No one has a monopoly of ideas . This is what I keep discovering every day .
Sometimes I hold a view and I feel that I’ m probably the only person who sees it that way.
This makes me to imagine that I may be seeing things in their extremities.
But each time I do so , I am always proved wrong .
Not long ago, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu , expressed the view that the privatisation of the power sector should be revisited.
That statement is the latest in a long list . I shall return to it .
The matter of no monopoly of ideas reminds me of an example that I use in private conversations.
I cite it often to back the view that exactly the same idea may occur to many people , independently .
Some years ago, I wrote down an idea for a fiction piece , intending to develop it later .
I gave a title to this piece , which occurred to me while watching a traditional event in Yorubaland on TV .
Within two years, a filmmaker of Yoruba origin came out with a film bearing the same title that I thought of .
He used as title the exact name of the main character that I had written down .
Long ago, I became aware of the story of Eleshin Oba ( king ’ s horseman ) in Oyo , who was to commit suicide when in 1944 the then Alaafin of Oyo passed to the great beyond .
It left a huge impression on me and I had thought of writing a work of fiction on it .
Soon , I realised that Prof. Wole Soyinka ’ s play entitled Death and the king ’ s horseman and published in 1975 was based on this actual event .
Although I’ ve been aware of Soyinka ’ s book for many years, I read it in 2018 .
But Alaafin Siyanbola Onikepe Oladigbolu , whose passage led to the Eleshin Oba saga was from the same family compound in Oyo as my grandfather and they were contemporaries .
It ’ s for this reason I still intend to write my own version of the event .
It has to be a completely different take from Soyinka ’ s classic.
Meanwhile , Tinubu made his remark regarding the need to revisit the privatisation of the power sector during his 67th birthday anniversary, making me imagine that he was pointedly sending a message to the Minister of Power and Works , Babatunde Fashola .
Tinubu alleged that a past government privatised the generation and distribution segments of the sector without giving thought to transmission .
He said the entire process was carried out at the time as though government was sharing a birthday cake. By calling on government to revisit the privatisation of this sector , he held the same view that I had expressed on this page (December 21, 2019 ).
As a Nigerian , I think it ’ s embarrassing that 7 , 000 megawatts is what we are celebrating as an achievement at a time we should have identified and addressed the fundamental impediments, such as the manner the privatisation exercise itself took place.
Until this is done , the power sector sits firmly on all its buttocks .
Now to other matters .
Nigerian women keep failing me . Why ? I don’ t want those of them in public offices linked to anything that could embarrass them , but this is happening regularly.
If it continues , some of us who applaud when Nigerian women are in positions of authority won ’ t have reasons to do so anymore .
For instance , on March 27 , 2019 , NTA News reported that House of Reps Committee on Health Services had issues with NAFDAC.
The two officials mentioned were the Director- General and the Deputy Director of Finance.
We know the DG is a woman , Prof Mojisola Adeyeye .
The House Committee said both officials would face charges for, at one stage , spending money that wasn’ t approved in the budget .
This accusation is questionable. Why ? On the same March 27, 2019 , another agency of the Federal Government (in a different news report unconnected to the National Assembly) reportedly executed a project , expending funds while it had the anticipatory approval of the 2019 budget in view .
I wouldn’ t know what makes the case of NAFDAC different, but my point is that women in positions of authority need to be more circumspect.
They should avoid pitfalls .
There was also the time a woman made it as Speaker of the House of Reps .
I applauded in my piece in a way I never did before .
But Madam Speaker had to leave in a way some of us didn’ t appreciate .
There was also the woman who once headed the Ministry of Health under President Umar Yar ’ Adua and before one knew it , she and some other officials were implicated in a case of expending funds said to be outside the budget timeline for such . There are several other women who have fallen by the wayside .
I think our women should get smarter , consciously choosing to not let things like these happen to them .
I’ m still on the side of women , though. A columnist with The Punch newspaper , Onoshe Nwabuikwu, was threatened not long ago by Channels TV .
During one of its 10 pm news bulletin, a newscaster at the station read out a press statement said to be the station ’ s response to a column by Nwabuikwu.
I read the column when it was published and I was surprised that the TV station thought of threatening Nwabuikwu .
Why ? She wrote that something happened . Channels TV said it happened , but it was a mistake.
The station claimed that its staff didn’ t notice it at the time .
When its attention was eventually drawn to the mistake, it was promptly rectified.
The TV station then went on to threaten Nwabuikwu with legal action and I was like, “ Hello, what are we talking about ?”
Nwabuikwu made her deductions from what Channels TV would later admit did happen .
If her deductions weren’ t right , as the station stated , all that the station needed to do was to state its own side of the story, refute what it saw as Nwabuikwu’ s incorrect deductions and let it rest there.
But the station went on to issue threats when in fact , its journalists regularly made deductions for which Very Important Personalities could easily have threatened them with legal action.
For instance , I recall that Channels TV raised an alarm that the Head of Service , Eyo Ita , was quarreling with the NSA, Babagana Mungono, based on the content of a silent video that featured both officials during a meeting of the Federal Executive Council .
The issue that time had been about who brought back to the civil service a man that was once removed over allegations bordering on corruption .
Channels TV ’ s Seun Okinbaloye was dramatic in his analysis of the video.
He was so convinced about his own interpretation that he went on to pressure the then State House correspondent of the TV station ,
Chukwuma Onuekwusi , to affirm his interpretation on ‘ Politics Today ’ .
Calm and reserved , Onuekwusi said he couldn ’ t do that except Okinbaloye wanted him to move from the realm of facts into the realm of speculation .
I suppose both the Head of Service and NSA too could have threatened to sue Okinbaloye that time for drawing unsubstantiated conclusions from the video, which were capable of bringing them to disrepute .
Incidentally , it was also from a video, which the TV station uploaded on Youtube that Nwabuikwu drew her conclusions at the time ( Dec. 2 , 2018 ).
I think those polished journalists at Channels TV couldn ’ t have drafted that press statement threatening Nwabuikwu.
It looks and smells like the handiwork of some over – enthusiastic lawyer who ’ s looking forward to a legal fee after putting up an appearance in court over nothing .
There was this touch of overzealousness to the press statement , unnecessarily exuberant .
I found the tone not only distasteful , but also repulsive . If, indeed, a fellow journalist drafted that kind of threat , then I say , “ Colleagues at Channels TV , take it easy .
” What the station is overreacting to is very much part of this trade , and we all know .
In any case , I looked for what could make a judge declare Nwabuikwu guilty as charged in the opinion she expressed and I couldn ’ t find any .
A more subtle response explaining what actually happened would have been in line with the image of a TV station with good taste and polished team of journalists that I’ ve come to have so much respect for.