Saturday, 9 July 2016

Opinion: Buhari: Setting The Farm House Ablaze To Kill A Mosquito



written by John Idumange

Governance and the management of the affairs of men has caused enormous concern across time and space. In Nigeria, for the past twenty-five years, at least from the Second Republic, I have studied the anatomy of governance and why some succeed and others fail. No leader is born, though there are some characteristics that enhance leadership effectiveness. Such characteristics may involve communication, ability to understand the psychology of followers, inter-personal relationship, and being humane. Other environmental factors that contribute to leadership include: clear policy direction, well-articulated mission statement, clearly defined goals, targets and more importantly transparent men to manage resources to achieve goals. All these can only operate within the context of the rule of law.
President Buhari

Democratic government, although necessary, is not sufficient to facilitate democratization of power in the society; the latter requires political struggles and deliberate crafting of new institutions within the frame of a democratic government. Democracy also has no direct and necessary bearing on a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and status in society. Thus, democracy as a form of government, democratization of power as a political process, and socio-economic democracy as a possible goal, are analytically and empirically distinguishable. A democratic government, however, may be seen as an improvement over the authoritarian governments because people in most countries prefer a predictable to an arbitrary
government, value the freedom of expression and association as ends in themselves, and increasingly hold that they have a right to have some say in the selection of their political leaders.

