President Tinubu: A Worse Burden Than Ever Imagined

President Tinubu: A Worse Burden Than Ever Imagined

30th June 2024, NewsOrient, Opinion, Column, News
By Ikeddy ISIGUZO

NOTHING is wrong with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is in robust health to the shock of those who were predicting that he was susceptible to not finishing the presidential race as it raged in 2023.

Tinubu, I repeat, is fine. He cannot deny it.

The latest narratives pinning his bumbling performance, mostly non-performance, on people around him, are again deliberate. Those who promoted him as a strategist, a thought leader, the brightest economist of his class out of Chicago State University (sometimes University of Chicago) are falling over themselves to excuse his mis-handling of everything he met.

Tinubu’s capacities are so low that no matter how low the standards are, he will keep falling short. His disciples have done well setting no standards for him – yet he falls.

Give him credit for selfishness. Perhaps, that is what his devotees call strategy. Was he not in his full elements when he told Nigerians that the presidency was his, his turn? How selfish can an individual be? But he also told us how he will win the presidency.

He said power was not served à la carte but was to be snatched, and further advised once you grabbed it, you had to run with it.

Tinubu has run with our country. Nobody should blame him. He told us all what he would. He is actually doing them.

Have we forgotten he promised us agbado, corn, maize. Is it his fault that things are expensive? Even if he said agbado would be cheap, did he say how much it would cost?


The Tinubu project is on full course. If you do not want him to have two new presidential jets, you are not against him, but Nigeria.

Are we not ashamed that the best President in Nigeria’s history travels in jets that break down like the famed Lagos molue that he banned as Governor? Give him his presidential jets – it is his turn to ride the Nigerian ass as he wants.

Once the jets arrive, purchased on loans, our national discourses would be on sustaining the President’s comfort, importing special aviation fuel for the presidential fleet.

There is a reason for the news of “dirty fuel” in Nigeria.
The National Assembly should brace up for a supplementary budget for the fuel supplies to the Presidency as it is more known in these days.

In our hunger, we will still cheer an enlargement of the presidential fleet. The President needs to travel more to “sell Nigeria” to more unwilling buyers. It is a task that requires more resources than reasoning.

Nigeria is shrinking and so are the opportunities to build a nation “where no one is oppressed”. You would not notice if you are not affected by attacks of bandits and kidnappers.


Countries are shutting us out, shunning us, ignoring us or outrightly insulting us.

The President’s visa is guaranteed so he can attend those ceremonies in Addis Ababa while Nigerians who are travelling to Ethiopia, Turkey, and the Emirates for business or pleasure are humiliated out of opportunities that are available to other nationals. It seems the President, as he waits for his jets, is unaware of these developments.

More people are starving. We rather argue whether it is “extreme hunger” or “headline inflation”. What is the use of hope when its renewed edition is worse than hopelessness?


Tinubu will get his jets. He will travel more, see us less, and be more burden on us as his idea of an inclusive government would leave more people behind.


You must have noticed that his supporters discuss his availability for 2027 more than any meaningful measures to alleviate the present suffering of Nigerians which Tinubu’s policies have worsen.


Tinubu needs the speed of a jet to leave us as he sprints to 2027. Only new jets can get him away from us as quickly as he wants.


Before he fully ignores us, can he tell us how he intends to lighten the burdens that he has dumped on Nigerians? The answer should not be, “I will win in 2027”.

Finally…
KENYANS have a long history of “fighting to take back their country”. The three-year Mau Mau guerrilla warfare that started in 1953 forced the British to grant the East African Protectorate, as Kenya, was known, independence.

Those shouting “see Kenyans” should know that their independence was steeped in struggles. We should also note that during the protests, Chief Justice of Kenya, Lady Justice Martha Koome, the first woman to serve in that role in Kenya, and Roseline Odede, Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights condemned the aggression of the security agencies and drew the attention of President William Samuel Ruto to abused rights of the protesters which he was reminded contradicted the President’s oath of office to protect Kenyans and their constitutional rights to liberties under which protests were ingrained in freedoms of speech and association.

The President has withdrawn the obnoxious tax law, but Kenyans are still asking him to resign, and that the First Lady should not attend a 29 June 2024 church fund raising, where they allege she would spend Kenya’s money.


BudgIT, a Nigerian organisation promoting transparency and accountability has raised concerns about Nigeria running four budgets concurrently in 2024. Implementation frame of Budget 2023 and 2023 Supplementary Budget are to be extended to 31 December 2024. The 2024 Appropriation Bill is running and a 2024 Supplementary Budget is on the way. Certainly, some created this confusion for their benefit. Can we call it another way Tinubu is different?
GROUP Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, four years ago laid the foundation for a multi-billion Naira project in Kaita, Katsina State to be completed in 18 months. “The initiative is meant to strengthen the country’s national healthcare delivery facilities in combating the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic,” Kyari said. “Katsina State is among the 12 States selected for this humanitarian project for the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases for generation yet unborn. These projects were practically funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the NNPC,” he said. Anyone with any update on these projects should tell us.
AN arbitral tribunal in London on 26 March 2021 issued a final award of $55,675,000 in addition to an interest of $9.4 million and costs of £2,864,445 payable by Nigeria to Zhongshan Fucheng Industrial Investment a Chinese company that alleged the Ogun State breached a 2010 agreement on Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone, OGFTZ. The value of what is seized makes little scratch on the $70 million the Chinese were awarded. This places more lien on Nigerian assets beyond the United Kingdom, and demands more diligence and adherence to the terms of agreements. The judgement adds $70 million to the foreign debts of Ogun State.
THE most sagacious policy of this government to tackle food scarcity is to ask all of us to farm. Soon they will ask us to make our own clothes and refine our own fuel. Food scarcity is majorly caused by insecurity, rising cost of farming inputs, and illegal tollgates on the roads. All of us farming would not reduce food prices – for starts, most of us have nowhere to farm.
A SHOCKING close to the week came early for me at midweek with the passing, in Lagos, of an older friend Tam Fiofori at 82. He was many things to many people – long jumper, author, artist, photographer, journalist, film-maker, documentarist – and still more. In 2003, we co-authored a book, From Lagos to Abuja, History of the All-Africa Games. We met as sports reporters at the National Stadium 46 years ago and struck a relationship that lasted. His youthful attitude gave me no idea of how much older he was. I was shocked when he turned 60 in 2002. This month we started work on the bloated electricity bill he was receiving. In November 2023, it was N16,400 and N375,868 in May 2024. All bills are now behind him. He will be missed by the many who knew his work, and his worth. May the Almighty rest him.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

~ NewsOrient

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