|President Muhammadu Buhari|
The APC-led government under President Muhammadu Buhari is a joke! It has left Nigerians disillusioned owing to its many political blunders. Tell me, how can a government that campaigned to end the reign of those who slaughtered the country through callous looting sprees, now hold fanfares to welcome the same set of PDP politicians to their party via a political lacuna called defection (a system whereby members of a particular party move to another party following a disagreement). Former Governors, serving senators, members of the House of Representatives all from the PDP have massively defected to the ruling APC. Strangely, these same defectors are being investigated and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for stealing millions of taxpayers' money they used to live extravagant lifestyles while in office.
By that singular act, the APC showed it lacks the ability to be trusted as the party to liberate Nigerians from the curse and greed of evil minded politicians who over the years have engineered a massive depletion of the country's wealth. The APC put first political interest above the yearnings and aspirations of the masses. It welcomed thieves, rogues, demons, and charlatans who participated in broad daylight robbery of the state to its fold. The party has people of questionable character in its company; it became a habit for those under investigation by the anti-graft agency to end years of battle with the EFCC by just defecting to the APC as so doing would immediately help cool off the hot steam from the anti-graft agency.
People like Orji Uzor Kalu, Sullivan Chime, Murtala Nyako and Musa Kwankwaso all former PDP governors defected to the APC while being investigated by the anti-graft agency. Other notable figures who defected from the PDP to the APC after participating in the rot for many years include - Atiku Abubakar, Bukola Saraki, Andy Ubah, Rotimi Amaechi, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Ken Nnamani, Rex Onyeabor and many others. Some of these elements are considered not just dubious but fraudulent as they participated in the 16 years of rot orchestrated by the PDP. It is sad to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari who was presented to the masses as a man of integrity could allow this political abomination to take place under his watch. Buhari many had thought was the chosen messiah to liberate Nigerians has failed woefully. Buhari himself is a massive disappointment. He is a man of double-standards, a hypocrite.
Why would many feel that Buhari who was once hailed as the undisputable champion of the masses prior to the 2015 presidential election now think of him as a disappointment? Yearly, the executive budgets billions of naira for Aso Villa clinic. This clinic is supposed to be equipped with the best medical equipment and care you can ever get in Nigeria as it serves the President and those under him. But, the hypocrite Buhari would run to London for something as little as an ear infection. Why waste billions that could be used to equip other government hospitals scattered all over the country on Aso Villa clinic when it will not be used when the need arises? The billions budgeted for Aso Villa clinic could have been used to equip Federal Medical centers which will, in turn, provide affordable health care for millions of Nigerians. It is the same Buhari who banned government officials from going abroad to treat themselves on taxpayers' money but will not waste a second to run abroad to treat himself on taxpayers' money. Shame on Buhari and the APC!
It is over 70 days now since Buhari traveled abroad on medical treatment. Nigerians have not seen their President for over 70 days now as he continues to spend millions of taxpayers' money treating himself in London. The only thing we have gotten close to is a photo of him sharing an elaborate meal with APC chieftains in London. London is now the new headquarters of Nigeria! The Presidential jet parked at one of the airports in London gulps millions of naira on a daily basis. The same Buhari who promised to cut cost of governance is doing all these.
The Nigerian Senate mainly made up of former state governors accused of massively looting their states, like the puppets they are, have said nothing on this blackout from Buhari. The impunity being acted by Buhari and his blind supporters is a political immorality that has no place in this modern era. The secrecy and manner his health is being handled is an insult on the masses. Delinquents like Tolu Ogunlesi, Lai Muhammed, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina have remained silent like deaf dogs. But, it was the loquacious Ogunlesi, Adesina and Muhammed that went about like mad goats bleating on why the health status of the late President Musa Yar'Adua was hidden by his aides after falling sick in office. Now, these set of people who pretended to be genuine and concerned activists in the past are now repeating the same mistakes they condemned during the time PDP was in power. How stupid can Nigerian politicians be?!
It is not false to say that the APC and President Buhari are competing so hard to outdo the PDP in the art of deception. For instance, the EFCC under Buhari has been very selective in its prosecution. Months back, the former Chairman, House of Representatives on Appropriations, Jibrin Abdulmumin had accused Speaker Yakubu Dogara of sharing N10 billion illegal allowance with 9 other principal members of the House. Jibrin even volunteered to bring forth evidence to back up his claim. Jibrin further confessed that he received a whopping N650 million illegal allowance from the deal. He dared the EFCC to start an investigation on the matter as he was ever ready to provide papers in court to back his claim. As I write, EFCC under Ibrahim Magu has not broken into the home of Dogara in commando style with all the evidence provided by Jibrin against the Speaker. But, it was before our very eyes that the men of the Department of State Security Services broke into homes of judges in Nigeria on mere allegations of corruption. The selectiveness in the fight against corruption has become another sad story. The anti-graft agency and other sister security agencies have become tools in the hands of Buhari and his cronies to harass and threaten people who are perceived as enemies of the state. How can a man accused of being corrupt by an insider be allowed to walk around freely and even 'partying' with the President? At the height of it when the heat became too much, Dogara suspended Jibrin, forcing him to escape for his life.
