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For A Ministry Of Logical Thinking By Seyi Olu Awofeso

March 25, 2013

Dipriye Alamieyeseigha’s state pardon shows an urgent need for a Ministry of Good Thinking in Nigeria. But for starters, it bears repeating that the Nigerian Council of State which met in a quorate forum to affirmatively advise on President Jonathan’s proposed state pardon of Dipriye Alamieyeseigha a fortnight ago, comprises all past Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Dipriye Alamieyeseigha’s state pardon shows an urgent need for a Ministry of Good Thinking in Nigeria. But for starters, it bears repeating that the Nigerian Council of State which met in a quorate forum to affirmatively advise on President Jonathan’s proposed state pardon of Dipriye Alamieyeseigha a fortnight ago, comprises all past Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Yet, none of those Chief Justices saw anything wrong with issuing a state pardon to a fugitive from justice; not even when the “state pardon” is laughable on its face for having no effect on the laws of England from which Alamieyeseigha fled as fugitive

In that light, and considering that all 36 state governors in Nigeria are part of that Council of State, and yet, no State Governor from either the PDP or the ACN or the CPC, or the ANPP or APGA saw any wrong in granting state pardon to a fugitive from justice, it seems obvious that beyond President Jonathan’s own ethical indiscretion, what we are actually dealing with in Nigeria is a set of similarly wretched “authorities” across Nigeria - all cut from the same cloth - pretending to be different from one another by either wielding a fountain pen or waving an umbrella when not swinging a broom, or, at other times clutching a cockerel when not clasping a corn pod, whilst altogether losing the argument to Boko Haram militiamen – that the western teachings the Nigerian authorities have – with their school certificates to show for it - are sinful.

Worldwide, and every often, post-1945 federations collapse by implosion; less for poor economics than for the low quality of thought holding it together. Official theft abetted on religious or ethnic basis is a sore example of low thinking.

In principle, stealing un-ravels a federation faster than an invasion, by quickly scuttling trust, and, setting the federating ethnic units on a fight amid a stampede, because stealing entails disorderliness as much as blood-letting, and, causes the suspension of belief in law and order.

Or else, stealing spawns kidnapping for ransom, since the settled belief of those living on ransom is that all else around them is as filthy; as got by stolen money from government treasury.  All around, the basis of private wealth in Nigeria has fallen into question, and, historically, that’s been the central question in all revolutionary uprisings.

Last month, the poor thinking ability sinking Nigeria, was tucked in an official announcement in several Nigerian newspapers, telling the public that Nigerian students have failed less at last year’s school certificate examination – thus implying that some missing thinking is somehow returning to the country. Helas, it was a damp squib, because the devils were in the details.

The announcement had truthfully said that three years ago, a mere 4.7% of Nigerian students, as leaders of tomorrow, passed the school certificate English Language exam, but that a year later, in 2011, almost 10% of students passed English language, suggesting a 300% vivified literacy improvement.

But no official explanation was tendered for this by the National Examination Council (NECO) which made the further announcement that the success rate has even now shot up, incredibly, to 33.89% pass in English language, last year.

With logical thinking, NECO would have seen the actual reason; not as enigma wrapped in a riddle, but as barely concealed fraudulence in daylight crime, and cancelled the entire result, because last year’s result for the counterpart Literature in English was the falsifying proof.

According to the 2012 literature results published by NECO, a more truthful 0.73% passed Literature in English, meaning less than one percent passed. Logically, 99.27 % students could not have failed Literature in English and passed English by 33.89% in the same examination without an underlying fraudulence in the latter.
Rather than sense this quirk, by logic, NECO instead sensed normalcy in the conflicting results, and gaily issued officially sealed certificates to those they claimed have passed English language but failed Literature in English by almost 100%.

To be sure, the bogus school certificates NECO issued are for Nigeria’s uses only. Since 1985, no European country, and lately no sensible country in the world, accredits a Nigerian school certificate at face value - as Nigeria remains the 8th most illiterate country in the world, according to the United Nations.
Going forward, with stealing now overarching Nigeria, the youths who’ve been handed the gilded but false certificates in English language are now set to continue, not in a state of grace, but as career criminals, because they must keep evading arrest for false representation in their future employment.

This is how Nigeria prepares its youths for the future, which already looks blighted by any metric.
Just last week, 60 officers of the Nigerian Army were put on surveillance; among the 300 officers who’d sat the promotion examination from Lieutenant to Captain; which exam was badly riddled with fraud, as one Lieutenant had either purchased or stolen the examination questions and resolved them in advance, with the answers pre-stored into his mobile phone which he’d smuggled into the exam hall. The Lieutenant reportedly fled the hall on detection and is likely now AWOL.

As always, overarching official theft in Nigeria spawns this and other type of fraudulence in all facets of society, as stealing disconnects the wheels from the wagon of national progress – not just by begetting stealing but also by spawning fraudulence everywhere else.

President Jonathan of Nigeria was himself flayed by those who claim his doctorate was gifted or bought rather than got on the merits, after an un-usual nine (9) years in the Ph.D. class. Jonathan’s campaign team knew he had to defend himself, because in Nigeria today, there’s no longer a presumption of innocence for public officials. And so, the Jonathan campaign published private letters said to have been exchanged between Jonathan and his Ph.D. thesis supervisors, explaining away the 9-year delay in terms of non-availability of a certain specimen.

The doubts however lingered, although the doctorate issue was quickly brushed aside in several other circles as irrelevant to Jonathan’s eligibility to stand election under Nigerian law, except on proof of perjury – which was conveniently brushed aside.

Nigeria’s bad thinking is nevertheless becoming insidious and contagious, straddling top to bottom, to make governance well-nigh impossible.

A few days ago, on 20th March, a Boko Haram suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, could not be tried in court, due in part to the illiteracy of a court official. The accused had told Justice Ademola Adeniyi of the federal high court in Abuja that he could not follow proceedings in English language and had pleaded that a court translator of Hausa language be provided. But the official court translator was temporarily absent at work.

Now, according to The Punch newspaper:

“…..with the official court interpreter absent, the judge asked one of the court clerks, who had earlier voluntarily interpreted some of Sokoto’s statements, if he could take up the role. Turning to the court clerk, the judge asked, “Do you speak Hausa?” The court clerk said “yes”. But when the judge then asked him “Do you understand Hausa?”, the clerk surprised the courtroom saying, “No.” The incident drew laughter from those in the courtroom.”

With such illiteracy, as happened in a court of law, Nigeria laughs in its virtual struggle against the principalities of evil, because with bad thinking, nothing is impossible. For even after a federal attorney-general, Mohammed Adoke, sat as member of Council of State and voted yes on Dipriye Alamieyeseigha’s proposed state pardon, there’s as yet no coherent official statement on what property proved at court trial to have been stolen may now consequently revert to Alamieyeseigha as private property – as part of state pardon, likely because the attorney-general did not finish thinking, before voting yes to state pardon for a fugitive from justice.

Seyi Olu Awofeso is a Legal Practitioner in Abuja


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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