Dr Uche Diala
Here was an Administration (Buhari’s) that came to meet a country in active recession. A recession that was rightly predicted by the preceeding PDP (Jonathan) Administration.
Crude oil price fell to below $20 per barrel after having been sold at over $100 per barrel for the greater part of 10 years under the PDP Administration. To add to the injury, by the sponsored acts of so called Niger Delta Avengers as soon as he came on board, daily crude oil production dropped from over 2M bpd to under 1M bdp. Yet the Administration was able bail out states who could not pay salaries at the time. Not once, but twice.
Yet this Administration exited us from that recession faster than some other advanced nations only to be hit by a once-in-a-century pandemic which crippled the entire world and then another recession which it effectively navigated and brought the nation out of on record time. The educated among us know all these but they choose to deceive and mislead the not too informed among us; all because of selfish and wicked politics.
In and through all that, the Administration has embarked on unarguably one of the most ambitious infrastructural revolution this nation has seen in about the last two decades. From rails to roads to bridges to airports to agriculture etc; all with seriously reduced income from oil.
Agriculture has bounced back. Agriculture once more now tops the chart as national revenue source. If only more Nigerians could ignore the noise and see the tiny buds of a new and better nation rising from the ashes of a nation largely and badly mismamaged for decades by people from East, West, North and South.
By the way, all these are verifiable. Not propaganda or lies.
Some talk about about borrowing. Yes. We have always borrowed. Every nation borrows. The question is: What is the borrowing for? Is it borrowing to pay salaries or borrowing to put infrastructure in place that would drive the economy, employment and make the nation better for our children who will be part of repaying that loan? The money that Dasuki and co shared was also borrowed money for arms and ammunition. But they simply shared it and many of us did not cry blue murder.
Today, every fund borrowed is tied to a particular and specific project and you can bet that it is all accounted for. How? Because that is a deliberate plan and policy of this Administration. No project will be abandoned. Complete existing projects (which is why even projects abandoned, some for up to 25 to 40 years have been completed nationwide) since 2015.
No new project is to be started except it is absolutely neccesary. No new project will be started without first identifying and securing the fund and the source of funding. Thus every project for which funds have been borrowed are there for all to see. Why would I or anyone not support such an Administration in Nigeria? Even with my personal resources.
Imagine in two years’ time when Nigeria will be connected by rail from Lagos to Ibadan to Onitsha to Calabar to Aba to Port Harcourt to Warri to Itakpe etc to Ajaokuta to Abuja to Kaduna to Maiduguri etc to Kano and back to Lagos. I mean, just leave your ostrich mentality, partisanship, self delusion and hate for a moment and just imagine. It is here already. It is no propaganda.
Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) which is the new oil will soon flow from the Niger Delta (where it has been laying waste for decades) to Ajeokuta (Steel Mill) to Abuja to Northern Nigeria and then to Northern Africa, with 3,600 MWs of electricity generated, environmental pollution from gas flaring drastically reduced in the Niger Delta and the huge revenue from it to boot. Not to talk of industrialisation and accompanying employment and other infrastructure. The multiplier effect that is. Again just imagine for a moment and think and it is for real. No propaganda.
It is all within reach. The multi billion dollar AKK Gas Pipeline project which will make that finally possible is being handled by a competent indigenous company owned by my Igbo brother. BUHARI DID IT!!
This is an Administration that while we are all mouthing restructuring and true federalism has quietly moved on local government autonomy and the likes.
It responsibly settled outstanding pensions owed ex-Biafran police men and soldiers, defunt Nigerian Airways staff etc. It has not owed any worker salary, allowances or pension from 2015 to date, in spite of the poor revenue profile. Was that by magic? No. It is a result of deliberate and more prudent management of relatively more scarce resources.
Why are Federal civil servants angry then? Simple. The ones they used to steal is no more coming. They actually used to steal more than their salaries and allowances put together in the past at our collective expense. So they never complained when they were not paid in the past. Who is to blame for their greed? Buhari?
In the vexed area of security and defence, this administration has done more to equip our military than at any time since 1999. Again verifiable. Not propaganda. Anyone that thinks the Administration is not doing enough or anything to bandits and other misbehaving elements, should take a trip and see for oneself. Borno state used to be the hot bed of Boko Haram terrorism up till 2015. Today Borno has verifiably bounced back. Was that by magic? God bless our military and their Commander in Chief Buhari.
The revolutionary and bold Power project of the Buhari led Administration under the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) will transform the nation’s power infrastructure and electricity situation.
In July 2019, the federal government signed a power project deal (PPI) with Siemens AG with the aim of increasing Nigeria’s electricity generation to 25,000 megawatts (MW) in six years.
The power project will have 3 phases:
1. To take Nigeria’s operational capacity of the grid from less than 5,000MW to 7000MW by 2021;
2. Further increase the capacity to 11,000MW by 2023; and
3. Achieve total operational generation and national grid capacity to 25,000MW by 2025.
In July 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the payment of €15.21 million and N1.708 billion as counterpart funding for the PPI.
