By Sanusi Muhammad
The time is ripe for one to assiduously monitor political statements at rallies, places of worship and at the slightest opportunity from those struggling to lead Nigeria if mandated on February 14. But it beats an imagination and unbelievable that President Jonathan is running from post to pillar for possible return to the presidential villa ignoring his glaring six years incapacitation to address issues bedeviling the country he intends to re-govern for another four solid years.
Nevertheless, as one who intends to vote and mobilize other voters within the north-east to vote for the desperate Jonathan, I will be more encouraged if he bails me with answers from few mind boggling questions I may be asked in the cause of the risky assignment I intend to undertake without demanding for peanut. He should as a serious contestant; 1. Direct the release and publication of the forensic audit report on the NNPC missing $20billion.
- He should cause the immediate release of the abducted Chibok secondary school girls he claims to have known their location.
- Direct an independent probe of those who held political offices in his administration either as ministers, special advisers etc from 2010 to date.
- Explain the rationale behind his immediate defence of MEND despite the group’s claim of being responsible for bombing the Eagle square on October 1, 2010 and what prompted him at this odd hour to disown same group and linked it to an assassination attempt on his life, forgetting that before the bombing, MEND issued a stern warning to avoid bloodshed that was ignored even by the security agencies. And logically if it was an assassination attempt, could the group have issued such a stern warning or were security agencies also accomplice in the attempt?
- At the flag-off of his campaign in Lagos he stated that he was not the type to crate suspected corrupt persons ostensibly referring to General Buhari’s military regime when Umar Dikko was created from London to answer allegations of corrupt enrichment. But does Jonathan know the number of innocent souls he has so far dispatched to the great beyond due to artificially created poverty and sharp corrupt practices that has become the signature tune of his administration which is more pathetic than crating? Is it not better to crate, a self-imposed exiled suspect than sending innocent souls to early graves for theft of their entrusted funds with a woman from the creeks allowed to squander $10million on charter of private jet to ferry her round the globe while the innocent go to bed on empty stomach?
- Sir, as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, it may prove a point to your opponents if you temporarily relocate to the war torn areas of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states to boast the morale of your troops and understand their conditions before return to that palatial palace in Abuja you hate to vacate.
- But what stops you from relocating the offices of the service chiefs including the National Security Adviser (NSA) to those war torn areas to justify their ranks and positions if we are to defeat Boko Haram?
- As insurgency escalates spreading like wild fire, Mr. President are you still living in a fool’s paradise believing that the insurgents are not better armed than Nigerian soldiers? Do you believe most of those security reports submitted to you by the various security agencies that lack facts? But if you believe their contents, then why do we still have insurgents threatening our peaceful co-existence including the huge resources expended? And to refresh your memory, you are yet to name those Boko Haramites that you said have penetrated your administration.
- Do you believe that there are honest and determined Nigerians that can proffer suggestions based on their wealth of experience on genuine ways to defeat Boko Haram than the present deceit and waste of resources?
- Do you know that the corrupt tendencies of some of those surrounding you as aides are worst than identified crooks?
- Has the reports of the various committees appointed on Boko Haram added any positive value to defeating the sect?
- Do you know that majority of those ‘expired’ agbada politicians from the north masquerading as political heavyweights that can deliver northern votes to you are mere gluttons on a selfish mission?
- Are you ready to apologize to the Yoruba nation for calling them rascals in 2011 and to those northerners who painstakingly voted you but denied the credit for the few votes scored in the north? Instead, you chose to credit Igbos resident in the north for the few votes.
- Be courageous to dispatch those northern pretenders beating your support drums to their localities to just paste your campaign posters as a litmus test.
As my 2015 presidential candidate although I’m a political, please answer those few questions and do what I requested as an encouragement for me to face the ‘hostile’ north with your campaign posters, cruise in the branded campaign buses and other campaign materials for luck. But Sir, for the courage I desperately need, let those undisciplined attack dogs of no value that you caged to bark without biting are distance from the project. You should know Sir, that neither, Okupe, Abati nor the hungry, latest puppy, Femi Fani Kayode are of any political value to you. Instead, they attract more hatred to your project that you may soon come to terms with reality.
Finally on that memo, I hope the campaign materials to be handed to me are not from the over N21billion ‘donations’ but should be from the $20billion missing NNPC unremitted money because the donated amount may be dirty and smelling, although Da re is God woo.
Honestly, in the history of Nigeria’s existence since 1914, there has never been a time the people got divided along ethno-religious line like what we are experiencing under Jonathan. The Jonathan administration is bedeviled with crass nepotism, incompetence, general mismanagement, bastardized economy spiced with cluelessness to understand simple happenings among many other minuses. What Jonathan believes is that all those that sing his praises at the slightest opportunity are his disciples and are better Nigerians. That is a primitive way of dealing with bootlickers and sycophants. A genuine leader is more interested to know his faults for correction than his achievements. That is part of good leadership. Tell me where I went wrong for correction not what I have achieved after all that was why I requested for a mandate. Take a critical look of Jonathan’s cabinet, it is a sad story. He only assembled praise singers to fool him for easy access to public funds for deceitful projects. Most of Jonathan’s achievements are only seen on billboards, television screens and newspaper pages as paid advertorials but not felt by the generality of the populace.
A general opinion survey conducted reveals that PDP that prides itself as the largest political party in Africa and their Jonathan may be defeated in the February 14 presidential election because of pervasive insecurity and unbridled corruption.
On his assumption of office in 2010 from what the National Assemble tagged as Doctrine of Necessity that is unconstitutional, Jonathan portrayed himself as a sectional champion in government. To prove his direction, when MEND bombed the Eagle square on October 1, 2010, killing 10 people, injuring 36 others including 11 policemen, destroyed six cars and caused serious damages to other parked vehicles, Jonathan considered it as his tribal responsibility to defend MEND even before security agencies carried out detail investigation. For sectional reason, Jonathan exonerated the culprits before trial simply because they are from Niger Delta where he hails from.
