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Obi: Still going about doing good  

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By Sunny Igboanugo

It is not unusual to hear some people in obvious overdrive of satiation, heckling and mocking – Peter Obi will never be President of Nigeria in his lifetime. Of course, it is coming from divergent quarters – the purveyors and patrons of the current state capture that are currently tightening their vice grip on Nigeria, their various supporters blinded by primordial sentiments – mostly pecuniary and ethnic.

Take Reno Omokri for example. Hours after the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), which affirmed the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election, he went all and about with this same mantra. Of course, only a few of the spectators of his current monologue and lone dance in the street like an inebriated village drunkard, would fail to understand where he is coming from.

Many, who are now quite conversant with his ways, would easily decipher that his constant solo attacks on Obi, is his own pitch to break into the camp of President Tinubu for what he could get, after successfully doing so with Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and Tinubu’s opponent.

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Just as he had tried the same trick with Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu’s predecessor and met a brickwall, owing substantially to the aloofness of the former President to stimuli around him no matter how virulent, he might be thinking that a more amenable Tinubu, would be different and would be the next meal ticket, now he seems to have realised that Atiku might not be offering very much, as could be seen in his less than passing interest in that camp.

So, the issue is not about the likes of Reno, his likes who are pitching for a job. It is also not about those already at the table where he wants to break into, currently devouring the sumptuous meal that the Nigerian commonwealth offers. It is rather about the outsiders who, though, are not in the two categories are imbued with either partisan or ethnic interests, even as they are as hard hit as the rest of the suffering mass with the realities of the crises of today’s Nigeria.

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They are the ones to be pitied. If only they knew the truth. If only they knew that Obi has since moved on to where he came from – the higher plane of serving humanity. If only they knew that for Obi, the battle is quite different – different from the quest of power for its sake – rather than power to do good. If only they knew that for Obi, it is not about the acquisition of wealth, obscene, garish, insatiable wealth, mostly stolen from the common purse, but that earned from the sweat of the brow and using same to pull the society up by its booths strap. Then, they would know to whom they would direct their spikes.

Yes, Peter Gregory Obi, has moved on. He had always told those, who cared to listen that the 2023 presidency, where he was the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), was not really for or about him but for Nigerians – that he had actually come to help. His idea was that since he had used his personal resources to try and better the lives of those around him, the presidency would offer him the greater opportunity of a wider spectrum – to use the enormous resources available in Nigeria to create a country that would be brimming hot with goodies. That had always been the intention.

Indeed, as he exhorted his followers, a few days ago not to give up, he would also not drop the gauntlet in achieving that aim. But in the event that the forces of darkness, with help from within and without, succeed in their evil plot to capture the country, he would simply return to basis – going about doing good with the little at his disposal.

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That was exactly what he proved last week when he presented a cheque for N10 million at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Department of Midwifery and Public Health Nursing of the Millennium College of Nursing Sciences of the Awka Anglican Communion, Anambra State, a project he promised he would be part of till fruition, after donating N40 million to Faith Specialist Hospital, where the College is domiciled, all aimed at enhancing the Diocese’s overall initiatives in strengthening its healthcare facilities.

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Hear him: “My motivation for this gesture stems from my belief that healthcare is one of the critical developmental needs of any society. I encourage support of institutions like the Church in their ongoing efforts to develop these vital areas. I want you to understand that these facilities do not solely benefit the bishop and his priests but rather the entire populace of the state. I therefore pledge my commitment to the project. I’ll also leverage my connections to secure funding from my friends for this purpose.”

Alexander Ibezim, Anglican Bishop of Awka and the Archbishop of Niger Province, while commending the former Governor of Anambra State, for consistently demonstrating his commitment to the welfare of the masses, cited his past accomplishments in the state, such as the return of schools to churches and massive financial support to the schools as well as substantial financial support for healthcare, as exemplary actions that other leaders should emulate when genuinely dedicated to serving the people.

