Date Published: 05/04/10
2011: Shekarau can stop IBB and PDP By Saka Raji Audu
Nigerians are on the match again, preparing to go into another period of entrusting their mandate of leadership to credible but incorruptible people, at least, for four years. As a matter of fact, for the past eleven years now, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has been in control of leadership, trying to manage the enviable resources of the country. The essence of leadership, we know, is to manage and create wealth for the survival of the people. It is also the responsibility of responsible leaders to ensure the socio-economic and political stability of their country through judicious but transparent handling of affairs. In 1999, PDP claimed to possess the ideological inclinations and the political will to sail the country out of her difficult waters.
Nigerians went ahead in spite of their reservations to give their sacred mandate to PDP, hoping that things would be better. After four years on the throne, the party leadership could not create any difference. Things became nose-dived, bedeviled and hopelessly mismanaged. In 2003, Nigerians went to the poll to elect another leader of their choice. Rather than voting out PDP for her poor showing, the people still gave their mandate to PDP, believing that the leadership of the party would realize their shortcomings and amend where necessary for the good of her citizenry. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Instead, more devastating havoc was created as individual government officers and their collaborators criminally enriched themselves and starched billions of naira in foreign accounts. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC established to checkmate corrupt practices became highly politicized as only those who are not in the good book of government are targeted for one investigation or the other.
Up till now, no one can explain where about the huge sums of money and property seized from the corrupt people such as the former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun, the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Aiyemiesiagha and the host of others. What about the billions of the power sector fund that is still yet to be accounted for, by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Recently, the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri told Journalists that her anti-corruption agency has recovered $6 billion and property worth trillion of naira from corrupt people under the nose of PDP. But where are these assets and money and in whose benefit are they being utilized?
During the Obasanjo- Atiku imbroglio, we were treated to national embarrassment with how each stole public funds for personal use. All these happened at the detriment of the masses that are already under malnutrition as many heads of families could no longer feed their children. The ailing textile industries Obasanjo promised to bail out of their precarious problem through textile revival fund became hoax and are still in comatose. We have also heard some time ago that each senator had made allowance of N500 million in two years. As a result of all these calamities that visited Nigerians due to mismanagement of the country resources by the government of PDP, in 2007, Nigerians decided that they should vote out the party leadership that has taken them for a ride.
It was therefore obvious that PDP could not have won the 2007 Presidential poll if not the "wuruwuru and magomago" way of the disgraced erstwhile INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu. Imagine that most Nigerians were still on line casting their votes when the Professor announced the allocated results, giving PDP, 24 million votes, ANPP, 6 million votes and AC, 2 million votes. There were many other electoral frauds that heralded PDP presidential 'victory' in 2007.
Ironically, the aftermath of this open electoral robbery is perhaps what PDP is negatively reaping its fruits today. For the past five months, no one can say something about the status and whereabouts of the ailing President Umoru Musa Yar'adua who was imposed in 2007. Not even the Acting President, Governors, Ministers and National Assembly members can vouch for the present status of our President. This alone also brought national embarrassment to these officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Today, the former Governor of Delta State, Chief Ibori who helped PDP in 2007 with stolen wealth to finance the party 2007 electoral 'victory' is being hunted by the same government that Ibori helped to secure unpopular victory. Upon his unimpressive role in the 'victory' of PDP, Professor Iwu was last week shamefully kicked out of the INEC not minding the fact that his term of office is yet to expire. The PDP National Chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, the man that boasted some months ago that his party must win Kano and Lagos is now enmeshed in N104 million financial scandals. He might cool his feet behind the bar without being part of the 2011 election, what is more of winning it. Where is the N200 billion agric loan for farmers? How comes that Emordi is still in the senate in spite of the court judgment nullifying her "wuruwuru election?" Where is the PDP rule of law?
