Nigeria’s general elections have come and gone with the victors and vanquished counting their gains and losses. This is the first time the writer would be writing again on a national issue of such historic importance. Nigerians have unarguably spoken with ”one voice” entrusting their future to a cast of neophyte actors who will be steering the ship of state in the coming years.
Four calendar years you will agree with me is a whole lot of time. I congratulate the ”winner” of the presidential election General Muhammadu Buhari and his chief strategist the self-styled Asiwaju of the Yoruba race Bola Ahmed Tinubu. While still reeling from a savaging inflicted on one of Nigeria’s greatest men, the out-going President Jonathan I am supremely confident that the time shall come when everyone would yearn for the return of this great man who many Nigerians out of ignorance allowed themselves to be taken in by heinous lies and deceptions of the All Progressives Congress delivered up to be ”crucified” on March 29 , 2015.
What we experienced is nothing short of a regional conspiracy orchestrated by a band of cunning men who capitalized on the ignorance of the Nigerian voters. What Nigeria urgently stands in need of is nothing short of regeneration and revitalization from the obviously decadent paralysis imposed on Nigeria by the prodigal years of his predecessors.
The Jonathan administration doubtless blundered regarding a breach of sensitive security information which unnecessarily prolonged the fight with the jihadist insurgents in the north-eastern flank of the country. Goodness knows what happened that aggravated the killings in the region by the dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram. Today Abubakar Shekau has tacitly gone underground and laid down arms since federal power shifted to the north last month. There is no need re-stating the obvious here: More power to them!
It is not in dispute that the outgoing President achievements were grossly under-reported. The All Progressives Congress did all it could to have his achievements blanketed in lies and deception. Ultimately the goose that laid the golden eggs was ”killed” last month paving the way for a tribe of men under whose yoke Nigeria will cry helplessly for freedom. I am not a prophet of doom, but I foresee Nigerians groaning under high-handedness filled with acute nostalgia for the return of the Jonathanan days. He is one man whose aim is to see Nigeria excels and remains committed to it by dint of hard work. There is no denying the fact today that we are in fact Africa’s largest economy and the present generation of Nigerians and indeed posterity shall not hold the in-coming gladiators guiltless should Nigeria by twist of fate lose her current status under whatever guise. No excuse would be taken to take us years back just because you want to feel important when as a matter of fact you know next to nothing about governance. Governance is not all about beating your subjects with clubs, sticks, and cutlasses and sending them to houses of correction sometimes on trumped up charges. There certainly would be the devil to pay. Many tyrants who treaded this path all have their places in history. The world is no more at home to tyrants and the likes.
While we welcome the President-elect to Aso Rock to lead over 170 million Nigerians in the coming years, the writer deems it absolutely necessary to remind him of his electoral promises to Nigerians. A time frame should not be an excuse. I admire the no non-sense General a great deal for his avowed desire to fight and extirpate (”kwaruption”) – corruption from Nigeria because he rightly said if we do not kill (kwaruption), Kwaruption will kill us. This is an incontrovertible fact and I think he deserves a pat on the back.
The naira has been grossly devalued and now as worthless as toilet paper under the ”clueless” Jonathan administration. We hope to see fundamental changes, speedy and far-reaching reforms put in place for macroeconomic stability that would make the naira equal in value to the US dollar. We expect to see by the hordes of technocrats he would be bringing in along with him. A time frame should not be an excuse and of course Nigeria will doubtless get a pride of place among OPEC members as the Nigeria President-elect alone employs the magic wand to stabilize global oil price. We have been promised that a machinery would be set in motion when Buhari assumes office next month to absorb the unemployed. What an extraordinary mixture of harsh reality and lofty ideals!
As part of his electoral promises to us unemployment benefits of N5000:00 each has been promised by the incoming administration. This heralds the dawn of a new era in Nigeria. Blunder number one identified – palliative instead of curative. A Rapid industrialization of rural areas, development of social infrastructures and National Food Farms should be set up in every state of the federation to absorb the teeming unemployed under the existing circumstances instead of embarking on palliatives. This amounts to leaving the leprosy uncured and paying heed to common rashes.
Be that as it may, I wish to remind him that charity, they often say, begins at home. Most of the politicians who sank the ship of the Nigerian state were all members of the old PDP. Today they have all defected to the All Progressives Congress. The National Leader of APC who resides in Lagos, Buhari would agree with me is one of Nigeria’s most corrupt politicians who laid a conduit pipe from the defunct ACN-controlled states to his Bourdilion enclave. He sat on the fortunes of these states from which we reliably gathered a whopping N43 bn was raised to fund Buhari’s presidential campaign amid deceptions and heinous lies. Public money, if we all need reminding, ought not to be dispensed with such largesse to anyone. The nation of Nigeria doubtless witnessed a harrowing sunset at noon last month when their ignorance was capitalized on by the Bourdilion moneybag.
Buhari must first summon Bola Ahmed Tinubu for questioning to tell the world from where he got that money to fund his presidential campaign. This is the kind of change and cleansing Nigerians yearn for and he must do this if his avowed war on corruption is anything to go by. A verse in the Holy Writ says ”first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. This, if I dare say, remains the focus of my analysis.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.
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