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« This Amala State Must Die! | Main | A Celebration of Life's Beauties »

April 15, 2006

Atiku Must Stop Dining with Snake Charmers and Pharisees

by D. Akinsanya Juliuson (Great Britain) --- When one thing starts to go wrong, it soon appears as if everything is problematic. We start finding fault with situation we have previously been quite happy about.

We start lining up the factors and arrangements in our lives, and accusing them all of being to blame for our difficulties. Through this mechanism, we turn small troubles into big ones and unpick perfectly good stitches from the tapestry of our existence. Before we make major changes, in life, we must try to isolate the issue that is unnerving or upsetting us. Once that is fixed it may all be fine. However it’s not what we do; it is the way we do it. It’s not what we’ve got. It is the way we make use of what we’ve got. It is not what we don’t do; it is the reason why we don’t do it. It is not what we haven’t got; it is the way we feel about not having it. We can be surrounded by everything we might ever need, but if we don’t understand what it is we really need, our opulence will bring us no comfort.

We can be in a terribly tight spot but as long as we seek wisdom, we will always find a way out of it. A sense of perspective is all Vice President Atiku need now. They say,’ you should learn to walk before you can run! It is true. We should. Often though, we end up feeling as if there just isn’t time to practice. So instead of walking – or running – we just crawl as fast as we can and wear out our knees in the process. Our Vice President is in a hurry now. He wants something to happen as fast as possible. That’s understandable. But regardless of the pressure he faces, he needs to remember that, five minutes with a MAP, in a calm frame of mind, could save him hours of wandering round in circles and end up no where.

My advice for the Vice President now is to be a poker player, if it’s not too late. By hiding his fears and his feelings, by playing his cards, close to his chest. If he doesn’t like the look of his hand, he needs to be cautious. When you are in a hole, stop digging they say! We all know this is good advice but often we say something seemingly helpful such as,” Here is a much sharper spade” or” why don’t you try digging over there instead?! Indeed, whenever we see someone starting to create a deep hole, we all peer fascinatingly down, making it even harder for them to stop. The Vice President must never mind how much pressure he faces or how soft the earth below him seems now, he should stop digging, and stop dining with snake charmers, canters and quacks. Atiku must never trust those individuals who swear friendship to him over the cup of drunkenness.

He must beware lest the sweetened words of the hypocrite and the deceiver betray him into danger. True friends are hard to find he needs to be extremely careful. If they could betray someone very close to him, imagine what the vultures from hell would do to the Vice President himself and still feel cool about it, this to them is life as they live it here. IBB, MKO, Abacha and even President Obasanjo had been victims of these snake charmers and Holy Willies. Why then is it very difficult for Atiku to learn from the very best before it’s too late.


There’s only one way to win an argument, and that’s to avoid getting drawn into it in the first place. As soon as we rise to the bait, we fall into the trap. We lose our equilibrium. We compromise our objectivity. Our impartiality goes out of the window. Even if we win we lose. Of course, people rarely point that out to us. Most prefer to encourage one another to remain in a state of conflict. After all the more impassioned and irrational we all are, the easier it is to take advantage of us. If we want to go further forward in this life of ours, we must learn to stand further back. No one wins an argument by shouting the loudest or being the one who sticks most rigidly to their principles. Nor for that matter, do you lose by being outtalked – or placed in a position from which you can exert no further influence. You win by being willing to lose. You lose by being determined to win. There may be kudos from succeeding in a competitive sport or race of human conflict. I believe all disputes have something to feel ashamed of.

My strongest advice to our Vice President now is to reach for compromise, not confrontation. Sometimes we desperately put ourselves in awkward positions. We take on tasks that we know we are going to find onerous. We allow relationships to develop even though we suspect from the outset that they will be difficult. We may do this out of bravado or we may just feel we have no other choice. It is interesting how lack of choice so often seems to lead to more lack of choice. Of course none of us is wise. If we aspire to wisdom with all our might and all our hearts, we might just reach a point where we are wise enough to recognise how unwise we really are. We all want to be clever in life. We surely can be. All it requires is a willingness to accept that we don’t know everything there is to know and we never will. Therefore, there’s a limit to what we can foresee. If that’s true, there must also be a limit to what we want to control. In which case, we really might as well take it easy. We are who we are. We have every right to be proud of this. But are we all that we can be? In what way are we compromising the integrity of our own identity? Or selling ourselves short – or doing we and our nation a disservice? What is it that we are denying to ourselves? What is it that could easily help us develop more talents and confidence?

