By Nathaniel C. Adoji
Referring to an article published in ThisDay “Jonathan wasn‟t that bad afterall” credited to Akin Osuntokun where he quoted Junaid Mohammed: “We now have the least competent, the most isolated, most divisive and arrogant leader in the history of Nigeria. And in a country that is so complex and not so cohesive, this is clearly a disaster, which is where we are heading” – Junaid Mohammed
It is the height of incredibility to quote persons who haven‟t earned the finesse and character for addressing issues of state and governance from an unbiased perspective. Mr Junaid Mohammed in an interview with the daily post was quoted thus:
“Imagine, they are blackmailing Buhari, I want to assure that they are not going to succeed. We stupidly handed power through Obasanjo Shenanigan to Goodluck Jonathan, he did very badly”– Junaid Mohammed, Daily Post.
Nothing is more divisive than opinions from high sounding individuals with fickle character.
Jonathan wasn’t that bad afterall is another way of saying we had a bad government at the time and a clear admission of ineptitude by the Jonathan‟s administration. The most viable candidate capable of stopping a terribly defocused government which decorated and openly celebrated corruption by granting state pardon to persons convicted for grand theft in the UK was the Muhammadu Buhari led opposition. But for that movement, we would have been in economic abyss today worse than that of Venezuela.
To substantiate President Buhari‟s character, while he headed the PTF as executive chairman, he had a mandate to initiate and execute developmental projects in conjuction with “Afri Project Consortium – APC” a management consulting outfit. He not only judiciously applied the funds but delivered on its mandate based on the advice of the professional consulting outfit.
The operations and books are open for public scrutiny. This is in sharp contrast to the SURE-P initiative whose operations were hurried and another avenue for stealing the nation blind. The chairman of SURE-P a respected diplomat, Dr Christopher Kolade resigned after 23months (January 3rd ,2012 – November 24th, 2013) over a 500billion fraud allegation because it contradicted his character and principles. On the contrary, Muhammadu Buhari‟s PTF executed health projects, embarked on road construction and boosted education across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country to say the least.
Some even played up religious sentiments in order to discredit President Buhari, but the facts are bare. They promoted falsehood saying Buhari ascended the presidency with an agenda to Islamise Nigeria. If Buhari had the intention of being biased in favour of Islam or Sharia law which is practically impossible given our system of government he woudn‟t have granted Mehdi Hassan of Al Jazeera an interview where he was stated: “I haven‟t been voted by a majority of Nigerians to change Nigerian constitution [therefore] I can‟t change it,” Buhari told Mehdi, explaining that some Sharia punishments such as stoning to death for adultery and extremities‟ cutting off for stealing contradict Nigerian laws and the constitution” Buhari (Al Jazeera, 2015)
“Nigerians have the right to worship any religion, but no religion advocates hunting the innocent. You cannot kill innocent people and shout “Allahu Akbar” … Boko Haram is anything but Islamic,” Buhari (Al Jazeera, 2015)
As a born Muslim, the only religion President Buhari has ever practised is Islam but given his world-view he is tolerant of all other religion as a number of his personal staff and aides are practising Christians from the south.
Reeling names of presidential appointees and aides to justify sectionalism by persons wishing to sow mischief is laughable. The cry of lopsided appointments by some persons and practitioners of repute without proper verification makes one question their professional qualifications. The list of appointments is in public domain, they are verifiable.
Calling out names may infringe on people‟s privacy, but I dare say appointments are anything but sectional. President Muhammadu Buhari by virtue of his character and training is result-oriented, the best person to get him to his goals gets appointed. Fortunately, qualified southern Christians have been invited to share in his passion of navigating Nigeria through the paths of greatness not based on their religion or ethnic orientation but based on their professionalism.
Anyone wishing to set us aback by insinuating or urging appointments based on sectionalism is simply myopic. Southern Christians and Muslims alike did not vote for a president based on ethnicity or religion but based on ideology, character, competences and vision. Muhammadu Buhari reflected these ideals hence got the job as President.
To assume Buhari won elections based on hypocrisy and falsehood is an insult on our collective intelligence. From hinge sight President Buhari‟s ascension to power was not based on divisiveness or hypocrisy but a collective agreement by Nigerians home and abroad to preserve our commonwealth from enemies of state, who sabotaged due processes, pilfered the treasury and piloted the ship of state towards disaster.
Our natural instinct for self-preservation against agents of retrogression was the singular unifying factor that propelled our demand for the Buhari Candidacy. On the contrary he ascended the presidency on a unified platform not on a divided fort.
In 2016, David Cameron shared a joke with Queen Elizabeth II in front of the press that “Nigeria was fantastically corrupt”, an impression that resonated globally. At the time, Nigeria and her parliament attacked Cameron for his utterances but President Buhari displayed a leadership quality not common to African leaders. He admitted the state of corruption in Nigeria not minding the shame and sort help even from the same countries that shamed us.
Recently, Transparency International released a “perception index of corruption” which grossly misrepresented Nigeria, but the global organization did not accuse Nigeria of corruption but the tool for assumption is “a perception index” which certainly is a deviation from the real index or indices on ground.
According to economic data available at the Central Bank of Nigeria -CBN, Nigeria earned N77.348 trillion from the oil and gas industry between 1999 and 2016. The economy was further consolidated by the cancellation of our debts by our creditors primarily the Paris club with the efforts of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo led government (1999-2007).
But the succeeding government between 2007 and 2015 which earned over N51trillion undermined these efforts and plunged us into another round of indebtedness to the tune of over N6trillion in a period of excess crude earnings, when oil sold for over $100/barrel.
Since May 2015, international oil price has averaged around $50/barrel leaving very little in earnings to run a government and deliver on campaign promises. However Federal workers salaries have never been delayed, states are getting bail out and infrastructural projects are ongoing. In a matter of time the full truth will speak to consciences of mischief.