Denrele Animasaun

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”— Frederick Douglass

President Buhari’s presidential media chat was hotly anticipated. Some have argued that his delivery was a storm in a teapot. I disagree. The president held his own and was very frank in his delivery. I hope that the journalists heed his appeal to do more investigative journalism about important national issues. He is right. Malcolm X once said that; “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

The press has got a key role to play in putting their trade and profession in order. Press freedom comes engenders enormous responsibility. We have a very hungry press and sadly, hunger is an easy bedfellow and what a price to pay, when one sells one’s soul for a price then, it will be difficult to distinguish the truth from falsehood. Unfortunately, most Nigerians think the press has a price and some are paid to peddle falsehoods. This is sadly a reflection of our society.

Journalists should get their facts right, it is one of the cardinal principles of journalism, as they are the independent voices and they cannot afford to be partisan, press should be fair, objective and impartial and at most, it has to strive to be ethical and do no harm. They are accountable for what they write. It is a tall order but, I believe that the president got it right to expect that the press do their job professionally and objectively.
PMB was direct with regards to the continuous detention of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu: “If you see the atrocities those committed against this country, we can’t allow them to jump bail .” For those who are crying wolf and foul play, they should understand that the security and the rule of law have got to be followed explicitly and in light of such exceptional circumstances as in these cases; there is a need for an executive decision.

These people are flight risks and the allegations levied on them are grave indeed. Only those who have no gumption will say otherwise, but then we know that, they do not care about the country nor its people. For those people, it has always been about their ulterior motives and dark agenda.

So pleased that the needs of the young people are been addressed; “The minister of Finance and the Central Bank have to sit down immediately to look at ways to help students who are already outside the country to overcome the challenges posed by the foreign exchange limitation policy.”

For change to happen, the young people have got to have a stake in their future and to help our young people train and to be given an opportunity to earn a living wage but also to have a sound and quality education. And for the internally displaced persons; he said:”We have about two million IDPs, over 70% are women and children. Over 65% of the children are orphans.” PMB promises: “We are more concerned with the orphans, a chance for them not to lose the opportunity for education. Some progress is being made on the ground. Some Nigerians contributed money, about 25 Billion Naira, a committee was set up to utilise the funds”. Within the weeks he was sworn in, he went to Chad and Niger. The skeptics were very disparaging of his foreign visits and cast aspersions of his approach but then, they would, won’t they?

He went on regardless of the dis-tractors and this unity of neighbours has paid dividend immensely. Chad and Niger were willing partners and shared intelligence, worked together so there was no further hiding places for the insurgents.

And he was realistic about finding the Chibok Girls; “We are working with Niger, Chad and Cameroun on the girls. We have no credible intelligence of where they are.” He has not shirked his responsibility when it comes to the rescue of the Chibok girls: “we want to be sure that the girls are complete, safe and sound before we attempt any form of negotiation on the girls. We are still keeping our option. If a credible leadership of Boko Haram is ready for negotiation without any condition we are ready to listen to them.” Now this is a breath of fresh air, this man has broken the back of terror and have got the insurgents on the run with less places to hide and limited their brand of terror and murdering spree. It is by no means over and those that want a quick fix; they have their own agenda.

On the economy, PMB intends to make foreign exchange available to the productive sector of the economy and not for luxury items. About time we cut our coat according to our size. I remember years back when we had to make do without foreign goods in order to balance the books. Nigerians had no choice but to make do with home grown products and we had our own industries. This created jobs and industries and we took pride in our home made goods. It was hard at first but eventually, things improved. With this, came opportunities and an improvement in overall living standard for the ordinary Nigerians.

This administration has led the way and served as a good example; by cutting down on the number of ministries and ministers. PMB said: “Our parastatals would be realigned in view of the lesser number of ministries we have now”. And he is very pragmatic: “We are being economically stretched.” This is a departure from the last administration, who were on a spending spree, living ostensibly and were glad to make a how of it .

