By Ajong Mbapndah L
A year of the Buhari led APC government has been a calamity for Nigeria says famed communications professional, social media activist and entrepreneur Sega Awosanya. Sharing his thoughts on Nigeria in the wake of the first anniversary of President in power, Sega says Nigeria has moved backwards and not forward. History will eventually vindicate former President Goodluck Jonathan, a man Sega says he was viciously opposed to until he realized the wisdom in his policies.
Describing President Buhari’s war against corruption as a smoke screen, Sega says the Jonathan administration was doing it the right way by blocking loopholes that favored massive loot of public funds. On the way forward, Sega , a University of Lagos alumni with decades of experiences for national and international entities says Nigerians can either reason together as a people or perish as fools.
Q: It has been a year since Mr Mohammadu Buhari was elected as President of Nigeria, what assessment do you make of the way he has managed the country?
First of all let me appreciate you for your patience, as it had been a while since you have been trying to get me to speak on matters regarding our political clime. I refrained earlier from making statements because I have said a lot already, which is unfortunately coming to pass today to the letter like a script of a movie. Some would argue that it is too early to assess this administration but I will say the Morning shows the day. He can not make a perfect day can never make a perfect week, month or year.
You are well aware of the litany of promises made by this administration cum the inauguration speech made by the President vis-a-vis his Oath of office but let’s look at the facts in reality.
In a few days time the APC Government in power would have been in power for one whole year. During this period our Nation has suffered major reverses ranging from;
– Chronic fuel scarcity and long queues across the nation, which has crippled logistics and operations of small and medium scale enterprises with escalating costs made worse by the recent liberalization of the Oil sector (not deregulation since government is still creating monopoly and fixing prices) leading to the new pump price increase to N145/litre.
– Dereliction of National Security owing to over prioritization of regime security, leading to heavy security lapses and needless loss of lives of the citizenry.
– Electoral fraud is on the increase as the administration is yet to have a free and fair election recorded since May 29th 2015, as most elections deemed out of favor of the ruling party is summarily ruled inconclusive by the now partisan INEC.
– All agencies of the state have been politicized with the CCT, EFCC, DSS all detailed to fight political battles as deployed specifically for opposition persecution by the Government of the day with political prisoners held for days, weeks and months without charges or conclusive conviction even after meeting bail condition in most cases.
– Power sector crisis has been uncontrollably hopeless with regular weekly system collapse across power stations nationwide. We are currently dropping below 1000MW with indication of incessant blackout across the country.
– Inflation in Nigeria has risen again to its highest level in 6 years as confirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), current inflation index is at 13.7% and projected to hit 20% by end of year at the spate of things.
– Needless ethnic and religious wars as flagged off by the ruling party with the mass murder of the Shia in hundreds cum the unconscionable hate speeches of 97% 5% which clearly shows the reservation for the south and favoritism of the Northerners has ignited a new drive for cessation. Many battles have since been initiated across geopolitical zones of Nigeria with the Shia in the NC, the aggrieved youths in the NW, The IPOB in the SE, Boko Haram in the NE, The intellectuals of the SW and the Niger Delta Militants in the SS. Not to mention the marauding Fulani Herdsmen operating along the River Basins of the Niger and Benue recording historical record high unresolved murders.
– Constellation of Constitutional breaches and subjugation of the rule of law via executive fiat.
– Preponderance of insensitivity to the plight of the masses via frivolous taxes and increase in tariffs (higher taxes and electricity tariff), subsidy removal without palliatives etc.
– Promotion of corruption via sustenance of institutions that promote corruption. In its one year in office, the government is yet to establish as single institution or passed any legislation necessary to fight corruption. EFCC, ICPC and DSS are all PDP admin’s legacies, which have since been converted into organs of the APC for the persecution of political enemies of the president and his party.
– INEC used to be a champion of free and fair elections in the past admin under this admin there are renowned for their inconclusive elections.
