Can President Buhari Still Change Nigeria?

 

 

An interview of Grimot Nane on the immediate political future of Nigeria by freelancer Opey Sonto, September 15th 2016.

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The ‘Funk’ of Buhari: A Tale of Stolen and Uncollected Revenues

When it comes to attacking and witch-hunting the defenceless, or the underestimated, President Muhammadu Buhari has a heart larger than Zuma Rock – his machismo is unlimited; when it comes to dealing with major players in the Nigerian economy Buhari’s timidity is fantastic. In his anti-corruption campaign, Buhari has focused purely on the refund of stolen and the freezing of economic activity, causing much suffering and hunger in the land. Still, he dare not go against the oil companies that have raped Nigeria for what it is worth for over half a century. It takes more than average testicular fortitude to deal with such concerns and losses.

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Are Buhari’s Fears a Signal of the End of Nigeria?

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In December 1984 my late father made a remark that I could not understand at the time, he said, “the leaders of Nigeria will know no fear till the [oil] money runs out”. It was not until July 2000 that my father told me that the idea was proposed by his friend, the late Claude Ake. Since the oil boom of the early 1970s, no Nigerian head of state has been “afraid” of his watch or patch despite the coup d’états and the instances of serious political instability encountered. Now that the abundance of petrodollars earned from oil has suddenly become seriously scarce President Muhammadu Buhari has become in a pioneering approach, frank, open and expansive about his “fears” in power as presented in a recent missive. Continue reading

Mr President ‘Changes’ From Poor Man to Rich Man

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Femi Aribisala is undoubtedly one of the brightest and most effective journalists and bloggers writing out of Nigeria. He is one writer who indeed never seems to disappoint with his pen, be it a tweet or an essay for Vanguard or elsewhere. In a recent tweet, Aribisala emphatically states @femiaribisala – March 13th 2016; “Buhari said he is a poor man during the election, now he says he is a rich man who can afford to send his children to school abroad.
Before the 2015 elections, millions of pro-Buhari supporters swore by his ostensible Spartan-lifestyle and voluntary poverty as an exemplary model to be emulated by all for Nigeria to progress. Those very same people are now with violent vehemence and intolerance defending the entitlement of President Muhammadu Buhari to be a very rich man. Continue reading

Buhari’s Choice and the Expected “Fashola Miracle”

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When President Muhammadu Buhari won the 2015 general elections, he did so largely with the support of neutral and anti-PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) commentators. Everything bad in Buhari’s life history was to be forgotten and everything good was in ascendance. From another perspective, it was very difficult for practitioners of competent thinking to justify the pervasive profligacy behemoth of PDP while in power. The ministerial appointments Babs Fashola, Timi Amaechi and other ‘gubernatocrats’ that took more than half a year to make that was the start of the negation of support for President Buhari. Many thinking men deserted except the likes of Wole Soyinka turned their backs on and pens against Buhari. But many political miracles were promised by the Buhari government. Where are they? Continue reading

Dasuki’s Warning to Buhari : Anti-Corruption Miss Road

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Col Sambo Dasuki has sent a strong warning to President Muhammad Buhari; and the encoded message is “back off! or we both will share the same prison cell”. The recent disclosure that President Buhari was given two jeeps and $300,000 by former National Security Adviser, Dasuki, as a gift from the presidency in the aftermath of the assassination attempt made on his life may be the tip of a ‘sweetened iceberg’. Dasuki may have a lot to reveal about President Buhari and members of his fellow APC if he is forced to but this revelation is a warning. Perhaps, the truth will have to be held hostage and anti-corruption shall become a ‘miss road’ matter. Or they all go down. Continue reading

The Sambo Scandal & the “Owners of Nigeria”

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The “Sambo Scandal” (concerning one Col Sambo Dasuki) is just another story when compared to the full scale of looting in Nigeria; it’s just ‘Hot Air’ and Hollywood. The Government of Nigeria (GON) since the military regime of Yakubu Gowon has squandered around $1 trillion on nothing but personal enrichment and the provision of mostly shoddy goods and services to Nigerians. Call it the “national cake” (that has no bakery) or the “pot of soup” (that has no kitchen), Nigeria’s wealth is on a daily basis being shared like cake and soup at parties for and by the “Owners of Nigeria Technostructure” (ONT) and at their very own imperturbable convenience. This situation is incredibly far beyond the stilted fanaticisms of All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supporters. Continue reading

Is the TSA a Panacea to Corruption?

