And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment.” (Quran 9:34b)
Almost four years into the Buhari’s administration and Nigerians are still left bemoaning if the current government has any clue what it was voted into office to do, or if they have any idea what needs changing. One thing stands clear, Nigerians have never asked Buhari to do the spectacular (by transforming Nigeria into Singapore, Dubai or whatever in four years) but to just do the basic and simple things that would show he understands what it takes to run a country especially one like Nigeria bedeviled with mostly unpatriotic elites.
Northern elites singled out considering they have occupied, and still occupy virtually every political, military and elite position ever created in this country since Independence and have contributed the most to its destruction. Their Southern counterparts have not fared any better in their joint quest of destroying the nation, but many of them presently are new elites who only came on the political scene at the return to civilian rule in 1999, compared to many Northern elites who have perpetually been on the scene of things since at least the 1970s. One of such new political elite is former President Goodluck Jonathan and it’s amusing that this administration has spent the better part of its tenure blaming him for all the ills of this country, when we’ve had previous governments before him who have systematically destroyed the nation. Jonathan is just unfortunately, a product of a failed system and all its malfeasance manifestation we’ve been running for at least three decades or more now.
One of such governments was that of the former military dictator and tyrant, Retired General Ibrahim Babangida who single-handed, destroyed the nation’s monetary system and the effect of which has kept Nigeria underdeveloped and poor. Just this February, Nigeria was declared the country with the most extremely poor people by the World Poverty clock in Austria with over 90 million people (half of its guesstimated population) living below $1.90 per day – UN standard is below $2 per day- way more than India who have eight times our population and yet we still pretend we have a country or we don’t know what the issues really are. You would have to go all the way back to the destruction he (IBB) started in 1986 and continued by all governments after him including this present one (except Abacha in a little way), because Nigeria’s MONETARY SYSTEM is at the crux of this article and until we stop deluding ourselves that Nigeria can ever begin to solve its problem without changing its monetary system, we would be getting nowhere anytime soon. How to go about changing the Monetary system was the subject of an article I wrote close to two years ago and published on this medium and you can read it here: http://saharareporters.com/2016/11/30/time-end-fake-recession-and-change-system-ola’-idowu
Two years after, we still battling with the same issues and Buhari as President pretends he’s incapable of understanding a matter as basic and simple as this, but would rather pat himself on the back for exiting a contrived recession due to economic sabotage by Northern elites who through forex hoarding ensured an artificial scarcity of forex right from the beginning of this administration to starve the economy of the oxygen it needs (forex) and cause a total red economy – collapse of government- through sabotage of oil production – the second leg of the economic sabotage- perpetuated by their Southern collaborators that saw the nation go into a contrived recession. Baffling to see a government that came in on an anti-corruption ticket and was supposedly said to be strong on matters of national security, sit down still and unconcerned while the nation has been racked by economic sabotage for the past three years. It says a lot about how the president takes seriously his job and demonstrates the lot of nonsense Nigerians go through in the name of belonging to a country.
Such nonsense includes what I term “Prophetic Governance” that has been used as official policy statements for this government without any solid, standard and people first intellectual work been done to change the country. Relying on annual December prophecies from a litany of prophets in Nigeria now, has been the hallmark of this government and what they quote from as official policy statements. You’ve heard statements like “Nigerians would start enjoying power supply by December 2017”- Minister declares; “Inflation to come down to single digits by middle 2018” – CBN Governor says etc and all sorts of wishful thinking. 2018 is about to end, still no light, water, infrastructure, proper healthcare, social care, education and housing system, let alone full and maximum employment for Nigerians and the rate this government is going there is absolutely no sign that would happen anytime soon no matter the amount of prophecies they clutch on to deceive themselves. Expect this government to issue more deadbeat rhetoric and promises. All the govt. is concerned about is what is called rhetoric and news counter-measures not proper governance let alone changing the country. Like they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again like we’ve done with our Monetary system in the last 32 years since IBB destroyed it in 1986 and expect a different outcome for this nation, more so when we’ve been under severe economic sabotage like we’ve had in the last three years and counting.