Our country is currently a shadow of itself, even with the blunders of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration, compared to these lots they are like the Obama Administration. I’m struggling to find one positive achievement of this administration in one year but nothing comes to mind outside the unfruitful frivolous trips on taxpayers money cum the persecution of political enemies, gagging of the press and conversion of State institutions into political party organs to fight political enemies and ensure Regime Security at the expense of National Security.
Q: You were a supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan, where do you think he failed, why do think Nigeria rejected him in favor of Buhari?
I supported President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid latter on after criticizing him for years until I began to see the real picture from the litany of propaganda that proliferated our political clime as at then. President Goodluck Jonathan actually didn’t fail in the long run and the happenings of now will vindicate him. The people can see for themselves what they had been shielded from all the while and the main cause for the agitation of the opposition party of then (now ruling party) which is simply to steal, kill and destroy all the gains from the toils of our founding fathers.
Nigerians rejected President Goodluck Jonathan simply because of the hypnosis from the abundant disinformation that circumscribed our clime as sponsored by the APC, which President Goodluck naively allowed to take root because of the freedom of information bill. There were many breaches, which included treasonable offenses committed by these marauding irredentists. These were overlooked by that administration, which made people believe the lies they’ve been hearing until much later when some citizens began conscious efforts at clearing the disinformation by setting the records straight. It was almost too late…if not too late already.
All we later concluded was the fact that the administration of Goodluck Jonathan was too liberal on matters that eventually determined their administration and this is against the grains of the citizenry who were born in tyrannical rule and are mostly yet to experience good governance. Nigerians were sold a dud and they have suddenly realized it now as things unfolds.
Q: The PDP looks lost and tales of corruption with mind boggling figures continue to be exposed, did you know or do you think Jonathan was aware of the corrupt activities of those around him, from Ministers, to the military and even his own very campaign.
The whole corruption fight thing is one big travesty. The president clearly does not know what corruption means and how to fight it. As a result, he ends up with the contradiction of attempting to fight corruption with corruption; an exercise in futility as Femi Aribisala (Columnist for Premium Times) puts it.
Taking you down memory lanes, I’ll use the exact account of Femi Aribisala;
“As military head of state in the 1980s, Buhari failed to understand that imposing retroactive decrees and killing Nigerians under them is corruption. Putting the Igbo vice-president in Kirikiri prisons, while placing the Fulani president under palatial house arrest, is corruption. Detaining people like Michael Ajasin in jail, even after they were discharged and acquitted by kangaroo courts, is corruption. Jailing journalists for telling the truth is corruption. Shepherding 53 suitcases of contraband unchecked through customs during a currency change exercise is corruption.
Today, Buhari still does not understand that corruption is not limited to stealing money. The government claims to be fighting corruption, but at the same time it has been corrupting the political system. Disregarding the rule of law under a democratic system is corruption. Flouting judicial verdicts is corruption. Trying politicians on the pages of newspapers instead of in law courts is corruption. Unlawfully killing hundreds of Shiites in Kaduna is corruption. Detaining Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife for over four months without trial is corruption.
Corruption cannot not be fought with human rights abuses and violation of the rule of law. It is better for the guilty to go free than for the innocent to be wrongfully accused and convicted.
If President Buhari were truly interested in fighting corruption, he would be faithful to the pledge he made to Nigerians in his acceptance speech as president in April 2015. He said then: “I pledge myself and the government to the rule of law, in which none shall be so above the law that they are not subject to its dictates, and none shall be so below it that they are not availed of its protection.” If he was true to his word, he would not have gone on national television to declare Dasuki and Kanu guilty without the benefit of trial in a court of law.
Not surprisingly, the State Department of the United States came out recently to accuse the government of the following abuses: “Vigilante killings; prolonged pretrial detention, often in facilities with poor conditions; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; and restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement.” These are not the indices of a government engaged in a war, or even a fight, against corruption”. As we speak Femi Fani-Kayode (Olukayode) is in custody under DSS distension without charges going many days.
