By Abdulkabir Olatunji African Queen crooner and frontline Nigerian Musician,…
It is their right to protest, it is your right to be wise and sensible! I listened to the reasons outlined by the convener of the protest and it was not difficult to see that he is just the face of the protest. The spirit and soul of the whole plan are somewhere strategizing and dishing out the needed resources to achieve their ignoble objectives.
The real engineers of the protest invaded the social media space since the inception of the present administration with all kinds of mischievous news about the government and unfounded rumours about the President. They wished him dead even before the election when they published his obituary, yet the man did not die. Now they are even more desperate to get rid of him and his government that has not only muzzled them from devouring whatever is left of the wealth of the nation but also threatening to get them to vomit what they had illegally stolen from the national treasury
They want people to see the present hardship as coming purely from Buhari’s policies. There is just one objective for doing that: to cover up the atrocity they committed against this nation.
Like many people have rightly observed, it is unfortunate that many Nigerians celebrate those who plundered their economy and impoverished generations yet unborn. They gullibly fall for the ploys of these set of vipers called leaders to realise their devilish goals.
Let me say at this juncture that I am not a member of any political party and I do not know Buhari before other than being an aduItwhen he first ruled Nigeria. I have never been his fan. But I would rather endure the genuine mistakes of a Buhari government (on economic management) than tolerate the heartless and deliberate robbery of those who seek power for no other reason but ‘to steal and to destroy’. I would rather pardon the genuine mistake of a Buhari than yield myself to be used by those who are desperately looking for ways to evade accountability.
To drive this point home, let me quote from a recent FBN Quest report on our External Reserve. ‘’Official reserve rose by just US$5bn to US$40bn between January 2012and August 2014( In almost 3yrs period!), in which the average monthly price of Bonny Light Crude never fell below US$100/barrel (actually) averaged US$112/barrel. If the authorities had accumulated a sizeable external buffer in the period of high oil price, like Algeria (did) for example, the economy would not have been so brutally exposed to the oil price slide . We can point to a possible change in this story for the better. Gross official reserves increased by US$800m in November (2016), US$1.0bn in December (2016) and US$1.5bn month-to-date in January (2017)’’. In 2016, oil prices fell to as low as $28/barrel, it has just recently risen to $48-$55 in January 2017.
Despite the very low price of oil ( the main source of our foreign earning) Buhari government increased reserves by $3.3b in less than 3 months compared to $5 in 3yrs by the last administration! They failed to save, yet they did not do the job: Bokoharam was waxing stronger under their watch; all infrastructures were collapsing fast, What did we have instead of saving or infrastructure? Our so called leaders were busy looting the booming oil revenue into their private purses with abandoned recklessness and impunity!
They dished out looted money to girlfriends, relations and thugs. Some Nigerian musicians may never again see the type of stupendous (looted) money lavished on them by these heartless politicians or their highly privileged children those days they held sway as men in power.
Those who want to deceive to cover their evil deed will not tell us that revenue available to this government, as a result of the sharp drop in the price of oil and the oil pipe vandalism that the same people secretly induced, is just about 30% of what was available to the last administration.
The truth is: inflation is bound to happen where revenue is dropping and saving is non-existent, regardless of who is in power! Any comparison of the two regimes needs to be fair and take cognizance of the clear differences in the type of economies the two regimes had to manage. Whereas the last administration mismanaged a prosperous economy, Buhari has the unfortunate task of having to manage a wickedly wrecked economy.
Managing a wrecked economy is no magic. It takes time! That is what all of us must appreciate and not be deceived by people trying deliberately to baptize Buhari with the title of failure. Times are hard, no doubt. But the blame is fundamentally that of those who got us to where we today find ourselves by mismanaging our national prosperity.
Yes, we are hungry today, but the blame for that cannot all be heaped on Buhari government. Rather, it is more because the superstars in the last administration emptied our treasury yesterday. While I do not want to hold brief for the Buhari government that there is no more looting today, I want to believe that even his worst enemy will agree that today we can see a stop to ‘looting with impunity’. Those who want us to see the problem we face today as coming from the present government and therefore cajole us to come out to protest only have one agenda: to cover up their real sponsors’ egregious heartless robbery against the state.
They are busy regrouping daily to see how they can discredit the government in power so as to be free from the judgment that is coming upon them. They want you and I to march out to bring the government of Buhari down. If we protest and bring Buhari government down, to whom would we entrust the governance of this nation at such a time as this and feel assured that we would soon be at the El dorado? Would anyone rather have those celebrating having $157m stashed up in Nigeria banks to lead us again? Is it those individuals boasting of having $15m in a single account in Nigeria or those who diverted over N400 billion of the money meant to prosecute war against Bokoharam to contest a single governorship election that should come back to rule us? Let them castigate the present government more than this, their days of reckoning will surely come.
The only pity is the way they sell falsehood to Nigerians and how people just help them to spread such propaganda. I wish all those who got and forwarded such propaganda will also be swift to spread messages like this. Again, I am not a politician, but I know enough about Economics that when the treasury of a state is empty, coupled with global recession, there is bound to be a period of hardship, no matter who is in government!.
World economy is usually a cycle: Time of plenty, and lean time - as it was in the world of old when there was a Joseph in Egypt to show the world the benefit of saving.
The problem Nigeria unfortunately had was the lack of the Joseph’s wisdom of saving in the last administration. The greed mentality totally overtook them that they squandered and plundered all the gains of our own time of plenty when oil was over $100 per barrel - each one of them competing to celebrate his or her billions!
Now, in lean time and with empty treasury, the present government, with very narrow choices, has to do a major reconstruction to get us out of the woods. Under such condition of carrying out major restructuring, there could be mistakes, and certainly there will be some degree of hardship in the land. That should not be over-exaggerated to begin to call for the head of the President!
Yes, they have the right to use those willing hands or those who benefited heavily from their loots to stage a protest. It is their right, but it is also your right to be wise and sensible.
God bless Nigeria.
The writer is unknown but we have posted it as a well-written and insightful piece already in the public domain.