“You’re a builder of both individuals and institutions. Your investments in education and healthcare dramatically transformed the landscape of these vital sectors within the state,” the obviously elated cleric, added.

Stella Chinwe Okunna, who was not only Obi’s Chief of Staff as governor, but his ears and eyes in many of his undertakings, thereafter was neither less enthusiastic nor short of words in praising her former boss, while praising the church as well for its dedication to initiatives that improve society, recalling how his vision during his tenure as governor, aligned with global developmental goals.

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“Under his leadership, the healthcare sector was completely revitalised. Before his tenure, Anambra had no accredited health institutions, but during his time, the state gained many, including two accredited hospitals. Through Obi’s partnership with the Church, institutions like Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi, Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha, St. Charles  Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha and St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu now have accredited Schools of Nursing, School of Midwifery, and Schools of Health Technology,” she said.

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Recalling his significant support for the establishment of the School of Nursing at the Diocesan Hospital of Amichi Anglican Diocese, and efforts to the elevation of Iyi-Enu Hospital to a University Teaching Hospital, she added: “It was Obi’s government that initiated the construction of Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital from the scratch, equipped it, and secured accreditation.

“His administration also built 10 new maternity and child care facilities in remote areas of the state, and purchased close to 100 ambulances for selected Anambra hospitals. Rehabilitation of 15 General Hospitals in the 3 Senatorial Zones of the state, building of over 120 Primary Health Centres across various communities in the state. His achievements were so outstanding that he won first prize in the Bill and Melinda Gates prize for Polio immunization.”

Presently, Obi has moved to the Supreme Court to try and retrieve the mandate Nigerians gave him on February 25, after the September 6 PEPT verdict. It is going to be another attempt in the struggle to save the polity and gift the people the New Nigeria, he has always promised. No doubt, the forces with evil agenda would continue trying to stop him.

But, win or lose, ranting of Omokri and his gang or no, be it known that he has since moved on. Unlike his contemporaries, whose paths are clogged with the numerous barriers of dirty wealth or its vulgar display, he has since won the battle long ago by shedding the weight in more accumulation and the gnawing hunger for more and more and settled for giving and more giving. That’s why, he’s going about doing good!

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Igboanugo, is the publisher of WhirlwindNews

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Sanusi’s acquittal of Tinubu: When truth is coloured by ‘vested interest’

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Sunny Igboanugo

I couldn’t believe that it was Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that spoke on Sunday in the manner he was quoted to have spoken at a religious event in Abuja. I’m sure those who invited him to the programme must have been surprised too that of all the things he said, he completely exculpated President Bola Tinubu of blame from the current suffering in the land.

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is known to shoot straight from the hips and with some rare courage that could only be attributed to his parentage. After all a king does and says what and as he wishes.

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Indeed, it was this same courage that put him in trouble and ended his plum job as the nation’s number one banker when he openly exposed the rot that he suspected was going on with the government of Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria at the time, who ordered his removal in 2014 after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) fraud saga.

Even after ascending the throne of his forebears as the 14th Emir of Kano, it was the same courage that put his monarchy in harm’s way when his lacerating criticisms became too much for Abdullahi Ganduje, former Governor of Kano State, that he had to move against him by first, splitting his kingdom into four emirates as part of a pushback that culminated into his dethronement and eventual banishment from the state.

Just this December 8, 2023, while speaking at the Bank Directors Summit organised by the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), Sanusi was on song as usual, when he again turned to the NNPC, now a private company for accountability, virtually questioning the whereabouts of the dollar it is earning, which the country is supposed to rely on for most of its foreign exchange undertakings.

Hear him: “We are no longer paying subsidies so where are the dollars? It was under recovery during the subsidy era and that has been stopped, so where is the money? This was the issue I raised for which I was suspended, well you can suspend me again. The NNPCL is the most opaque oil company in the world.

“When I was in the central bank for 15 years, they had not been audited. We have to follow the money from production to export to return, where is the money going? We paid N11trillion in subsidy and there is no accountability up till now. The National Assembly called the NNPCL to bring the documents, but they refused.”

