Q: You are an ardent critic of this government, why are you so persistent in your criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari government?
A: Because I am a patriot. I do not have any other passport but the Nigerian passport. My value as a person is tied to the value of Nigeria and under Buhari that value has deteriorated faster than at any time in my life.
This government came in through propaganda and they are failing because of a lack of proper agenda.
Let us examine their campaign promises which made Nigerians vote for them.
They promised to fight corruption. Now, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Nigeria is more corrupt today under Buhari than at any other time since Transparency International started keeping records!
We have moved 12 places backward from 136 to 148. Yet this administration has the guts to accuse a government under whom Nigeria made her best ever progress on the Corruption Perception Index of corruption? We moved from 144 to 136 in 2014 under President Jonathan.
They promised to secure Nigeria, but according to the Global Terrorism Index, Nigeria is now more terrorized and insecure under the Buhari administration. In the latest ranking, we are now the third most terrorized nation in the world. This is worse than what we were under the previous government. We now have the number one and number four most deadly terror groups in the world in Boko Haram and herdsmen. Look at how many people died in Zamfara in the same Northwest that President Buhari is from. Look at how he went to sing and dance at a wedding in Kano a few days after Dapchi. Look at Benue which is now a theater of war. Look at the comments by TY Danjuma that under Buhari the military is no longer neutral.
Look at the nepotistic appointments in the military and security services whereby people with religious and or ethnic affinity to President Buhari occupy ALL, not some, but ALL the sensitive positions.
Under Jonathan, our police received laurels around the world. We trained police officers from other nations. But look at how rapidly our police has deteriorated under Buhari because of nepotism.
In the latest ranking by the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI), the Nigerian Police Force was ranked the worst in the world!
The you come to the economy. They promised three million jobs per year during the campaign, but according to their own government owned and controlled Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, ten million Nigerians have lost their jobs under Buhari. They did not create jobs and the jobs other governments created, they lost.
They asked Nigerian youths to vote for them yet there is not one single youth on the cabinet. They asked women to vote for them, but after voting you have been excused to the ‘other room’.
I now believe former President Jonathan was speaking prophetically when he said on December 11, 2014 that “The choice before Nigerians in the coming election is between a record of visible achievements and beneficial reforms – and desperate power-seekers with empty promises”.
This government promised to expand the economy yet, within a year of their being in power, Nigeria went into a recession. Instead of taking responsibility, they started blaming others.
There are a number of reasons Nigeria went into a recession and all of them have to do with Muhammadu Buhari. I will try to list some of them in summary.
The first is the rushed implementation of the Treasury Single Account instead of the gradual implementation planned by the Jonathan administration which conceived of the concept of the TSA.
The second is failing to appoint ministers on time and when he finally appointed ministers the President appointed a woman whose highest degree is a Bachelors in Economics from a second class British polytechnic (The University of East London was a polytechnic when Kemi Adeosun attended it in the 90s) to succeed a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Managing Director of the World Bank as minister of finance.
Go back and read the comments by Bill Gates on this government’s economic blueprint. He called it incoherent and said it does not address Nigerian’s needs. There is a particular picture of Mr. Gates and the minister of finance where he was looking at her with disdain!
When Bill Gates said the Buhari government prioritizes physical capital over human capital, people like Nasir Elrufai came out to attack him. But just a week after Mr Gates spoke truth to power, Buhari went to Lagos and the APC declared a public holiday for him. Does this not vindicate Bill Gates?
By declaring a public holiday and preventing businesses from opening for work, the APC government is setting back human capital because of the physical capital of opening a bus stop. This is a pure example of why Bill Gates said Buhari prioritizes physical capital over human capital.
Lagos has an annual GDP of $100 billion. By shutting the state down, Lagos loses $250 million. Do you see why our economy collapsed under Buhari?
Not done with putting round pegs into square holes, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed a man who studied French to replace a man who has a PhD in agricultural economics from Purdue University and who had worked at the highest levels of the Rockefeller Foundation as minister for agriculture.
The third reason is the President’s interference with the independence of the Central Bank of Nigeria and his public comments of what he would do with the Naira. This led to foreign exchange restrictions that saw 270 companies fold up (according to the Nigerian Labour Congress), 7 foreign airlines leaving Nigeria, 10 foreign shipping firms divesting from our economy and over $3 billion capital flight from Nigeria.
In five years then President Jonathan spent ₦16 trillion. The economy grew to the point where CNNMoney projected Nigeria to be the third fastest growing economy in the world after China and Qatar in 2014. Naira was stable and was listed as one of the best performing currencies.
In two years President Buhari has spent ₦16 trillion. We had recession. The Naira collapsed and was ranked the fourth worst performing currency in the world by Bloomberg in 2016.
Buhari kept complaining about the price of crude oil, but that is an excuse because oil accounts for only 15% of our GDP. Moreover the price of crude oil has averaged about $50 under Buhari, yet he has borrowed more than all the previous PDP governments of the last 16 years combined.
