By Dele Sobowale
NOTE: Each of us who can vote owes it a duty to our conscience (if we have any) to our children, grandchildren and generations unborn to make sure that we use our vote to either endorse or totally reject the Buhari/APC government and those who foisted it on us. I will give you the facts; you decide what you think of APC and Buhari. God will be watching you.
“TERRORISM: OVER 615 SCHOOLS SHUT IN KADUNA, ZAMFARA, OTHERS; 11,536 schools closed, 5.3 million out-of-school in 2021 – UNICEF” – Report, September 3, 2022.
“Pathetic tales of Benue children orphaned by killer herdsmen. Hapless kids watch in horror as herders hack parents to death. Resort to manual labour on farms for survival” – Feature article, September 3, 2022.
I was in Lagos branch of the National Library with two of my Personal Assistants in search of articles I wrote as far back as 1987 for VANGUARD. In response to requests from readers, I am now compiling some of the 3, 000+ articles into a book. The Library, under the Ministry of Education, was on strike. But, I pleaded with the few staff on duty and they went in search of two bound copies of VANGUARD for us. After locating six old articles, my Senior PA was curious to find out what the security situation was like in 1990. We went through every page of papers for two months and there was no single report of abductions, kidnapping, herdsmen invasion and gunmen killing policemen and soldiers. The younger PA, just 20, turned to me and asked: “Was Nigeria so peaceful at that time?” I said “Yes”. “Who was President?” “Babangida.” Earlier in the morning, he had read in the news: “Three kidnappers, vigilantes killed in Bauchi”, “troops kill two bandits in Kaduna”, ”Traffic robbers arrested for terrorising Lagos”, “Wanted Delta man nabbed for killing 11-year old” and “Airstrikes kill 63 terrorists in Borno, Kaduna.” My PA learnt a valuable lesson in comparative analysis of governments without effort on that day. He can judge the Buhari/APC government on his own. Now he knows Nigeria can be better.
Let me quickly summarise here what we know about the dreadful record of insecurity under Buhari/APC government. More Nigerians have been killed than at any time in our history. Even during the war, most of the country was peaceful. Nowhere is safe today. Nobody, and no political party, which has brought us to this situation, deserves a second chance.
“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and oblivion” –
H. G Wells, 1866-1946, in THE OUTLINES OF HISTORY.
Granted, by 2015, the North-East, NE, and the North-West, NW, already had the worst rates of illiteracy among the six zones of Nigeria. The NW, where Buhari came from, had the largest number of out-of-school children. As President and Father of Nigeria, one would have expected him to ensure that the quality of education and the number of kids out of school don’t get worse under his watch.
Buhari/APC signaled their intention to make things worse very early. They started by appointing the square peg in a round hole as the Minister of Education. Adamu Adamu, our former colleague in the media, was an excellent journalist but who didn’t fit into the educational portfolio. Given Buhari’s achievement in education, one would have thought that APC leaders in the National Assembly, NASS, would draw his attention to the deficiencies of Adamu and urge Buhari to present another choice. Today, public universities have been on strike for more than 200 days; and we read, “Shortage of Professors Hits Federal Universities.” You can bet any amount of money that state universities are in worse shape.
Yet, the APC manifesto, on which Buhari ran and was elected, promised as follows: “Offer free and qualitative primary and secondary education to all…” Can Buhari/APC tell us where free education is being offered to all in primary and secondary schools? With only nine months to go, it is certain that Buhari/APC will leave the education sector a lot worse than they met it. They would have moved Nigeria several steps closer to catastrophe.
So, who wants to reward these people with their votes? God Almighty, the Creator of the children and youths, whose lives have been blighted in the last seven years, will revenge for them. But, first, we must vote them out.
P.S. Meanwhile, Buhari’s own kids studied abroad; where education is improving everyday; and where there are neither strikes nor out-of-school children. Utter selfishness; unbecoming of a Father.
“Health is wealth” – Old adage.
Do you want to cry? Then read the promise by Buhari/APC before the 2015 elections. Then observe what happened after we gave them our votes. They have ruined our health and subsequently made us poorer. But, as in the education sector, they promised us something extra-ordinary in the health sector in their manifesto packed full of falsehood. Here is a small part of it: “Increase the quality of the Federal Government owned hospitals to world class standard within five years. Invest in cutting-edge technology such as tele-medicine in major health centres in the country…”
Most Nigerians, who are not inadvertently or deliberately forgetful, would recollect Buhari blasting his predecessors who went abroad for medical treatment while leaving the people to make do with what he once called “consulting clinics”. The impression was created that, once in office, Buhari would stop all that nonsense. Half-way into his first term, Buhari was in London, transported by a presidential jet (another exhibition of hypocrisy) for treatment.
Meanwhile, here is where we now stand under Buhari/APC:
“6,068 Nigerian doctors move to UK under Buhari” – Report, August 31, 2022.
Not only doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff are voting with their feet.
They are going everywhere – UK, Canada, South Africa etc. Many, who wanted to wait and see before now, are no longer waiting. They have seen enough of Buhari/APC. They are sick and tired of lies and incompetence and leaders’ selfishness. What Nigeria paid to park the presidential jet in London while Buhari was there for almost four months will pay the medical bills of about two million Nigerians at home. When he departs next year he will leave Nigeria’s health sector worse than he found it. Who needs a continuation of this tragedy?
POWER AND LACK OF PROGRESS
“After seven years in power, the Muhammadu Buhari regime has not done better while resorting to propaganda to explain its failure. This year alone, the national grid collapsed a record five times with power generation dropping to 1,145MW in May 2022” – VANGUARD, JUNE 27, 2022.
Almighty God in his infinite wisdom knew what he was doing when he gave the first instruction: “Let there be light.” Today, most of the leading economies – US, China, Japan, Germany etc – generate and distribute the largest quantities of power. They have shown the light towards economic, political and social progress. But, Nigerian leaders have stubbornly refused to find the way.
When on May 29, 2015, the new FG staggered unto the stage of our history, the President boldly proclaimed that 4,000MW a day electricity supply was unacceptable. Members in my Club in Lagos unanimously jumped up and applauded. At last, we have a President; or so we thought. Seven years of Buhari/APC has proved that, like common con-men, these guys would promise anything and fail to deliver. Sometime in August, one of the Ministers was still talking about delivering 10,000MW a day. Who believes those lies anymore?
The handwriting predicting failure was on the wall very early. I knew all was lost when Buhari gave the portfolios for Power, Works and Housing to an ordinary human being called Fashola. Nobody in Nigerian history ever combined Power with any other Ministry without failing us. Fashola joined the failures before he was saved by the odour of a sector on fire.
In reality, APC, right from the start, was not a political party. It began as a two-man conspiracy – a serial failure as presidential candidate and a wealthy and quietly ambitious candidate. The latter went to drag the former out of well-deserved retirement, promised him the presidency, and wanted to take over after that. All the other people who followed them were duped into believing that Buhari could be a good President. The lie is staring everybody in the face now.
I spoke to one former Minister recently who now feels embarrassed that he was a part of that disaster called the APC Government.
To be continued…
MAMUGATE EPISODE BEGINS
“Mamu being persecuted, Gumi cries out”.
For almost two years, Nigerians have been wondering how Sheikh Gumi and his associate, Mamu, could casually walk in and out of bandits’ hideouts – apparently unknown to security operatives. The arrest of Mamu should tell us a few things we need to know. Stay tuned.