Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Article: Still On The NFF Technical Committee Recommendation

Samson Siasia
By Nelson Ekujumi
The furor generated by the Super Eagles ouster from the 2012 AFCON has refused to abate as expected and the latest being the recommendation by the Technical Committee of the NFF for the Super Eagles Coach Samson Siasia to either be sacked or his contract reviewed is a welcome development. First and foremost, I want to congratulate the committee for coming up with this patriotic decision which I believe is in the long term interest of our football.
When yours sincerely advocated in an earlier write up that Samson Siasia should not be sacked based on this disappointment alone because we are all culpable but rather be allowed to remain in the long term interest of the growth of our football which we cannot but agree requires the inculcation of local content in view of the management of our Senior National Team, I made that suggestion based on my understanding of the facts surrounding events before the Nations cup ouster, but events unfolding after my comments have made me to have some reservations.
First, I must admit the fact that the Super Eagles team that drew with Guinea was not the best we can parade with a population of over 150 million people where talents abound at home and in Diaspora. Also the team lacked the zeal we know with players who appreciate the honour of wearing the national colours and lastly the bench was technically deficient which played a large part in the national embarrassment that we  were  all subjected to.
I was shocked and disappointed once again with the technical deficiency of the Super Eagles in the friendly match against Ghana’s Black Stars in London, where the team was outplayed in all departments by their opponents even though they were lucky to come out with a draw. There and then did I conclude that this Samson unlike the one in the Bible before the shave of the seven locks of his head is in dire need of help if we are really serious of avoiding further embarrassment that his continued headship of the Super Eagles portend.
This was the reason why I concurred with the recommendation of the technical committee of a review of the contract of Siasia so that he can be an understudy to a new manager and learn through the ropes just like I advocated before his appointment. I was thus shocked and disappointed to read that Siasia who had displayed unbridled arrogance while the honeymoon lasted in his job before this calamity of missing out of the Nations Cup for the first time in 26 years and whom I thought had eaten the humble pie by the loss would be sober at least for some time, but was let down by his contemptuous statement that he wouldn’t work under any coach in the Super Eagles.
Samson Siasia whom I thought is a knowledgeable person has proven to be very ignorant of the principle of democracy which is a system of government of the people, by the people and for the people or in other words is known as “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” meaning “The voice of the people is the voice of God”. It was the clamour of the people that got him the job in the first place and the general cry now is for him to step down because he has failed, but if some of us are advocating retention and  a lesser role for him now, it is not because the people’s cry is misplaced after all his predecessors who performed even better than him were shown the exit door and his should not be an exemption, rather it is based on the fact that we are trying to give him a soft landing like they say in politics just to add the local content to the technical bench of the National Team for future sake.
Siasia must be told the simple and plain truth which is that he is not technically and psychologically equipped to handle the Senior National team of Nigeria, we can allow him to grow by learning from a more competent expert whom I am advocating should be employed now before the qualifiers for the 2013 Nations Cup and 2014 World Cup begin. As for those who are still calling for his continued stay on the job despite his latest after thoughts outbursts, we are yet to be convinced of his capability to perform the job because his performance so far proves quite contrary and our overriding goal should be how to save our people further heartache and our collective sensibilities from further assault.
If Siasia is not prepared to learn by becoming an assistant to whoever we engage, then he should be shown the exit door and no nepotism should be allowed because right now I am aware that some forces are trying to play the ethnic card via the Presidency to allow him keep his job. We are fed up with our status as a failed state; after all, we sacked Christian Chukwu, Amodu Shuaibu, Adegboye Onigbinde, Ladan Bosso, Tunde Disu, Stephen Keshi, Alphonsus Dike, etc for failures at the National Team levels, so why should Siasia’s case be different? Nigeria is bigger than any individual and why we have remained an embarrassment in the comity of civilized people is because of the fact that we are unserious. The only thing that can stand us in good light as credible people is if our actions are based on objectivity and sincerity, this is the only and sure way to avoid the catastrophe that the continued management of the Super Eagles by Samson Siasia have in store.
As for the present confused and visionless board of the NFF, the time to go or be forced to resign is now if we are desirous of salvaging the ruins of our football lest they continue to commit abomination as blind men by leading the rest of us with sight into the pit of shame and embarrassment. Enough is enough!
A word is enough for the wise!