It is not long ago that Chief Borde George and Architect Aminu Dabo, all of PDP stalwarts came out of bail after squandering millions of naira at the Nigeria Port Authority. Borde George had also gone to court to sue some media houses of defamation of character. He however lost the suit because the court said Borde George is not a man of integrity. Perhaps, the above monumental fraud might have been responsible for the revelation from the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission that the country is broke and might not be able to pay Federal workers' salary as from June this year. The reason is that our foreign reserve has grossly depleted as a result of being over stressed. Could it be the same reason why the government is applying for $6 billion foreign loan capable of destroying the future generation? With all these, it is now clear that the government under PDP has woefully failed the nation and there is urgent need for change of baton and surgical operation of the system.
Sadly enough, most of the people aspiring to lead the country out of her doldrums under PDP are equally those that have ruined the country in the past to the extent that one of them gave himself a nickname of "evil genius" which portrays the level at which he raped the country. With all these devastation under the eleven years rule of PDP, it would be fool-hardy for the good people of Nigeria to allow this path of dishonour, suffocation and ignoble tragedy in the country next political dispensation. The same 'evil genius' who had put ten years ban on old breed politicians is now telling us that the young breed politicians are not capable of administering the country. The 'evil genius' who knew very well how he misappropriated the 1991 gulf war oil windfall is telling us that he is not a thief simply because he has not been sent to jail. In any case, it beats one's imagination to hear from a man who became President through the barrel of gun as not being a thief. Coup plotting is dishonest and dishonesty breeds thievery.
In 1991 when the supposed mother of all wars started, Nigeria made a lot of profits out of her petroleum products. According to a report by the News watch magazine of 6th January 1995, a total amount of $571.78 million (N12.58billion) was realized from crude oil sales during the Gulf crisis. This money was realized as a result of the increase in demand and the hike in the prices of oil following its scarcity in the international market, a short falls of four million barrels per day. This money also formed a part of $12.4 billion (N272.8 billion) realized in oil sales between September 1988 and June 1994 placed in special accounts. The profit made by Nigeria during the Gulf crisis was so encouraging to the extent that Nsikak Essien, an editor with the then Concord press satirically prayed in one of his writings that God should never allow the Gulf crisis to end so that Nigeria would continue to make the huge profits out of her oil. But the 'evil genius' has not told us where was the large sums Nigeria made during the Gulf crisis? What was it used for and in whose interest? This is not to talk about his inhuman policies, his SAP that sapped Nigerians, his IMF loans that enslaved Nigerians, his government policy of chop- chop that brought about high level of corruption, which we are still battling today and his painful annulment of June 12 that almost caused civil war in addition to his other unfortunate incidences. So, what does IBB, the evil genius want again? Is he still referring to Nigerians as fools? This is appalling!
To allow an evil genius as IBB and his fellow travelers in PDP to clinch to power in 2011 is to call Nigerians fool and make Nigeria a hopeless state where anarchy and lawlessness might reign supreme. When INEC recently declared few vacancies in its departments, thousands of unemployed Nigerians flout the INEC seeking for placement, to the extent that some suffocated and rushed to the hospital. Consequently, if after eleven years of governance, PDP could not make any difference for our common folks in any of the sectors, the honourable option it should take is for it to accept the stark reality steering on its face and quit the stage. Unfortunately, there is no honour in dishonor.
In the foregoing situation, only the electorate can upturn the stage for PDP through the ballot box at the forthcoming 2011 General elections. There are honourable men and women that can serve as alternative remedy for the country. If we really want to move out of the quagmire and woes PDP leadership has visited Nigerians in the last eleven years of our democracy, we should rely on the man of hard work and integrity whose seven years of purposeful leadership in the political volatile state of Kano has brought succour, peace and tranquility to the good people of the state.
Even though the man has not yet declared his intention to contest, one thinks that Nigerians should in the interest of progress and good governance persuade him to do so. I am referring to Atun nuse of Ede land in Oshogbo, the “Onwa Na-Etiri Oha I” of Eha in Enugu and the Sardaunan Kano, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau. He is one good person in character and integrity that can stop the hopelessness called IBB and PDP in 2011.
Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org