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This was vintage Sanusi, piercing the boil at the ripening point. But, last Sunday, it was different. The boldness, forthrightness and courage appeared to have gone to the market. How could anyone on earth, when even a little baby learning to talk is blabbing his name, acquit Tinubu of blame in the current parlous situation in Nigeria, let alone a Sanusi, who has travelled beyond the legendary seven seas and seven forests to see it all? But that was what he attempted to do.

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Hear him: “If I am to be fair and just to President Bola Tinubu, he is not to blame for the current hardship. For eight years, we were living a fake lifestyle with huge debt from foreign and domestic debts. The Central Bank of Nigeria owes over N30 trillion, which resulted in debt service surpassing 100 percent. I can’t join other Nigerians criticising Tinubu on the current economic hardship, and I am not saying he is a saint free from wrongdoing, but in this current economic situation, President Tinubu is not to be blamed. I will also speak if I see any wrong economic policy of the Tinubu administration in the future.

“It’s injustice for anyone to blame the Tinubu administration for the current economic hardship because there is no other alternative than the removal of the fuel subsidy. After all, Nigeria cannot even afford to pay the subsidy. In the last eight years, the Central Bank continued to print more money, and the Naira continued to depreciate. There is too much naira in circulation because the CBN is printing the currency without restraint.

“The economy was poorly managed, and they are not willing to take advice; in the last eight years, apart from sycophancy, nothing has been done; those sycophants are those buying the dollar at the rate of N400 and selling it at the rate of N600 to N700. A boy who has no record of service has a private jet and owns houses in Dubai and England just because he is buying dollars at so a rate and selling them.”

Phew! What the ex-CBN boss failed to do however is to take a simple peek into the Tinubu Presidency in the last eight months. Yes, he had no option about subsidy removal and perhaps equally had no option about floating the Naira, the two immediate culprits in the current economic crisis. But what about the other decisions he took? What about the other activities?

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Was it Buhari that appointed 50 ministers he currently has in his cabinet? Or has the royal father forgotten what it would cost to maintain each of the extra 13 ministers and their aides? Was it Buhari that asked Tinubu to borrow foreign currency to purchase a N5billion worth of a yacht for himself? Was it Buhari that budgeted N28billion for purchase of vehicles for the Presidential Villa? Were there no vehicles there before?

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Pray! Was it Buhari that ordered another set of vehicles at the cost of N1.5billion for the First Lady, an office that is not recognised by law? Was it Buhari that released the presidential plane from the fleet for Seyi Tinubu to transport himself to Kano to watch the game of polo? Don’t we know the cost of fuelling the jet alone? Was it Buhari that took a historic 1,400 delegates to the climate change summit in Dubai?

Okay, since Tinubu should be overlooked, in what other sane country of the world would a government official still keep his job after asking for a N1.8billion for the inauguration of a 37-man committee to fix minimum wage? What was the N500million the selfsame Tinubu approved for? Was it to engage Elon Musk as a consultant or to drink tea or coffee specially prepared in Fiji with special properties capable of resetting people’s brain?

Yes! Let’s excuse the monarch for failing to notice the rot in government. Perhaps he was too busy to hear details of the Betta Edu scandal and missed one of the elements, where a whopping N4billion was budgeted to verify recipients of the Federal Government’s poverty alleviation largesse. Has he asked any questions about whereabouts of the savings from the subsidy removal?

If he did, he would have gotten a snippet of how the President has been dishing them out like a drunken sailor, outside what goes into private pockets from direct stealing by his appointees in various offices, who now see the country as a bazaar ground.

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A video has just emerged of Femi Falana (SAN) while speaking at this year’s memorial of the late Beko Ransome Kuti, revealed to the world how the same Tinubu, shared a whopping N123billion to governors to fight 2023 to fight COVID-19. This was the same pandemic that the World Health Organisation (WHO), declared over in May 2023. Yet by December, Nigeria is still fighting it with such a huge amount.