Nigerians have not forgotten so fast how Buhari played on their intelligence when his Secretary to the Government, Babachir Lawal was implicated in the award of contracts by the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE). The Presidency defended Lawal even when pieces of evidence pointed to the fact that Lawal erred. In fact, Buhari wrote to the Senate saying that Lawal was innocent. But, it was later found out that Lawal erred leading to his suspension.
Since the EFCC discovered millions of dollars hidden at a house in Ikoyi leading to the suspension of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke in April, the true story of that stunning discovery has not been heard as the Presidency has remained silent on the matter.
Like the confused and moribund PDP, the APC has refused to learn from the errors of the past. The inability of its members in positions of authority to perform has demystified the good perception many had that if such people are given political power, they would shine. People like the current Minister of Works and Power, Raji Fashola has performed below the expectation of the people. Many people have become disenchanted with his style as nothing new has happened in the power sector even after two years since he held sway. It has been the same story of epileptic power supply which characterized the 16-year-rule of the PDP.
The Chief of Army staff recently in an interview with BBC confirmed ownership of mansions in Dubai said to be worth about $1.5 million. The question many people are asking is: how did a Nigerian Army officer fork out such humongous amount of money to own properties abroad? How did he get such money? There are questions everywhere for Buhari and APC to answer.
It is right to note that there are flashes of brilliance from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, but Nigerians do hope it is not another deception from the party of power-hungry manipulators. Sadly, his time to function in that capacity might be limited.
It is time to end the party with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The antecedents of Obasanjo is not something pleasurable to revisit. A man who was so obsessed with power that members of the Senate rejected money he offered them in order to achieve his aim should never be seen with the President. On the moral meter, Obasanjo falls short and should never be given the respect accorded elder states men in Nigeria. Senator Bala Na'Allah didn't hide his mouth while revealing how he rejected N50 million bribe from Obasanjo during the time he was President as an inducement to subvert the constitution for his third term agenda. It is also on record that Obasanjo was involved in an underground attempt to cut a slice of oil bloc OPL 245 in the dubious Malabu oil deal, according to what Dan Etete told a British court. Without mincing words, a man of Obasanjo's character should be kept far away from the President as his advice is sure to be putrid.
As we cry for change and a retracing of steps, the civil service should not be left out. The impunity going on there is alarming. Some bad eggs have continued to milk the country dry by inflating budgets, creating ghost workers and frustrating people who are in need of their services. These people who commit these malpractices are either Christians or Muslims. When it comes to bribery and corruption, these pathetic Nigerians hide their religious cloaks; they do not remember their religious affiliations; they do not remember that they are either Christians or Muslims but will go ahead to steal, loot and take bribes. These shameless lot at the end of each week rush to churches and mosques to perform their fake sanctimonious displays while deceiving themselves. For years now, Nigerians have been talking about the foolishness and greediness of those we recruit as police officers. These set of cretins who block roads to collect N100 from motorists and in most cases have shot dead innocent drivers/passengers and other road users for refusing to give them bribe have continued to unleash their card of terror on innocent Nigerians because the complacent police authorities will not take action. These set of thieves who parade themselves as police officers come from Christian and Muslim backgrounds. When they station themselves at checkpoints to collect bribe, they never remember their religious affiliations. These bastards knowing fully well that what they do is bad still continue to do it ostensibly as if it is their right. These things must stop. It is only when politicians want to divide us that they play the ethnic and religious cards. But, when they want to steal, cheat or share our money, no one remembers his religion or which part of the country he/she comes from.
Hardly will you arrive at our airports and won't see government workers 'codedly' begging visitors to part with money. The worst of it all is the manner civil servants attend to those in need of their services. These Incompetent lots are vocally unfriendly, hostile, insulting and always ready to abuse people who need their help. Some will make you wait for hours unending on a case that should take not less than 5 minutes. The inefficiency is legendary. These things must STOP and NOW!
It is high time Nigerians realized that when a President/Governor pays salaries to workers, constructs roads, hospitals, befitting airports and provides the dividends of democracy, such an individual has not done the masses any favour. In fact, the individual is only doing the work for which he/she was voted into the office. The money spent by all political office holders on contracts do not belong to them, it is the people's money.
Let us all sleep no more but rather put the heat on our representatives and elected officer holders for the power ultimately belongs to the people. We decide what and how things should be done for our own good and not the other way round. If the ruling APC under President Buhari fails to live up to expectation, let the same fate that befell the PDP follow them. The excesses of the Buhari and his hypocrites can no longer be pushed aside as child's play. It is obvious that the APC is a party of demons, fraudsters, and thieves who packaged themselves as angels and sold us the Greek gift. This change is not what we clamored for. May Amadioha fall on all those looting our resources and anyone planning to cause more pain on the masses. May they never succeed!
-Alexander Thandi Ubani is an Editor
He writes from Lagos.
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