Nigeria is a geographical entity blessed with abundance of human and natural resources. However, despite the enormous resources at the disposal of the people saddled with the insignia of power in Nigeria, her life expectancy has drastically reduced from 52 to 41. The economy is crumbling. The banking industry is wailing. Vision 2020 is now a mirage. Unemployment is alarmingly increasing. Maternal child birth death is jumping up. Despite the current campaign against corruption, the menace is still booming like the wave of ocean while the judiciary and legislatures, the presumed hope of the common man, have turned against the common people.
Despite the abundance of crude oil, fertile land and rational and critical thinkers, which liter the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, over 80 million Nigerian people are still wallowing in abject squalor and filth, largely occasioned by the tactlessness and thoughtlessness of those saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s financial and economic lacunas (Omoruyi 2012).
My stance is that the nation of Nigeria is currently in awry because she has been under the siege of propagandists since independence. Liars, deceivers, hypocrites, rogues, pen robbers and pseudo-democrats have governed Nigeria more than those with genuine intentions.
The flood gate of mumbo-limbo was formally opened in Nigeria during the Murtala/Obasanjo Military administration and Second Republic and the trend has not ended. Nigerians were deceived with many degrees of projects that have ended in shambles.
The Ajaokuta Steel Company conceived during the Third National Plan from 1975 to 1980, to me, marks the beginning of propaganda in Nigeria. According to Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Okonjo Iweala’s book titled- REFORMING THE UNREFORMABLE, the Ajaokuta Steel Company has gulped five billion US dollars (One trillion naira) from the nation’s purse with no useful steel produced from the company in the last 25 years.
The Obasanjo/Muritala’s OPERATION FEED THE NATION and GREEN REVOLUTION programmes designed with the aim of bringing relief to the poor, eradicate poverty, hunger and abrogation of emptiness in Nigeria was another propaganda that swelled the nation dry. The policy ended up putting Nigeria more in poverty and starvation. It was a ruse, a perpetual disaster.
The Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) invented by the Babangida’s regime was another propaganda that still rings bell in the memory of Nigerians. The Policy designed to redesign, reshape and reform Nigerian economy ended up ruining the economy. SAP led to more inflation and devaluation of naira and embarrassing fall in price of Premium Medium Spirit (PMS). SAP was a hoax propagated by the Ibrahim Babangida (IBB)’s administration to enslave Nigerians to the western powers.
The much publicized National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) initiated by the Obasanjo’s administration was another humbug that rocked the pages of Nigeria’s dailies with an amazing ease. NEEDs, according to Obasanjo was derived from the urgent requirement for value orientation, the objective of which is to sound the message clearly, that it is not business as usual. Therefore, the bedrock of NEEDS is its vision of a Nigeria with a new set of values and principles, which will facilitate the achievements of national goals of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction. NEEDs was basically planned to work in the following areas of the economy -public sector reforms, privatization and liberalization, governance, transparency and anti-corruption, as well as service delivery by government agencies.
However, Obasanjo left Nigeria more impoverished than he met it. The administration spent $16billion on power supply without giving Nigerians electricity to enjoy. Massive funds were invested on Ajaokuta Steel Company with no significant achievement recorded. All public landed properties were sold by the administration under the guise of privatization. The properties sold then were allegedly bought by those who are currently echoing CHANGE.
Nigeria under Obasanjo was rated by the Transparency International as the second most corrupt country in the world. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) set up to wage war against corruption ended up becoming a tool in the hand of Obasanjo to punish perceived political enemies.
Also, the Obasanjo led administration is reputed for conducting the worst general elections ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria’s democracy. The pump price of PMS witnessed 600% increment during Obasanjo’s reign. Many high profile politicians were gruesomely assassinated under the watchful eyes of Obasanjo.
Furthermore, the vision 2020 invented by the Yar’adua’s administration is another propaganda which the Nigerian bourgeoisies have been using to wheedle Nigerians. Vision 2020 was a policy designed, aiming that by 2020, Nigeria would be one of the 10 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. Today, the story of vision 2020 is confirmed delusion, and an illusion commissioned to swindle Nigerians.
The YouWin programme designed by the Jonathan’s government was a lingo. YouWin, according to its initiator, stands for Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria. It is an innovative business plan competition aimed at job creation by encouraging and supporting aspiring entrepreneurial youths in Nigeria to develop and execute business ideas. YouWin was designed to produce at least 1,200 millionaires monthly. However, the Jonathan administration ended with YouWin not producing 100 known millionaires.
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) was another propaganda, which those at the corridor of power under Jonathan used to loot the common patrimony of Nigeria. SURE-P is a policy designed by the Jonathan’s administration to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians following the partial removal of fuel subsidy on January 2012. About N300billion went to SURE-P with no significant achievement recorded till date.
In reality, what did the immediate past government of Jonathan successfully transform in Nigerians? He reformed the power sector yet, Nigerians did not enjoy constant power supply. Jonathan invested heavily on the education sector, yet, no Nigerian university was ranked among the best 1000 in the world.
The newly invented propaganda in Nigeria is CHANGE and FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION. Some politicians preached change to Nigerians prior to the last general elections and they (Nigerians) bought to their preaching. Same politicians who sold the nation’s properties to their cronies, who spent $16 billion on power supply, who were indicted in the Halliburton scandal, who ran their states aground, who were indicted for pension fraud, who spent N138m to sink two boreholes, who allegedly spent N98bn on presidential campaigns, who liquidated Society Generale Bank, who have bought 40% of what glitters in his state, who plunged their states into generational debts, etc are presently entertaining Nigerians with fight against corruption and the word “Change”.
Today, we have a regime who claimed to be fighting corruption, yet, no looter has been convicted till date. Those who allegedly looted their states and the nation dry are now being granted bail on self-recognition. A former governor who was accused of stealing N280m was granted bail for N280m. A former National Security Adviser whom the Change Agents accused of treason and felony against Nigerian state was granted bail on self recognition. The change agents claimed to be fighting terrorism, yet, over 100 Nigerians were murdered within their 100 days on the corridor of power.
Today, the most corrupt youth organization in Nigeria-the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) are now being paid by our Change Agents to stage anti-corruption rally. The most corrupt interest group in Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress is now being engaged by our Change Agents to shout no to corruption.
Today, only the thieves who stole YAM under the Jonathan’s administration but refused to support the campaign for change prior to 2015 general elections are being accused of stealing. Those who wrecked their states and the nation but supported the change crusade with their ill-gotten wealth have been pardoned.
Today, the leader of the change movement whom we were told was poor prior to his electoral victory on March 28 presidential election has just declared assets worth N3bn. Today, nothing has been added to the nation’s megawatts. The economy is crumbling under the change agents. The stock market is dying. The banking industry is now on RED ALERT. The organized private sectors are sacking and retrenching yet, the media is awash with noise of Change and fight against corruption.
I pause for now
Adeleye sent this piece from Magodo, Lagos, [email protected]