The buck however falls on Buhari’s table and it would be unfortunate if he continues to allow himself to be deceived. The truth of the matter is this government has failed beyond any reasonable measure and the facts are there for everyone to see. When Jonathan was there as president, the naira exchanged to the dollar for between N160-180/$1 and many Nigerians agreed it wasn’t good enough, as life was hard and they needed change. How on earth can it then be good at between N305-N360/$1 let alone patting yourself on the head in the Independence day speech on October 1st of last year, you made as president celebrating your government bringing it down from N500 to its current price? It has to rank as one of the worst speech ever read to Nigerians in recent years asides from the part of the speech that talks about freedom. Could you be reminded President Buhari, that at N4/$1 many Nigerians in the 1980s considered it atrocious. How on earth can you or anyone in your government then sit pretty and congratulate yourself for a mess of an economy we have now? It would be advisable to change the monetary system and get Nigeria moving rather than the stationary motion the nation is caught in at present.
Look at the issue of healthcare, you were away for more than 10 months last year attending to your health and your son has also been to Germany for months to recover from an accident caused by an extreme activity he was involved in all paid for by the nation, while the people languish and toil. In 1985 when a military coup led by IBB booted you out of power, he said amongst one of their numerous reasons and I quote: ‘The last twenty months have not witnessed any significant changes in the national economy. Contrary to expectations, we have so far been subjected to a steady deterioration in the general standard of living; and intolerable suffering by the ordinary Nigerians have risen higher, scarcity of commodities have increased, hospitals still remain mere consulting clinics…’ part of the speech made by IBB after his successful August 1985 coup at the Flag Staff House on Second Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Over 36 months into your present administration, just as it was in 1985 so it is today. Hospitals still remain mere consulting clinics, contrary to expectations of Nigerians, the people have so far been subjected to a steady deterioration in the general standard of living including healthcare. To be fair the governments before did not invest in healthcare during the oil boom and during the civilian rule in the 80s, while the IBB that came in for eight years after making that speech, even went on and left it deliberately worse. Successive civilian administrations since 1999 have kept on chasing shadows at all levels and still no way out for the people in terms of healthcare needs. But what is surprising is for a former Head of State like you, who has been chumping at the bit to return to office since 2002, and the huge expectations invested in you by Nigerians in 2015, you still doing the same things in that sector and expecting a different outcome. No radical overhaul, no bold policies, no total change in that sector. A conservative figure of $1billion is spent by Nigerians yearly on medical tourism and 80% of that is spent on treatment abroad for Cardiology, Musculoskeletal, Hematology and Oncology diseases but your friend and confidant in Kaduna argues that what Nigeria needs is for state governments to spend more on Primary Healthcare Centres. It’s clear to see PHCs are not the solution to Nigeria’s healthcare needs and even at that in states like Kebbi and Borno, poor Northerners can’t even find the PHCs in their communities as monies allocated for providing one, has been looted by northern elites as per usual.
But you the elites would all travel abroad to meet your health needs whilst the people suffer. Nigeria would thrive when Nigerians thrive according to Bill Gates and PHCs is not the solution. We would need a complete revamp of the nation’s healthcare system to meet the needs of the people in terms of the major diseases that afflict Nigerians, and the solution goes beyond just building new structures or inaugurating so called ultra-modern hospitals. First, we need to design a complete health and social care system plus how it would be funded and made universally accessible for all Nigerians. Considering you haven’t appointed me or consulted with me, I would keep my ideas to myself so it’s not copied by copycats in government. But here is the usual news counter-measures/rhetoric from this government: “We would revamp healthcare system in Nigeria”- Minister says or “FG to make healthcare universal” – Presidency says. That’s it! Buhari’s government has sorted healthcare so you can go to sleep now. Anyways, I would tell you this for free as President – considering the buck stops at your table – change our substandard monetary system. A monetary system that sees the naira constantly devalued by the CBN since 1986 means skilled workers like doctors, nurses, technicians etc would keep leaving the country in a brain drain as inflation, poor wages and economic ills makes life unbearable for them and they go to more stable climes. Add to it the rising cost of healthcare provision either for the people or government as the naira keeps getting killed, then it means we can’t provide modern equipments for healthcare needs of the people, fund research into medical science to save lives or pay wages that can keep up with inflation and weakened naira to keep skilled workers in that sector. The result is persistent strikes like we had in 1984 under your military regime when a certain Dr Isaac Adewole, then President of UCH Association of Resident Doctors told Dotun Onibokun of Television Service of Oyo State (now BCOS): “the government has not provided the wherewithal for use in providing essential services”. Again I repeat at the time it was due to decades of non-investment in that sector after the military interruption of 1966, but since 1986 it has been due to the poor Monetary system we run which ultimately is the system that enables corruption in Nigeria.
