By Prince Charles Dickson
In the United States, there are three ways a president can leave office mid-term: death, resignation or impeachment. In Nigeria, there have been several impeachments especially legislative heads, and a few conspired impeachments of governors, only a handful can be recalled to honestly resign and that is rare, really it is forced resignation.
In the same clime, most presidents fulfill one or two terms and are either defeated in re-election or retire. So what’s life like for a person who’s been the leader of the free world? Generally, it’s good.
Some presidents retire to a life outside of the public eye. Many have published their memoirs. Others use the prominence afforded by the presidency to continue or even improve their work. Jimmy Carter, after leading an unpopular single-term administration, went on to create what many agree is the most successful post-presidency. The former president established the Carter Center, a human rights organization, and became heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for the poor.
So, in recent times, Barack and Michelle Obama announced that, after taking a break, they’re opening a “centre for citizenship” on the south side of Chicago.
Outgoing presidents get to open a presidential library in their home states.
But Barack Obama says his library will be a “centre for citizenship,” and will take ideas from citizens on which young leaders and organizations they should be supporting.
However, after fulfilling his civic duty as president. Now comes another role as a citizen: jury duty.
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans told county commissioners Friday that Obama has been summoned for jury duty next month in Illinois, according to CNN affiliate WLS.
The former president lives in Washington, but maintains a home in Chicago. With a Harvard Law School degree, experience teaching law and eight years as commander in chief, he is a pretty decent candidate for jury duty.
Obama is not the first former president to receive a notice for jury duty. In 2015, former President George W. Bush reported for jury duty at a Dallas courthouse.
Jurors in Cook County get paid $17.20 a day.
So many of our politicians and leaders are experts in the art and act of transmutation; debate on the worth and value of such is discourse for another day, these are men and a few women who move from being either governors to legislators, others have gone on to become ministers or board chair. And did I add, collecting multiply salaries and pensions apart from stolen monies (not all of them though, but almost all of them)
So where is the Chief-Servant, the big-eyed one. He was everywhere delivering papers, same way Peter Obi is currently doing and no pun intended it is good to do that, at least telling us those beautiful tales by the moonlight of power, politics and the accidents that follow, but the man on the streets deserve more than those papers in terms of service from these men.
I recall a wonder working Mu’azu of Bauchi State, after the brief love affair as PDP Chairman he has vanished into thin air. Like Bamanga Tukur, like Barnabas Gemande who is now Silent Senator Gemande representing one-place-some-where constituency in Benue State.
Apart from the Tambuwals and his Katsina state compatriot, I dare ask what does the likes of Chibudom Nwuche, Ghali N’abba or the now everywhere APC throttling Nnamani do for the ordinary Nigerians. In real terms, for real value, how are they doing real jury service to the masses.
We all know that ‘most handsome’ governor produced till date, he plays Saxophone but how many of us really get to benefit from his night octane wind instrument and heavy laced elite crowd…that are part of his performance.
Where’s Imoke, how about that governor in the South West that made sure bleaching cream remained an expensive cosmetic item, he still continues to dance around political parties in the city with plenty Kings and chiefs. His bleaching counterpart from Kogi has simply disappeared, not sure any of his carpentry upholstery shops are alive.
Nigeria is blessed with clowns everywhere, my grandad Obj went back to study Theology, and asked us his kids not to call him Mathew. IBB my uncle for life, each time he speaks you sense a bitter sponge of missed chances. I love Abdulsalam, at least if all he showed us was his white peaceful beard.
Earlier I whispered EFCC, almost all our past governors have one outstanding assignment with the anti-graft agency, but how about the people that led this agency, where is Farida, and how about the real deal Nuhu Ribadu… and if I stay put in Adamawa what is now become of Boni Haruna, one time he was chairman of Former PDP governors. We can like all forms of associations and titles that bring no worth to ordinary Nigerians.
We are blessed with leaders who we know were broke ass before they got power, but the common lines or lie, “I was comfortable before government…I had a thriving business before…” Yet we all know how they all engage in anticipatory stealing via the CCB declarations. If indeed they were, why don’t they go back to those THRIVING businesses?
So imagine Babangida Aliyu was teaching Party Politics 101 in Change University in Umuahia or Orji Kalu rather than dissipate energy fighting political enemies and a never-to-be-gotten senate seat. He could put more energy into a few of his buisness concerns, and be a visiting lecturer in UDU Sokoto teaching Political Economy 606.
At least grandpa has a Presidential library, where are the likes of Fashola who as SAN should have a heavy pro bono law firm. But like Ngige, whom we thank our ancestor is at least not running a hospital as a doctor that he is; they are ministers! What value can our former leaders bring to bare, with wealth they possess, how can they be the bedrock of industrialization, how can the contribute to knowledge apart from playing either opposition once they are out or technically being members of the elite Any Government In Power. While Nigeria has plenty problems, this is one that if we consciously choose to interrogate and solve, we may finally be getting one thing right, for now—Only time will tell.