A Million Dollar Desire and other Matters Arising

Posted by By at 15 November, at 15 : 43 PM Print

million dollar bill


A Million Dollar Desire and other Matters Arising

Management works in the system; leadership works on the system.” -Stephen R. Covey

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld (George Bush Jr. Minister for War and Offense)


million dollar bill


Femi, what happened?

What do you mean what happened?

Oh, cool your heels, Femi. There is no need to bellow like an irate Imam. It was just a question I asked you; don’t chop my head.

And I asked what type of question is that?

I just asked you what happened. I don’t know why you try to make a capital case of it?

And I asked you what you meant by your question of what happened. What did you take me for, an oracle who should know what happened everywhere?

You are surely in a nasty funk this blessed morning.

Do you mean that I should know everything?

Ah, look at where you turned my innocuous question to? You are the one who is always writing those ponderous, hard to understand polemics and rave and rant against one and all. You are the one who condemns the government, the president, the parliament, the judiciary, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, the European Union, the United Nations, and everything and everyone in between. Yet, when the president took very decisive action, you are conspicuous by your loud silence. When would you learn to give honour when and where it is due?

What do you mean; that I should salute the president for sacking a loud-mouthed, wide-assed, incompetent minister of state?

Don’t you think that the president deserved some praise; at least for showing some nerve? Some backbone. Some balls, if you pardon the French. It is not easy to fire people, Femi.


Hmmmmm. Is that all you can say? Be charitable, Femi. Be charitable, the president did well, if only for the alacrity at which the woman was dispatched.

We have biggo biggo problems in this beautiful republic of ours.

What do you mean by that? We all know that we have big problems in the land. But we should learn to give credit when it is due. Mr. President deserves our praise.

That, exactly is the number one biggo biggo problem we have in the country. We are too impressed by empty gestures and mundane things.

Do you mean that the sacking of a minister is an empty gesture?

You can turn my word whichever way you choose, but please do not insult my intelligence by suggesting that I should go to town and trumpet a president who sacks a minister, who never should have been appointed in the first place. He is an Executive President, for heaven sake.

million dollars

Do you mean that the minister, pardon me ex-minister, was not qualified?

Please, please, rather than inundate me with questions, kindly tell me what single qualification recommended her to a ministerial position? If we discount good looks and those fanciful African ass that cannot but make a man pant with lust.


Me, what? You apparently have not been reading what I write. The woman was a working disaster and an embarrassment of the highest proportions. Her composures alone suggest serious immaturity. She does not belong at the decision-making level in any organisation, much less in government. Since her appointment about ten months, she has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Didn’t you see her imbecilic display at a public function, where she tried to read the wrong speech? You certainly have not been reading my articles.

I tried to keep pace, but you must know that some of us have better things to do than read all those ponderous stuff you churn out. But do you blame the poor woman, she said she was sabotaged.

Sabotaged, really! So, we have a minister of state who took a prepared speech from her office, rode all the way to the occasion only to discover that she had the wrong notes, c’mon now. We talk of a minister, here, for crying out loud. I have written times without number that the governance of a nation is far too important to be occupied by anyone but the best the nation can offer. When we lament that the Asians are racing ahead of us, no one remembers to tell us that the Asians put the highest premium on the quality of people they attract to their civil service. Only the best of the best get appointed to top positions in their public service.

And you don’t believe that we do the same here?

Ah, on the contrary. We do not and the result is glaring. While the Asians are at the cutting edge of every technological breakthrough, we in Africa are still mired in ignorance, superstitions, and poverty. While the Indians launch a probe to Planet Mars, no Africa country has managed to successfully build a factory to manufacture bicycle spokes. Rather than lament our low-life, we celebrate ourselves over totally unimportant and irrelevant gestures. Why not the best, why not the best?

You are impossible. You accused the leadership of not doing enough, and when they appear to do something, you still go ahead with your condemnation.

Honestly, it appears that you don’t listen to what I was saying. I said many times that the presidency of the nation is not a place to attract anything but the best the nation has to offer. Instead of celebrating the sacking and praising Mr. President, we should rather ask pungent questions like why the woman was appointed in the first place. That a totally incompetent person like that gets appointed a minister, shows a very serious systemic and institutional failure of the highest degree. Who recommended her? Which institutions recommended and vetted her before she gets to the presidency? How did she manage to get through the so-called parliamentary vetting? These are serious questions we ought to be asking, instead of rolling out drums to congratulate the president. Not that I do not sympathize with the man.

You do; you certainly have a way of showing it.

No need for sarcasm. I truly sympathize with the president, and I believe he is being badly served. But then he must share in the blame.

You certainly have a way of praising someone. In one breadth you laud, and in the next, you qualified your laudation.

