Crap leaders look out for themselves.
Minor leaders look out for their sect or section.
Great Leaders look out for their country.
Exceptional Leaders look out for humanity.
Dear Leader, which are you?
Before they take him away from us. Before they appropriate him exclusively for themselves. Before we send him forth to occupy the Presidential palace in Abuja also known as Aso Rock. Before we throw him like a lamb into a den of lions, we must do something post haste. We must do something about the seemingly intractable Aso Rock Disease.
The Aso Rock Disease is a unique disease of Nigerian Presidents and Heads of State that no doctor or medicine can cure. A wasting disease, once acquired by its intended target the sitting President or Head of State, its symptoms can only be managed, almost never eradicated.
The only known effective palliative for Aso Rock disease is to quit Aso Rock unconditionally. However one of Aso Rock disease’s principal symptoms is a deep yearning to remain in perpetuity as the rent-seeking Tenant-in-Chief of Aso Rock. And therein lies the dilemma of what is effectively a classic catch-22 situation.
Since one cannot effectively fight an enemy that one cannot readily identify, it is necessary for us to revisit and refresh our memories about the particularities and peculiarities of this strange Aso Rock disease which almost exclusively targets Nigerian Leaders safely ensconced in the imposing Presidential Villa at Aso Rock, Abuja.
Signs and Symptoms of Aso Rock Disease
The following are some of the main signs and symptoms of Aso Rock disease presented in no particular order of severity or chronology. Note that the list is neither exclusive nor conclusive.
- Targeted assassinations or unexplained violent deaths of political opponents and sometimes supposed ‘friends’.
- Attempts at tenure elongation as the chief tenant of Aso Rock.
- An “I don’t give a damn” attitude about national issues particularly regarding issues concerning citizens’ welfare.
- An “I certainly give a damn” attitude about mundane issues particularly issues concerning the President or Head of State’s personal interests, personal welfare or personal prestige.
- Over-enjoyment of and refusal to hand over the “security vote” directly to the security agencies to control and dispense as they deem fit while discharging their constitutional responsibility of providing security for all.
- Bloated feeding and miscellaneous expenses budgetary allocations for Aso Rock presidential villa.
- Ever expanding, state of the art presidential aircraft fleet.
- Sectionalism manifested by channeling development to a particular favored part of the country most often the President or Head of State’s natal section or sometimes that of his wife.
- Extravagant show of piety in churches or mosques.
- Unwarranted meddling with political parties particularly the president’s own political party.
- Excessive and indecent interest in personally nominating the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- Resort to executive bribery and other financial inducements to influence the outcome of deliberations in the National Assembly
- Rampant cronyism and nepotism
- Favorable reception and open reward of acts of sycophancy
- Heavy looting and stashing away of state funds
- General mischief and barely concealed resort to conspiratorial instigation.
- An overbearing and extravagant First Lady.
- Marginalization of the vice-president.
- Rewarding accomplished election vote riggers with choice appointments into the Federal Executive Council (i.e. Presidential Cabinet) and headship of other money spinning parastatals.
- Punishing whistleblowers of corrupt activity while shielding and rewarding allegedly corrupt public officials.
Given these signs and symptoms, what specific micro-organism lies behind the Aso Rock Disease? Let us consider its virology
Virology of Aso Rock Disease
Aso Rock disease is caused by the Aso Rock virus which is an invisible virus that has two variants. The first variant or Aso Rock virus Type 1 is genetically associated with innate greed (a.k.a. long-throat) and feverish ambition. The second variant or Aso Rock virus Type 2 is passed on by tangible human vectors who are persons found exclusively in the Presidential Cabinet – that is persons who have steady direct access to the President or Head of State, the Tenant-in-Chief of Aso Rock.
There are various categories of Presidential Cabinet by which and through which the President may be infected by Aso Rock virus Type 2. These include:
- The official Federal Executive Council or Ministerial Executive Cabinet, recognized by the Constitution of the Federal Republic and whose members are nominally vetted and confirmed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The President may be infected by Aso Rock virus Type 2 during the Executive Cabinet sessions or afterwards while interacting face-to-face with members of this cabinet. Statistical records show however that this form of transmission is very rare in reality.
