Sunday 25 August 2019

The Portfolios Life Assign to Us

I was thinking this morning.... about the portfolios life assign to us. I was woken up that morning by daylight lazily passing through the floor-to-ceiling panoramic window walls of the apartment on the 37th floor of the building overlooking the city. I couldn't go back to bed because my mind kept dwelling on recent announcements of portfolios to ministers and commissioners at the Federal and State levels respectively. The portfolios assigned to many of the nominees opened up to me fresh lessons about life.

As a child my dad and his friends called me 'doctor.' They said I was smart enough to be a medical doctor and was convinced I can be one. I studied hard and applied to read medicine in the University. When JAMB results came out, I fell short and was admitted to read Microbiology instead. As hard as I tried to transfer to Medical school the next year, I still ended up with Microbiology. As I thought about it today, it seems like life had assigned me a portfolio like Festus Keyamo. As a SAN, Festus Keyamo had all the qualifications of being the next Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. With the way he defended PMB as his campaign spokesman and chased after corrupt politicians as EFCC prosecutor, everyone had thought that Minister of Justice was the job for him, but alas he was assigned as Junior minister under the man he once prosecuted for corruption. Life!

Life had made many like Lai Mohammed. They get portfolios that match their personality profile and sometimes their names. Lai Mohammed (or Lying Mohammed as fondly called by his haters) is a well known tormentor of the opposition. He has the gift of spining the narrative on any issue. Many say he has 'diarrhoea of the mouth,' because he could 'lie for State' and sometimes speak before thinking. When I saw that he was assigned the portfolio of Minister of Information and Culture, I agreed it was apt. Life is Good (LG).

For some others, life had assigned them strange portfolios like Joe Igbokwe. He is the most prominent APC stalwart of Igbo extraction in Lagos State. As the APC spokesman for the State, he disparaged everyone including 'his country people' in defence of the policies of APC. At the end, he was compensated with a position in the Jide Sanwo-Olu government. Unlike Lai Mohammed, he wasn't given Commissioner for Information but was made Special Advisor for Drainage Matters. Wow! Many didn't see that coming but felt it was apt. You know how you sometimes think you have worked hard enough to deserve a great position, but what eventually comes to you seems like gutter management? That is life for you.

You know life can sometimes alter the portfolio given to you. You believe you have the capacity to do something, you boast to everyone about how you will turn things around if given the opportunity. God heard you and gave you the opportunity and you did not turn up. As I thought about this scenario, I remembered Babatunde Fashola and how he was assigned the portfolio of Ministry of Works and Housing. What happened to his signature Ministry of Power he was superintending before now? He has been stripped of it. His super sized jacket has been cut to size. That is life for you.

Truly, many are like Godswill Akpabio, Rotimi Amaechi and Timipre Sylva. It doesn't matter the amount of corruption allegations levelled against them or how hard the opposition fights to discredit them, life still assigns them choice portfolios. In all, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the newly appointed Minister of Interior, encapsulates my point when he said 'Buhari has put me in a strange Ministry.' For many of us, life has put us in strange positions, but we have chosen to accept it and make the best of it. Like we say in Warri, last, last, it doesn't matter whether life made you a senior or junior Minister or put you in charge of gutter management, Ecclesiastes 9:10 says 'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.'

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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