Thursday, May 17, 2018
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Bonn, Germany

Buhari living it up, barefeet, in london

Continued from Part 1

Ohne Mampf, Kein Kampf (no eating, no power to fight) (German military’s Slogan)

The words with which a child’s heart is poisoned, whether through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul (Carlos Ruiz Zafón)

Oil is not Nigeria's greatest asset but our youths who created Nollywood out of nothing and an entertainment industry that is second to none in Africa. Our youth are charting new frontiers; creating a huge technology industry on their own. Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured (Former VP, Atiku Abubakar)

he German slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work sets you free) is somewhat tainted by its connection with Nazi concentration camps, as it was coined by Major Rudolf Höss (1900-1947), the Nazi Commandant of Auschwitz, and was hanging on Auschwitz Gate (where about 6 million Jews were gassed to death by the Germans during the World Wars), but its essential message, 'work sets you free' still has something serious to it.

There's dignity in labor: Work is therapeutic; work is fulfilling; it prevents laziness, bad thoughts and behaviors. But, when a government does not provide jobs or conditions for the creation of jobs, it has no moral right to accuse the citizens or the youths of laziness. Real leader should create opportunities and not blame. It makes no difference whether Buhari was referring to the northern or southern youths. Let him give any Nigerian youth the opportunity to excel, and he or she will grab it.

Mail Online wrote that "there is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment, whether that is on the factory floor, on a supermarket till or in the contemporary hard labour camp of a merchant bank or law office."

During that commonwealth forum, Buhari lied to the moderator saying that he had fulfilled his campaign promises by improving on the nation’s security and the economy. People were wondering which country Buhari was talking about, after him and his party, the APC, dropped all the promises which got them elected. Lying, deceit, open manipulation has become this government’s official policies, and these are the only things this APC government has achieved. The president and his government officials live and lie to the governed. The masses have lost faith and do not believe or trust this government. Tell me who is lazy, if not Buhari and his government officials. It has never been worse; do you hear or know what any of the ministers is doing or saying, as it seems they are not even there? We can do better without this government. What is Fashola, Amaechi, Adeosu etc doing or saying to show how serious they are in tackling the problems of their respective ministries?

Let’s discuss a little about Buhari and his party, APC. The APC Nigerians voted for is offering only hardship to them, and to borrow words from the former governor of old Kaduna State and National Chairman of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, Alhaji Musa, fact is that Nigeria today remains in a very sorry state despite all the lofty promises and flowery speeches made by the ruling government of All Progressive Congress, APC, at the inception of the administration in 2015. APC rode to power on the back of false and empty promises. The Party has not given Nigerians anything but hardship in its three years in power with none of the promises made by the party in 2015 being fulfilled. The economy, which was one of the main campaign issues of APC, has remained comatose; unemployment has assumed critical proportions; insecurity, among other issues, have become life threatening and worrisome.

Talking about keeping promises made to the followers, Chief Cele Ebirim added that a good leadership must be dutiful and purposeful. The onus is on the leader to fulfill all electioneering promises made to the followership if the latter are not to be frustrated or feel exploited in the process. With honesty of purpose, the followership will always be prepared to swim or drown with the leadership. The issue of betrayed trust also vanishes with a sincere and public spirited leadership. Trust begets trust. The followership must show and prove that it has enough trust in the leadership for the latter to work towards the realization of its goals. An arrogant leadership will not last. It soon alienates itself from the people. This is also why a leadership must be as easily accessible as possible, since to put a barrier between the leadership and followership is to ring the death knell on the government. Leadership must also be just and lawful at all times. The interest of the electorate should be paramount in all decisions and policies made to avoid making the followership feel estranged from the political process.

Verily, there's no government or any sign of a government in Nigeria, in the real sense of it - all one sees is a lull in governmental activities -what we have is a government that is only breeding hardship instead of alleviating it, and the man at the helm of it is the person labeling Nigerian youths as lazy. The German military slogan “Ohne Mampf, Kein Kampf” has a broader meaning; it means that a hungry person will definitely be lazy, and will be unable to perform his task well. When the government provides the youths no means to get food to eat, no job for a living, and no hope for the future, laziness sets in!

Why is a president taking joy in disparaging his citizens whenever he travels abroad? How can a leader shamelessly label his country’s youths as “uneducated and lazy”? A salesman is not supposed to de-market his own product. A president, as his country’s salesman, rather than bring the youths of his country down, should encourage, support, appreciate, and motivate them to reach the pinnacle just like their counterparts anywhere in other parts of the world. Reno Omokri, former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, while noting that Buhari may have jeopardized his mission of attracting foreign investors into the country, asked: “How can you in one breath say that your country’s youths are lazy and don’t want to work and in the next, you appeal to foreign investors to come and invest in Nigeria?”

