By Nnamdi Okosieme
I do not know why people are making heavy weather out of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) boss, Prof. Pondei, fainting at the National Assembly. As long as I can recall, fainting has always been a lucrative exercise.
As a child in those days, you were guaranteed goodies like a full tin of milk, boiled/fried eggs/sardine or Maltex, which was a leading malt drink brand, if you fainted.
Pondei (please, not that he is a Prof, and Profs are supposed to be intelligent) knows that a much higher level, fainting stakes are far for profitable than our childish rewards.
For those in doubt, see what good fortune has dropped onto his laps through fainting courtesy of our generous Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila:
“We wish him well. I have been here barely five minutes and I am already sweating profusely. So I do understand and apologise to everybody here for the poorly conducive atmosphere. I want to say at this point and make it clear, that is not an adversarial hearing. It is not even inquisitorial.
“It is a fact-finding mission for the people of Nigeria. Just to make things better and we should handle this as such. No one is under inquisition. The fact must come out and that is why the committee is doing what it is doing.
“Because of these conditions in this hall, we don’t need to hear further from the acting MD because he has already submitted his written report. I think you can use the documents to do the work that needs to be done.
“Starting from the minister, Dr. Cairo and all the executive directors – we are sorry under the conditions which you have been invited and my members are under the same conditions. We wish Mr Pondei all the best.”
So, next time you want to criticize any individual for fainting, pause and think whether it would not be in your best interest to emulate him especially in the these difficult days of COVID-19. Who knows, you may just be fainting your way to N1.3 Billion palliative.
Okosieme is a journalist.