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The Treasury Single Account (TSA) was adopted by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a diehard neoliberal, while she was Minister of Finance under the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. The TSA a monetary tool introduced to reduce the cost of borrowing in a debt-stricken neoliberal world and ensure idle or unused monies by government agencies do not sit in accounts. The introduction of the TSA into the Nigerian system of economic management has nothing to do with the intelligence or sensibilities of either Goodluck Jonathan or President Muhammadu Buhari; it is a “compulsory” International Monetary Fund (IMF) instruction. Is the TSA an effective anti-corruption tool though or not? Continue reading

Why “Anti-Corruption” is a Great Election Gimmick in Nigeria

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Nigeria since independence in 1960 has had six democratically elected executives, the most recent being Muhammadu Buhari. The country has also had seven military heads of state; six by way of coup d’état). No democratically elected head of state from Tafawa Balewa to Goodluck Jonathan has ever gotten into power on electoral promises of anti-corruption while all six military coups were staged on the raison d’etre of fighting corruption. Anti-corruption has thus never been exploited for election purposes in Nigeria, until 2015. Change? Continue reading

Buhari: Prince of Thieves

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President Buhari has searched and decided, the Department of State Services (DSS) has screened and cleared, the Nigerian Senate has accepted and announced the candidates for long-awaited “ministerial list”. The Nigerian nation has been deceived and spat upon by its leader once again. Habit or repetition is not “CHANGE”.

In a nation full of decent competent technocrats and those with clean records President Buhari, the self-styled “Grand Sherriff of Anti-Corruption” has chosen the most corrupt ministerial cabinet Nigeria has ever seen for a first-term or second term presidential tenure. Buhari’s ministerial list has shown Nigeria concrete evidence that to be a long-standing or born again democrat you have to be pragmatic, be a thief. Buhari is now the “Prince of Thieves”. Buhari has not been captured politically by thieves, he has politically captured the thieves. Continue reading

The North–South West Election Alliance in Tatters

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The South West has now been, rightfully or wrongfully, disaffected by President Muhammadu Buhari and his “Northern Bloc”. The unholy alliance between the North and the South West fostered for the 2015 elections in Nigeria is over. Buhari’s parking ex-Governor Bola Tinubu into the corner is tantamount to parking the entire South West into the corner. Tinubu has been outsmarted in every department by Buhari and some. Continue reading

The Blind Side of Anti-Corruption: What We May Not See

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Nigeria appears to be definitively on track for major national and state anti-corruption initiatives; where the track will lead to nobody knows. The time and climate for disinterested and rigorous anti-corruption activity in all areas of the country appears to be very ripe. Furthermore, it is certain that most Nigerians especially those outside of the top 1% are enthusiastic about the anti-corruption climate designed and (to be) enforced by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. However, there is a serious “blind side” to it all. Continue reading

Wole Soyinka and Democratic Forgiveness?

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In a very revealing and dramatic recent Guardian interview conducted by correspondent David Smith http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/29/wole-soyinka-interview-nigeria-corruption-goodluck-jonathan, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka lamented the process of the ongoing Nigerian general elections tainted by desperation, violence and corruption. He even tried to personify Mandela in his forgiveness of Buhari.
And yes, it’s Official! Soyinka claims to have forgiven General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) who he for decades characterised as being the former “head” of a crapious, inhumane, punitive, abusive, oppressive and repressive military regime.

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Wole Soyinka and Military Forgiveness? II

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I must confess I have been keenly waiting for the next Wole Soyinka “moment” no matter how long it would take and it has arrived much earlier than expected under terms that most would not have easily imagined. No one said, “the Man” was not a genuine enigma. Soyinka has clearly stated that he will not vote for President Goodluck Jonathan (of the People’s Democratic Party) in the 2015 elections just around the corner and advocates that no right-thinking Nigerian should vote the incumbent in for another term.

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Orubebe is Not Mad!

