There is this common joke I share with people when asked what the day’s date is. In responding, I will say: “The day’s date is so, so and so, if Nigeria doesn’t change it.” Of course, this elicits some laughter because it is believed no one can change the date, so with time, I want to believe. For Nigeria, nothing is impossible!
Things are fast changing. So the world. The way of the east is certainly not the way of the south, as well as the west and north. I am aware there is time variation from one country to another and that explains the diversity of humanity and the accompanying activities.
For instance, China is ahead of Nigeria by seven hours; Indonesia by six hours; India 4 hours, 30 minutes; while Nigeria is ahead of UK by one hour. And if my memory serves me right, Saudi Arabia is three hours ahead of the most populous black nation in the world.
Let’s come to think of it. Can you imagine a scenario where you are suddenly confronted with a change in time? How will it really feel? What happens to your programmes? Will it not appear flabbergasting? It’s impossible, you are likely to say!
But the reality of this set in October 27 when it was announced the clocks in Germany will be brought back by one hour at 3am of Sunday. I am sure somebody will ask what I really mean by this.
Before now, Germany was one hour ahead of Nigeria. And suddenly, the arithmetic of time became same. No thanks to the yearly change called DST (Daylight Saving Time). It symbolises that with good leadership, Nigeria, in no distant time, will equal the developmental strides of Germany and other great nations of the world. Though, patriotism is at work, but it’s doable.
And back to the time change, for the locals, it is normal. But, for me, it was something I would be practically experiencing for the first time. I understand this comes every last Sunday of October ahead the dreaded winter. This negates the common saying-no one can tie down the time. This is not tenable again, as Germany, and indeed a couple of other countries into the DST stuff, are “tying down” the time to suit their purpose. And it just makes some sense when one looks at some accompanying weather change and some daily routines. With the approach of winter, the day recedes fast into darkness, thus altering other activities.
A typical consequence of this time change, for instance, can be seen in the time for Muslim prayers (salat). Before now, Maghrib, a prayer observed at about 6.25pm, suddenly dropped to 5.09pm, and this keeps going backward to such a time that very prayer will come up at 4.37pm. So, other segments of the prayer are affected.
So, if you are still of the jaundiced view that no one can set back the hand of the clock, this is just the time to have a rethink. Several countries around Europe and North America are into DST, an arrangement which has its benefits just as disadvantages. Some countries are also said to have opted out, depending on how favourable it is to them. It’s a case of one man’s meat is another’s poison.
But my thinking is that when the clock is put on reverse gear by one hour towards the end of autumn as it’s usually the practice, one precious hour of daylight is being moved from evening to morning. It guarantees one additional hour of sleep. But would it not make sense that it’s left at the standard time when the hour will be more useful to the people for enhanced productivity?
Don’t mind me. It’s my own native intelligence at work. For whatever it’s worth, it needs mention that this natural change is a mere consequence of the almighty climate change- the fast-emerging global phenomenon that has come to stay with us.
Unmasking fugitive Maina
It is a thing of great delight that the seemingly elusive Abdulrasheed Maina, was finally found after about five-year manhunt. He was the Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team. This super civil servant donned a mythical garb while his search lasted. Nigerians were fed with a whirlwind of myths surrounding Maina. But indeed, followers of the trend of event leading to his arrest, knew Maina was not in any way smart. He was simply enjoying the abounding conspiracy of the Nigerian nation.
I was privileged to be in a top government circle where some national issues came up for discourse. I openly challenged the power-that-be on the need to get Maina and let him tell us the true story about his “escapade.” The occasion was a parley between Editors and some Presidency top shots, including the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), sometime in 2018. The sacked boss of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, poured out his vituperations on journalists, particularly a section of the media he believed was doing the bidding of an anti-corruption agency. Although he hurried out of the meeting to honour an invitation from the National Assembly, the eminent journalists at the event, never hesitated to fire back at him, even in absentia.
Now that the bubble has burst and the man tagged a fugitive is pinned down and the masquerade unmasked, we leave the rest to the court to do the just and nothing but the just. But what do we make of the “unfair comment” from the court as alleged by Maina? The trial continues! For sure, Maina, you now have your day and yielded the podium to tell the world all the tales you regaled us with while in the wilderness of opulence.
Buhari off again?
Upon returning from Russia-Africa summit, President Muhammadu Buhari headed to the United Kingdom enroute Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, he attended the Future Investment Initiative, a three-day event organised by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund. Of course, it was an opportunity for a lesser Hajj-at least to seek the face of God in the face of the many challenges bedevilling the nation under his leadership.
The Presidency says the UK trip is a private visit to last two weeks. From whatever angle one looks at it, our President certainly deserves some rest, particularly from the many disgusting stories of killings and kidnappings in the land. A colleague in our office back in Nigeria, told me in a chat yesterday: “Buhari is a human being like you and I. He has to take time off to see meds…..”
For these and several others, the All Progressives Congress-led government has come under severe criticism for what they describe as his many travels. While the antagonists are of the view that the travels be reduced to cut cost, the protagonists say those requiring presidential attention can’t and should not be delegated. Fine, I have no issue with that.
It was a rude shock to me when the APC National Chairman, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, tried justifying the President’s travels, drawing a comparison with that of a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. I think he should be reminded that APC promised change. But if doing same things the same way, then wither the change? Dear, Comrade, you got it wrong there. You should have advanced a better reason(s) for the trips.
While the position held by those in support of the travels can’t be faulted, just like that of those who disagree, the outcome of such visits should be the citizens’ concern. Can we, for once in the media, start benchmarking and engage with the visits against the backdrop of what the government promises to realise with or from them? Outright condemnation won’t be enough. Let the media go for the substance or otherwise of the trip and showcase to the citizens. We must go beyond this and rid ourselves of bootstrap mentality of condemning and praising. Let’s speak to the facts of the matter and not get steeped in the notion of “our president is always right or Buhari is incompetent.” This won’t take us anywhere.
Same goes also for those governors who are always on the president’s entourage. They are using the people’s resources, and I don’t want to believe they are there just to keep the president’s company or serve the bench-warmer role. The president has been so magnanimous enough to have all the governors on his trips since coming on board. I am not sure there is anyone left out of this. Indeed, he has been carrying them along!