- The Special Advisers’ and Special Assistants’ Cabinet whose members are officially appointed by the President to advise and assist him on official matters. Although well poised to infect the President with Aso Rock virus Type 2, members of this cabinet rarely have the opportunity to do so since they are appointed in most cases only to come and join in the feast and may not physically see the President who they are supposed to be advising or assisting for several months or years at a stretch.
- The Kitchen Cabinet whose members are informally selected by the President himself to advise him on sundry matters. Members of this Cabinet are supremely poised to infect the President with Aso Rock virus Type 2 through the type of advice they give to him.
- The Bedroom Cabinet whose members share the same bed as the President if he is the type that has a roving eye. Naturally these presidential nocturnal encounters are accompanied by small talk during which the President may be infected by Aso Rock virus Type 2. The titular head of this Cabinet of course is the First Lady of the Nation.
- The Wine, Beer and Squash Cabinet whose main function is to help the President unwind with a shared bottle of wine if he is the alcohol imbibing type or a game of squash or some other sport if he is a physical fitness enthusiast. Note that such sessions are accompanied by small talk during which Aso Rock virus Type 2 may easily be transmitted.
- The Sectarian Cabinet whose members are the President’s prayer warriors. These are often Bishops, Prophets, Pastors or Imams, Alfas and other prayer warriors of the President. They can infect the President with Aso Rock virus Type 2 couched as prayer points, prophecies and visions.
- The Sectional Cabinet whose members are the leaders of the President’s own ethnic group such as royal fathers and other tribal leaders. Accomplished tribal warriors including youth militants may muscle their way into this cabinet.
- The Shrine Cabinet whose members offer sacrifices and perform other rites and rituals for a President who swings both ways spiritually. It is easy to see how members of this cabinet can inflict a President with Aso Rock virus Type 2 while performing divinations and currying favors on behalf of the President from the nether world.
Regarding these various presidential cabinets, it is important to stress that some individuals may be titular members of several of these different kinds of presidential cabinets all at the same time. Indeed research time and time again has proven that there is a perfect correlation between the number of these cabinets a particular individual belongs to and that individual’s capacity to infect the President with Aso Rock virus Type 2.
For example an individual that belongs to the Ministerial Cabinet, the Kitchen Cabinet and the Bedroom Cabinet all at once has a three-fold increase in his or her capacity to infect the President with Aso Rock virus Type 2. This is because such an individual can have encounters with the President during the day, during the evening and late at night!
How often have outbreaks of Aso Rock disease been observed among Nigerian Presidents and Heads of State over the years? It is time for us to briefly consider specific cases of this dreaded disease.
Epidemiology of Aso Rock Disease
Aso Rock disease has wasted not a few relatively promising military or civilian administrations in Nigeria. Let us refresh our memories by revisiting the recorded outbreaks of this disease briefly and quasi-chronologically.
The first known case of full blown Aso Rock Disease ever recorded in the history of Nigeria afflicted a Tenant-in-Chief who for the purposes of this piece we shall simply describe as the gap-toothed one. Now it should be noted that before him there were other cases of Aso Rock type Diseases. But these were very mild in comparison to what has come to be regarded as full blown Aso Rock disease.
We shall call these early and very mild forms as proto-Aso Rock diseases. The first recorded case of proto-Aso Rock disease which occurred in the period 1970 to 1975 afflicted no other than our own dear Jack the one-time play boy army officer turned evangelist and latterly turned a basher of his deceased fellow one-time play boy army officer colleague turned rebel leader cum war time adversary.
The first substantive Aso Rock Disease was recorded in Nigeria in the period 1985 to 1993. It is pertinent to note that seduced by his cunning smiles, no one protected the gap-toothed one from Aso Rock disease. Arguing whether he was infected by Aso Rock virus Type 1 or Type 2 or both is largely academic. We all know what happened next. He refused to leave until he was forced to step aside.
For his successor the technocrat, Aso Rock disease did not matter one way or the other, for he was eased out unceremoniously by other causes even before he could unpack his luggage.