Article: Kidnappings, Imo State And American Citizens

By Kenneth Uwadi
Five days ago, the U.S. Department of State warned U.S. citizens of the risks of travelling to seven states in Nigeria including Imo State because of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. This to me is no good news for Imo state and for potential investors. A non-governmental organization based in Abuja, “Imo Vanguard” yesterday issued a press statement condemning the present leadership of the state over US placement of Imo as one of the seven risked states in Nigeria.
My question is whether the occupant of Douglas House Owerri, Owelle Rochas Okorocha is aware of this sad news. Does he browse the internet, listen to world broadcasting outfits and read some of Nigeria’s influential newspapers and magazines? A source at the corridors of power in Imo State informed me that the governor has advised his aides and members of his cabinet to ignore all that are appearing in the press about his activities, saying that he would not be distracted by the huge press criticism of his government. It is really sad that Imo State has degenerated to this level. It is really sad because many Imo citizens who have open mind and clear head could still remember how Imo state was before the coming of this present administration. I must admit it that Imo state during the last administration was better placed, more organized and relatively peaceful than so many states in this country.
My brother called me from Cleveland, Ohio with the sad news about Imo State. He has been preparing this business trip to Owerri for months now and his business associates have all agreed to make this trip to Nigeria, but few days ago when he asked them to bring their passports for visa, they shocked him with refusal not to go again; the reason being the U.S. Department of State’s warning to U.S. citizens of the risks of travelling to Imo state and other parts of Nigeria due to the rise of kidnapping and robbery. I raised my shoulders in disdain. For minutes, I did not utter a word. I was angry.
 I love my state  but if a serving Commissioner for Commerce and Industry  in the state, Lady Chioma Ogoke can be so kidnapped in Owerri few days after the Operation Rescue was launched, then Imolites definitely are not safe  as we approached Christmas. State security falls right on the laps of the governor and if the government can’t provide security for its citizens then water don pass garri. Potential investors will shun Imo state because of fear of being kidnapped and the state is the loser. Imo needs foreign investors, but who wants to be kidnapped for ransom.
People opt for kidnapping because of two major reasons: greed and lack of employment. There are two things that can cure all these mess: provision of employment and stringent laws but the present government in Imo State don’t see need for creating jobs for the jobless youths in the state. Unemployment remains one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. Rather than tackling unemployment, Governor Okorocha announced the suspension of 10,000 jobs created by the immediate past administration of Imo State. So tell me why kidnapping and armed robbery will not be on the increase in Imo state. A good governor ought to know that by sacking 10,000 workers, he has pushed 10,000 persons into kidnapping and armed robbery.Kidnappers in Imo state are not terrorists. They are making kidnapping as a means of living because of the failure of government to offer them jobs in a state that is rich in natural resources. So, although we condemn them for making kidnapping as a living, we can only blame the government for neglecting them. Removing food from the mouth of 10, 000 persons is also removal of food from the mouth of  thousands of  family members and friends who depend on them for survival. So who is to be blamed for the rise of kidnapping in the state?
Sacking workers in Imo state where the poor working masses literally rely on self-help to provide their basic needs (electricity, water, education, health care, etc) despite their low purchasing power, to say the least, is callous, provocative and inhuman. Moreover, it is highly insensitive to retrench workers in a situation when labour market is already over-saturated. More so, when no social benefit is paid to the unemployed as government continues to abandon its social responsibilities to the people. This is in spite of the abundant natural resources and fabulous wealth that accrues to Imo state from sales of crude oil, taxes, and other revenues.
It is also paradoxical for an Okorocha with his campaign promise to create thousands of jobs when elected to opt for downsizing of Imo workforce. We need not say here that the patience of Imo People appears to be running out and fastly too, worse the legislature which should be the watch dog on the  executive is busy singing halleluiah vibes to the Governor. Save us Oh God.
(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)