Take a look at the education system. Your government still doesn’t have a clue the right way to address that beyond holding summits, conferences, taking photos and busy doing nothing. I have written in an article since November 30, 2016 how to go about tackling the ills in that sector and I’m sure you lot don’t have a clue what needs doing. But again I can tell you for free, you would need to change the monetary system to get us moving on that. Wages of lecturers, teachers and support staff are all affected in that industry due to constant devaluation of the naira that leads to the drain of the best brains, and industrial unrest via strikes. It’s the same reason national labour unions have gone on strike again, as the devaluation of the naira in April 2016 by Vice-President Osinbajo, as seen their wages lose its purchasing power and inflation ravage their incomes. There is so much to be done to revamp our education system and modernise it but you must lay the foundation for it by first changing the monetary system. But here comes the usual news counter-measures: “Buhari would change Nigeria’s education system” – Lai Mohammed says. “Govt releases N20b to ASUU” – Finance Minister says and all sorts of nonsense, that would lead to same failed outcomes. Change the monetary system, and get the nation moving.
The usual petrol scarcity or corrupt fuel subsidy is also as a result of our substandard and backward monetary system. Whether we import or refine our own petrol two major factors affect it regardless; International crude oil price – which we have no control over as it’s an external factor- and Exchange rate – which is fully within our control-. It’s the reason why when crude oil prices went as low as $28, Nigerians felt no benefit at the pumps. This same government with Yemi Osinbajo in charge as Acting President and Ibe Kachikwu as energy minister in April 2016 announced petrol price increases at the pumps citing the devaluation of the Naira from N199/$1 to N290/$1 and now oil prices have moved up to over $70 per barrel the government for re-election reasons is bearing the loss of yet another kind of fuel subsidy except this time the opaqueness and corruption under this government is worse. From consuming 30million litres of petrol per day, Nigerians are now said to be consuming as much as 50 million litres with no evidence to back that up. That is a whooping 20 million litres added as subsidy by this government if NNPC is to be believed and yet you are fighting corruption. Think about it, wouldn’t it be more sensible if we changed the MONETARY System which is within our control such that if for example the exchange rate was N80/$1 and even crude oil prices – an external factor I’ve mentioned earlier- rises above $100 per barrel, the pump price would still be cheaper than petrol imported at N305/360 to the dollar and there would be no need for subsidy payment. Add to it revamping the NNPC and ensuring it takes control of at least 65% of the logistics (mid-stream sector) and distribution (downstream sector) unlike at present where the private sector dominates a vital industry of the nation that has made them a threat to national security and economic growth. The whole silly cliché by pathetic economists in Nigeria about deregulation can then truly work as we did have kept exchange rate strong in favour of the naira. These are commonsense approaches but we pretend we don’t know due to unpatriotism. Most political and economic elites can be grouped into two; those who lack knowledge and thus can be considered incompetent or imbeciles or the ones who know the right thing but are traitors and enemies of the people. Now here comes the rhetoric: “We would end fuel scarcity in Nigeria forever” – Vice President says. Absolute nonsense!! Will you change the monetary system and get the nation moving. What manner of madness is this? How much longer can the people continue to bear the lack of existence of a proper state?
