Even the most casual exploration of the realm of paradoxes easily reveals the difference between lying and telling a lie. While in lying, there is the implication of willfulness, in the second case, the actor only delivers a message without liability for the content of such a message. A further exploration of this paradox easily betrays how much the modern world depends on reports and other communication that could easily fall into the category of half-truths, crass untruths and blatant lies. For instance, virtually all the books of fiction that define the literary culture of the contemporary world are chronicles of untrue situations. Taking it to specifics, who was Robinson Crusoe? Who was Gulliver of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’? Coming down to African literature who can trace the lineage of Mai Sunsaye, the lead character in the book, ‘Burning Grass’ by Cyprian Ekwensi? The common truth about these books is that they are mere fictional works built around typical figures that may not have existed and even if they did, may not have manifested exactly in the forms they were presented to the world.
Meanwhile, the world’s dependence on fictional reports is even more pronounced in the flood of daily briefings produced for top officials of government, business and clergy by subordinates, who could easily assert the liberty to forward mere figments of their imagination to higher authority, in place of credible eye witness accounts and associated dependable intelligence.
A recall of this paradoxical sojourn was spawned by a recent jab against the Rivers Governor, Chief Nyeson Wike by the Army in respect of one wanted ‘Bobrisky’ – presented in the public domain as a most wanted criminal. Incidentally, there is a real life Bobrisky whose birth name is Okuneye Idris, a male who straddles the internet with provocative posts of himself mimicking females and a portraying bohemian character. With an estimated networth of $250,000, Bobrisky’s show has a princely commercial value.
Meanwhile, acting out his missionary zeal in running the affairs of the Rivers State as the governor, Nyesom Wike had acted on the basis of otherwise credible security report, and placed a bounty of N30 million to be
paid to anyone who provides useful assistance to the capture of a fellow presented to the public domain also as ‘Bobrisky and who for the purpose of clarification in this piece will be assigned the name ‘Bobrisky 2’. The latter Bobrisky is reportedly a notorious criminals who with his gang terrorises the Ogoni axis of the state. Soon after the announcement of the bounty, the governor announced to an elated Rivers community that Bobrisky 2 had been arrested by the Army, and he was in the process of releasing the N30 million to the Army. No sooner had the words fallen out of the governor’s mouth that the same Army he was favouring turned against him by denying the arrest of Bobrisky2 by their men and specifically called him a liar.
The moral of the preview to this story is that even if Wike’s claim on Bobrisky 2 was false, he could not have been the author of the narrative. The entire package on Bobrisky2 could have been provided him by elements in the official Rivers State Security network of which the Army constitutes a critical component. And given that the Army was even the would-be primary beneficiary of the bounty, whatever report on the arrest that never took place could have come from military sources. By implication, therefore a lie was fed to a whole state governor who innocently paraded it to the entire state, only to be ridiculed by the very Army he was trying to favour.
While in the course of his busy schedule as governor, Wike may not be inclined to dwell exhaustively on such an issue, the public take on it goes beyond the governor’s response. The level of insecurity in the state has reached fever pitch with the governor launching a multi-faceted all-out war on the syndrome. Needless to note that in this onslaught against insecurity, the Army remains a most critical component. As the ultimate hard-blow response to wherever decisive physical action is required in taming the scourge and its sponsors, its contributions can never be over-emphasised. In that context, therefore, the Army occupies a pole position that renders their word and action of equal sanctity as gospel truth. Hence, having the Army portrayed as indulging in any circumstance that is associated with disparaging the governor of the state comes with a sour taste.
comes with a sour taste.
The Army can however still vindicate itself by clearing whatever mix up has come up in this saga, by arresting whoever the real character is, even with his obvious misrepresentation as Bobrisky, since even with another name, he is still the terror in the equation and needs a date with the soldiers. Especially,as the bounty is still intact.
Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate
Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.
Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members
President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”
Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.
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