Will Nigeria ever wake up from this bad dream?

I’ve generally refrained from overtly criticizing this President and his predecessor, because I’ve always perceived them as very bad bill of goods- Greek gifts, bestowed on Nigeria by the very hateful ex-President Obasanjo as a punishment for denying his inordinate third term ambition. Hence, it was patently unfair to criticize a man whose maximum ambition was to become governor of a back water state suddenly stumped into national limelight by head honcho Maximus. This was a bad dream.

But that was then, and this is now. This clueless deputy governor turned governor, turned vice president has now been President four years going. That is a lifetime in politics; it is an equivalent of a full term in office and if he were learning on the job- he should be an expert now. Indeed, he is already showing the worst traits of a political operator in Nigeria i.e. expert- unanimously suspending enemies, yanking diplomatic passports, withdrawing security aides etc. This man is playing hard. He has a new swagger in his steps, but they seem to swagger of missteps – the worst lessons a student of Nigerian politics can pick up in this school of hard knocks.

The President has his supporters no doubt; most of who are either ethnic based sympathies (“Oh he didn’t create the problem”, forgetting the man was elected to solve problems), or “denialists” (“it is not only Nigeria with the problem” or “the President is trying, he is okay”). To both camps I’ve begun to ask them to pray that the Almighty handle their life the way GEJ has handled Nigeria or the Boko Haram crisis, and none of them said “Amen!” There goes the true believer!

Nigeria definitely has never had it this bad. When in the history of Nigeria, even under Abacha has the Federal Government been so broke it cannot pay state allocations? This was not even a possibility under the military. Now under this administration, states are owed 2 months arrears. Contractors and civil servants are not being paid; yet this President is the first to get on international jamboree and stay in expensive hotels in world capitals. What a joke!

This disaster was one of our own making. We elected a clueless man with no moral compass into the highest office in the land; a man who does not mind literally dining with criminals; whose mentor is a convicted criminal, and an international fugitive. His idea of loyalty was to award the security of our marine petroleum assets – the crude oil and gas processing facilities to a group of ex-militants. No wonder the stealing of our crude oil have gone up since then, such that we cannot even pay our bills!

A President that claimed in his last media chat that corruption was not one of Nigeria’s top problems even when the blind knows otherwise! Certainly, it makes sense that such a man that has figured an even more brazen way to steal than General Sani Abacha (who relied on looting the vaults of the Central Bank) by stealing the crude oil at source and just complaining about it, he will need to figure how to repatriate the funds into Nigeria.

To pull that off, it was obvious they needed to import dollars to do that; and according to the Central Bank of Nigeria- the rate of this important metrics is up crazy, such that they decided to shut down the process to prevent the destruction of the value of Naira last week. Nigeria reportedly was the second largest important of US Dollars after China! Just imagine the magnitude of the ongoing thievery. If you think I made this up, read this report in international news sources.

Nigeria now stands at a crossroad where we have our own leaders bankrupting the nation; note this is remarkably different from stealing. You can steal profits, income and cashflow- but when you undermine the asset (the goose that lay the golden egg) then you’re bankrupting the company.

Nigeria cannot afford another four years of this; we can do better than the charade now going on in Abuja. We’ve never had it this bad. If the stealing were bad, check the great rise of insecurity in the land. Just last week we learn that the leader of the Boko Haram movement that have killed hundreds of Nigerians in terrorist attacks, after ceaseless assault on his team is still alive even when we were told otherwise.

Just on Sunday, innocent students were slaughtered under the watch of this President while he made inane remarks during his media chat to the effect that ordinary journalists are better at finding Shekarau the leader of this terrorist better than him, our commander in chief. The man neither inspires fear, nor respect nor even confidence.

The incompetence of this administration is beyond security; it extends to mundane construction projects. The East-West road is stalemated and even when the governor of Rivers State from the same state as the President volunteers to complete it, he was denied the opportunity because the President does not like his face or his ambition.

Even the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a disgrace and the various airport refurbishment projects started under his predecessor are moving at disheartening snail speed. An inspection of the railway projects that were started under President Obasanjo’s administration shows they are languishing under lack of funding and commitment from this government, yet we are given platitudes of “fresh air and transformation”. Indeed, I have to admit that Baba is right – “you can get someone a job, but you cannot do it for them”.

If Nigeria allows this charade to continue beyond 2015, it will be our fault. Among nearly 170 million people in Nigeria, and even as morally bankrupt as our political class can be, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is definitely not near the Top 90% of what we can do. Give us a new team; enough of the embarrassment. 

 


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