Crude oil sold for an average of $23 in the first five years of President Obasanjo yet that government was able to pay up all of Nigeria’s foreign debt of over $30 billion.
What this proves is that no matter how much resources you give to the Buhari administration, it will never be enough because they do not know how to make prudent use of resources.
There are other reasons why the economy tanked under Buhari, but these are some of the most pressing reasons why I see it as my duty to do everything in my power to democratically unseat this clueless administration.
Q: Your support for the immediate past government under which you served has equally been very consistent. Why, because that government has been branded by the Buhari government as the most corrupt and Asiwaju Tinubu even awarded Jonathan as the most corrupt president?
A: With all due respect, when students seat for an examination, it is not a fellow student that marks their script. The assessment is done by external examiners.
Both President Buhari and President Jonathan wrote an examination. The only body in this world officially recognized as arbiters of who is corrupt and who is not is Transparency International and they have weighed both Jonathan and Buhari on the scale and found Buhari wanting.
President Jonathan’s administration has the enviable record of advancing Nigeria’s anti-corruption war and delivered results to the point where we made our best ever improvement in Transparency International’s CPI in 2014 when we moved 8 places forward from 144 to 136. Can this government say the same?
The fact is that President Buhari has a messianic complex that is divorced from reality.
The proof of this is that he keeps talking down at previous administrations who have done a much better job of fighting corruption than him.
Did you hear of budget padding under Jonathan? Did you hear that a criminal like Maina was brought back to Nigeria, reinstated, given double promotion and moving about with armed guards and that when the Senate wanted to probe how he was reinstated the Attorney General of the Federation went to court to block the probe? Did you hear that $25 billion worth of contracts were awarded without due process at NNPC and no investigation was carried out? Did you hear that a Secretary to the Government of the Federation was caught red handed engaging in contract scams? Did Jonathan ever budget ₦1.1 billion to clean the office of the National Security Adviser?
This administration’s EFCC returned 48 houses to Timipre Sylva, a known supporter and financier of the APC. How could Sylva have gotten 48 houses legally? What was his job or business before becoming Governor and what is his source of income after becoming governor? Did he declare those 48 houses on his asset declaration form? Yet they left him to go scot free and are now harassing Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy because they refused to be cowed.
Yet Buhari went to Ghana to offer to help them fight corruption!
Ghana is #81 on this year’s Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, while Nigeria is at #148. My question to President Buhari is how can you help a nation that is less corrupt than yours to fight corruption? It is like a demon offering to deliver a pastor!
President Buhari should instead take anti corruption lessons from ex President Jonathan and Ghanaian President Nana Akufor-Addo.
Q: Most recently, the Vice president accused the Jonathan government of being corrupt and you took exception to that and described the Vice President as a liar. Are you saying there was no corruption in that government?
A: There is no human institution that is not corrupt. Even in heaven, an angel became corrupt and was thrown out of heaven by God. How much more with humans.
The thing is that corruption is human and perfection is divine. So what you can gauge in humans is levels or degree of corruption and Transparency International has already done that for us.
I do not have to add to what Transparency International has done except to say that when Jonathan’s ministers were accused of corruption and conflicts of interest, he sacked one on the spot and sacked the other after a two-week investigation.
Can this administration say the same? Did they sack the communications minister whose own personal assistant wrote a letter exposing his boss’s multifarious corruption? Did they sack the former SGF? Was it not until we made such a fuss that he was eventually sacked 10 months after? Has he been charged? What has been done to the GMD of NNPC?
The immediate past acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Muhammad Daudu, during his appearances at the House of Representatives committee investigating the $44 million Ikoyi apartment millions gave sworn evidence that elements in the Buhari presidency had been putting pressure on him to share the $44 million with them. Was anything done to them? Instead, Ambassador Dauda was sacked and has now gone into hiding.
Q: You have written before, when Buhari was in the hospital, to support Osinbajo, what has changed now that you are in war path with him, is it because he criticized Jonathan?
That is to show you that I am balanced. If Osinbajo does well, I praise him. Same with Buhari. I have commended the President on five different occasions. But I am not a sycophant. If they do wrong, I will speak up.
Q: Recently, it was reported that a source in the presidency alleged that 100BN was moved to Jonathan residence just before the election from the CBN and you reacted that it was a lie, are you saying the source isn’t saying the truth?
A: First and foremost, that ‘source’ was no other person but the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. I was informed of this by an editor of a major newspaper (not ThisDay).
The claim is a lie and an infantile one at that. I have addressed it in detail.
Vice President Osinbajo should stop hiding behind ‘sources’. As a pastor and as a real man, he ought to be bold enough to make his false allegations openly and not via ‘sources’ and I will meet him in the media, in court and anywhere else he wants to go a-lying.
But do you know that it is behaviour like this that caused the Egmont Group to suspend Nigeria? Now we are on the verge of being expelled. The Egmont Group complained that this administration continues to leak false allegations of financial misappropriations for political purposes against political opponents. You are a journalist. Investigate it.
