FRIDAY Column by Engr. Abubakar A. Fari
The good news is that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the C in C of the Nigerian Armed Forces has accepted to roll over the next 4-years term as allowed by the Nigerian Constitution. As expected, there will be opposition from various quarters. For me, if there were no opposition, from the wrong quarters, I would advised him against seeking reelection. When vested interests were asking former President GEJ to continue, it was for no other reason than to sustain the looting of the country. The masterminds of “earthquake corruptions” in the “giant party of Africa” called PDP saw their “leader” GEJ as the vehicle to use for their unpatriotic agenda. Former Nigerian Presidents Obasanjo and IBB had their inglorious shots of 8 or 9 largely unproductive years but wanted to cling to the office till eternity. OBJ was so obsessed about third term, despite his unpopular and uneventful years of misapplication of resources like the old brigade dictator Mobutu. Even those who bankrolled and bulldozed his Presidential bid were insulted after he took office in 1999. Out of his crass arrogance, OBJ came out with the statement that “they had lost their dividends”. During the OBJ wasted 8 years in Aso Rock, agriculture and livestock farming that are the mainstay of the northern economy were shortchanged. The reforms of LG under OBJ that removed security from the local chiefs and returned to the Nigeria Police are what Ahmad Joda said was the immediate cause of the herders/farmers conflict.
The late Sunday Awoniyi described OBJ as a “spiritually corrupt” person. While former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’abba on page 43 of Daily Trust, Monday, August 6 2016 was quoted as saying “Obasanjo most corrupt Nigerian”. Obasanjo has not taken Na’Abba to court for such a damaging statement to my knowledge. Unfortunately, a former OBJ stooge, and ex Jigawa state governor, despite the dirty schemes against the north by OBJ, sees OBJ as a leader. He keeps making childish and selfish statements about Buhari despite that he, together with his unruly children, were locked up in prison on corruption charges. It is difficult to see him and his children not going to jail if justice is to be done and seen to be done.
In banking and finance, OBJ imposed a N25 billion stake on bank capitalization to shortchange the careless northern businessmen in bank ownership and control. The Niger-Delta was awash with all kinds of liquidity from 13% off-shore, derivation, higher allocations from the Federation accounts and oil and gas companies that they blackmail to get money had better liquidity. Where in economics does one impose a military type mentality to market forces with administrative fiat? Why are these northern OBJ die hards just sitting like zombies and cared less. On the other hand, the south-west zone had the best of the two worlds. The south-west did not vote for Obasanjo but had better deals than the northwest and east.
It is on record that several billionaires from south-west were made overnight. While in the North West and the east zones and the narrow minded northern politicians took the crumbs for themselves and their people. Cattle herders saw no assistance while the joker northern politician was concerned with what he will get. Further, the foundation of the PDP misrule that OBJ set a do-or-die political environment ruled the day. EFCC was a tool used by OBJ to intimidate opposition and machinery for political blackmail and chicanery with lack of due process. OBJ and his ilk should not forget this so soon.
With IBB who spent over 8 years, he had his way to compromise dissents. How? Money and strategic positioning were the bargaining baits. Nigerians do not think with their heads when money is in question. So IBB had a weapon to “Maradona” the equally greedy and narrow-minded Nigerians in all walks of life. Key institutions were balkanized and made robots since all had a price tag. There was the military, civil service, banks, tertiary institutions, religious bodies, traditional institutions and the economic hardships through the introduction of World Bank and IMF type structural adjustments to destroy economic health, vitality and the wellbeing of Nigerians. That worked to degenerate the economy and cause indiscipline that Buhari wanted to instill to Nigerians. Worst, IBB economic policies have given birth to a devastating inflation that is one of the root causes of terrorism in Nigeria today.There was no institution that was not turned upside down for the ambition of one single person.
Yours sincerely was listening to a dialogue in one of the FM stations on Sunday around 11:00 am April 14, 2018, between supporters of Buhari bid and those that oppose. One clueless PDP speaker, a Hausa-Fulani ignorant of the issues said the only credit he could give Buhari is the removal of road blocks from places like Kaduna to Kano. Otherwise nothing good as it were. One wonders and should ask such joker in the pack, was there no budget implementation by the Federal Ministry of Finance since May 29, 2015 when Buhari took over. Were the Ministry of finance and the NNPC closed down all these days? All the ministries of Finance; Power Works and Housing; Agriculture; Education; Presidency etc and the National Assembly; Judiciary; the allocation of funds to all the 36 state governments and the 779 LGAs together with the bailout funds that Buhari gave to states to pay salaries and pensions for workers that most PDP states governors with high derivation in oil looted in their 16 years of misrule is heresy?
All the roads developments, the railways, food self sufficiency drive to feed the nation and the rice production among others he did not know? The air ports developments, the collection of US billions of Dollars dividends from LNG that the PDP during GEJ never paid to the federation accounts but stolen by PDP but now shared with PDP governors and the National Assembly full of PDP parasites and the people are nothing? The financial prudence by introducing the BVN and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) that the many parasites and corrupt PDP collaborators in the three arms of government were using as vehicles to loot but now curtailed are nothing? How can he forget the poisoning of Buhari to see him dead and return the PDP return to loot the country dead?
In Nigeria sanity is not part of our ways of life. But let’s go to Russia, Germany and Turkey. In Russia because the citizens are seeking strong and dedicated leadership to serve the mother Russia, Putin was elected President 2000-2004; then 2nd 2004-2008; 3rd President 2012-2018; 4th 2018-present after inauguration in May 2018. Of course I have my reservation on Checneya. Turkey, despite the turbulence, are more with Erdogan with his anti-secularism stance which is at variance with Islam introduced by the so-called mover of modern Turkey Artatuk. The EU is deceiving secular Turks and will never admit them to the Union until they abandon Islam which will not happen. He has been the leader of Turkey in the second term at present. US and European ruling class oppose Islam yet the Turks see a brigthter future in his leadership. In Germany Merkel assumed the office since November 22, 2005 and is on for 12 years and going for the 4th. The Germans see her leadership as good for their country
In the US, former FBI chief Comey, in an interview says President Trump is “morally unfit” for the office of the President of US. Nigeria is copying the US Presidential model. Why should we not call OBJ, IBB, GEJ and the governors and politicians that Nigerians believe have managed the system to a collapse or condoned corruption as “morally unfit” to rule and lack the moral standing to tell Buhari not to stand for reelection? What of those who paid huge sums of money in the accounts of their children like Sule Lamido and Nyako as alleged by the anti-graft agencies? In an American democracy just like Trump has not been indicted by a court of law but declared “morally unfit” to rule so we too should exercise that freedom of speech. They should not exercise the power with no responsibility to be told the hard truth.
Definitely, no one identified with PDP for President when Buhari has another 4 more years to go. Those looters will not change as most are hard core and “spiritually corrupt” at over 40 years and are unlikely disposed to change from looting they seem to have gotten away with of the last 16 or more tragic years. Obviously out of the PDP and APC evil for the sake of argument, Buhari is the lesser of the two evils. Let the evil PDP wait for 2023. Perhaps after 8 years or ½ of the 16 years PDP oppressed Nigerians will have a better transition to work out for themselves a better future. For now let the clueless PDP advocates calm down and strategise for 2023. Perhaps many of the spentforces causing commotion for Nigeria may have been dead by then.