Haram Loan, And 2015 Election, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

There comes another request for loan designed to immiserate the country more than ever before and for nothing but the injurious pleasure of winning an election at all cost. Boko Haram can make a bomb out of anything, but the bomb Mr. Jonathan makes on paper since he became President hurts the most.

Nigeria fought an extensive and expensive civil war without borrowing a Kobo. Yet, almost a Trillion Naira has been committed to fighting a rag tag army of terror with no appreciable result. Huge security votes has gone into private pockets instead of keeping Nigerian secure. $20billion vanished into thin air and explained away without consequence. Repatriated Abacha loot from Liechtenstein and Switzerland were taken in without any explanation to Nigerians on how it will be spent; and may likely bed up in private pockets as it usually is. Four hundred thousand barrels of crude are stolen under official cover on daily basis yet, the President wants to convince the country he needs $1billion Boko Haram loan? Not so fast Mr. President!

We continue to underrate this President at our own peril. I maintain he is the most treacherous politician we have ever heard and he improves on that his credentials every time. He gift wrapped his sinister request as the much needed weapon in the battle against terror, believing no one will have the gall to object, so he can get away with another bowl of gravy for his gravy train. Does anyone have the faintest idea why the President is collaterizing Nigeria’s security? If the President truly mean well for Nigeria, why can’t he get an interest free loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) when the CBN sits atop $40billion in foreign reserve?

Susan George in her book; A Fate Worse Than Debt wrote: “Debt is an efficient tool. It ensures access to other people’s raw materials and infrastructure on the cheapest possible terms. Dozens of countries must compete for shrinking export markets and can export only a limited range of products because of Northern protectionism and their lack of cash to invest in diversification. Market saturation ensues, reducing exporters’ income to a bare minimum while the North enjoys huge savings.” How are we supposed to ever be independent if we wallow in debt? Nigeria’s internal and external debt profile has risen with the government of Goodluck Jonathan. With spiraling debt, this country will spend more on debt repayment and less and less on health, education and development while the people’s standard of living gets eroded more and more. He is arguably the most profligate and prodigal Nigerian President ever! With 2015 in sight, the country’s fear is being mined for electoral gains and that is the saddest part of all!

Why is it that the only movement this country makes is to the bottom? Why is the President taking on more debt when the country’s developmental indices are swinging down? Education standards are going down, health standards going down and infrastructure where there is; is literally breaking up. Is Boko loan what we need at a time of declining earnings from crude oil, escalating insecurity, unfavorable terms of trade, spiraling internal and external debts?

It is about time Nigerians understand that they are ensconced in the wilderness with Jonathan and his PDP band of looters. He carries on with no understanding of governance but a mastery of suffocating politics intended to exact maximum benefit to the favoured and awful pain for the masses. Nigeria is saddled with an irredeemable short termist, whose overriding interest is the next elections and power for its own sake. In just four years, Goodluck Jonathan has played a pivotal role in derailing the economic and political stability of Nigeria that held so much promise under the stewardship of Obasanjo. He continues to indulge in a reckless game of financial profligacy, hounding the opposition and a systematic erosion of Nigeria’s fragile fault lines of ethnicity and religion with impunity. His nonchalance has deepened the intractable Boko Haram conflict with grave implications for Nigerian sovereignty. His “I don’t give a damn” attitude has plunged the entire Northeast into despair with Boko Haram hoisting their flags on their land, collecting toll and creating an alternate government.

This Boko loan may sound like a good idea to some people given the enormity of the security threat facing the nation but we are not deceived. We know the leaders of Nigeria most often act in ways that are not consistent with the nation’s interests. We are at a perilous crossroads, Nigerians must resist any, and all attempts to further subjugate them and imperil future generations. This “request” for loan must be rejected. We must not let the President exploit our fears by afflicting us with a greater evil. He has lost our confidence and majority of this great country’s citizens are asking questions. The President must answer these pertinent questions or forget it. Are you telling the truth? Is your focus on the nation and national interests? Are your words consistent with what is already known to be true? Why have you refused to name, shame and arrest the sponsors of Boko Haram? What exactly is the Boko loan for? What will it buy that has not been budgeted for in the trillions of Naira devoted to security in current and past budgets?

It is all too sad that the man who was fought for to become President by the civil society in conformity with the constitution, is now incapable of reaching out with sensitivity to his hurting people. He has demonstrated a total lack of interest in the life of the average Nigerian. He has not a singular idea what the people’s emotions, needs, obstacles, and strong points are. The Boko loan has no military component whatsoever. Actually, there is nothing military about it; it is about wining the 2015 elections at all cost. It is about putting party goals above national goals. It is about building an electoral war chest by exploiting our collective fear of terror and dancing on the graves of those who have lost their lives in the hands of terrorists. If we allow Mr. Jonathan get this loan, he cannot be trusted in expending it. He is a spendthrift; his abysmal record at mismanaging the nation’s resources since he assumed power among several other financial abuses is there for everyone to see.

What exactly is this loan expected to achieve? If the President commits half the energy he commits to assaulting democracy to attacking terrorism, Boko Haram would have been history long ago. How do we believe a President who did not give a rat’s tail about the plight of poor peasants in the hands of Boko haram until the public relations firm of Levick was hired? How can we believe you when you have governed like a warlord giving contracts to party bosses, cronies, and militants while leaving our soldiers to face a better kitted and equipped enemy?

Sir, Nigerians cannot applaud your conceited request for $1 billion Boko loan. Actually, there is no need for any loan. If you are truly interested in fighting terror, ask the Central Bank for an interest free loan and go to the National Assembly to show us how you plan spending the money. We are tired of you, using Abu’s money to entertain Abu. Let Abu entertain himself; if he so wishes. We have the benefit of your record. We suspect this loan will be used to buy the election and the electorate, pay the security agencies to intimidate voters and the opposition and whatever is left will be for your party while the hapless majority suffers continued deterioration in standard of living. We already had a foretaste of militarized elections in Ekiti. We don’t want to sit on our hands and let you get a loan on our behalf to fight legitimate dissent.

TO all long suffering Nigerians, the ball is in your court. If the President insists on putting his ambition before caution, it is your collective duty to stop him from inflicting the consequences of his jamboree on you. Reject the Boko loan!

Twitter: @olufunmilayo

Email: olufunmilayo@gmail.com

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