Yesterday, two pieces of news sank my heart. The first is that the FG finally confirmed our worse fears and declared that the government was broke.
This has been a rumor for sometime now, but hearing it directly from the government is capable of creating panic and retarding hope. Already there have been rumors that government might not be able to pay salaries in the next few months but this admission was callous.
The truth remains that there is something this government is either doing or not doing that is exacerbating the economic situation.
I’ve often referred to it as a plane flying in a bad weather with very terrible pilots. It seems they keep touching the wrong gears.
Why is government terribly broke? Of course they’d tell you that the last administration looted the country dry but I wonder how this dryness began to show as soon as you stepped in.
Q1: Customs revenue was short by 25%. Q2: And it is set to be worse. Was that also caused by Goodluck Jonathan?
Q1 FIRS revenue is said to be short by over 50%. Q2 and it will be worse. Is that also Jonathan’s fault?
Who froze tax audits in FIRS for the past six months and why?
Who padded the 2016 budget even when the government is screaming broke?
The second news is the sudden emergence of another militant group in the Niger Delta known as the Supreme Egbesu Water Lions.
Just four pieces of dynamites and a group called the Avengers have reduced global oil output and is already dictating global oil price which OPEC leaders couldn’t achieve.
International analysts are saying that these guys are more sophisticated then MEND and co.
They are degrading offshore and deep offshore facilities some 8 metres below sea level and they know the exact spots to create maximum damage.
Today we have a second Niger delta militant group to deal with.
A budget with a projected oil sale of 2.2 million barrels has fallen to about 1.2 million and projected to get worse, yet you hear some hangers on like Joe Igbokwe trying to echo Mr. President’s medieval mindset (apologies to Prof Pat Utomi) by prancing up and down shouting war in the Niger delta.
Five more pieces of dynamite and you might not get your next months salary.
While militancy and pipeline vandalism is condemnable, but the truth is that the Niger Delta militants might be reacting to the treatment being meted out to Jonathan and his cronies by this administration.
You might not like this but President Buhari and his cronies has never even pretended to be fair in dealing with anything Jonathan. They have not even bothered to pretend that the war against corruption is impartial.
From the moment Jonathan made that congratulatory call and they recorded and released it I knew they’d mess him up.
From that day till date everyone suspected to be close to him is hounded. His NSA is perpetually detained, his CSO detained illegally, his ADC the same. His closest friends like Chief Turner are on exile, while his blood cousin Azibaola has been detained for almost two months now to the excitement of party faithfuls who cheer on with near empty stomachs.
Irrespective of all these, President Buhari launched a terrible blow on Jonathan in his recent CNN interview with Christian Amanpour. In answering a question to justify our fantastically corrupt allegation, president Buhari told the world that his predecessors took 2.1 billion dollars meant for Boko haram war and shared it over lunch. The smart journalist screamed “you’re kidding me! 2.1 billion or million?” And Mr. President responded 2.1 billion dollars.
While it’s terribly wrong for President Jonathan to use his security votes for campaigns, it’s also a huge lie that it’s 2.1 billion dollars. If you add all the amounts people are being prosecuted for, it amounts to about 150 million dollars and the government claim a lot has been returned.
Today, the most exciting news in Nigeria is often news of some big arrests. As the country gets tougher more bigger suspects will be arrested. I’m sure Mrs. Jonathan will soon be invited and maybe a short visit to Otuoke by EFCC just to show respect and watch the mood before they finally strike.
These arrests are important . They feed the mood of the country. Before the suspects gets to court the propaganda machinations reels out the billions that they stole.
But like I told my close friend, I hope one day we don’t get to the point were we have to cook and eat propaganda in this country.
Agala kennedy is a public affairs analyst