In every political economy, the solar plexus is the Economic Team, which provides a policy direction for the economy, manages it and points out possible challenges in advance with a view to proffering solutions to them. While the Minister of Finance and the Economic team handles the Macroeconomic policies of the State, the CBN takes care of the monetary
policy of the Government. President Buhari is too busy with his lopsided anti-corruption was that he has not spared a thought to this very critical  nexus between the technocracy and the health of the economy. President Buhari may not have been told this sordid truth. That more than one years after assuming office, Nigeria has no economic team bespeaks his
insensitivity on matters concerning the economy.
It does appear that Buhari is incapable of providing leadership, he has made several promises which cannot be fulfilled. At some point, one would say President Buhari’s thought processes have been beclouded by lunar amnesia, much the same way he is being consumed by the feeling of self….Aribisala. Prototypical of a failing leader, President Buhari has denied all the promises made during his campaigns…….NANS. The promises verging on the FOREX regime, the Chibok saga, job creation and power supply among others. He said he would hold the rule of law sacrosanct but the body language of the President shows that he tramples on the rule of
law with impunity, violates court orders, and denigrates the judiciary and other apparatus of State. The recent imbroglio in Abia State is a good example. It is trite and in line with the constitution that if a court of law disqualifies a sitting Governor, he has 21 days within which to
appeal. In all the years I have sojourned on earth this is the first time I see a judgment with the “immediate effect” clause” which smacks of a totalitarian regime dragging the judiciary into the murky waters of politics.
Economic analysts are agreed that APC operates the worst economy in 43 years; they have wrecked the Economy. Another innate tendency, which for me is a hubris is the unedifying the practice of blaming Jonthan for all the woes of his ineptitude. The Nobel Laureate lamented “Nigeria’s economy is Bad, We need an Economic Summit—Wole Soyinka Another seasoned
bureaucrat Prof. Pat Utomi averred that Buhari does not understand the workings of the Economy. This perhaps explains why Buhari has spent $5.8 billion on meaningless Foreign Trips while not punishing the APC members who passed a nudget that was padded to the point of overkill. For President Buhari, his Fulani killer herdsmen are always right even if they
commit crimes of genocidal proportion. A clergy man Cardinal John Onayekan
described President Buhari is a liability to the Nigerian State.
Under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria is now a tale of unmitigated disaster such that a colonizing power – Britain could describe Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt”. But why not? Buhari’s anti-corruption was is a political vendetta, as only PDP people are being prosecuted. Buhari can unashamedly
investigate the campaign funds of PDP but has said nothing about the APC. Crooks in APC are now being beatified while everybody of worth in PDP is persecuted. Under X-President Jonathan, PMS sold for N86.50 per litre and now the President has officially announced that PMS is N145.00 per litre. During the foreign exchange palaver, the CBN Governor Emefiele admitted that President Buhari and wife bought dollars directly from the CBN at the rate of N197.00 Naira and re-sold the dollar for N374.00. Initially so many people regarded it as wretched piece of propaganda. We were wrong when the President himself was quoted as saying that his children could school abroad because he could afford the foreign exchange, and that those who could not afford it should keep their children in Nigeria. Then it occurred to me that the broom revolution had collapsed. If the President of Nigeria could make a statement like that then Nigeria is finished. That was when the broom revolution was about nine months old.
Britain also alleged that under President Buhari’s watch as President, $42 billion had been fleeced away from NNPC. The Presidency and the massive media apparatus in Aso Rock could not honour Nigeria with a paragraph of rebuttal, tacitly confirming that the allegation is true, especially with Buhari as the Petroleum Minister. Here and there we could notice visible
cracks of division in APC already, and a faction of APC has vehemently called for the resignation of President Buhari because according to them, he lacks the capacity to govern. When ill-health is added to lack of capacity, the result can only be disastrous.
Buhari is the accredited inventor of the NIGER DELTA AVENGERS because he could not caution his Northern kinsmen to refrain from unguarded utterances. The North claimed that the Niger Delta Oil belongs to them. Surely, Nigeria’s crude oil deposited in the Nigeria Delta belongs to all Nigerians but the solid mineral resources we find in all parts of Nigeria
belong to where they are situated. It is injustice but we are watching. Now the Nigerians know that if the production of crude oil stops, we shall have no budget and invariable the concept of ONE NIGERIA will be called to question. Our economy is certainly not based on revenues from carrots, cows, onions and beans.
The South-South produces the budget of the Country but the North has contributed so much by sponsoring Boko Haram, a human hyena that has sucked the blood of innocent men, women and Children. I see reasons with Buhari for over-compensating the North. What is more, he has declared Amnesty for Boko Haram yet Boko Haram has not stopped killing. The reason
is simple: Boko Haram – is like the donation of Northern Nigeria to the
nation. What a horrible donation my Countrymen?
Buhari is still obsessed with the ills of the Jonathan administration and by so doing, he is making Jonathan’s image loom larger. Boko Haram is riding roughshod and the bombs are dropping more frequently. More and more innocent Nigerians are abbreviated. The APC Apostle of change appears not to be bothered. Indeed we have entered the era of change in the negative
retrogressive direction. Sometimes, one begins to ask; what manner of change is APC bringing to Nigeria? Is it the Zaria massacre that is the change or the Shiite Sunni division leading to killings in parts of the North? Is it the change in the price of Petrol kerosene from N50.00 to
N85.00 which Nigerians buy in pains? Under the nose of APC, almost all MNCs are sacking their workers, the few investors the past administration brought in are on the run; the banking industry is embarking on massive downsizing, even private companies are sacking because they cannot afford to pay workers, yet electricity tariffs are jacked-up and this is likely
to precipitate a nationwide protest. That is APC’s model of creating jobs. Laughable!
Nigerians are seeing a daylight dictatorial and tyrannical style of leadership wearing the tattered garb of democracy. Most of his decisions are unilateral, with little or no consultation and often titrated to favour sectional interest. The interesting thing is that Buhari has not
bothered about laying the foundations of the administration that would change Nigeria. Nigeria is basking in the euphoria of a brand new APC President Muhammad Buhari has been sworn-in at the Centre and many Governors who are newly elected was sworn in more than two months ago.
For now, the dominant Party is the APC. President Jonathan handed over power to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and Nigerians will certainly hold the new administration to its campaign promises. In sharp contrast to the President’s inaugural speech, the appointments made so far show that Buhari is implementing a policy of Northernization as change mantra. The
President said he he would appoint more northerners in government because
he understands them and can work better with them.
For now, the most knotty challenge to Nigerian’s is the chaotic state of our economy. Without recourse to the experience of professional economists, Nigerians are aware that Nigeria’s over-dependency on crude oil is one of the age-long challenges we must overcome. The responsibility
of the APC government is to diversify the economy. Our over-reliance on
crude oil has led to wide spread peculation. It has also turned Nigeria
into a perpetual consumer nation, with a no-grow index in almost all other
sectors of the economy. True, the President Jonathan administration made
enormous progress in Agriculture and power, but the economic fifth
columnists daily wreak havoc to the economy.
Amidst this inequality, the North has produced about 98% of those who have
messed up the coffers of the nation. Some of them now wear the toga of
statesmen, but why not, with the huge monies they rack in to their
offshore accounts through their oil blocks. I must acknowledge that some
of these leaders are benevolent enough to use part of their loots to
sponsor politically-induced insurgency. Today, not even Buhari and the new
administration can stop the menace. The Boko Haram they invented may
eventually consume them. For the six years President Jonathan was in power
he ran a war economy- an economy that bought more arms than built more
hospitals, rehabilitated more orphans than built more schools for the
almajiris.