“Do you know what I’m talking about? Last December, they gave out N123billion to fight COVID-19. Furthermore, and this must be our demand from here – this regime, must – even if we have to go to the streets on this because it is so fundamental – must warehouse the gains of subsidy removal and channel it towards alleviating the poverty of our people.

“In April last year, what the three tiers of government – Federal Government, state government and the local governments shared was N655billion. When subsidy was removed, since June, according to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, there’s no month that less than N1trillion was shared. You can quote me on this, in June last year, what they shared was N1.9trillion. People were embarrassed! Where is this money coming from, where did you see this money? They had to save N900billion.”

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Perhaps the same Sanusi also missed that the 469 federal lawmakers, each got their own share from the same largesse – N200million each for Senators and N100million for House of Representatives, for the purchase of Christmas rice for their constituents. The fact that nobody seemed to benefit from the largesse, clearly informs the hollowness about Sanusi’s position.

Imagine what channelling the subsidy removed from petrol to subsidising public transportation could do to the economy. Imagine the gains derivable from procuring additional 500 vehicles per state, through public-private partnership to provide cheap transportation? But no! The money would rather go to governors, NASS members and government officials who are likely going to pocket them.

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Yet Sanusi says nobody should blame Tinubu. Come to think of it, at what point did Buhari and Tinubu cease being political Siamese twins? Virtually all political moves Buhari took since their coming together, had always had Tinubu’s imprimatur and vice versa. Never for once did Tinubu condemn or speak out against the issues Sanusi spoke about.

Even in the 2019 election, when it was obvious that Buhari was completely bereft of all elements that would enable him hold office, didn’t Tinubu and others continue to prop him up, resulting in the eventual disaster that he turned out four years after. Didn’t Tinubu tell the world that he would continue where Buhari stopped? Even now that Buhari is no longer in power, how much of his footprints have Tinubu erased? Is he not digging deeper into the hole Nigeria has since sunk?

What about that boy that has no experience, that has now bought a private jet and owns houses in Dubai and England just because he is buying dollars at so a rate and selling them? Has Tinubu asked him to account for his deeds? Shouldn’t Buhari himself be standing in the dock at this moment to answer questions the same way Godwin Emefiele, Sanusi’s successor is doing now?

I have since taken time to revisit Sanusi’s elaborate treatise, on August 18 2013, where blamed vested interests for the ills of Nigeria. My conclusion is that he has also caught the same bug and now, perhaps, as a Lagos Home Boy, there’s too much affinity with Tinubu and perhaps too much more at stake for him to avoid the poison of that phenomenon. Too bad!

My name is Sunny Igboanugo and I’m The Tiny Voice!

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Yes! If NFF says it’s for Tinubu, don’t blame S’Eagles for losing AFCON!

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By Sunny Igboanugo

There is no doubt that the most underwhelming performance of the Super Eagles in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), 2023, the 34th edition, was Sunday’s final match with the host nation’s Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire, who eventually won the trophy, for the third time, equalling Nigeria’s records as three-time champions.

The question on the lips of many, has remained, was this the same Super Eagles that dealt with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, its traditional foe in African football, so decisively in the round of 16, before piping Angola after another superlative performance in the quarter finals. What then happened thereafter?

Doesn’t the answer to that question look simple and quite obvious? Isn’t it clear that it was at the moment the envisaged victory was now being tailored to fit into a President Bola Tinubu triumph that things started getting awry? Yes, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), had already started telling all ears that cared to listen that if the trophy was won, it would be for the President.

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Hear Ibrahim Gusau, the NFF President: “You heard what he said. He said, ‘Boys go there, believe in me. You don’t have any problem and whatever issues you are facing, just believe in me. Go and do the job and you’ll see the result. That’s exactly what he told them; you can see them doing the job.

