by Ena Ofugara – Edited by Okoro Benedict Chinedum
The greatest Jihad is the one over self – Prophet Mohammed
This essay is timely especially at a time that President Buhari seem to have made his reflections public about his ascendancy to the office of the President. Why am I Nigeria’s President now? Others ruled when oil sold for 146 dollars per barrel. Mr President Sir, when life gives a Fulani man soup, he does not complain that he has no cassava to make garri or akpu. Rather, he makes tuwo of rice and helps himself with the soup. Mr President sir, on your assumption of office, I wrote an article immediately that you started too early with complaints. At the time, you were full of lamentation about the empty treasury. It was like a man who deceived another man’s wife to abandon her matrimonial home but turns around to tell her that he has no money to take care of her. If you knew that you cannot manage the country without oil selling for $146 dollar per barrel, why did you keep contesting? Why did you not leave Atiku or Tambuwal to inherit the APC structure created by Tinubu? You saw yourself as am an embodiment of the solution to Nigeria’s woes. You were thus advertised to the anger of sanity. To think that all you ever think of is oil is understandable. You have never worked for anything. Not even your salary or meals. As a youth, you joined the army without merit. In the army, your uniform and gun are paid for with oil money from the Niger Delta. You became Governor and enjoyed federal allocations generated from oil from the Niger Delta. Then, you became Minister of Petroleum and then NNPC Managing Director. Of course more free oil money. Then, you became president. You enjoyed the free house in Dodan Barracks free money, you went to prison; there again you had access to free house and food. You came out and became PTF boss, the richest ministry under Abacha. Because you have not worked for anything, but got everything, you cannot account for $2.8m that was blown by whirlwind under your supervision.
Since you left office, as a former President, everything has been free! free!! free!!!. Even your drivers and cooks and gardeners, the government pays them for you, free, free, free. Look around, Atiku has invested and run his companies and make a profit, even as Nigeria is going through hard times; Atiku is calculating and thinking how best to MANAGE his huge investments. Tambuwal has a chamber. El Rufai has his building firm business. These people have understood good and bad times and know how not to blame the breeze, sun, moon, cloud etc during hard times. They know they must pay their workers. Every Igbo man with a store knows this. They may complain a bit but then they shut up and work with what they have. Iya Basira that sells kpomo at Oyingbo knows how to cut her kpomo when the economy is good and how to cut it when it is bad. That’s the harsh realities that the poor widow and millions of Nigeria peasants go through without salaries to run their homes. This is the unfriendly weather that Nigeria youths brave and confronts on a daily basis. Mr President, sir, unfortunately, your addiction to free and easy life is your undoing. We were not surprised that Dasuki obliged you a car and some cash. These free gifts from Dasuki run into an amount that can feed about a million Nigerians in a year. Mr President, sir, it is your disposition to remain your old self without leveraging on the time you have had since you left power to educate yourself further and learn new things that have made your current venture into Aso Rock a national blackout. You are still stuck in your primordial fantasies for cattle rearing. You have refused to rear your head as a model in cattle rearing business by adopting modern day techniques. Mr President, sir, you are indeed a phenomenon. As a Fulani man, you did not even need WAEC to enter the army. You used a Principal’s promissory note ‘THAT YOU WIIL PASS’. Whether you passed or not is a conjecture outside the scope of this piece. It is evident that Tinubu and Amaechi did all the work in your campaign. You did not even read the APC 100 days covenant. You road on the false compositions of “Sai Baba” “Sai Baba”. The chant has made you think you know it all and must not develop yourself. Obasanjo went back to school after his Presidency. Gowon has gone back to school and Ojukwu cannot deceive him with “CONFEDERATION” anymore if he were still alive. Gowon has a proper grasp of the meaning of such word. He has improved himself. Mr President, sir, with every due respect, YOU HAVE NOT RISEN UP TO ANY CHALLENGE. A barrel of oil at $36 is a challenge to be faced squarely by any president who has run a business. It is a task for any man that has run for the post of President of Nigeria more than any Nigerian, leaving or dead.
Such a man will know that it is no time to buy BMW or budget N39billion for propaganda (Ministry of Information). Such a man wouldn’t merely say “that is bad” when confronted in a media chat that Senators are taking a car loan when such is contained in his budget. Such a man will painstakingly look at every item in the budget with a view to limiting expenditure, ensuring there is no leaks or wastage. Atiku is doing that with his companies right away. El Rufai is doing it. Every Igbo man in government is doing it with their ‘SECOND ADDRESS’ (businesses). Osinbanjo is a professor and has invested some using N5Million on books. Mr President, sir, the record has it that your learning ended in 1985. We are not surprised that Germany still resonates like West Germany in your brain. That’s a paltry reflection of how ‘informed’ you are in this era of computer and wireless communication. That’s an inkling into how you can handle modern economics and its dynamics. I entertain the fear that you are gradually becoming a myth. With your complaints, His Excellency, sir, your blame game is a primitive tactic that the Athenians weeded out their democratic culture long ago. Do you mean that you were not expecting challenges at the office? Did it not occur to you that IBB killed the naira (as you claimed)? How come went about promising people that you will make naira equal to the dollar and you will find Chobok girls and provide “sekooority”? Today, under your most revered leadership sir, $1 – N345 and 1 Pound – N450. Its been 9 months, WERE IS YOUR ROADMAP?
Nigeria is not the only country affected by oil slump. In fact, many countries have no oil. Do countries grind to a halt because they have no oil? Their leaders still run these countries without complaints? His Excellency, sir, nature has called upon you at this time to stand up and lead your country. You must take it AS IT IS. Oil will never sell for $100 per barrel ever again, except crude could cure cancer or elongate life. Mr President, sir, please kindly note some pieces of advice stated below it could be of help in salvaging an already precarious situation.
1. Please take back the budget and apologise to Nigerians for the shoddy job. It will give your cabinet some maturity. Get experts to do a better job. That budget is a proof that you are surrounded by wolves. I am afraid what their grand plot would turn out to be if its made public like the budget. You can pick Mr Kalu Aja, a young but brilliant Nigerian. He can refocus the expenditure and make each naira count.
2. Swallow your pride and use people like Akin Adesina, head of Africa Development bank. Arunma Otteh is Vice president of World bank. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala remains a financial goddess. Use them and get financing.
3. Promote made in Nigeria goods. All government official cars should be Innoson. There’s made in Nigeria bullet proof in the West, use them. Let us keep the money in this economy
4. Please redirect the N40 billion for the search for oil search in Sambissa forest to farming, gemstone and metal search in the North and middle belt and to Bitumen in Ondo.
5. Bend down see where the coal in Enugu can take us.
6. Ensure there is peace in Niger Delta and in the East. Whatever is spent to achieve peace is more reasonable and will not be regretted. Peace is cheaper.
6. Review your administration’s position on the Maritime University, second Niger bridge etc. You can punish the fraud without stopping the projects. These are laudable projects.
7. Get Northern youths into the Almajiri schools and build more. Pay parents in the North to send kids to school. We will complain in the south, but ultimately, this is the best way to fight the insurgency in the North.
8. Buy weapons and motivate the army. Act as though Boko Haram started in your time and give it a hard fight. We will encourage you from the rear.
9. Get The best advisers. No one expects you to know everything. Your advisers right now have shown they aren’t good enough. His Excellency, Sir, I repeat, your advisers and the economic team right now aren’t good enough.
10. Every Nigerian loves this country, don’t always think that you are the only one who loves Nigeria more than others. That perception is delusional. A great Nigeria is possible, Nnamdi Kanu can still work with you in making Nigeria great, only if you believe.
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