But when Boko Haram fired their first shot in 2009, late President Yar Adua directed for prompt military action not minding which part of the country the sect comes from. That is not the style of the Jonathan we know.
Those sectional blinkers have since narrowed Jonathan’s vision and other policies including how to defeat Boko Haram and provide employment opportunities to those in need. It is at the wee hour to election he is promising to create job opportunities which he failed to do in six years.
Despite his shortcomings, should Nigerians still be deceived to re-elect such a person to lead the country for another four years? Your guess is as good as mine. The man has surrounded himself with people who think more of themselves than others and are of no political, economical or social values to him. If in doubt, let him test their acceptability, capabilities and sincerity by sending them to the fields for his re-election in their respective localities. Some of them may never return while majority have lost touch with their people back home only surviving on deceit and falsehood in the cities.
In the actuality, Jonathan never created Boko Haram or in support of it for any reason but as he inherited the problem, the hawks surrounding him made him to believe that it was created by northerners to rubbish his administration.
Another weakness of Jonathan exploited by the hawks that dine and wine with him is that he tolerates the on-going massive corruption and when patriots complain, he is always quick to dismiss such complains with a wave of hand saying, “there is no corruption but mere stealing” and the relevant authorities are dealing with the situation. That is a foolery.
Think of it, on September 27, 2014 at one of his official functions in Edo state, President Jonathan said, “My administration has reduced poverty rate in Nigeria by 50 percent”.
Contradicting the claim, the 2014 World Bank survey report, ranked Nigeria in the third position among the poorest countries on earth with 61 percent of the citizens living below the poverty rate of $1.25 per day.
Not only that, President Jonathan stated that stealing is not corruption. The statement stands because over $31billion has been stolen in his administration through fraud and embezzlement. The government was defrauded N7billion as kerosene subsidy and no person is in jail. Remember the N273billion pension scam and the over $1billion on-going monthly crude oil theft since 2012 and the $9.3million cash arrested in a private aircraft in South Africa claimed to be for the purchase of arms? The immigration job scam that led to the death of innocent applicants who were defrauded before their death and no person was cautioned or punished? The $10million wasted by Diezani Allison-Madueke on globe-trotting and presides over the oil ministry as her personal estate? Nigerians are yet to be briefed on what was wrong with the ceasefire deal with Boko Haram. Was it another fraud? But the President still wants our mandate despite these atrocities. We are intelligent enough to know what is good and bad without being deceived with religion or tribe. Let us collectively think Nigeria and who can bail the country out of its present pathetic situation.
EMERGENCY ISSUE OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE:
To put a stop to Straight Talk of this edition, I want to quickly intimate readers on one of the lingering issues of National Importance that the Jonathan administration needs to address at this critical point of our existence as a nation. 2014 has gone and left behind several issues bordering on corruption, insecurity, unemployment, decayed infrastructures, rising rate of poverty, collapsed education, poor health delivery system, incapacitation to rescue the abducted Chibok secondary schools girls and others from captivity etc. But one of such issues is the $20bn scandal that consumed former CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano.
Sanusi had dutifully written a memo to President Jonathan alerting him of the unremitted $20billion into the Federation Account by the NNPC. After series of back and front stories on the matter, the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the nation’s economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, came out boldly to say that the amount missing was $10.8billion but how it got missing was not mentioned.
Not bothered with how it got missing, on the 14th day of May 2014 at the World Economic Forum hosted by Nigeria in Abuja, the same Ngozi stated categorically that a Forensic Audit would be carried by a reputable foreign accounting firm, PrincewaterhouseCoopers, and that the entire exercise was to be supervised by the Accountant-General of the Federation.
Ngozi gave a time frame of 16 weeks for the whole auditing process to be completed and its clean report submitted in early November 2014.
Unfortunately for Nigerians, Ngozi’s November came and passed without the awaited report and we are in January 2015 still waiting for Ngozi’s promised report that may never come going by how the government is operated with a president that cannot crate suspicious corrupt persons but dispatching innocent souls ignorantly to the graves because of inept and clueless leadership.
The accountability on the part of our leaders is always a non-issue as demonstrated in the case of the unremitted $20billion fiasco and the greed exhibited by the senate in handling the scandal.
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi committee further affronted Nigerians by claiming that $67billion was withheld and not $20billion and that it was because NNPC funds both fuel and kerosene subsidies. The committee therefore recommended that the Jonathan administration should immediately submit a supplementary budget to right the obvious breach in the appropriation process. That was a bad one from the compromised committee but still where is the promised forensic audit report promised by Ngozi?
In ideal situations, forensic audit are requested only when there are convincing indications of misappropriation or misdeeds such as funds disappearance. In my view, the fact that the coordinating minister of the economy recommended a forensic audit speaks volumes.
To boldly tell the world that there would be such a process regarding the unremitted funds was in itself an admittance of guilt. It will be part of those tragedies the Jonathan administration will bequeath the to the nation if not cleared before February 14 election when Nigerians elect his successor; and that will be recorded in the history of the Jonathan administration for posterity that there was a time a whopping $20bn/$10.8bn or $67bn was smoked under the watch of one Ngozi Okonjo-Eweala, Senator David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark and Senator Ahmed Makarfi supervised by President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan whose body language was suspected to be corruption. Any curse from our grand children on those who hid the truth and allowed crooks and rogues to mess the economy of Nigeria shall be a blessing to their generation.
Despite the hide and seek game including official silence, we are still requesting that let the Forensic Audit report be made public if there was any at all.