Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sambo or Tae Bo?

Meet Namadi Sambo, a 55-year-old architect and father of six children, who rose yesterday from Governor of Kaduna state to Vice President of Nigeria. Hopefully he’s the “master strategist” that Vanguard Press says he. He’ll need to be to successfully pursue an agenda that benefits 150 million Nigerians.

Is everyone happy about this? Hardly. NPR News reports that apparently the legislative session descended into screaming chaos several times. It got so out of hand that the House speaker finally said, “I am pleading with colleagues to please to take their seats and take this matter with all sense of patriotism." Ah, so much more formal than “Sit down and be quiet!”

The issue seems to be about religious representation. No separation of church and state in Nigeria. Removing Sambo, a Muslim, from his post in Kaduna leaves his Christian deputy to take over as governor in the northern state dominated by Muslims. Also, Muslims fear that Sambo, instead of a more powerful Muslim VP, puts President Goodluck Jonathan in a better position to run for office against Sambo next year.

I’d say it’s all a bit of mumbo jumbo (only because it rhymes with Sambo), but Wikipedia says that’s a racial term. May this political process instead be like tae bo, an exercise to strengthen mind, body, and soul.

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