As per corruption allegation in the administration and political party I must stress that corruption is not an individual but system loopholes that creates opportunity for misguided characters to be fraudulent. These loopholes were being addressed gradually in that administration as all its innovation are in use today ranging from the TSA, deregulation of the Power sector and even the PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill). I can’t say much about the political party as I wasn’t much of a fan of the PDP and never worked with them as such but provided advisory services for some of the core elders of the party.
Q: Besides the fact that some people think Buhari’s crusade against corruption is partisan, do you atleast give him credit for the efforts in fighting corruption, any recommendations to help his administration on corruption?
I think the question has been sufficiently answered . My only recommendation for the administration is to procure a mirror, each time they feel the urge to fight any enemy; they should look into that mirror for their real enemy.
Q: A last question on the future of Nigeria beyond politics, and the challenges of the times, what are your hopes and fears?
Master the instrument and master the music the rest is history just play from your heart and appease your soul.
A really intelligent man feels what other men only know. The fools in life wants things fast and easy. Money, Success, Attention., etc. Whatever they get slips through their hands as fast as they get it, be it money, fame or power. They are the types that out lashes their rivals. They master nothing and develop no skills beneficial to man.
Modern Man is the victim of the very instruments he values most. Every gain in power, every mastery of natural forces, every scientific addition to knowledge, has proved potentially dangerous, because it has not been accompanied by equal gains in self-understanding and self-discipline.
It is still amusing to see people who can hardly agree to purchase yesterday’s groceries aligning with the notion that yesterday’s men will be our messiah in 2016. I’ve got nothing but pity for the average electorate who chanted Change at every opportunity and ruined relationships of years because of these lying bunch of savages. What is playing out today is what I’ve seen ahead and tried as much to communicate as subtle as I could but people react based on exposure and experience. We have not mastered the art of exercising the muscles we call brain enough to forecast, learn from history or connect the dots especially when sentiment is deployed and poverty is weaponized.
APC’s Lai Mohammed (Minister of Information and Culture) took to the air, looked into the camera and admitted they lied to you to secure your votes, seized the government and rape the land in a continuum and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s the summary of the rubble of lies you heard in the interview on the cowered, browbeaten and conquered ChannelsTV doing the bidding of the enemies of our democracy. The President on the other hand like any septuagenarian is simply acting his age with his intrinsic interpretation of leadership by whims and caprices as governed by core beliefs of religious bigotry and chronic nepotism.
Who suffers? Whose children will be out of school? Whose husbands will be out of job? Whose family will be financially insolvent? Whose business will collapse? Your guess is as good as mine. This is all I was saying then in a nutshell. It is not about prejudice or hate. Goodluck Jonathan wasn’t the best suited no doubt but that wasn’t the best time either for the truncation of the progress we were making as a nation.
Where we are today is not exactly hell but it might as well be. It is going to get a lot worse regardless of how much we think positively for better. Within the crisis lies opportunity for better days to come. Leaders will be born and made and Nigeria will be better for it never to be deceived again. Those still living in denial may not have learnt their lessons yet but soon, a family, a friend or loved one will clearly become dependent or victimized and it will dawn on you.
Just before we start queuing for Salt, let me assure you that some of us will do our best to ameliorate things but based on the determination of the revisionists our efforts may never be enough. Nothing will save us from the consequences of our choice. People who have not succeeded in conquering themselves cannot be leaders. Sitting down and wishing people who are bent on enslaving the populace is like jumping off a mountain and wishing the law of gravity suspended.
There’s always a way where there’s a will. We can unite as one and stand with our country. We can hold government accountable. We can begin to send them clear messages that we are easy to govern, difficult to rule and impossible to enslave before things get worse. We can either reason together now as a people or perish as fools. I feel for Nigerians, I really do. Remember, this is 2016 not 1983.
Nigerians Can reason together now as a people or perish as fools