I have just read President Buhari’s speech to the All Progressive Congress members who visited him at the Presidential Villa on Monday the 26th of February, 2018.
It is rather unfortunate that a man who once deceived the nation with his fabled ‘integrity’ can descend so low as to spew forth very obvious lies and a revision of history.
If nothing else justifies the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index rating which revealed that corruption in Nigeria has worsened under President Buhari, this latest Presidential does.
In psyching up the APC for 2019, the President, obviously award of the defeat that awaits him and his lying brigade, said as follows:
“It is easy to forget that we succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement. Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess de Account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity, inspite of having earned over US$500 billion from Oil & Gas alone, during the 16 years of PDP rule. Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office.”
I will now take each of these points one by one to prove that we have a man who has no credibility in President Buhari.
First and foremost, it is true that there is “unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement”, but such activities are taking place under President Buhari, rather than the preceding administration.
The Peoples Democratic Party government of President Goodluck Jonathan dismissed Abdulrasheed Maina, the biggest alleged thief in Nigeria’s civil service history, and declared him wanted. The incumbent APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari brought him back, reinstated him and gave him double promotion.
Furthermore, the President, through his Attorney General of the Federation, went to court to block the Senate’s attempt to unravel how Abdulrasheed Maina was smuggled back to Nigeria and given armed guards. We already know the truth about that as revealed in the leaked memo from the Head of the Civil Service, Mrs. Winifred Eyo-Ita.
At a sworn testimony in the National Assembly by the immediate past acting Director General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, Nigerians were also regaled with details of how a cabal in the Presidency tried to get him to share the $44 million Ikoyi Apartment loot with them.
The nation has still not forgotten the allegation by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, whose leaked memo revealed that the GMD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, awarded $25 billion worth of contracts without due process.
On the second allegation that “Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess Account savings” the President, characteristically, lied.
Nigeria under the PDP government of Dr. Jonathan was not heading to collapse. As a matter of fact, the nation was projected by CNNMoney to be the third fastest growing economy in the world after China and Qatar in 2015. The British Government projected us to be the fourth fastest growing economy in the world, with the then British Prime Minister, David Cameron saying as follows:
“Yes, we’ve been hearing about China and India for years but it’s hard to believe what’s happening in Brazil, in Indonesia, in Nigeria too.”
Contrary to what President Buhari said, it was precisely under his rule that Nigeria entered its first recession in 25 years just a year after he took over a vibrant economy that was growing at 6% under the PDP.
Nigerians will recall that the recession was self induced by President Buhari’s refusal to name a cabinet six months after being sworn in and his flip flopping economic policy that saw the Naira collapse to ₦510 to $1 leading to an unprecedented capital flight out of Nigeria.
It will further be remembered that whereas President Buhari said he did not know what fuel subsidy is and called it a fraud, it was revealed last December that the Buhari administration had been paying subsidy on fuel without appropriations from the National Assembly, despite increasing the pump price of petrol from the ₦85 per liter that President Jonathan reduced it to to the current pump price of ₦145 per liter.
On the third allegation of “failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity”, the facts speak for itself.
The preceding Jonathan administration completely built the 187 KM super fast Abuja-Kaduna railway that enables Nigerians live in Kaduna and work in Abuja. That same administration began the Lagos-Ibadan railway and the Loko-Oweto bridge, rebuilt the Benin-Ore road and the Vom-Manchok road.
President Goodluck Jonathan also built and commissioned the 500 megawatts Omotosho Power Plant Phase 2 with four gas turbines in Ondo State on Saturday October 19, 2013. He also built and commissioned the 750 megawatts Olorunsogo power plant on Friday the 20th of February, 2015 and on Wednesday the 25th of March, 2015 he commissioned the 504 MW simple cycle Gas Alaoji Power station in Aba, Abia State.
In the education sector, the PDP administration of President Jonathan built 14 new federal universities, including the ONLY federal university in President Buhari’s home state of Katsina, as well as 169 almajiri schools all over Nigeria.
It will also be recalled that that administration revived the Nigerian Railway Corporation which went moribund when President Buhari was a military dictator in 1985.
Having listed these verifiable projects with their dates of completion, I challenge the Buhari administration to name one project they have initiated and completed in their three years in office. The fact is that the only project they have started and finished in three years is the helipad built by the Federal Government in Daura for President Buhari’s personal use.
From the facts listed above, it should be clear to the nation that President Buhari and the APC intend to repeat the lies and propaganda they used to deceive the Nigerian people in 2015 such as the President’s promise to make ₦1 equal to $1, his promise to provide 24 hours uninterrupted electricity supply and his promise to create 3 million jobs per annum even though 10 million jobs have been lost since May 29, 2015.
Let me seize this opportunity to remind President Buhari that lying is corruption and you may be able to fool some people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.