November 25, 2020

The Journey of a Thousand Lies! — Gbenro Olajuyigbe

Nigerian Flag

Nigerian Flag

‘Our future may lie beyond our vision but it is not completely beyond our control’ – Edward Kennedy

Our Constitution does not only say that we shall have a President, it also says that the very essence of government is the security of the people and their welfare.

When a President takes Oath of Office, he/she binds himself or herself with a rope of responsibility and hand over the rope to the people to determine whether he should be hung or hailed! Responsibility and accountability are two things that define effective leadership – responsibility because even when you can outsource your jobs, you cannot outsource the consequences.

Accountability because you are engaged to perform duties and those who engaged you to reserve the rights to review your performance based on the terms of the contract; success or failure and how they come by, cost and benefit of achieving or delivering them?

Prior to his election in 2015, President Buhari anchored his campaign promises on anti-correction, a strong economy, and securing the people and the nation. His party’s manifesto and

his by-chance explanation in several fora defined and expanded what he had in stock for Nigerians. His promises of imposing a ban on government officials from going abroad for medical treatment, defeating Boko Haram within six months, securing communities across Nigeria, creating three million jobs each year of its tenure, building new refineries, strengthening the value of Naira, generation, transmission, and distribution of at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with a view to achieving 24/7 uninterrupted power supply within 10 years are some of the several promises he made. These were issues in the Deeds of Agreement in the Social Contract President Buhari entered into with Nigerians.

Also read: #EndSARS: We can’t afford sinful silence when youth are being oppressed ― Bakare

Today, the government is more interested in the regulation of media- social and traditional than fulfilling any of these promises. This seems so as therein lies the key to silencing performance assessors of contract. Where this has not been achieved, the government has developed a template for its unending blame game.

‘Sixteen years of PDP’ was the blame burden bearer in the first four years of the regime. Social Media has been having its more than enough share of the litany of blame in the last two years. Of recent, COVID-19 and EndSars are the twin victims of the blame obsessed ineffectual regime that has literarily turned gold to ashes, leaving Nigeria, businesses, and Nigerians in dire strait! There is enough blame in its kitty to share around! It blames protesters, it blames hoodlums but too blind to see the toothpick fiddling King Nero who maintained criminal silence when words of wisdom could halt war! While blaming on, our society is being hijacked by violent criminals with anarchy let loose everywhere one goes.

However, society does not become anarchical in one day. A government that overlooks youth care, undermines education, underplays unemployment by repudiating responsibility has opened a factory of violence. Wherever truth is buried, peace is massacred! Currently, States all over the world are exiting Covid-19 with commitments to the humanization of governance using Tax cuts, the Stimulus Package, and the Mortgage holiday among others. We continue to strengthen its animalization by increasing VAT, Energy Tariff, Fuel price, and palliative hoarding. Astonishingly, we hope to dwell in the sanctuary of peace! Nigeria’s space, from Borno to Benin, Niger to Delta, Kaduna to Agege has become ultra-violent. We warned that with their Anti-poor policies, the nation was sitting on gun powder. They ignored the warning until now that gun powder is sitting on the nation! Worse still, never in our history have we seen a non-correctable self-righteous government that ruined itself with self-praise and crippled the nation with mindlessly reckless debt, powered by chronic short-sightedness and fiercely competing for immoralities.

There is never one Development Economics book I have read that says that a nation with low productivity and that import what she produces can be prospered through unending borrowing. This government insists that it is possible for it to borrow Nigeria out of recession.

Now, she is sunk in the quagmire created by its own economic voodooists, dragging the nation along into the nadir of economic crisis and maladministration! A government that moved from the promise of building four refineries in four years to buying four kegs of fuel from the Niger Republic has a peculiar problem. It is a tragic trajectory of governance mobility of thoughtless planners! An Oil producing and exporting nation that imports fuel from the Niger Republic will soon import yam from England. It is now clearer than ever that we cannot fix anything, including the economy, in this country without fixing its structure. Something is fundamentally wrong with a Constitution that allows one to keep its Golden Pot while compelling another to surrender its pot of Oil for joint licking! Zamfara is licking Oil from Delta’s Pot but Bayelsa cannot drink water from Zamfara’s Golden Pot! Such a structure is not sustainable! To worsen the complexity of our national problem, we, in addition, have ignorant officials who have embarrassingly taken threats as substitutes for thought.

How else does one explain the ignorantly projected sanction on CNN as a national response to an alleged media reportage dispute? Threatening a Medium that resolutely stood against Trump and all he represents in the US with sanctions in Nigeria is a burukutu inspired joke!

It would have been better for the Nigerian government to say ‘we will not respond to CNN until the committee concludes the investigation’ than this response that leaves no one in doubt of its ancient stupidity! Rather than what seems like recruitment of wet season intellectuals, backslidden activists, razor-mouthed belligerent political urchins, lawyers with fake Guevaran accent, and mini-devil analysts who bear a striking resemblance with Lucifer to bury Lekki Truth, is it not better to embark on the thorough investigation? This is one investigation that should have been used to bring people together, leveraging on the intangible success of the youth-led EndSars protest. All these tons of thorns with throttling but the troubling hate-driven empire was created with deliberate divisive policies, oiled with and filliped by, unkind nepotism and glaringly outright tribalism that carries genocidal consequences. We can end it by using the gains of the EndSars protest to mobilize Nigerians for National Integration and unity.

This head-shaking and heart-rending anxiety that started with inconceivably insensitive fragmentation of people into wailers and hailers, while putting all strands of security seeds of a plural plant in one self-same ethnic basket can still be addressed. The gulf of this mistrust grew because the king was deafened by voices of sycophantic urchins, clapping for him while on track of blinding ignorance and eternal error. For several decades, Nigerians have been wasting bullets on friends and neighbors while the camp of foes expands! What do you think that the schools of your children and the quality of their education will look like when you vote for a President who has endured ASUU Strike for over eight months now without commitment to a solution but had his own daughter graduated from a European University. A Vice-President who followed suit? What about an Executive Secretary of a University Commission who rushed to Britain to receive his graduating son? If they are governing well, won’t their children have studied in the functional schools under their watch?

The structure of enduring values can be articulated in one word – Truth! There is no symbolism of it in the governance of this nation to build hope on. The new regime of avoidable recession is here. It’s another night of long knives! I can assure you, the Journey of a Thousand Lies just began!

Gbenro Olajuyigbe is the Executive Director, Emergency & Risk Alert Initiative

Vanguard News Nigeria