By Peregrino Brimah
As a result of our critical view of the government, some have asked what people like us would do differently if we were the President. This specifically in relation to our rejection of the insult to the Martyrs of March 15th, “unemployment day,” who the government in our view further debased the memories of and added pepper to the injuries of their families by throwing jobs at them.
If I were president, here is an outline of what I would have done after the many died and many were cheated. I would first give an immediate public address empathizing with not only the families of the killed and injured, but all Nigerians on the national tragedy. I will apologize for the behavior of unscrupulous elements and officials of my regime who conceived and orchestrated such a dirty scam and carelessly directly led to the hurt and death of our great youth. I would apologize to the families, the husbands of the pregnant dead who lost their spouses and unborn children.
An important part of my speech would be my promise that no stone will be unturned in the investigation and prosecution of all culpable in the act. I will placate the people and re-assure them of my government’s commitment to their safety, their dignity and their rights to secure decent livelihood, decently and their assurance of justice by my government by immediately announcing the unreserved suspension of the Interior Minister and the Comptroller general of Immigrations. I will promise that all others found culpable in the heinous operation will follow suit.
I would suspend and, if my powers and the preliminary investigation prompt, immediately sack the Interior minister and place him under house arrest. If as expected, investigations find him unquestionably guilty, he may be hung for the deaths of our great youth and leaders of tomorrow and for the insult to the nation in violation of his pledge to serve Nigeria and Nigerians for which he is over financially compensated.
Then I would declare March 15th a national Unemployment day .Following up on this I would participate in the burial of as many victims as possible and meet with the families of all victims as soon as is convenient for them after their events of mourning, to express my sympathy for these Martyrs, and to listen to their grievances and determine with them individually what compensation within the permits of the government will best suit each family. I will not insult them and the memory of the martyrs by throwing jobs at them. I am convinced that several of these respectable families will even in patriotic altruism, turn down monetary or employment compensation and rather stake their lots in an assurance of a better tomorrow for all Nigerians.
I would immediately refund the N1000 stolen to all the millions of candidates who applied for the Immigration scam process. I will also compensate them from Federal funds with an additional N50,000 for the national insult, their deprivation of jobs by my government, the embarrassment to their dignity and the compensation for their time wasted.
Next I would force all the cabal who are aided by my government and governments before me, who are in illegal possession of the nation’s oil blocs, land, etc. And who are benefactors of the fuel subsidy scams, the government supported oligopolies and the government assisted extortion of the masses, to immediately employ thousands of youth and pay them proper salaries, whether they have jobs for them or not. I don’t care if the youth will just sit in their courtyards—either employ 20,000 youth each for what you loot from the nation’s commonwealth or run from the country on self-exile or get ready to rot in jail.
I would establish a comprehensive employment committee to look into the evident unemployment crises plaguing the nation. I will immediately trim all Federal ministries, budgets and frivolous projects to free funds to improve the lots of the unemployed. I will sell all the 10 Presidential private jets to utilize the recovered funds for job creation for our millions of youth and unemployed masses. I will also ban all frivolous public expenses including travel for health purposes and other rubbish. Redirecting these unnecessary government expenses to Nigeria will create an environment for the development of our sectors and this will force the creation of jobs.
What about money looted from the treasury? I would immediately return the looted $20 billion which will all be invested in massive job creation. Then I would resign for my incompetence, recognizing that since all my chosen cabinet officers have been proven dangerously incompetent and deserving of termination, Mike, Stella, Tukur, Mark, Abba, Diezani, Dasuki, Wike, Ngozi, etc, the problem is actually with me. Finally, but very importantly, I will open a public commentary forum and listen to what you discuss and suggest and do the things you want us to do for the people.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah via firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @EveryNigerian