A FEW events that happened in quick succession decided the headline for this article. Let me start with my personal experience. l was in the United States of America from November 2015 last year till February this year. All through my stay l could not withdraw as little as US$100 from my account, which was well funded in Nigeria before l travelled out, despite the assurance the bank gave to me that l could withdraw “not more than US$300 per day”. Reason for this catastrophe, as given by my bank officials, with genuine apology though, was that President Muhammadu Buhari, PMB, of the All Progressive Congress, APC, is in the saddle in Nigeria.
Second, my wife’s tomatoes seller who has been supplying her with monthly quantity of tomatoes for domestic use for years brought the monthly allocation to the house on the 9th of this month [May], with the message that the price for the same basket of the commodity, which was sold the previous month for N6,000, has jumped to N40,000. What must have happened to justify such world-record breaking-increase?
Third, elsewhere in Ilesha, the very home-town of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, some two weeks ago, a mother of six exchanged one of the children; the most senior, for a basket of Garri in the most tragic manner. She travelled a long distance from her home to another part of the town to buy garriand after turning the product into her own bucket, she pretended she left the money at home. She pleaded with the garri seller to allow her rush home to bring the money. She left with her garri to bring the money but left her daughter behind, maybe as collateral. Long waiting turned into frustration for the garri seller, more with the fear of the child left behind as she might be accuse of kidnapping. She then invited the police into the matter.
The police succeeded in tracing the eloped garri buyer to her house with the help of the daughter she left behind. The police met her, with the remaining five children, feeding on the garri. Without questions, the woman explained what she did, saying that “we have not eaten anything in this house for days and l had to do something to avert death for all of us hence the trick”.
She even added that she left the most senior behind deliberately because “she would be able to trace her way back home, as none of the junior ones could do that”. She then pleaded with the policemen to allow the senior daughter “joined us to eat because she equally has not eaten for days before you take me away to your station”. Report had it that both the policemen and the woman garri-seller left the place weeping; without any arrest or even asking for the money of the garri.
Four, the Federal Government announced increase in the pump-price of Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol from N86.50 to N145 – about 70% increase on the 11th of this month. In announcing the increase, was it that the government removed the contentious subsidy partially or fully? In a situation where government through its PPPRA, fixed the new price as usual, can we say that we have deregulated that sector of the economy?
While the abracadabra of “regulated deregulation” of the downstream sector of the oil industry remains a malfeasance of mixture of facts and fallacies in deciding the real existence of any subsidy, the government told us that it did what it did for the best interest of the citizenry as the “burden forced on them in a situation where they are being forced to pay between 150 -250 Naira per litre of petrol can no more be tolerated”. This can only be a presentation of PMB and APC’s Nigeria.
Five, while Nigerians assumed the price increase was actually an end to the subsidy regime, which is false anyway, Lai Mohammed, minister of information gave the real reason for the increase. “The reason for the increase is the fact that the Government – the Nigerian Government – is broke and it needs to raise money to run affairs of the state”. This became the final simple and true revelation that took the wind out of the government’s sailing boat of lies.
Nigerians should be grateful to Mr. Mohammed for telling the truth about the state of the nation even when his superior, both in government and in the ruling political party, would prefer to rule us by lies.
Why shall we not be grateful to the man who told us a few months ago that “the Nigerian economy has gone off President Buhari hands”? That is Lai Mohammed for you – always “revealing the truth”, unknowingly though, whenever he suffers from that terrible sickness; “diarrhea of the mouth”. If anyone of us doubts Lai Mohammed’s authentic judgement on President Buhari’s understanding of, and grip on the economy, let such a person listen to what the master of the game has to say in the next item.
Six and last for the purpose of this exercise is the bombshell dropped by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo a few days ago. The man who has supported this Buhari all through their military sojourn and even into the present dispensation, submitted a “damning” report on PMB. Obasanjo was quoted as saying that in military matters, Buhari would always score 100%, hence his extra-ordinary success in tackling Boko Haram and its insurgency in the North East. “But”, continued Obasanjo in this latest revelation of the character of the incumbent Nigerian president, “Buhari is not hot on economic matters”.
What that assessment revealed is that we got the wrong man for Nigeria’s economic survival. PMB knows nothing on how to run the economy and his understanding for same is zero. I did not say it,Buhari’s former boss did.
both in the military and politics. I believe in Baba Obasanjo. Nigerians believe in him. It means we are doom.
With these revelations mentioned above in present day Nigeria under President Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress, what hope for Nigeria and Nigerians?
Godwin Etakibuebu, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Lagos..