“By the grace of God, I know he is going to reward them handsomely, which has never happened before in the history of Nigeria. We promised him that we were going to give him the trophy, and by the grace of God, we are going to do just that.”

Reiterating the NFF’s promise to deliver the trophy to Tinubu and called on Nigerians to continue supporting the team, he added: “We have just two matches to go and by the grace of God we will continue to do what we are doing. We call on all Nigerians to pray for us because prayer is the key to whatever we are doing. So, we call on all Nigerians to continue to support us with prayers.”

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Aisha Falode, NFF Executive Board Member, was even more emphatic, when she added: “We got that mandate, ‘go win the cup for Nigeria,’ and we are on the way to doing that. It is a mantra of a renewed hope. A renewed Super Eagles for a renewed Nigeria with one mandate; to bring the 2023 AFCON trophy back to Nigeria for Nigerians to celebrate. That’s what we are going to do. We are on our way to the final. We love Nigeria.”

Now, what would you do if you were a Super Eagles player, hearing this? First, the direct interpretation of this mindset is that your victory would be used to advertise and endorse a bad government that has seen to the suffering of your parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends and Nigerians in general. Would you go ahead and do it?

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Imagine the picture of William Troost Ekong, or Ahmed Musa, handing the AFCON trophy to Tinubu at a time that a bag of rice is at N77,000 or the Naira is at N1,580 to a dollar. What message would such a picture be sending to that young iyaloja at Katangwa Market, who was threatening on a now viral video that if Nigerian workers did not march into the street to protest the hardship in the land, women traders with her would be ready to “open our ny*sh and breast to protest in the streets,” because the suffering is too much?

To any keen observer, the evidence that the Super Eagles players were not too cozy with Abuja, could have loved to be excused from the monumental mess it has made of Nigeria since last year, was splashed in that viral video in their dressing room with them keenly embracing Nwankwo Kanu, and practically ignoring the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, who was there with them after the semi-finals match with South Africa.

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It was in a subsequent video that the players were seen embracing the same VP and having photo-ups with him, in what looked quite arranged, because their countenances, which appeared quite placid, did not betray any form of excitement or emotions similar to that shown to the former Eagles striker and two-time African Footballer of the Year (AFOTY).

So, if you ask me, I would safely assume that the loss on Sunday was deliberate for the reason cited above. In fact, from the look of things, they could have thrown the trophy early enough with the Bafana Bafana only that the South African side, probably failed to take the chances thrown at them.

Last Sunday, the Ivorians, a team that practically rose from the ashes of defeat, losing two matches at the qualifying stage, one to Equatorial Guinea, with a whopping 0-4, saw the chances being thrown at them by the Super Eagles, who never lost a single match before then and seized it.

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Those who might argue that it is conspiracy theory, should remember that these are the same players, who in their various clubs conspire to deliberately lose matches, to get their coaches sacked, or to protest over one issue or the other.  So, there is nothing strange in their actions, if actually true.

Nobody should forget that the players are Nigerians as well. Yes, they may be billionaires in foreign currencies, but Nigeria is their country as well. So, they are open to the daily taunting and embarrassment that the nation has become in recent years to the rest of the world. Even if they could afford to take care of themselves and their immediate families and communities, they cannot totally be insulated from being victims of the odious situation in the country one way or the other.

So, it is apposite to expect them to reject any plot to put them in the mix as agents to enhance the rot in the country. They may not have a voice or the powers to stop anything, but they could at least refrain from being enablers, knowing the consequences.

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Yes! From the buildup trajectory in government, it is obvious that the Super Eagles would have handed Tinubu the weapon to confront those presently holding his feet to the fire over his sole responsibility for the horrible state of affairs in the country.

It is true that since the loss, the whole is nation grieving. The entire country went silent from that dark night and has remained so ever since. The foods and drinks many were enjoying before the thunderbolt suddenly turned sour and tasteless in their mouth. Many more even literally abandoned theirs on the table out of immense grief. Too bad!