This is real. No gimmick. Totally verifiable. And there are more I have not mentioned. These are the things that truly matter for any serious minded and sincere Nigerian and why many who support the Buhari Administration still do so. Not patronage, which Buhari does not and will not give anyways. These are the real reasons why we elect and support a government.
I wish more Nigerians understood and supported. There is hardship. No question. I suffer it too. But there is no nation in the world that suffered the kind of ruthless and mindless rape that Nigeria suffered that would not go through the kind of pain and hardship we see; if things were to be rebuilt. By the way, it will still get worse before it gets better and Buhari will not solve it all.
If we continue with our partisan delusion or keep thinking there will be a free or easier ride to Eldorado and allow the thieves to come back as they are desperately scheming with their lies and sponsoring of all kinds of mischief and insecurity or allow the wrong person (from whatever Party or Zone) to succeed Buhari, we will only roll back the hands of the clock and extend our suffer and renaissance.
How anyone would say the 16 years of PDP inclusive of the 6 years of President Jonathan is better than the last 7 years in terms of the things that really matter in nation building; knowing all we know baffles me but it does not surprise me.
When I say most of the bile and venom we see is because of a 2015 electoral loss and removing of feeding bottle from the mouths of some people, people will think I am joking. It is a fact.
Yes there is insecurity which has become our politicking strategy. But when has there not been insecurity? I recall in 2014-15 when many were contemplating which country to run or relocate to when Abuja, the federal capital became nearly inhabitable because of insecurity, not to talk of the North East. Many of the same people who have turned loquacious emergency activists today kept a defeaning silence then.
I recall when our common wealth was put on the table and cut up like chicken on the dinner table by the likes of Dasuki, Diezani, Fani Kayode, Patience Jonathan, Ibori, Olisa Metu, Dokpesi and co while our troops were driven into neighbouring countries by Boko Haram terrorists. Many of today’s emergency democrats and activists kept mum then.
Insecurity In Nigeria is a recurring decimal and until and unless we all (across board) decide to stop playing politics with it and stop encouraging it, it will end; even after Buhari leaves office. Yet while security is a major task for any nation and any President, there are other important tasks in nation building and Buhari and his Administration have stayed focused on them; even as it fights the insecurity and in spite of the insecurity.
Permit me to say this: I recall when the South East held the ‘juicy positions’ including CBN Governor, Service Chief, Minister of Finance and Aviation etc. In fact the South had two Ministers of Aviation within that period. Yet the Akanu Ibiam International Airport was neglected. Indeed no Airport in the South East or South South was deliberately upgraded to international standards. We all kept quiet then, in all our smartness.
I recall that the PDP that the South East gave all our love used the 2nd Niger Bridge to campaign in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. In fact in 2011, President Jonathan swore to the Obi of Onitsha that if he did not complete that Bridge by 2015, he will “go on exile”.
Alas, not only did he (Jonathan) not complete it as promised, he actually only showed us a map of the ‘completed’ bridge and he did not go on exile as promised. Rather, he went ahead to contest the 2015 election and we even more ferociously supported him with all we had. No questions asked.
Today that same bridge is set to be completed in 2022. Guaranteed. Some of us have now switched our song to; is it only SE that will use the bridge? Afterall it will be a tolled bridge. No problem. At least the response is no longer; “it’s a lie”; “Buhari can never build that bridge or do any thing good for the South East”.
Make no mistake. I am not comparing or engaging in blame game. No. Some people think we all have short memories and suffering from amnesia. We are not. I simply want to jog their memory and expose their naked hypocrisy.
What is the CARDINAL sin of Buhari, even to some of his supporters? He is not sharing the money. Even as there is still official corruption and I believe there is, it is not as democratized and librarized as it used to be.
This is not to say that Buhari has no faults, lapses or has not made mistakes. Sure he has but on the balance of scale, he is better that what we have had in recent past. Better is not best but it is surely better than good. We can only build on the good works he has done and still doing. The choice is ours.
Let anyone who cares counter me with facts and figures. Not abuse and rigmarole.
While at it, list the legacy infrastructural projects of the PDP Administrations for 16 years against each of the ones by the Buhari led Administration in 7 years. Also tell me if Buhari has not done more in the area of infrastructure in the South East in 7 years than the PDP did in 16 years. Please also do so with clear examples.
Folks, it is time to get serious and stop the lies, infantile propaganda and self deceit. It is time to separate the wheat from the chaff, tell ourselves and the people the truth, leave the hypocrisy and think about Nigeria and our common good.
As for our favourite Fulani herdsmen sing song, in less than 2 years, Buhari would be gone and it would be interesting to hear the new sing song we will wax thereafter. May the souls of our troops and innocent fellow Nigerians who have lost their lives in the unnecessary insecurity and carnage rest in peace.
Let’s Get Serious.
*Uche Diala* is my name.
I supported and still the Buhari Administration. Now we know some of the reasons why.