On the environment, most of what is imported into the country as petrol and sold to the people at steep price, is what is called ‘Pet-coke’ – Petroleum Coke -. These are bottom of the barrel leftover from refining crude oils, tar sands and other heavy oils which is sold cheaper by foreign refineries. They contain human health damaging sulfur dioxide which most American or European countries don’t allow in their countries but are sold on to our country. The last Minister for the environment Amina Mohammed announced in 2016 a decrease in the particulate matter (ppm) that would be allowed in the petrol imported into Nigeria, rather than follow through on what matters to the people, she was busy doing a ‘critical assignment’ signing hundreds of documents for illegal export of banned timber. That policy that would save lives including millions of Northerners that voted for you thrown in the bin, for more ‘critical assignment’. Typical of the kind of elites we have particularly northern ones. That aside, to further give you an insight into how bad the economy is under this government, 10,000 units of new cars were sold in the country in 2017 down from a high of 50,000 in 2013 due to low purchasing power – increased inflation and weak exchange rate – high interest rates of as much as 27% for vehicles loans for a country with a population of 180 million people. A country like Iran for example, with lesser population and crippling sanctions, in 2016, had 1.25 million units of new cars sold, yet Nigeria suffering no sanctions – except that of its internal black colonialists posing as its elites – can barely sell 10,000 units of new cars not even anywhere close to South Africa with lesser people and yet we claim we running an economy. To worsen matters, NNPC claims Nigerians consume 50 million liters (of mostly toxic fuel) up from 30 million litres to boost up subsidy figures they claim right under the nose of an anti-corruption government. What we have is a diabolic and corrupt economy not fit for purpose and until we change the Monetary system the nation would perpetually keep drifting to nowhere in particular.
On Security, we could talk about this all day and find your indifference and nonchalance to the plight of Nigerians has encouraged foreign Fulani herdsmen terrorist to kill and maim Nigerians. Your friend in Kaduna has revealed how he paid foreign Fulani herdsmen terrorist to stop killing Nigerians when he came in as Governor – incredible to say the least – but you still act like it’s not an issue or its just farmers/herdsmen clashes. It bears reminding again some of the accusations IBB made against you in his August 1985 speech : “Because the present state of uncertainty, suppression, and stagnation resulted from the perpetration of a small group…..Where some of us thought it appropriate to give a little more time, anticipating a conducive atmosphere that would develop, in which affairs of state would be treated with greater sense of responsibility, it became increasingly clear such expectations could not be fulfilled…..Regrettably, it turned out that Major-General Muhammadu Buhari was too rigid and uncompromising in his attitudes to issues of national significance. Efforts to make him understand that a diverse polity like Nigeria required recognition and appreciation of difference in both cultural and individual perceptions, only served to aggravate these attitudes” – A collection of quotes from IBB’s assessment of Buhari in 1985. This is 33 years after those words were spoken, and despite claiming to be a reformed democrat, you still uncompromising –in a negative way – in your attitude towards issues of national significance and chosen to work with a small group of your kinsmen and nepotistic court. In having no respect for a diverse polity like Nigeria particularly Southerners, you’ve packed major security positions full with your fellow Northern elites and when Southerners complain, you claim they are wailing or haters and it further aggravates your arrogant and chronically sectional attitude towards others who are not from your ethnic nationality. What is wrong with you as a person, that for 33 years you haven’t changed your personality in areas where you clearly are weak and yet want to change Nigeria?
Still on the issue of security, fifth columnists who know how weak and sentimental you are in this regard, have taken advantage of it to bring in foreign Fulani herdsmen terrorists from Mali, Niger, Chad and as far as Senegal to kill Nigerians and cause anarchy, while they rightly guess you did be hesitant to deal with ‘your people’. An emir in Zamfara revealed the porous border in Zurmi where arms and ammunition are freely brought into the country, what have you done about it? I bet if it where somewhere in the South or some other ethnic nationality involved, you did have clamped down on it – which is okay- but when it concerns your own ethnic nationality you act indifferent. When a former colleague of yours -Theophilus Danjuma then says he suspects the army is not neutral in protecting all ethnic nationalities under your leadership as C-in-C you resort to news counter-measures : ‘Danjuma’s statement is a call to anarchy’ – Presidency says rather than deal with the substance of the issue raised.
Boko Haram is beginning to look like a perpetual problem, only because we would not deal with the root cause of the issue. The main ideology behind Boko Haram was borne out of poverty and lack of opportunities as its founder Mohammed Yusuf allegedly tore up his certificate together with other members since they were educated yet unemployed, while you elites, your families, friends and cronies keep frittering away the wealth of the nation. We are not going to root out insecurity until we provide economic security for Nigerians. When you have over 85% of the nation’s population living either in extreme or below the poverty line, with most of them in the North, what you have is a large population of people without hope in life who can easily be radicalised into terrorist activities. Add to it the literacy rate in the north is an average of 30% compared to 70% in the south you find the north is beginning to become a massive drag on the nation’s progress no thanks to its destructive elites. Until we change the monetary system and overhaul the CBN to truly function in its true role, physical security would elude the nation. Add to it we also have to deal with the sponsors of terror, anarchy and insecurity in the country. If so called elites can sit in their gardens grinning, planning mischief and sabotaging the country and we leave them as untouchables then tell me what use is the country we claim to be running?
