and who needs kings anyway?

Perceptor's eye was caught by an advertisement in ThisDay on Sunday recently.  Although it was issued by Prince V.N.C. Ibenye-Ugbala, the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, what it was, was a Press Release telling us who had been appointed as "Chairman and Members of the Fund-Raising Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party Imo State Chapter/Ohakim Campaign Organization: ..."

Yes, like you, gentle reader, Perceptor wonders what the PDP affairs have to do with the Imo State Government.  But it isn't for the everyday offence of running campaigns at people's expense that the advert caught Perceptor's eye. (Heavens, if Perceptor had to write about THAT there wouldn't be time or space to write about anything else, starting from the Presidential jets down to the meanest Local Government Councillor, they're all at it!)

No, Perceptor wants to congratulate Mr. Philips Oduoza, Mr. Reginald Ihejiani, Austin Enyinna, Mrs Irene Chigbue, Kelechi Nzewihe, Abraham Nwankwo and Mr. George Irechukwu.  In a committee of 46 members, these seven were able to get onto that apparently government-financed committee with only a Mr. or Mrs. or even nothing at all (!) attached to their names.  For all the others it was all Prince, or Chief, or Nze and where that failed, Rt. Hon., Amb., ordinary Hon., Engnr, Chairman, Pharmacist, Sir, and even Party Treasurer!  Now, who says "Igbo enw'Eze"?  But with all these titles, do they really need kings anyway?

 

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