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But what would have been the alternative? The flipside would certainly have been graver. For months, if not years, the complaints of Nigerians would have been met with how Tinubu won the AFCON as a defensive mechanism by the army of Presidency goons and their likes elsewhere. Wouldn’t that have been worse than not winning AFCON, whose euphoria could only last for mere days and fizzle out?

In 2014, then President, had tried to inelegantly incorporate the name of Blessing Okagabare into his campaigns to shore up his sagging image for the 2015 presidential election. But the celebrated Nigerian track queen and Olympic medalist, would have none of it and quickly called him out.

Just like she told the President then to leave her out of his plans, it might be that the same message has just been passed to Tinubu by the Super Eagles – Oga Jagaban, alias Emilokan, leave us out of it – look elsewhere! And what a patriotic message, if so!

My name is Sunny Igboanugo and I’m the Tiny Voice!

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Nigeria in distress: Peter Obi’s solution, the only solution

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By Sunny Igboanugo

I’ll start with a simple narrative. In 2021, there was a news flash that went viral on the social media and even the traditional platforms that Peter Obi, had donated a whopping N1billion to the Nigerian effort to curb the menace of COVID-19, the deadly pandemic that was ravaging the world at that time.
Whoever initiated that story, might have done so with negative intentions, either catch cruise, to chase clout or simply to rope the former Governor of Anambra State, into a particular corner. On the other hand, the person could have also have had the positive intention of promoting the former governor, who by then had become a household name, after running as vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alongside Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, who was the Presidential candidate.
The person might have supposedly thought that linking Obi with such a huge donation, was likely to paint him in good light as a philanthropist in the mould of the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, whose proclivity to public spiritedness and philanthropy was believed to have opened so many doors for him during his quest to become President of Nigeria, which he would have been, had the military that prosecuted the 1993 presidential election not annulled it in the infamous June 12 saga.
So, give or take, it could either have been for the reasons above or anything else. However, what appeared strange at that time and now was that Obi, instantly debunked the story. Unlike many other politicians, who would have hugged the story, true or false, for the obvious advantage of projecting them as, first, well to do as to give out such an amount freely for public purpose, or humanitarians with the heart of gold, he flatly denied doing so.
What is more? He was named alongside Aliko Dangote, Africa’s Richest Man, said to have donated the same amount for the same purpose. Which politician would not seize such a moment to shine? But not Obi. Rather, in a statement, by Valentine Obienyem, his spokesman, he wished those who were making the contribution then under what was later dubbed Ca-COVID, well.
But do you know what? That same week, Obi established his own intervention programme. From his personal finances, he supervised the procurement of the essentials for the same COVID-19 initiatives and their distribution to target groups and practically witnessed all the processes from point A to point Z.
What was the result of that? The Ca-COVID initiative, which netted over N21billion at the last count, with individuals, banks and groups, making huge donations, as with other Nigerian public institutions, became mired in controversy with a lot of questions hanging on its head because of the opaque nature of the management of the huge funds.
In the end, what came out of the loud talks of erecting infrastructures, procurement of machinery and drugs and the concomitant programmes of testing, isolation and treatment centres and other tall projects, simply evaporated. Yet, that of Obi, became a reference point in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
While nobody actually came out to testify to benefitting from the former, pictures and videos of beneficiaries from Obi’s little efforts were all over the space.
From the available picture, he must have spent a lot far beyond the N1billion he was said to have donated. But even though that huge financial commitment was a mere fraction of the Ca-COVID effort. Yet, the difference was clear in terms of the result.
The reason for this outcome ought to be clear even to an imbecile. It simply adumbrates the fact in the traditional saying that a goat fed by the public usually dies of hunger, because nobody actually takes responsibility.