In the case of Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes, clearly modern animal husbandry – cattle farming or ranching would need to be adopted in northern states to stop herdsmen roaming around or fifth columnists using it as cover to wreck havoc. Cattle owners across the country must all register their names and brands with the federal government and all their cattle branded with the registered initials or names of their owners. So if for example your registered brand is SLS and you own cattle, then all your cattle should be branded with the initials SLS and the herdsmen or cowboys in charge of those cattle registered by their employers as employees. Their employers must have a record of their address or contact details. That way if cattle branded SLS for example destroys a farmer’s crops, he can use the brand on the cattle to trace the registered owner via government’s database and the owner pays compensation for damages. If the herdsmen or cowboys kill a farmer, eye-witnesses can provide information on the branded cattle and the owner traced by law enforcement agents to produce the employee involved. Fulani herdsmen terrorists are not like smoke that can vanish without trace, they are human and with the right knowledge we can stop this menace.
It brings me to the issue of communications. How much surveillance do we place on these elites who feel they are untouchable? Do the security services – many of whom we wrongly attach to provide these ignoble elites protection – provide any intelligence as to the nefarious activities of these elites to the government? Take a look at the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations, rather than act as a responsible government interested in its people, and ask Facebook to provide information as to the amount of data it holds on Nigerians and how they were used during the 2015 elections to see if the breached the privacy rights of Nigerians (as guaranteed by Section 37 of the constitution) like serious minded nations have done (India, Germany, New Zealand etc) this unserious government that does not treat issues of national significance with responsibility contrary to expectations of Nigerians, is busy asking the opposition PDP party to explain to it what business it did with the dubious Cambridge firm. It shows the plenty nonsense Nigerians go through as a people, where its government and elites have scant regard for the people. A situation like these further provides the opportunity for the government to push for privacy and data protection of Nigerians. These are the kind of issues a government serious enough should be addressing. Anyways, change the monetary system first and lay the foundation for a New Nigeria.
Do we talk about the budgeting and public finance system and the madness inherent in there? Three years and counting, this government hasn’t been able to get its budgeting right. The same government that promised so called ‘zero budgeting’ is busy quibbling with the national assembly over budget figures. What happened to the jargon speaking zero budget system the government was mouthing about initially? ‘We would start zero budgeting by 2016’ – vice president says, Nonsense! By now we should know the January-December financial year does not work for us and we should be changing it to the April to March 31st financial year to give the National Assembly adequate time to debate and pass it into law. It would also give us ample chance to fund the budget as most of our trading partners – crude oil buying nation – use financial years much closer to the April-March one than the January-December cycle. It also aligns with many multinationals that use such similar financial cycle from their home countries in preparing their audited report and paying tax. An overhaul of our public finance system – after changing the monetary system – would ensure infrastructural projects are truly completed unlike the present way we award these contracts and finance them in a substandard way. This year, there are plans to sell about 10 national assets to raise roughly N300b to fund the budget, what would you sell next year to fund the budget? Clueless government. Here is the news counter-measure: ‘ We would ensure budget caters for capital projects’- Minister says or ‘We plan to invest in infrastructural projects’ – Presidency says. We plan to, we going to, we would inject, we will, we will…and nothing gets done. It’s become a government of parrots and noisemakers. Busy doing nothing, all motions no movement, Nonsense. Will you change the monetary system and get the nation moving.
Financial institutions that are meant to play a part in the nation’s development either through funding the real sector or be used in the public infrastructure financing system, are busy buying Treasury bills and bonds from the CBN making profits from it they don’t feel any sense of obligation to doing genuine businesses, how then do you expect inclusive growth that would deliver Nigerians from poverty and provide them full and maximum employment? Anyone who argues against changing the monetary system or argues for this present monetary system the nation has used for over three decades with resulting needless poverty is nothing but a TRAITOR! Such individual if in public service of the nation, deserves to be hanged as an accursed thing. There is no way Nigeria can thrive and prosper with this MONETARY System, enough of the delusions and self-inflicted harm on the nation by the CBN and people we elect or appoint into public office.