Fani-Kayode told Buhari:”2 years ago in London you clapped for David Cameron when he said… that the Nigerian people were “fantastically corrupt!” Today in London you tell a group of foreigners that Nigerian youths are lazy illiterates who do nothing and who expect to be given everything for free. What type of leader takes pleasure in slandering, shaming, denigrating and humiliating his own people before the world? What type of man tells foreigners that his own children and youths are lazy and unproductive? You have destroyed your own people and shamed them before the world!”

That we have a president who insults his own country or citizens is what one gets when a country of intellectuals is being led by an illiterate. All over the world, Nigerians are trail blazers, in their various fields, but are being ruled by a man who did not even pass WAEC, and that’s why he labels Nigerians youths as lazy. The lazy president who claims to be an economic guru has no economic adviser; he’s the president cum petroleum minister, and no one knows his real age. No wonder the country is in a big mess.

Let’s dissect President Buhari’s statement that a lot of Nigerian youths are illiterates and lazy who “sit and do nothing” but want to get free housing, healthcare and education, to see if he has unwittingly berated himself with that remark.

Since 2015, Buhari’s government has not done anything good for Nigeria; rather there has been a lull in leadership. The president and his government are hollow. Buhari has been a lazy president and has no right to say that Nigerian youths are lazy. Since 2015 the war against corruption has stalled as no corrupt politician has been jailed – what Buhari has done is to lock up his politician enemies without even a conviction till today.

A lazy president has not created any job; rather, 9.3 million Nigerians have lost their jobs since 2016 till now. As I wrote previously, unemployment is rising because Buhari and his government, due to their cluelessness, have been wiping out the middle class and the medium/small scale businesses. The middle class is the engine that powers the economy in all well-organized countries, and when the middle class thrives, jobs will be created. Medium and small scale businesses are the real job creators in better countries. Unfortunately, the middle class, the medium and small scale businesses are almost non-existent or are struggling in Nigeria - they can no longer help in bringing unemployment down - and for that, we should thank Buhari for his cluelessness.

A lazy president has been unable to travel around the country to know how Nigerians are suffering. Since 2015, he has been to only 5 states on working visits, but he has traveled more than 38 times outside Nigeria, and his medical checkup, abroad, has kept him away from office for 160 days.

A lazy president, who lied in England about how he has fulfilled his campaign promises by improving the nation’s security and economy while berating Nigeria youths for being lazy, has not commissioned even a single federal project since coming into office. The lazy president who claimed to have bettered Nigeria’s economy has done nothing to bring down inflation hovering at 18%. The lazy president has failed to make N1 the equivalent of $1, as promised, rather, Naira is down, more than 200% - N361 to $1 from N197 to $1 in 2015.

The lazy president who claims to have fixed Nigeria’s economy has the highest single tenure (4 years) borrowing since 1960. This government has borrows more than N11 trillion in 3 years with no meaningful project, industrial establishment or employment opportunity to show for it. The debt burden Buhari has brought upon Nigeria will take generations to be paid off. Dr. Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiaraeri wrote that we do not need to borrow another $35 billion to do public sector driven rail projects. He noted that the total debt profile of Nigeria currently stands at over $64 billion/N19.6 trillion. Kindly note that the total debt profile of Nigeria, at all levels, grew by over N17.16 trillion/$23 billion over the last two years, with the external debt profile inching up from $9 billion in 2015 to $15 billion as at June, 30, 2017. As at today, the FGN is almost insolvent as it is now borrowing funds to service existing debts. The debt services cost to total revenue ratio of the FGN is almost 80%.

Thus, it is bewildering why the same government that is finding it hard to service existing debts now wants to borrow additional $35 billion to do rail projects across the country. Rail projects that can viably/alternatively and transparently be executed under robust Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements that benefits all stakeholders, without pushing Nigeria into the debt trap that Obasanjo exited us from in 2014! There is no sane/rational explanation of this quest to burden Nigeria with such atrocious $35 billion debt obligations, to execute such key infrastructure project under a rabidly corrupt Nigeria public sector platform, when we have credible and proven PPP leaning ways to solve our rail transport business problem without burying unborn generations under piles of huge dollar debt obligations. Cluelessness is indeed a disease.

A World Bank report revealed that Nigerians living abroad remitted home $22bn in 2017, a 16.4 percent increase from the amount they repatriated in 2016. This amount is only the money sent through the banks or money transfer businesses. The money sent through a third party or through goods to Nigeria was not included in that figure. Lo, Nigerians abroad are remitting more than $1 billion every year. It is this money that keeps the Nigerian economy running. The lazy president and other Nigerian politicians sell our oil and still go on borrowing spree only to embezzle all the money. Without the money Nigerians abroad, mostly Nigerian youths, are repatriating home, Nigeria would have been worse than an inferno. Who then is lazy?

Obasanjo also faulted Buhari for the uncomplimentary remark, saying that following the difficult situations the youths are passing through in the United States, Libya and other parts of the world, their great grandfathers would never say our youths are lazy. In his words: “Recently, I was in the United States and I said our youths have gone through many things in the Sahara Desert, in Libya and the Mediterranean, and somebody would say they are lazy; their great grandfathers would never try to go that far”.

To be continued!






Continued from Part 1