1999 – 2019: NIGERIA’S WASTED YEARS

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Olusegun Obasanjo

Monday letter1 

Elections are referendums to test the gullibility of the people…Ena E. Orugbo 

In 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo was ushered into office by the Warri war. He underestimated it as an ethnic crisis. In 2007, when Umaru Yar’Adua became president, it had metamorphosed into a lucrative industry, militancy. Fast forward to 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) inherited Boko Haram and immediately went on a spending spree to eliminate Boko Haram. Boko Haram still lingers. On the 29th of May 2019, Nigeria’s new president will be welcomed by old demons such as herdsmen, low crude oil prices and poverty. Isaiah 57:1 console the mourners. Who will console Nigerians? Dr. Tunde Bakare puts it plainly, “you are either a part of the problem or solution”. 

In 2015, the APC rode into power with a sense of hope. A few months into their administration they abdicated and began to blame the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Nigeria’s demons. Prior to 1999, it was official for the politicians especially of Southwestern extraction like the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) to blame the military. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was a staunch member of NADECO and he had to flee when Abacha stopped smiling. Nigerians are fleeing overseas in their droves for a better life because the ruling APC is neither part of Nigeria’s problem or solution. In all sincerity, the APC has done their best and becoming poverty capital is an achievement.

 

The Collins dictionary defines poverty as “the state of being extremely poor”. A popular maxim by Rodolfo Costa says, “he is so poor that the only thing he has is money”. As Nigeria’s vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), an alumnus of the prestigious London School of Economics goes about evangelizing Tradermoni, APC’s version of SURE-P, let it be known that posterity will not be kind to him for reinforcing poverty. Who is responsible for Nigeria’s wasted years? The military, No. The politicians, No. The religious cowboys, No. The intelligentsia are to blame for Nigeria’s wasted years. Luke 12:48 does not mince words, “to whom much is given, much is expected”.

Professor Pius Adesanmi won the inaugural Penguin Prize for African writing in the non-fiction category and authored “Reparations: What Nigeria Owes the Tortoise”. In describing the book, Nasir El-Rufai said, “the genius of Pius Adesanmi. You can read now or read later but do not deprive yourself of this gem”. In 2018, Adesanmi authored an article titled “Apes Obey! 2019 Blues”. In that article, he tried to cheer youths to run for public office and offered tactic support to his friend, Sowore. Nigerian Professors are so smart, they always leave out the juice. Firstly, youthfulness is not a guarantee for success in public office. Secondly, Sowore was a Buharist in 2015. Who is deceiving who?

 

After expending $16 billion under the PDP, Nigeria still struggles to generate and wheel 3500 MW. The same situation applies to the refineries and poverty alleviation. All hope is not lost. If Tinubu once fled Nigeria because of a blood thirsty regime and returned to a hero’s welcome, Nigerians fleeing this poverty thirsty regime will someday return to a hero’s welcome. Professor Adesanmi meant well for the youths, but in politics, you put things in perspective. The presidency is not the birthright of the youths. In football, it is common to see grandpas posing as under 23 and they go scot-free. Professor Kingsley Moghalu is 56 and Omoyele Sowore will be 48 on the 16th of February 2019. 

 

Dr. Enameguolo Orugbo,

jetageNG@gmail.com