• Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Like IBB, like Jonathan

Recession
Those who served under the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida regime have remained grateful to the former military president many years after the death of that regime. They have always attested to the man’s unquantifiable milk of kindness and his ability to touch lives. IBB was able to make such lasting impact in the lives and minds of many Nigerians across ethnic and religious divides using the wealth that belonged to every Nigerian. Today, there are those who can die for IBB if need be. When the man was being castigated over June 12, 1993 election annulment, those who were speaking for him were people who had been touched by his milk of kindness. They saw nothing wrong with the annulment.
When Goodluck Jonathan mounted the power stool in Abuja, he probably studied the enigma called IBB and why his charm has stuck several years after he exited office; so, he decided to play the “kezia” with the people’s money. Some he gave billions of naira; some several hundreds of millions of naira, to some unknown quantities. To some “smart” persons who posed as prophets and prophetesses, who continued to assure him of a settled return to the Villa, he doled out unspecified amounts of money. In the dying days of the man in Aso Rock, he was said to have become so excessively generous that just a mere greeting to him made some people millionaires for life. But he forgot that if a rat goes a-swimming with a lizard, he may contend with wetness for a longer period than the lizard would. IBB covered his tracks and being a military regime, his colleagues have refused to even take a peep into what transpired in that dispensation, let alone calling him to come and explain. Today, Jonathan is under trial for doing what others did freely and got away with. It is part of the Nigeria story.
Recession? Never! Not Nigeria
Our government is always very considerate. It always thinks about the welfare of its citizens. It knows too well that bad news can easily send many people to their early graves, hence, its penchant to always speak tongue in cheek. A few weeks ago, government told Nigerians that the country was not in recession but was about to embrace the dangerous rope. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), after its latest policy on forex said it had pulled the country from the brink and Nigerians clapped. What is this confession we are hearing again that the country is ‘technically’ in recession? Indeed, we do not need to be told that things are not well with the country at the moment, but we have been trying to live in denial of the reality. Pray, how many “mouths” does the Federal Government have?
 Saraki ambushed?
One week after the Bukola Saraki’s Senate boiled over following the war of words between his die-hard supporter, Dino Melaye, and Senator Oluremi Tinubu; and a few days after the later threatened fire and brimstone against her perceived attacker, the Kwara State-born Saraki appeared being brow-beaten into entering into a wholesale compensation of the Lagos lawmaker. For how best would any one put it that Senator Tinubu, who seriously complained that she had been harassed in the Senate, was catapulted from a lowly committee of Women Affairs to a juicy committee as chairman, Environment. Again, Kabiru Marafa from Zamfara State who used to be Saraki’s nemesis was rewarded with a bounty Petroleum (downstream) committee chairman for his “troublemaking”. Who says it does not pay to be a hardliner, sometimes! Was Saraki dangling a carrot? Days ahead will tell.
 Appeal Court and Hijab in Lagos schools
 It appears that even the learned gentlemen in the country are not reading the signs of times. Otherwise, why would any judge of the Appeal Court of repute grant the right to wear Hijab, Islamic headscarf, in public schools in Lagos State? Matters of religion must be divorced from secular activities. Nigeria, for crying out loud, is a secular state where every individual must submit him/herself to the law of the land which has nothing to do with religion. Granting the right to wear religious attire in a secular school is, to say the least, an invitation to chaos and anarchy. One would have thought that the learned judges who delivered the judgment should have been more circumspect after the recent Osun episode. Pray, who is really stoking this religious fire in Nigeria?
The free food gambit
It appears that every state government now claims to be involved in free food scheme. As we speak, the Federal Government is yet to implement the scheme which was one of the core reasons the mandate was given as it was a campaign slogan. Incidentally, every state government now claims it is feeding innumerable number of pupils in their various states. Some of these claims appear too bogus to believe even in Ondo where the governor is about to exit office. The question is, why must it be now that the state government in that state should wake up to introduce such a scheme when it remains only few months for a new governor to come in? It has been argued by some critics that some of these emergency introductions, which are not realistic anyway, may be a conduit to pilfer public funds. We are just thinking aloud…
Ugwuanyi, good talk, but…
 
Smarting from the deadly attack recently suffered in the hands of Fulani herdsmen who mowed down scores of innocent indigenes of Nimbo in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has insisted that Enugu State remained the safest in terms of peace and security of lives and property. Well, if this claim were true, where were the security agencies when over 30 persons were killed in a singular attack. It is not about making claim, it is about doing the needful. When the killers struck, what followed was blame game- who did what and who failed to do what. If Enugu is safe, ensure it is safe on a continuous basis. After all, the primary role of government is to protect lives and property of citizens.