To this day no one can say for sure whether the dark-goggled one contacted the Aso Rock virus Type 2 from close proximity to the gap-toothed one or whether he carried Aso Rock virus Type 1 in his own genes. Plentiful anecdotal research evidence however buttress both scenarios. In any case no one would have dared raise a suggestion to his face about seeking medical attention in the form of a retro-viral vaccine shot until he died suddenly in 1998 from as yet unexplained circumstances. What cannot be denied is that his own form of combined Aso Rock disease was of greater severity than that of the gap-toothed one.
The bearded-one stayed for too short a while (1998 – 1999) at Aso Rock to be infected by the Aso Rock virus which leads to Aso Rock Disease. But there are many who swear to this day that if he had stayed a minute longer at Aso Rock he would have surely tested positive to Aso Rock virus Type 2.
The sharp tongued one having survived an unmerited stint in prison gave everyone the impression that he was naturally imbued with immunity to trifle opportunistic diseases like Aso Rock disease. He it was who characteristically volubly proclaimed on release from prison when the subject of running for President was mooted to him by the self-appointed powers that be: “how many presidents do you want to make of me?”
On the face of it, this was an expression of natural immunity to Aso Rock disease. But closer scrutiny reveals that it was actually a positive test for the presence of Aso Rock virus Type 1 in his genes. It is universally accepted medically that the presence of anti-bodies against a specific virus in the human system is a confirmation of the presence of that virus within the body.
Seen in this light therefore, his knee–jerk reaction actually arose from anti-bodies to Aso Rock Virus Type 1 already present within him. Before long after emerging as the tenant-in-chief for the second time (1999-2007), he tested positive to both Aso Rock Virus Types 1 and 2 and shortly thereafter succumbed brutally to full blown combined Aso Rock disease.
The meek one was weakened by other health challenges as a result of which he was quarantined while serving as the tenant-in-chief (2007-2010). With this vacuum, the primed Aso Rock virus type 2 present in his kitchen cabinet staff, not seeing any other viable target apart from the First Lady to infect, mutated and the vector-hosts developed full blown symptoms of Aso Rock disease themselves and ruled the roost unhindered until he died and they were all constitutionally ejected from Aso Rock.
The shoeless one who fortuitously or otherwise had a tendency of stepping into his erstwhile masters’ shoes, himself stood no chance. His penchant for trying on shoes of different sizes much bigger than his feet, hoping to find the largest one available, (a genetic condition consistent with infection with Aso Rock virus type 1) left him brutally exposed to Aso Rock virus Type 2 as well.
He was infected by Aso Rock Virus Type 2 right from day one in 2010 and developed chronic, full-blown combined Aso Rock disease caused by both Aso Rock virus Types 1 and 2 acting in concert in short order. Within the short time frame 2010 to 2015, he manifested all the known symptoms of Aso Rock disease with the exception of violently eliminating real or imagined threats and publicly quarrelling with his deputy. He never recovered fully, insisting that one and a half presidential term is not enough until he was divinely eased out of Aso Rock by God himself acting through the agency of inspired men.
As we have seen coming down with Aso Rock disease carries serious consequences for both the leader and the led so a word or two about the political fortunes of presidents infected with Aso Rock disease will not be out of place at this juncture.
Prognosis of Aso Rock Disease
Aso Rock disease has almost a 100% political reputation fatality rate. There is not a single known case of a Nigerian leader infected by Aso Rock disease who has recovered from the disease with his reputation 100% intact.
Invariably Aso Rock disease targets the leaders’ thinking faculties, stops them from making hay while the sun shines, paralyzes their ability to correctly gauge the mood of the nation, deludes them into thinking they are invincible with state funds, state institutions and other national assets at their disposal and leaves them totally unprepared for their inevitable and oftentimes disgraceful exit from office.
Most of these Nigerian leaders have something in common. They mostly took office with the potential of being great. Within one year in the saddle they started showing tendencies of being minor. By the second year they were largely confirmed as minor with a tendency towards crap. By their third year they were almost invariably certified as crap.
As indicated, the Aso Rock virus comes in two basic forms. The Type 1 Aso Rock virus which is genetically transmitted, is naturally mild. It is only triggered if and when the host manages to gain residency permit in Aso Rock as the tenant-in-chief. Even then it still generally behaves in a relatively mild-mannered manner.
