By Buchi Ofulue –
Listening to and reading various arguments made in the public sphere only hints the rational mind that some Nigerians argue based on convictions without regards for empirical evidences whatsoever. This is precisely the reason why a narrative of Samurai Jack; the fictional cartoon character’s lamentation finds relevance in describing Nigeria’s present day predicament. Whichever line anyone decides to stand on, one thing is sure; Nigeria is certainly making a reverse instead of moving forward. Least I join the “convictional” arguers; I will present evidences to back my assertion.
First, the return of democracy in 1999 which ushered in Nigeria’s very own Double-O-Seven, Rt. General Olusegun Obasanjo into power. The “seven” represents his numerous trips to the seven continents on Earth. Anyway, he “satisfactorily” governed Nigeria such that he posed as the Conscience of the Nation when he left office. In fact he became the founder of modern Nigeria with the introduction of Mobile Telephone into our beloved Nation. He also pulled a Double-O stunt with the Paris Club and got Nigeria debt relief.
Secondly, the activities of the Niger Delta Militants were quite glaring by the 2007 election, of course it became one of late President Yar’Adua’s campaign promises that was actually kept; peace was restored to the region through the Niger Delta Amnesty deal. Honestly, if politicians adhere to their manifestos and give Nigerians electricity supply for example, just like the Niger Delta peace, the next election will be a little less cliché. The point really is that manifestos should be fulfilled, electricity cannot be a campaign promise come 2019.
Fast forward to 2015. Various opinions pointed to the incompetence of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Both sides of the divides are summarized thus: Jonathan boosted Agriculture, repaired roads, ensured every State a Federal University, Nigeria’s Economy became the fastest growing in Africa. However, Jonathan did not give us security. Put differently, he gave us food but indirectly took away our ability to eat (life).
Editorial of The Guardian (Lagos), 23 January 2015 thus exhorted “When Nigerians thought that the Country was at its lowest ebb, another generation of leaders perfects the act of decadence with astonishing efficiency”.
This declaration once again finds relevance. The man for the current political season: President Muhammadu Buhari. He remains passionate about the Nation’s welfare. As a retired General, his patriotism is really immeasurable but does not excuse a scrutiny of his competence as a democratically elected president. Watch closely!
After his 2015 victory, certain Nigerians rode motorcycles and rode to death. What was most interesting was that some Nigerian’s trekked from Lagos to Abuja to celebrate APCs victory, whether they were athletes, no one really knows. Perhaps they were Nigerians with foresight, who saw the fuel scarcity coming and decided to practise in advance. As the saying goes, “if you fail on the day of adversity (or scarcity), then your strength is weak”.
The caption “Fuel scarcity” barely scratches the surface of what goes down at the filling stations. Drivers sleep in their vehicles over the night to buy fuel, which is only sold at N86 in Abuja and up to N200 per litre in States. The commodity is not sold in Jerrican, therefore Nigerians are made to carry their generating sets to the filling stations hoping for a miracle. It almost seems like there’s some sort of beef between PMB and PMS. No further comments.
When the APC claimed to have the magic wand to make the Naira equal to Dollar; obviously, it was an untold attempt at theatrics. Today, the price of Dollar to Naira brings to mind some sort of riddle that goes thus “I am something, I wasn’t what I am today, yesterday; and I won’t be what I am today, tomorrow”. Rhetoric such as “Dollar don rise” is a really inadequate description for the realities, Wall Street is crying. It’s actually the Naira that’s falling, but because we must represent: “Naira don fall”.
This is the second quarter of the year and the 2016 Budget has not been approved. Apparently, someone used the part of the budget that contained important projects like the Lagos-Calabar railway project to sell suya, while it laid unattended to. Who is to blame? The people that left it unattended to or the people that traded with it? Whichever the case is, “Heads will roll”. After all, we have a Samurai President, who is on a sojourn in CHINA: sharpening his sword. By the way, please cut some grass after sharpening your sword, Ministry of Agriculture needs it (grass) for their “grass importation initiative”.
With all that has been left undone or poorly done, the President, in his white Samurai Agbada keeps travelling to and fro the nations of the earth. He has definitely beaten Double-O-Seven’s record with his journey to the past.
He has travelled to the past by probing deeply into the Dasuki Gate, and Nigerians still support the president even though people are getting tired of the corruption optics as there is no single conviction. But it becomes disturbing that Ekiti Gate has not gotten the desired attention: this is an issue that bother’s on our National Conscience. Also, bearing the record of zero megawatts of electricity almost speaks to the uninventing of electricity, or maybe a journey to the past. Jerrican predates Generators, but somehow we’d rather carry our Generator to filling stations and still queue for as long as it takes.
Credit must go to the Samurai President, who has thought it wise to declare War Against Corruption only at the Federal/Central level while leaving corruption to thrive at State and Local Government level. We must appreciate them for “Technically” Defeating Boko Haram as opposed to the “mere Defeat” they promised. But what do we know? Aren’t we just “bloody civilians”?
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah in 2014 made the point that Nigeria keeps making progress in reverse and there is no Nigerian President that has not been worse than the one he is succeeding, which explains the social media hashtag: #BringBackOurCorruption. Sadly, this is where we have found ourselves and we demand that the time-travelling Samurai President sits in Nigeria and fix the nation, we cannot have your manifesto repeated to us in 2019. Reality check Sir: your office is in Aso Rock not the Plane; except you are taking us to the Garden of Eden, there’s no need taking us back in time.
Buchi Wrote in From Abuja, you can reach him on [email protected]