On the political front, despite all the revelations from the Sambo Dasuki probe, this government still hasn’t considered it wise to reform campaign financing in the nation and ensure stricter campaign finance laws to prevent money-bags and so called godfathers hijacking the political process. We’ve seen the same mess repeat itself in the repressive and oppressive Osun state guber elections. As president you’ve been seeking this position since 2003 and even cried on national TV, one would have thought you had clear ideas what to do to modernise the political, economic and social lives of Nigerians but all we get is news counter-measures. The usual news counter-measures to counter the obvious lack of direction, clarity of vision from this government and ineptitude. Talk of judicial activism to help stop corruption at all levels and social injustices- which is the duty of the federal government as stated in the constitution – you wouldn’t find this government involved. Rather your appointed Attorney-General is either bringing an alleged pension funds thief into government or allegedly involved in the re-looting of recovered funds from late Sani Abacha. States like Lagos state have passed iniquitous Land Use taxes which emasculates the functions of the Local Councils, your job as the Federal government is to help residents of the state challenge such infringements of the constitution as local councils are the ones mandated to collect such property taxes, but Federal government is nowhere to be found. The same across many other states where local council elections have not been held contrary to Supreme Court judgment and the government at the centre should be involved in getting them to obey the constitution or get the Supreme Court to stop the funding of states with such aberrations in their local council. There is also the issue of pensions for ex-governors. A state like Bauchi were a lot of northerners there consistently vote for you since 2003, has about nine individuals – former governors and deputies – carting home over 5% of the state’s yearly budget as pension for a poor state that contributes nothing to the Federation account. But left to you, your job as president is to speak to the poor folks in that state in Hausa on national TV to win votes, while the elites loot the state dry. That’s all you concerned about, winning votes. A federal government that should be at the fore-front in amending the constitution to make INEC conduct local council elections across the federation while State electoral commissions (SIECs) only do the groundwork, so as to restore the integrity of local council elections in the country as that arm of government is been emasculated across the country, is nowhere to be found.
Some of the President’s fellow northern elites are taking advantage of the backwardness in the country to call for restructuring, trying to use a populist route into office like Buhari. I see them as politically dishonest people and hypocrites, because if your restructure Nigeria into a million parts, you would still need a sound monetary system – which would be controlled by the central government – So if we carry on with this backward and substandard monetary system that enables corruption, how would restructure be of any benefit? Political dishonesty and hypocrisy is the number one problem of Nigeria and not corruption. Corruption is just a subset of it. When we tolerate dishonesty, we get criminality. When we allow elected officials tell lies and deceive Nigerians, then they begin to act above the law. Even more dangerous are their chorus of enablers and supporters who defend every lies told by elected officials or political/economic elites on social media or in real life. Political dishonesty is when you cry on national TV and compare Nigeria’s trajectory to that of Somalia as far back as 2011, and then you get elected as president several years later and suddenly everything is fine and according to you “My doctors told me to eat and sleep” – Buhari says. All of a sudden a Nigeria whose trajectory is similar to Somalia now needs no urgent change. The country is now run like a monarchy, where one half of your kingdom is under the control of your nephew and another half given to your uncle, and then we begin to hear “Buhari’s govt hijacked by cabals”- APC chieftain says. Nigerians didn’t vote for this nonsense and for a nation you feared was going down the abyss as far back as 2011 is not one to be presided over without any urgency in actions. Its political dishonesty and hypocrisy when some elites have their birthdays and the presidency is the first to send them best wishes and call them elder statesmen and patriots but when politicking starts, these same individuals are called nation destroyers –which they truly are- Political dishonesty and hypocrisy is when you chant “PDP destroyed Nigeria”- Presidency says, but as it stands, APC is doing exactly the same. Truth is, PDP did not destroy Nigeria, individuals did and we all know them. Same individuals are now decamped to the APC and would continue their destruction of the country. Hypocrisy and dishonesty is when allegedly corrupt individuals we all know are your best friends, the ones appointed by you and campaigning for your reelection. If Nigeria does not kill political dishonesty and hypocrisy, political dishonesty and hypocrisy would kill Nigeria!