On exposure to and combination with Aso Rock virus Type 2 however, the Aso Rock virus Type 1 becomes ultra-aggressive and capable of causing very great harm both to the host and more so to the larger nation.
The Aso Rock virus Type 2 which is transmitted by the various categories of the Presidential Cabinet is a different animal altogether.
Found extensively in members of the various Presidential Cabinets, Aso Rock virus Type 2 does not usually attack its natural carriers or vector hosts other than in exceptional cases when the tenant-in-chief is incapacitated. In such cases it undergoes some mutation and attacks the members of the presidential Cabinet who then begin to act unilaterally in the name of the incapacitated President.
The exact manner in which Aso Rock virus type 2 is transmitted from the cabinet vector-hosts to the President is not yet well understood but is commonly thought to be through voice mail (aka solicited or unsolicited advice) which exits from their mouths and enters into the President’s brain through his ears.
Aso Rock Type 2 viruses show characteristics which are vector-host specific. It is not unknown and unheard of for Aso Rock Type 2 viruses from one vector-host to fight against another Aso Rock virus Type 2 from another vector-host. Such fights which occur inside the President’s brain once he or she is infected from several sources, leaves the President confused as to what course of action to take in addressing pressing national issues.
Many a Nigerian President infected with Aso Rock disease has been known to confess that they receive conflicting advice (sorry type 2 viruses) from their cabinets.
Now while the Aso Rock virus Type 2 the President receives from the Kitchen cabinet is passed onto his brain through his ears while standing up or sitting down, the Aso Rock virus Type 2 the President receives from his Bedroom cabinet is passed onto his brain from his ears and other parts of his body while lying down in a horizontal position.
Ample research has shown that Aso Rock virus Type 2 transmitted to the President while he is in a horizontal position is 10 times more potent than their counterparts transmitted to the President when he is in a vertical standing or semi-vertical sitting position.
Buoyed by the published results of this ground breaking research, members of the public who have Aso Rock virus Type 2 to infect the President with, but who lack direct access to him because they do not feature as members of one of the possible Presidential cabinets, often resort to infecting the President through known members of the Presidential bedroom cabinet especially the First Lady.
This is why the pet projects of the First Ladies of Aso Rock are always over-subscribed by known carriers of Aso Rock virus Type 2 who lack direct access to the respective Presidents but who nevertheless decide to infect them through their wives. This type of indirect infection is known as secondary infection. And the mode of transfer of the Aso Rock virus Type 2 from the original vector-host to the First Lady is via bank drafts and cheques (checks) drawn in favor of the First Lady’s pet project, the proceeds of which inevitably end up in the First Lady’s hand-bag.
Because Aso Rock disease is a dreaded presidential disease that no doctor nor medicine can cure, prevention seems to be best solution for the intractable problem. There are two aspects of prevention of Aso Rock disease. The first has to be done by the ultimate prime target of the disease that is the President himself. The second has to be undertaken by the well –meaning people of Nigeria i.e. those Nigerians who are not vector-hosts of the disease themselves.
Since heaven helps those who help themselves, and since Aso Rock virus Type 2 is transmitted in the form of voice mail from a carrier’s mouth to the President’s brain and into his consciousness through his ears, the President is well-advised to always wear a protective filter inside his ears to sift all voice mail coming through from his various cabinets.
A robust and effective filter would automatically apply a four way test on all voice mail traffic before routing appropriate ones through to the President’s consciousness.
The technical details of the four way test which is actually a form of decision cascade are as follows:
- Does the incoming voice mail (advice) have the capacity to protect the interest of humanity? If yes classify it as exceptional and adopt it at once. If no subject it to the second test.
- Does the incoming voice mail (advice) protect the interest of the entire nation? If yes classify it as great and adopt it at once. If no subject it to the third test.
- Does the incoming voice mail (advice) protect the interest of the sender’s sect or section? If yes classify it as minor and keep it in view from the presidential rear mirror. If no subject the advice to the fourth test which let the truth be told is utterly superfluous.
- Does the incoming voice mail (advice) protect only the sender’s interest? If yes reject it as crap. If no regard the advice as useless.
As noted above, the primary vectors of transmission of Aso Rock disease to the President of Nigeria is via one or more forms of the self-chosen Presidential Cabinet. And who can occupy Aso Rock without having several cabinets? Aso Rock disease hides itself deep within the drawers of the presidential cabinets.