If one wants to explain why former Minister of the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) behave the way he did at the National Collation Centre where the elections results for the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections quartered, it is easy to compare Orubebe’s actions to those of Matthew Harrison Brady at the end of the film Inherit the Wind. Brady in the film gave a hysterical even insane outburst having lost a classic case Darwinism versus the Bible, he being on the side of God. Orubebe was fiery, indignant, overbearing, desperate, vehement or disruptive but he was not insane. Continue reading

The Power of Incumbency in Election and Big Thieving

One would wonder why the power of incumbency of presidents and governors in Nigeria,elsewhere in Africa and other places in the world is well-near indomitable at general elections. While incumbents can use state resources to campaign against the opposition, to buy votes wholesale and rig elections with impunity such resources are not always enough to secure election victory. Well, certainly not in 2015. Continue reading

Buhari Will Be Dead in Six Months’ Time

Muhammadu Buhari, a presidential candidate in the forthcoming 2015 General Elections, is reported to be terminally ill with cancer and complications of organ failure. The details of his medical condition/records are available from the private hospital in London, where he has been receiving intensive treatment for a while now. The man has only six months to live.

Buhari’s reaction to his unfortunate situation is that all he wants is the historical record that he was elected a democratic president of Nigeria in 2015 before his death. If he wins next week’s elections, he will hand over Professor Oluyemi Osibajo, his running mate, in July 2015. Governor M R Kwankwanso of Kano State has been lined-up to be Osibajo’s vice when the ‘time’ comes. Continue reading

President Jonathan’s Boko Haram Excuse Is Inadequate

When President Goodluck Jonathan claimed he had “underestimated” the Boko Haram insurgency it was the latest in a long series of things he should not have said, another public relations disaster. Underestimation of the obvious is a major signal of administrative competence. Since Jonathan is not a military person his advisers must be openly held responsible for grossly misleading the president in such a strategic and important matter. Military personnel particularly high ranking officers should know the methods and history of warfare as well strategic analysis and forecasting of enemy capabilities, numbers and accessories on a substantive level. Continue reading

Nigeria Tested by Choice: Buhari or Jonathan or No One?

The 2015 elections in Nigeria are about Muhammadu Buhari of APC and Goodluck Jonathan of PDP. Those who are not voting will be voting for ‘no one’. Voting for ‘no one’ is legitimate in a democracy. Beyond the relevance games, rumours, slander, seditions, insults, accusations, libel, smears, cross-carpeting, campaigns, anti-campaigns and all what not, on Election Day people will vote. I suspect the choice of candidate to be voted for will be based mostly on ethnicity, [political] ricism, religion and beer parlour logic or mai chai corner consensus. It would have been better if the elections were based on a rational basis. Continue reading

President Jonathan, What Are Your Spin Doctors Doing?

Hashtag disaster has hit the Nigerian President and it because someone created the unfortunate and ill-advised #BringBackJonathan2015 hashtag as a campaign device. But it is not the end of the world for President Jonathan by any means. Sometimes the greatest of presidents make or associated with blunders and as long as they handle wisely it becomes a forgivable memory or a forgotten altogether; apologies, instant rectifications, silence till it blows over and substitution with other news is how it is done. The President has acted responsibly about that affair, but his spin-doctors have not. Continue reading

A New Kind of Thanks: To Goodluck Jonathan

After the the image-shattering debacle of the #BringBackJonathan2015 campaign, a new kind of thanks to a national leader has emerged. Many people especially the sycophants, spokesmen and usual suspects are queuing up to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for swiftly taking the courage to order the pulling down the sacrilegious campaign posters. Would it have been better if he left them hanging in public places? The western media would have “atomised” him with ease. Other projects have not been dealt with nearly as swiftly #BringBackOurGirls in particular. Continue reading

Goodluck Jonathan & the Ontology of the African

Can Africans in power ever get it right? They can but choose not to for reasons of venality and mediocrity and sometimes sheer stupidity.

I concur with the fact that resorting to insulting a President or anyone for that matter via social media, especially cheaply is an incorrigible practice. But what happens when a president brings untold shame and embarrassment on his people? Insults are still inappropriate but proper critique necessary. The #BringBackJonathan2015 hashtags is an exercise in the most extreme of follies. It is a classic if not memorable contribution to the derisory ontology of the African. Continue reading

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