Which goes to show that I’m not your run-off-the-mill praise singer or court jester. As I have said several times, the presidency of a nation is far too important to attract unserious people. Mr. President has no business to surround himself with anything less than the best brains and brawns the country has to offer. The presidency is a hallowed institution that ought not to be besmirched by the types of scandals we have witnessed in the recent past. It is far too important to be stuck in gear one.

You! The man was speaking figuratively!

Figuratively, metaphorically, allegorically or whatever, the destiny of twenty-four million people is far too important to be left to chance, and to be stuck in anything but the best gear.

I thought you were praising him.

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Whatever gave you the idea, but you thought wrong. I am not a praise-singer. I am pained and sad that we as a people appear not to know how far behind the other races we truly are. While other people are racing as though there is no tomorrow, we are stuck in a time-warp, taking one step forward and twenty steps backward. And our president told us he is gear one. We have people in government whose ambitions do not soar beyond milking the nation’s purse. Despite all we give our officials as freebies, they still think nothing of looting the treasury. This is pretty sad, and it is pretty sad that these are the types of people that sit cabinet to decide the fate of our dear republic. And rather than lament this monumental systemic failure, you say I should praise the man under whose watch the mess happened.

So you now blame the president?

You! You can twist my words any which way you want, but we run an Executive type of government and the only person we have in charge is Mr. President. The buck stops at his desk. It is he we should ask what informed his decision to appoint such a walking disaster as a minister in his cabinet. But we should go further, we should question the very system we run. Rather than blame the individuals, we should look at the whole system. Our elders say that the house built with spittle will be fell by due.

Femi, there you go again with your proverbs. So, you now argue that we should blame the system; what happened to individual responsibilities?

Good questions, but why do we always forget that individuals function inside a system? And if that system is rotten, there is little any individual can do but become compromised by the rot. We cannot erect and operate a defect system and complain when it consistently fail us.

What is wrong with the system?

Everything, everything you can think of is wrong with the system we currently operate. Our first president of blessed memory, the Osagyefo, defined western-styled democracy as competition between oligarchists. Why then do we complain when we take to this system as dogs take to juicy bones, only to complain when it fails us? We cannot operate a system that requires a vast amount of money to win elections, and turn around to complain when the operators want to make money by Machiavellian Tactics. It is time we remove the blinkers from our eyes and realize that politics is business; pure and simple. When people put a vast amount of money to support candidates, they are investing and, like every investor, expect good returns on their investment. Why then do we all pretend that some people will spend their money, only to go into government and represent our interests? Why then do we pretend and appeared shocked when a loose-mouth braggart, with an impossibly vast backyard, was caught saying what every politician knows and do?

Really, Femi, it is difficult to follow you. And you seemed mesmerized by the poor woman’s ass.

Ok, ok, I admit to the fact that the considerable wallops she packs at the rear side are enough to drive a man insane. But, it is simple, really. As I often said, our astounding hypocrisy will be our undoing? Which child born yesterday did not know that politics cost money? Printing T-shirts, banners and renting crowds all cost money. And which child born today did not know that politicians are not Father Christmas; that they are serious-minded business people. We ought to know that for the type of political system that we choose, money is everything. We should stop pretending and accept that we operate a charade of a political system, dressed it up with fanciful names and that we deserve the rubbish we get.


About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and Correspondent for the New African magazine. Femi lives in both Europe and Africa and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the CEO of Alaye Dot Biz Limited Dot Biz, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are now available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
  2. The Daily Dispatch Office, Labone – Accra
  3. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
  4. Ghana Writers Association office, PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra.
  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

Where to buy them online:

On Lulu Books:

18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories https://goo.gl/Skohtn

Ghana: Basic Facts + More: https://goo.gl/73ni99

Africa: Destroyed by the gods: https://goo.gl/HHmFfr

Africa: It shall be well: https://goo.gl/KIMcIm


Africa: it shall be well

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4820404

on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/QeFxbl

on Lulu Books: https://goo.gl/SQeoKD


Africa: Destroyed by the gods

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4811974

on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/1z97ND

on Lulu Books: http://goo.gl/KIMcIm


My Lulu Books page: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FemiAkomolafe


Get free promotional materials here:

  1. Africa: it shall be well: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-introduction-in-pdf/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: It shall be well’ could be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-a-free-chapter/

  1. Africa: Destroyed by the gods (How religiosity destroyed Africa) http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-introduction/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: Destroyed by the gods’ could be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-free-chapter/

Read a review here

Contact Femi:

Femi’s Blog:
Website: www.alaye.biz
Femi on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/femiakomolafe
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ekitiparapo
Gmail+: https://plus.google.com/112798710915807967908;
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/femiakomolafe

Email: fakomolafe@gmail.com

Kindly help me share the books’ links with your friends and, grin, please purchase your copies.


Femi Akomolafe





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