We must learn to be our own best friend today. We must look at what it is that we really need and then help ourselves to find a way to get it. In addition to honest, selfless, courageous and reliable lawmakers, we need mature and trustworthy governors and patriotic ambassadors. All we really require now is more love, care, support and sense of security. If we are thoughtful, selfless, caring, God-fearing and loyal, we will get them.


Democracy as rule of the people, pre-suppose agreement on who constitutes what is called “the people”. The grassroots level people. Such agreement must necessarily distinguish between those who enjoy the rights of citizenship and the parasites that see themselves as gods of the poor. There should be mutual respect between the different communities or identities that make up the nation; and all citizens must enjoy effective equal rights under the law of the land. How Nigeria manages the potential tensions between the requirements of equal citizenship and the distinctiveness of its different communities and between internal inclusiveness and external exclusivity is an important indicator of the quality of Nigeria’s democracy. Of democratic significance are Nigeria’s procedures for resolving disagreement about its constitutional arrangements, and how inclusive these are.

The idea of the rule of law is a long standing one, predating the advent of democracy. It expresses the powerful idea that law, not the arbitrary will of particular people or region, whether in government or not, should rule society. The idea of the rule of law surely comprises some distinct elements including the following:

1. No one should be punished without a specific charge and a fair hearing before a duly-constituted court. 2. The Nigerian judiciary should be institutionally and personally independent of both the executive and the legislature, so that it can interpret and enforce the law without fear or favour. 3. All Nigerian law should be certain, and its provisions and penalties known in advance. 4. No one should be above the law, whatsoever on earth their position or social standing, and everyone should be equal before it. 5. All Nigerian public officials should be subject to the law, and act within the terms of legally prescribed duties, powers and procedures. 6. Parliamentary law making should itself conform to constitutionally defined procedures and limits. It should uphold the rights fundamental to democratic citizenship. 7. Nigerian police should enforce the law effectively and fairly. 8. No one should be denied the protection due them under the civil or criminal law because they can’t afford the cost or because of gross delays in the administration of justice. 9. Nigerian government must understand that democracy can not work without effective civil and political rights. 10. Nigerians must be able to join together in associations and meet freely to discuss “ONLY” their aspirations and needs, their concerns and possible remedies. 11. Nigerians must be able to express their views freely. 12. In Nigeria, open government is essential underpinnings of these rights. 13. Serial blackmailers, rogue journalists and jobless character assassins should be put behind bars. 14. Moreover minorities of all kinds must feel secure in their freedom to practise their own religion and culture (Excluding heathens and Idol worshippers). Otherwise there can be no political equality to ensure that the needs and views of all sections of society are given voice and taken into account. 15. Above all, Nigerians must be free from intimidation, violence and the fear and threat of violence.

These ideas form the cornerstone of democratic government. However, we must learn not to claim any more power than we have to take. We must not at the same time give away any more power than we need to, in order to share. Honesty, though, doesn’t always involve telling everyone everything. Nor does it involve sharing every emotion no matter how transient or trivial.


There are certain things that need not be said. If we want to be sure of getting our most important message across, we should always avoid complicating it with extraneous additional information. We must always resist the temptation to say more than we need to or not say less than we need to either. But we must be aware that sometimes, people hear what they want to hear, not what is actually being communicated. “It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part”. That’s what they tell us when we are losing. When we are winning they cheer us on loudly whilst secretly wondering how long our luck is going to last and whether we are starting to get too big for our boots. We live in a competitive society, where snake charmers are prepared to tell us only what we want to hear, yet success makes us lonely – and failure makes us frustrated. Somehow, though, it fails to dawn on us that competition is futile and facile. This life of ours is full of things that we don’t especially want to think about or deal with.

Indeed, life itself is one of those things. We can’t look closely at the subject for very long before we find ourselves having to acknowledge and remember that it doesn’t last forever. There is a very big question mark hanging over everyone’s future. None of us really want to think about that or deal with this. Reality, though, doesn’t disappear when we ignore it. The only way to overcome a fear is to face it. With courage and honesty, we all can work miracles. However, by the time the future arrives, the world will have changed. We will feel differently about many matters that currently concern us. We won’t be quite the same person we are now, nor will we be in quite the same situation. That’s why there is rarely any point in worrying about tomorrow, because it belongs to the Lord. When we let some fear of a forthcoming event get the better of us, we bring it into the present. We cause it to hang over our life like a dark cloud and experience unnecessary angst. Right now, we must adopt the policy of “When we get there we will deal with it, let’s just tackle today”. The Most High will surely bless us with peace of mind.


Posted by Administrator at April 15, 2006 09:33 AM


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