Have you heard of percentages? It’s not a coded word for accountants or statisticians. Market women are also at home with the word. I do not mean the locals, because the man at the center of this discourse is also not a local, at least, I must give it to him, no matter how offensive he may have presented himself.
Am sure you have also heard of graphs or pictographs? What about pie-charts and statistics?
For the avoidance of doubt, “any proportion or share in relation to a whole” or “an amount, such as an allowance or commission, that is a proportion of a larger sum of money”, is called percentage.
For instance, when Edo State Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih said, “Governor Adams Oshiomhole is the most travelled of all Governors in the country”, he should be able to present a table or a chart showing percentages of the least travelled governors to the most travelled others while imputing all the governors and their states into a graph. He will tell, the source of his information for purposes of authenticity and verification as well as private and official trips of the governors.
As a brilliant student, not a dull one like Orbih, we don’t bring emotions to classroom like a less-than-stellar academic performance or sharp-tongued and fat-bellied one; empty barrel and the most noise adage. We prove our brilliancy with charts and graphs. We represent our arguments with drawings and representations; statistics and percentages. It is the practice of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring in a whole form, those in a representative sample.
Mathematics can be fun, am not sure it’s so for Orbih. So to prove a point, or an argument, I can reduce a whole book into diagrams such as pie-charts or pictographs, (in term of the Governors involved) or qualified representations, models and summaries for a given set of empirical data using regression analysis, mean, kurtosis, skewness, analysis of variance and variance.
Take for instance, Orbih specifically accused the governor of allegedly frittering away over N200 billion being allocation belonging to the 18 local government councils adding that, “in the country, Edo state governor has made more foreign trips than any other governor in the country, yet he has not attracted any investment to the state.”
One would expect him to back-up his illusion with a chart, showing statistics of all the state governors in Nigeria, their travelling details and investment portfolios. Orbih will also do us well by plotting the graph such that even the unlearned will understand and take his words to the market but to raise allegations such as the one above, without empirical evidence is not only to be economical with the truth but to sit on figures.
However, to clarify the issues above, those who know better says, “Oshiomhole is an exemplar when it comes to monthly payment of salaries”. For Orbih, “the ugly trend has sparked series of protests and strikes by aggrieved workers, especially, those of the state judicial staff union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Nigeria union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the state”.
As an ignoramus that he is, JUSUN is on strike simply because of autonomy of the judiciary. And, for NULGE, Edo state government is not responsible for their salaries.
About a month ago, a statement signed by Comrade Emmanuel Ademokun, Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Edo State, and Comrade Charles Oronsaye, Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Edo State, the organised Labour declared that, “for purpose of clarity and the records, we wish to state that the Edo State government has paid the salaries of its employees in the public sector (health sector, teachers, civil servants) and its parastatals”.
The statement further noted that apart from the staff of the local government service Commission whose salaries were still owed by the local administration and some organizations where labour still had issues for which it was currently discussing with government, all other employees of the state had been paid uptill date.
That statement from labour leaders in Edo state should have put paid to Orbih’s hallucinations but, some questions would suffice; at what point did Orbih uncovered this N200 billion? Can he avail us the breakdown and the bank accounts? Are there pictorial evidence and signatories to buttress his delusions? Will Orbih do his best to prove me wrong even when am right or he merely inured himself to needless controversy of juggling and sampling figures?
Expectedly too, some people believed Orbih’s lies. If nothing, a few believe government should respond to Orbih’s high fever and of course, there is time for everything because, if you run after a naked-mad man who challenges you to a duel, you are likely not going to be different from the lunatic after all.
Governance is all about due process and not without bureaucracy. It’s not run on impulse as Dan Orbih is wont. However, we are urging no return to Orbihism. It was the creation of a certain time and a peculiar set of circumstances. What applied then may not work today.
For Orbih, therefore, what is necessary is a period of sustained reflection and how he can lead his party in opposition if he is not axed like Mu’azu.
The task for him is about how his party speaks, the way it pitches its appeal, as this is vastly more important than who their next leader is, because if you ask me, Dan Orbih paid and he is still paying the price for his wizardry and as such, headed home for a long rest.
He will, however, do well to compare notes between the falsehoods he peddled and the reality on ground and in doing so, a pie-chart, pictograph, or a simply graph should suffice.