The frustration is such that youths in the North are reported to be
burning down the houses of Senators. In the colony of leaders, we have
those who are visionary but cannot work hard enough to actualize their
visions. There are those who fly on the wings of courage, vision and
inspiration and being audacious, they fulfill even higher goals. The Niger
Delta Youths “Avengers” have been tempted to go back to the trenches
because of Buhari’s inability to fulfil his promises.
The Amnesty Programme is poorly funded. The Maritime University at
Okerenkoko is at the point of being scrapped. Most of the people-oriented
projects initiated by the Jonathan administration are being abandoned.
Ninety (90%) of oil blocks have been cornered by Northerners. I trust that
if these conditions are violated, Buhari’s administration may be running a
war economy on two fronts: from the dry arid sahel region to the oil-rich
Niger Delta on another. We can avoid this war economy by keeping the
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC and allow the Amnesty Programme to
run. All these palliatives are to douse the potentially explosive
situation in the Niger Delta, which of course will not stop a more
comprehensive vehement agitation for total resource control or fiscal
federalism. It’s 25% derivation or nothing as recommended by the NATIONAL
CONFAB. Sadly, Buhari has not given even a casual attention to the
aforementioned issues. He dreams corruption, talks corruption, chases
corruption but there is a list of most Corrupt Nigerians given to him but
he has done nothing with the G-7 list. Most of them are in Buhari’s
Cabinet. Sadly, Buhari’s cabinet is inundated with corrupt people and he
is very happy working with them.
While Buhari is hounding the OBOTE MEN, the mistakes of ex-President
Jonathan are becoming more conspicuous. The South-South is mourning as
their sons take turns to visit Kuje prisons on allegations of corruption.
The most buffeting is the fact that Boko Haram killings have increased,
insecurity is becoming more and more intense, the famed #chibokgirls
mystery is yet to be unraveled, the Cabinet has not been constituted and
hope appears to be fading even among the stubbornly optimistic. Buhari’s
only wisdom is to appoint Northerners and he does not think of Nigeria,
let alone moving the country forward. It appears the PDP was right when
they said the APC just needed power for its own sake; the members do not
know what it takes to entrench good governance. Senator Tinubu just
confirmed that when he said APC was just formed to take power from
President Jonathan. Nigerians are compelled to watch President Buhari as
he implements a pro-North and anti-Niger Delta agenda.
About a year into the Buhari administration, the judiciary has been turned
up-side-down. All election petitions must favour the APC even though
evidences are to the contrary.
Not even one of the 81 promises made by Buhari during his campaign has
been fulfilled. In politics, promises are like debts and when they are not
fulfilled then one can say that it is fraud. Most Nigerians may be praying
that the price of crude oil should diminish to $10 p/b for that is the
only way Nigeria can think of investment in Agriculture and embrace
industrialization. By any known standard, Buhari as a primitive
feudalistic hegemon, bereft of ideas and who is intent on taking Nigeria
back to the Stone Age.
I disagree because he addresses the United Nations and promises to fight
corruption but the fight against corruption is not only lopsided but
criminally conducted. If it were not so why will Buhari not declare how
much he has recovered from corrupt Nigerians? Why will he not probe the
Apc Campaign funds while he is probing that of PDP? Why is President
Buhari running away from the Halliburton scandal? Why has Buhari-the
anti-corruption hero not probed some known cases of corrupt enrichment in
his Cabinet even when the amount of monies stolen are mentioned?
President Buhari is killing the whole nation because a few corrupt
individuals, like a demented farmer who sets the farmhouse ablaze because
he has to kill a mosquito. Let no one be deceived that Nigeria is a
democracy. We are gradually taking a catastrophic dive into tyranny – like
Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Mussolini of Italy; Pol Pot of Indonesia and
other rulers who rode on democratic platforms to become full time
dictators. The President rules the nation with the rule of the thumb. To
hell with that wretched broom of infamy! How the hell has the broom
transformed Nigeria into a “fantastically corrupt nation in so short a
period? Many tongues are wagging! It is insane to burn the farmhouse
because of a mosquito.
John Idumange is a public intellectual
July 1, 2016

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