with Reno Omokri
with Reno Omokri
In a week, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics released unprecedented unemployment (13.9%), inflation (18.49%) and poverty figures; Nigeria was treated to both a wedding and a birthday of unprecedented proportions. A man who had to borrow money to buy his presidential nomination form is now so well off that he could throw a lavish wedding for his daughter and a regal birthday party for himself while his citizens who could afford to throw lavish weddings for their children and grand birthday parties for themselves can no longer do so. It seems Buhari traded places with Nigerians. Buhari could not afford many things until he became our President. Nigerians could afford many things until Buhari became our President! What a reversal of fortunes! And all this is playing out against the backdrop of the unprecedented corruption allegations coming from the very heart of the Buhari administration.
Even in Abacha’s kleptocracy, nobody in government was so brazen as to allegedly award a contract to clear grass (or invasive plant species if you want to mystify the contract) to the tune of N272,524,356.02! This life! Audu Ogbeh wants to import grass from Brazil with billions of naira. Meanwhile, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation allegedly cleared grass from Nigeria with millions! One man’s grass is another man’s grace! Now you have a president who stole (or was it plagiarised?) another President’s speech to launch a #ChangeBeginsWithMe initiative that was allegedly stolen by his minister of information from one Akin Fadeyi, asking his Attorney General of the Federation who was accused by a Federal High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of professional misconduct, to probe his Secretary to the Government of the Federation using an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission whose Chairman has been accused of corruption by the Department of State Security whose head was appointed by the same President who nominated the accused Chairman. If by now your head is spinning, I will not blame you! The web of lies, deceit, corruption and cover-ups will bamboozle even the great Houdini! But the shocking thing is that those who shouted crucify Sambo Dasuki, Femi Fani Kayode and Reuben Abati are suddenly chanting ‘innocent until proven guilty’ for Magu and Babachir! How convenient! Suddenly, a government that does not respect court orders and judges now wants to follow due process before it does the needful, yet the same President sub judicially convicts accused persons from the Jonathan administration in his public comments at home and abroad.
And it is not that someone allegedly stole. It is that they allegedly stole from Internally Displaced Persons. A person that can do that can do anything, and I mean anything. President Jonathan was the one who set up the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, otherwise known as PINE. He was the one that set up the Victims Support Fund which raised N58.79 billion for IDPs, yet this very same Buhari appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and others in this administration publicly go about accusing ex-President Jonathan of not loving the North-East. Now President Buhari’s government that has not given any kind of financial assistance to the Borno State government (as stated by the Borno State governor in his testimony to the Senate ad hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East when they visited Maidugurj) is alleging stealing from the PINE that Jonathan created. Yet they say it is Buhari that loves the North-East. May double standard not destroy Nigeria. And when we thought we had seen enough drama from Magu and Babachir, Buhari’s educationally-challenged minister of sports unleashed his own personal telenovela on an already politically shell-shocked nation. Not content with murdering the Nigerian sports industry, Solomon Dalung proceeded to murder the English language stating inter alia in his testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Sports that the funds ‘spended were properly spended’. I am telling you that you cannot make up the things that happen in the Buhari administration.
As Fela once sang of this very same Buhari’s military administration, ‘na craze world be that’. Solomon Dalung is a summary of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Professing to have a degree yet unable to act in a manner consistent with someone who earned the degree he claims to have received. I mean this man allegedly read law and even went beyond that to lecture at the Law Department of the University of Jos. If their lecturer is a man who appropriately ‘spended’ Nigeria’s money, what are we to expect from his students? President Buhari’s cabinet and Fuji House of Commotion certainly have more than a few things in common. It is no surprise that Nigeria is so broke and suffering from recession under this educationally-challenged government. How can a nation earn money when we have a government that refuses to learn? It is not a coincidence that KNOWLEDGE and IGNORANCE both have nine letters each and RICH and POOR both have four letters each. We are poor not because the price of oil has fallen. No. We are poor because the intelligence of our leaders has fallen! The rule for earning money is simple. First LEARN, and after learning, simply remove the letter L and you will start to EARN. The Buhari administration is against learning. It prefers to BLAME and after you BLAME, simply remove the letter B and you become LAME. Last week the National Economic Council held at Aso Rock Presidential Villa and the communiqué from the meeting centred not around solutions to the multifarious challenges Nigeria is confronting but on a one liner – ‘Buhari Is not to be blamed for economic woes!’ In the history of statecraft the world over, it is doubtful if there has ever existed an administration so fixated on the word blame as the Buhari government.
And Nigerians have lost all hope in this regime and invested all their hope in the Mavrodi Mondial Movement. Even when MMM suspended subscribers accounts for a month, Nigerians still continued to believe in the pyramid scheme. They refuse to believe that Mavrodi has made off with their money. Even in churches and mosques, it is hard to see the same level of faith that Nigerians have for the resurrection of MMM come January 2017. The funniest thing is that Nigerians had this same level of faith in Buhari when he was sworn in on May 29, 2015, but after seeing the value of the Naira crash from N220 when President Buhari took over to N485 to the dollar as I write this, after seeing the price of rice increase from N8,000 under Goodluck to N24,000 under this administration, after seeing an increase in killings by herdsmen all over Nigeria to the extent that in November 2015, the Global Terrorism Index listed them as the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world (according to the Global Terrorism Index, herdsmen which killed 80 Nigerians in 2013 had killed thousands annually since Buhari became President), they have enough sense to know that President Buhari’s credibility died on March 24, 1999 and his name was Tunde Idiagbon. And back to the naira. What is the true value of naira? Is it Budget N305/$ Interbank N315/$ BDC N389/$ Parallel Market N450/$ or Black Market N485/$ How can one question have five answers? Only in Buhari’s Nigeria. I am sure if you ask the Buhari administration to explain this anomaly, the response you will get back is that the value of the naira to the dollar has been adequately ‘explaineded.’ God save Nigeria!