And he said: “the process of government agencies earning monies and spending them and giving government change will have to stop. All government monies have to be paid to the Federation Account and a budget submitted for their operations. And he stressed that: “Our priority now is to get our refineries working. By the time we finish what we are doing. 60 per cent of the allocation of crude oil for local refining and 40 per cent would be used for crude oil swap.”

Yes, it was important to draw attention that the previous government failed to pay part funding of 30% and but this present government is back on track now that China has agreed to pay 70% cost of railway projects between Lagos and Kaduna and Lagos and Calabar. And he has promised to revisit the bloated National assembly members seeking 4.5 billion Naira for their high end cars even after they had collected transport allowance. With an efficient transport system, they better come up with an excuse for fleecing money from the national coffers. And he said: “Check previous records. Over 90% were recurrent. No country can develop without capital projects”. We were in very, very bad shape .It is going to take some bitter medicine to swallow but the nation will become well again and will function once more after a clean bill of health.
He said it as it is: that it is about time we faced the fact, something has to be done and fast too. It is not going to be easy but nothing worth doing, comes easy and for many years, the country has been held to ransom by a few greedy and conniving looters, who had made the central bank their personal ATM, the message is clear; that time has gone.

Some people have lashed on to the plan to ban hijab to prevent suicide bombers: “When I said that the war has been technical won, I said the capacity of Boko Haram to unleash attacks from camps and barracks have been stopped. If Hijab is found to be a problem, the government will have no option than to take a decision on it. The people will have to consider between it and their security. If this thing (suicide bombing) continues, hijab would have to be banned.”

This message definitely is lost in communication, there is a difference between Hijab, Niqab, Burqua and suicide bombers, who have used the latter to penetrate the crowd to commit their dastardly crimes. For those who want to make capital out of this; they miss the main point ; that PMB values the safety of the whole country and its people and if need be, to weed out those who perpetuate their brand of terror in religious disguise then, no longer will any religious covering be a hiding place for terror. For those who want to capitalise on this, they should understand, it applies to all. It seem this strategic move to remove religion, tribalism and region out of politics is an astute and unifying one indeed
Remember; what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. What is priority here is the security of Nigerians.

The central message in the media chat is; Nigerians be patient, corruption will not be tolerated, the rule of law and due process are sacrosanct for a better society for all. For Nigerians, home and abroad : we all have to do our part and then we can expect the possible : that change will finally come to Nigeria.

This Machiavellian Nigerian
You don’t get something for nothing but this Nigerian should know by now; ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’. This does not bother this Nigerian, he/she feels he is entitled to take without giving and that there is always something to be had, and the quicker the reward, the better and all for nothing. So what if he becomes rich at the risk of making other people poor? That is mere details to this Nigerian, it has always been about self-interests and his own self-aggrandisement. As we see, this Machiavellian Nigerian, is a master manipulator, a charmer, a player, a pathological liar warms his way into the corridors of power, he changes sides so many times as long as it suits his agenda, quite deceptive, calculating, conniving, he thrives on making others miserable, in fact he revels on it, he likes adulation, he has to be the centre of attention, he lacks morals or conscience and always justifies his nefarious behaviour and activities when caught, he reasons that if people allowed themselves to be used and abused, then, so be it. To him his mantra is: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” This Nigerian is a pyromaniac and he lights the fireworks where there is friendship and unity and then runs to watch the combustion, he is a fiend in fine clothing

He/she takes delight in spreading lies and disunity as long as it serves his own interests. Take your pick; you properly know this Nigerian or you are one. Then you join the ranks of Dansuki, Kanu, Diezani Allison-Madueke, Bashir Yuguda, Stephen Oronsaye, Alhaji Maina, Nkechi Ejele and Femi Fani-Kayode. When you come across this Nigerian,know that they only want you for what they will get from you and if you think that you will get something for nothing, then, you are naïve or you are this Nigerian. I assure you there is a place for this Nigerian; they are ambitious and driven. The trouble is, there are too many of them in Nigeria!.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.