Talking of freedom, like you rightly mentioned in your Independence Day speech of last year, freedom is one of the most precious of human desires. Passion for freedom is ingrained in every human breast. If some few individuals, group of people or at best tribal interest in a society arrogate to themselves the enjoyment of a measure of freedom (financial, healthcare, jobs, etc) over other members of the society like we have in Nigeria, what you would get is discrimination, oppression, injustice and tyranny like we’ve witnessed from the elites in this country and in turn it has led to the people seeking freedom either through peaceful or violent means to readjust or redistribute of the fruits of freedom within the society. We have elite classes who have developed their physical bodies but not enough knowledge or well-developed minds. They lack spiritual values and only mouth Islam or go to church just for their political masculinity and to win elections. Their craving is only for food, clothes, cars, material things, women and all sorts of vanities without caring how they acquire such. But for you as President, the buck falls on your table! To set Nigerians free economically, you would need to change the monetary system, anything else and you just wasting the time of Nigerians particularly Southerners and their destinies. I haven’t even mentioned social problems like the drug addiction and abuse of controlled substances like Codeine and Tramadol affecting Nigerian youths now. One of the alleged importers of such opiods, dangerous drugs and even guns is allegedly a certain Dahiru Mangal dubbed the biggest smuggler in West Africa with his route spanning across Nigeria all through West African countries all the way to China. He is fellow northern elite like you from Katsina state but I guess such individuals are untouchable and they can continue destroying the lives of our youths. Same you as Head of State in 1984 who put three Southerners to death retroactively for drug trafficking but won’t do anything about the current massive import of dangerous drugs allegedly by one of your fellow northern elite.
Anyways, do not deny yourself greatness through narrow-mindedness, nonchalance, arrogance (Kano is in my back pocket, all Nigerians love me etc) and go into a dicey election in 2019 with your present torrid performance maybe hoping to rig it to win, like was done in Osun state. Changimg the monetary system can be done –from planning to implementation- in Three (3) months. Stop letting those around you deceive you and turn you into a naked emperor with invisible golden robes until elections comes and you left in shock forever by a resounding loss. Remember you told the vice-president on your campaign trip to Zamfara in 2014 to look at the expectations on the faces of the people and how they expect your government to deliver them from poverty. You have made their condition worse and you should at least have some conscience and possibly some shame and start doing what is right. Social Investment programme (SIP) or whatever nonsense would not deliver them from poverty let’s stop this foolishness. The N5,000 you claim to give to poor people is only worth N2,500 as at 2014 due to the devaluation of the naira, so what nonsense are we talking about? Those poor people have their own monies before the so called SIP. If they had N500 daily for example in 2014 it was worth roughly $3 and enough to consider them living above poverty. With the devaluation of the naira to N305/370 to the dollar the same N500 is now only worth about $1.50 which has thrown them into extreme poverty just because of a foolish government decision. If Social Investment (SIP) is for extremely poor and vulnerable Nigerians and over 90 million Nigerians are now classified as extremely poor, how much of the nonsense SIP are you going to give to that huge number of people to escape poverty? What nonsense is this? There is a total lack of common sense approach to governance. Would you change monetary system and get the nation moving. Nigerians didn’t force you to become President and neither did you force the people to vote for you. You said you could do a job for the people, now that’s what you should be doing not displaying arrogance, nonchalance and indifference to the people. You’ve taken care of your fellow elites enough – N1.9 trillion bail-out funds, billions of dollars in Paris club refund, over $40 billion and counting dished out by the CBN to BDCs or so called interbank market – to stabilize the dollars not the naira – like Santa Claus, paying all sorts of debts to faceless contractors, opaque fuel subsidy payments etc-, it’s time to take care of everyday Nigerians now and you don’t have to throw money at them, simply change the MONETARY SYSTEM. How’s that difficult?
Don’t deny yourself greatness any further and the chance to be the founder of a New Nigeria and the greatest Nigerian leader in its modern history by changing this substandard monetary system we’ve been running for decades. Think about the legacy you want to leave behind, considering if things stay this way whether you use eight or dozen years in office, you would only be remembered as a ‘Waka-pass’ President or leader like the others before you. If you insist on keeping what I call the “IBB state” intact and maintaining status quo by not changing the monetary system to lay a foundation for a New Nigeria, and decide to go into a dicey election in 2019, then I only wish you one word – Goodluck!!!
Ola’ Idowu can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org , follow on twitter: @frenchcoast2