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Frankly Speaking

What will be Buhari’s legacy? (2)

Buhari

Wilson, Labor Party leader in the 1970s had left the world with a sentence carved on stone – “A week is a long time in politics.” He also left this advice which none of our national leaders had heeded until now – the need for a sense of history. If I had my life to live all over again, History would have been the subject of choice – not Economics. That, notwithstanding, it is still my strong belief that every leader requires a strong sense of history as a guide to making decisions. Plutarch, c46-120 BC, one of the greatest historians ever to grace the earth, wrote a series on leaders whose reigns were similar in many respects despite ruling in different countries and different times. From it, one can quickly grasp the message, that in some ways every leader mirrors the life of another one in the past. In Africa, Milton Obote of Uganda also ruled twice and was bundled out twice. “Not fire, nor walls of iron can hinder fate”, said Pindar, c518- 438 BC. (VAGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ, p 57). Buhari’s history as leader of Nigeria started in December 31, 1983 – it continues now. History would record that he thrown out by the same supporters who brought him to power. Will that history be repeated?

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President Buhari departs Abuja for London on a 10-day vacation

What will be Buhari’s legacy? (1)

In the report, Nigerians learnt that about N900bn will be reduced from the capital budget for 2016. There was no mention of how much reduction will be made in the recurrent expenditure. A few days earlier, the Vice-President, flanked by Governors Ajimobi of Oyo, Aregbesola of Osun, and El-Rufai of Kaduna States had launched the School Meal Project from which 5.5 million primary school kids are to benefit in the first phase. It was among a lot of ill-conceived and badly conceptualized promises made by the President as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last election. It was not the only one.

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, during his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Presidents and promises: Undoing of Buhari –1

For me and several other people to whom I have spoken, the events leading to the release of the amounts recovered by The Federal Government by the Minister of Information on Saturday, June 4, 2016, without the list of names promised by President Buhari was an embarrassment in many ways. Only God knows how many friends and associates I have lost since 2011 on account of my total support for Buhari, who was the closest person to meet my idea of the sort of leader needed in Nigeria at this particular time when corruption killing us. I always felt that he was a leader who would keep his promises once made. You might not agree with the promise, but, you knew where you stood with him. The other person was late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

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agatu3

Standing on the graves of Agatu before crisis turns to tragedy— 4

This is second longest series since this column first appeared in 1994. The record holder is till the series on Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, detailing how Obasanjo allegedly mis-appropriated over N100 billion in PTDF money during his eight years in office. (See Chapter 6 of my book, PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED.) Fair-minded observers would understand how Obasanjo established the template for corruption and why any selective probe of the Jonathan administration, without touching OBJ is itself promotion of corruption. An estimated N8 trillion was missing by 2007 – when Obasanjo left office.

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Agatu

Standing on the graves of Agatu before crisis turns to tragedy—2

The main reason why no African nation had launched a spacecraft on its own and might never launch one is our inability to reason logically and allow facts, as they emerge to guide us. All the sciences are basically logical and logic is an integral part of Philosophy which Nigerian universities don’t teach as an elective course. And they should. Most American universities make Philosophy a compulsory course for all students. The results are there for all to see. Americans are not more intelligent than other people, they just reason better.

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agatu3

Standing on the graves of Agatu before crisis turns to tragedy

President Kennedy made that remark during his inauguration address in 1960. I landed in the USA nine months after the assassination of the man who made my American university education possible. But, I always had in mind his advice to Americans. And, I don’t see why it can’t apply to Nigerians. Until now, I never had an opportunity to do something for our country. The genocide at Agatu changed that position. Suddenly, it was difficult to sleep. The thought of several hundred fellow Nigerians slaughtered and thousand rendered homeless by other fellow Nigerians was more than I could bear – especially when everything in the media point to the possibility that more carnage might be on the way. It was time to set out and find out what can be done.

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agatu3

Mr President, should we wait to be killed or fight?

From Agatu to Akure to Aba the story is the same. For that matter from Abia to Zamfara states and the Federal Capital Territory, the Federal government and its security agencies have apparently created two classes of Nigerians – herdsmen and the rest of us. Notice, please that I did not add Fulani because they are not all Fulani or even all Nigerians. The reason is simple, I was once a cattle owner and several of the nomads engaged by the later supervisor, Yinusa Idi, who lived in a settlement near Gezawa in Kano State, were Fulani or Nigeriens.

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National Chairman All Progressives Congress, Chief Odigie Oyegun congratulating the Minister for Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi while Chairman Nigeria Governors' Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State (l) and Patron, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Malam Ismaila Isa watched during the swear-in ceremony of the newly composed Federal Executive Council at the Aso Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 11/11/2015

Focus on Buhari’s cabinet

They can still be called a cabinet now; but, if care is not taken they will be regarded as a circus. Buhari had created a world record – five months — assembling “a dream team”. Five months is a long time to accomplish what other global leaders historically had finished in less than a month. So, something extra-ordinary was expected from the delay. Instead, what emerged was a team which is remarkable for the ordinariness of most of its members.

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How Obasanjo’s Govt Looted Abacha Loot (2)

After running down the EFCC on that day, Obasanjo heaped praises on the EFCC under his own administration and its Chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu. It is quite understandable that Obasanjo should be happy with Ribadu who, unknown to most people who still heap praises on him was mostly incompetent and might have committed treason. He was also Obasanjo’s protector; he averted his gaze from obvious misdeeds of Obasanjo, supported the third term agenda and hoped to be rewarded with his own second term in office. Before presenting the charges against Ribadu, there is need to continue the list of Abacha family loot forfeited under Decree No 53 of May 1999 and which were handed over to Obasanjo’s government by General Abubakar.

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Olusegun Obasanjo

How Obasanjo’s Govt Looted Abacha Loot

Are you aware that in addition to the four refineries in Nigeria – Portharcourt I and II, Warri and Kaduna, this country also had a 30 per cent interest in West African Refinery, Sierra Leone which was handed over to President Obasanjo’s government in 1999? Are you also aware that has Obasanjo so far failed to account for that national assets and its disposal, he was handed a list of assets forfeited by Abacha to the Federal Government on May 26, 1999 – in the last decree –Decree No. 53 – which was the last signed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar as Head of State, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria? Are you also aware that other Abacha loot, returned between 1999 and May 2007, when Obasanjo was forced to step aside, remain unaccounted for and might have been re-looted? Prepare yourself for a shock – if it is still possible to be shocked in Nigeria by anything done by leaders of the PDP who had access to the corridors of power – especially the self-righteous Obasanjo. His administration established the template for looting Abacha loot. But, permit first a diversion – a necessary one.

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Buhari

Buhari’s all stick and no carrots government

One of the “bad” habits of professional economists is the tendency to quantify virtually everything. They develop metrics for assessing real human experiences in a manner that reveals certain truths which might be hidden from others. Like most Nigerians, it was clear to me, as a strong supporter of Buhari, long before the 2015 presidential elections that we might be electing a military-style disciplinarian.

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