Defy anti-free speech laws, media group counsels journalists

By Dele Sobowale

“The most obstinate illusions are ultimately broken by facts.”

Trevor-Roper, 1914-2003, Vanguard Book of Quotations, VBQ, p. 100.

In the months leading to the 2019 elections, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced that the All Progressives Congress, APC, had delivered its promises to Nigerians. It is the sort of big lie for which the party and government have become known.

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Below, I reproduce relevant parts of the party’s manifesto published before the 2015 elections. Judge for yourself if Lai was truthful or lying.

On Job Creation.

Nigerians were told that the party will “embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial skills…along with the creation of Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme, to create at least one million new jobs every year, for the foreseeable future….Create additional middle class of at least one million home owners in our first year in government and one million annually thereafter” 

Can anybody remember APC creating four million jobs and also creating three million home owners in its first term –2015 up to 2019?

On Education

“Reintroduce the teaching of Nigerian History and Civics in all secondary schools…Offer free and qualitative primary and secondary education to all…”

Can anybody point to any state or the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria offering “free and qualitative primary and secondary education to all?

On Health Care

Nigeria’s “change agents” promised to “increase the quality of all Federal Government owned hospitals to world class within five years. Invest in cutting edge technology such as tele-medicine in all major health centres in the country….Boost the local manufacture of 70 per cent of pharmaceuticals.”

The source of all the promises is one of the founding fathers of the APC, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, in his book From ‘‘Opposition to Governing Party: Nigeria’s APC Merger Story’’ – chapter 9, titled ‘Party Manifesto’. 

The present economic catastrophe summarized

 “Hell hath no limit, nor is it circumscribed in one self place, for where we are is hell…” – Christopher Marlowe, 1564-1594.

Unlike Lai Mohammed and those in government, who take comfort in fake news, below is the horrible situation in which we find ourselves. A more battered economy will be difficult to imagine. All the entries were taken from un-refuted newspaper reports in just three months. They are categorised to help the reader obtain a good grasp of where we are and where we will be until Buhari leaves office. 

Economic Outlook

• Nigeria’s GDP may decline by $139bn in 2030.

• Nigeria’s oil output sheds 11.47% in Q2’21 – OPEC.

• Nigeria’s oil production falls by 6.32 per cent in three months from 1.429 to 1.344 million per day.

• Oil industry’s future at risk, Barkindo warns Nigeria, others.

• Nigeria’s oil rig count down 63.4% to 30.

• $1.5bn Port Harcourt refinery repairs begin, project gets 44-month deadline.

• Naira tumbles by 51.95% despite CBN defence measures.

• Naira depreciation, High Interest rates stall debt servicing.

• G7 countries move to salvage North-East from hunger.

• We’ve grain reserve deficit of 3.4MT – FG.

• High Poverty: Experts back W’Bank, fault Buhari…

• Subsidy cost escalates; now N150bn per month,

• Senate approves Buhari; s request for $8.32bn; 490m external loans.

• Nigeria’s total debt rises by N191bn in three months; hits N33.1tn.

• Buhari regime borrows $2.02bn from China; $719.61m used to service Chinese loans since 2015

• Nigeria made N3.42tn in 2020; debt servicing gulped N3.34tn.

• Debt servicing rises, gulps 72 per cent of revenues.

• Nigeria heading for insolvency with new loans – EXPERTS.

• To accommodate fresh loans, FG raises new borrowing limit to N61tn.

• How N165b led to NPA’s boss suspension. 

• 2022 BUDGET: FG to fund N5.62bn deficit with loans.

• FG suffers N15tn revenue shortfall in six years.

• Foreign Investors’ interest in Nigeria plunges by 80%.

• High unemployment threatening Buhari’s poverty reduction plan – AfDB.

And if you want to know how corruption under Buhari’s regime contributes to the depressing outlook summarised above, then read these. NPA, being the worst, is reported first.

• NPA MD Usman’s probe unsettles Presidency.

• Hadiza Bala-Usman: FG investigates fresh N3.6bn; $150m non-remittances by NPA.

• Reps invite Amaechi over NPA’s unaccounted N166.9bn.

• Auditor-General queries NPA’s N44bn unremitted tax; N88bn admin spending for 2018.

• Illegal oil deals: FG to expose officials behind $69bn loot in US banks.

• 9 months after, $3bn Customs modernisation project stalled: Nigeria may lose $176bn.

• 59 Agencies Divert Over N300bn  — Senate.

• N288BN COVID-19 Relief Fund: How gov MDA’s scammed us by SME owners.

• 774,000 jobs: We’ve paid over N24bn to 413,630 beneficiaries  — KEYAMO.

• Minister asked to release details of N9.4bn digital expenditure.

• Ex-FIRS officials re-arraigned over N4bn for tours not taken.

I have been writing for the Economy/Business pages of newspapers in Nigeria since 1987. That means covering the administrations of Babangida, Shonekan, Abacha, Abubakar, Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and now Buhari. I was also an occasional contributor to papers during the regimes of Gowon, Murtala Mohammed and Shagari. No other government has produced so much misery as Buhari’s government.

The acid test of good governments is creation of the greatest good for the greatest number of the governed. The Buhari/APC government is now producing the greatest misery for the greatest number of Nigerians.

Today, we have been told by experts that Nigeria’s GDP might decline by $139bn by 2030. That means that Nigerians, alive then, will be poorer than those alive today. Those now alive are already poorer than those alive in 2013. That is the Buhari legacy which they don’t want exposed by gagging the media.

Lai Mohammed has so far failed to explain what happened to the N9.4bn digital scheme. That cover-up provides some of the reasons they want to gag the media.  

They will fail in that attempt; like others before them, the media will publish their political and actual obituaries. Mark my words!


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