To protect themselves and their administrations from Aso Rock disease, every Nigerian President is well advised to sanitize and vet very thoroughly any object such as any piece of advice they pull out from the presidential cabinet along the lines of the decision cascade guidelines given above before adopting the advice for implementation.
For Nigerian Presidents it seems, the fear of the various Presidential cabinets should be the beginning of wisdom. Too often we hear of Nigerian Presidents blaming their misadventures on the quality of conflicting objects they pull out from their presidential cabinets as if they did not “pre-select and pre-approve the installation of their presidential cabinets together with their contents” themselves.
Thankfully the incoming President is different. As a devout Muslim it is unlikely that he would have a Beer and Wine Cabinet. He might have a squash cabinet, but members of that cabinet would be too exhausted from playing squash to transmit the Aso Rock type 2 virus to the President.
Furthermore the new President is not known to have a roving eye. It is thus to be expected that his Bedroom Cabinet shall consist of one and only one member, his lawfully wedded wife the First Lady (thanks be to God for little mercies).
With such a reduced population of potential sources of infection, his chances of coming down with Aso Rock virus type 2 is correspondingly reduced.
The new President is famed for his indifference to money and deep abhorrence of corruption (thanks be to God for great mercies).
Taken together with the fact that his leadership credentials were forged on the anvil of disappointment by the hammer of serial electoral frustration, it is to be expected that by now any traces of Aso Rock virus type 1 existing in his body, if at all they ever existed in him from birth, would have been purged and expunged.
The second aspect of prevention which is left to well-meaning Nigerians is to inoculate the President and boost his resistance to the opportunistic Aso Rock virus type 2.
Now the best way of inoculating Mr. President is to offer prayers and supplication to God Almighty on his behalf. Those who underestimate the power and potency of prayers might do well to reflect on the waning fortunes of the once shoeless one.
Let no one be deceived as to whom the glory for the ouster of the once shoeless one should go, for to God alone is the glory due.
When God’s time arrived, when the time allotted to him by God as a punishment to Nigeria and Nigerians for our collective sins and individual shortcomings expired, all the dollars and all the naira at the beck and call (in the Treasury of?) of the Federal Government of Nigeria were not enough to salvage the administration of the shoeless one.
So when the chairperson (and sole member?) of the shoeless one’s Bedroom cabinet proclaimed on the stomping ground sometime in March/April 2015 that “this is our own time. We shall enjoy our full eight years of (mis?) rule allowed by the Constitution before we handover”, it was as if God said to them in reply. ‘You f**ls, before the end of the month of May 2015, this power which you cherish so much shall be taken away from you and handed over to another.’
So as we congregate in anticipation of a smooth take-off of a brand new Presidency, there is something we must do right away without hesitation or indolence.
Before they take him away from us. Before they appropriate him exclusively for themselves. Before they inject him with Aso Rock virus Type 2.
We must inoculate our new President by prayerfully committing him and his family as well as all his decisions and indecisions, all his actions and inactions exercised on our behalf and for our benefit to God Almighty for guidance and protection.
We eminently know and verily hold it to be always true that just as a man who places his trust in God alone cannot fail, so also a nation that places their trust in God alone cannot falter.
So whatever may be your praying mode; whether you pray by standing up or by kneeling down; whether you pray by sitting down or by squatting down; whether you pray by endless dancing or by rolling yourself on the ground, whether you pray by bowing your head down or by hitting your forehead on the ground, let all of us, each in their own way commit our new President to God Almighty that he may govern us well for the benefit of all and to the glory of God in heaven. Amen
But please note as we inoculate our new President through prayer, that ritualists, terrorists, kidnappers, cultists, fraudsters (419ners), all evil and corrupt people who pray by slaughtering their fellow human beings either with a knife or with a gun or with a pen or with poison or with their mouths or by fraud, with the intention of making instant money or acquiring instant powers or out of envy and jealousy, are not invited to join us.
Let all such people steer clear and keep well away from the rest of us while we pray until they receive their own just reward either in this life, or in the life to come for the sheer wickedness of man unto man.
THE END -