When they suspended Nigeria, the Egmont Group gave as reason the “repeated failures on the part of the FIU, (Nigeria) to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information.”
That is a direct quote from the Egmont Group. Furthermore, they said “the measure (Nigeria’s suspension from the group) will remain in force until immediate corrective actions are implemented”.
Instead of compliance to this warning, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is still carrying on with the same old tricks using faceless Presidency ‘sources’.
Very soon, Nigerians may not be able to use their Nigerian domiciled visa and MasterCard abroad because of the punitive actions of the Egmont Group against Nigeria.
And how did Nigeria get removed from the Financial Action Task Force which had previously blacklisted Nigeria? It was because the previous PDP administrations did not behave like this, that is why Nigerian banks were welcome to the global banking world.
The current actions of the Buhari administration will have very potentially damaging consequences for our banking sector and the larger economy because if Nigeria is expelled by the Egmont Group, and it is looking like that may happen, we will be classified as a high-risk jurisdiction country, with unpleasant implications for financial transactions from and to Nigeria.
Q: Being the people in power they should know better, they must have seen the documents and traces of what transpired, don’t you think that it is possible that money was moved to the president’s residence?
A: It is a complete lie. Quote me. If they have evidence then why hide behind ‘sources’? Will it be the first time Osinbajo has lied?
Did he not lie that the Buhari administration had provided $2 billion to build the second Niger Bridge? Did he not lie that the Jonathan administration did not build a single road?
If they are talking of money paid to the National Security Adviser, in all fairness, money was paid to Colonel Dasuki, but the man did not steal it as is being alleged.
Dasuki said he is ready to meet them in court, but they said they want a secret trial. Dasuki said, ‘you claimed I stole money and never bought weapons so why do you want a secret trial?’
Between the Buhari government that wants a secret trial and Dasuki who wants a public trial, who has something to hide?
Do not forget that it was Dasuki’s job to keep the nation safe and that included protecting VIPs whose death may lead to tension or even war in the country.
On July 23, 2014, President Buhari escaped an attack by Boko Haram in Kaduna which killed 82 people when Boko Haram escalated their insurgency.
Some of the money they are alleging that Dasuki stole was used to protect Buhari and other high-profile individuals particularly those in the North. Buhari got armoured vehicles for his protection, because of the large heart of the Jonathan administration, because Jonathan did not want his life to be imperiled.
Confront the Presidency. Ask them how much did Dasuki spend protecting candidate Buhari and where did that money come from?
Buhari was not entitled to an armoured car. By his entitlements he and other former leaders were entitled to two regular cars, but Dasuki went out of his way to import a specialized armoured vehicle that could resist bombs and bullets to protect Buhari. Go on the Internet and find out how much that cost.
Section 3 (1) of the Remuneration of Former Presidents and Heads of State (And other Ancillary Matters) Decree of 1999 provides that a former head of state is entitled to “Three vehicles to be bought by the Federal Government and liable to be replaced every four years.”
The usual practice was for former heads of state to be given a good car like a Peugeot from PAN or some similar car.
The Jonathan administration was under no obligation to provide President Buhari with an armoured SUV, but because you had decent people in authority, they valued Buhari’s life and went beyond what the law prescribes.
Dasuki is a man that is learned. He is a meticulous record keeper. Let them try him in public and the man himself will expose the truth and Nigerians shall know the truth and it shall set them free from this desperate government. That is why they want a secret trial!
Q: What is your take on the Dapchi school girls kidnapping and release?
A: Last week, ThisDay reported on the testimony by a Dapchi Girl named Fatima, who said “We were divided into three groups and flown in planes, and taken over rivers in boats.”
From where did Boko Haram get planes? From which airport did they take off and from where did they land?
The APC Governor Of Yobe state, Ibrahim Geidam said “I blame the whole attack on Dapchi on the military and the defence headquarters which withdrew troops from Dapchi. The attack occurred barely a week after the military withdrew the soldiers from there.”
When you view these two independent eye witness testimonies, you begin to see that things do not add up.
The Guardian of UK reported that after dropping off the girls, the car ferrying the Boko Haram terrorists had a flat tyre and that they changed it before continuing on their journey.
I urge Nigerians to reflect on these facts and come to their own conclusions.
Q: 17 groups in the north, including the Arewa Consultative Forum has pointedly told Buhari that he has failed and would not support his re-election bid. Are you surprised by the verdict?
A: Many people in the North fell for the propaganda that Jonathan was anti North and anti-Islam. They believed that if they got rid of him, their problems would end. To let you know how they are feeling, I would give you a quote from the Governor of Zamfara state made last month.
This is what Governor Abdulaziz Yari said on February 16, 2018, after gunmen butchered his citizens like chicken in Zurmi:
“I feel let down facing the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that when they elect President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings will end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse.”
Those sentiments represent the feelings of the ordinary people of the North with regard to President Buhari.
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