This is exactly the sickness with Nigerian. The truth is that running of Nigeria must be taken as a personal business. Those leading the country, must have the capacity and the presence of mind to go through the gamut of its daily activities with a fine-comb. In other words, Nigeria must not only be run by a leadership with the right sentiments and national emotions, but one that is not only present, but involved always.
This is what has been missing over the years, especially since the infamous years of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was worse than an absentee President. From the look of things, it appeared that Buhari’s ultimate ambition was to be called President and that once he achieved it, the rest was left to the elements. Those who hired him to get to the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, simply took over.
Accentuated by his debilitating health issues and the fact that he chose to run the most parochial and nepotistic government that virtually turned the Villa into a Fulani province, the country became a bazaar ground with auctioneers practically selling off everything. It even got worse with a pliable National Assembly, which swore never to question any action from him, or request thereof in doing the yeoman’s job.
Loan approvals were simply mere formalities, regardless that they were obtained in hard currencies with sometimes, outrageous and even laughable conditions. Now generations of Nigerians will be subjected to pay for loans that practically grew wings without any trace of their whereabouts.
Tragically, the tradition has continued even with Tinubu. What many Nigerians had believed was mere politics of appeasement in the form of saying some nice things to please Buhari, has now turned out a reality in every material particular. In this case, loans are being obtained to satiate the unquenchable desires of the new leaders.
Worse still is that Tinubu too, has now also followed Buhari’s pattern of choosing politics over competence. Today, to up the ante, virtually all the appointments outside the statutory ones allowed by law, are not only occupied by the Yoruba, but by the ubiquitous Lagos Boys. The result is that the bazaar Buhari introduced has not only continued, but increased in tempo. Just a few weeks ago, the nation was regaled with stories of mindboggling corruption in Tinubu’s poverty alleviation programmes.
The noise generated from the Betta Edu affair, was quite deafening as usual at the initial stage. But what has happened since then? The din has suddenly dimmed, while the putridness and ugliness from the can of worms, seem to have either evaporated or crawled away. Like all incidents of its kind in the Buhari years, it is calm again. Those who know could guarantee that it is only a matter of time for all the dramatis personae in that ugly encounter to find their ways back to their original positions or even climb to a higher grounds.
That is why today, even the greatest critics of Buhari, who had prayed fervently to see his back from the Villa are wondering whether they did not pray too quickly too soon. Shouldn’t they have tarried in wishing him back to Daura? Who could have contemplated or imagined that anything would be worse than the Buhari era? Who could have imagined a picture where the Naira, which exchanged for just N400 to a dollar less than a year ago, would plummet to more than N1,500? Who could have anticipated this steady progression from the critical condition of Buhari to the fatal state of Tinubu?
But what could have been done differently? Simple answer – the Peter Obi solution! Right from the outset, Obi had shouted himself hoarse that the solution to Nigeria’s current crisis is production and more production, hence, his slogan – from consumption to production. The vast land in the North, he echoed to even the deaf to hear, would be transformed from the current wasteland to huge agricultural enclave. Who is thinking or talking about that now?
Now, imagine where the N5billion earmarked for the purchase of a presidential yacht for Tinubu is invested in importing high-yielding cows from Mexico for farmers in Borno alone to produce milk and meat. Replicate that in 10 other states in the North and see how it turns out. Imagine what the economy of the South East would turn out like if five million palm seedlings are developed in each of the five states of the South East every year for the next four years.
Imagine what investment of a similar number of cocoa seedlings in the South West, accompanied with processing factories for beverage, chocolate and other finished products for export to neighbouring countries, or siting of mango canning factories in each of the local governments in Benue, Nasarawa or Taraba or machines for making potato chips in Jos, could contribute to Nigeria instead of using the dollars borrowed from foreign to buy exotic cars for Tinubu and his wife.
Picture the amount of foreign exchange that could have been saved if Tinubu, had shunned the present mindless extravagance and profligacy trailing his government. A cursory peek into the 2024 budget, would convince anyone as to why Nigeria is currently living in its current parlous state. Just imagine the odious stories coming out of the Villa!
For emphasis, Peter Obi, will never allow the National Assembly to purchase exotic vehicles of N160million per unit to navigate Nigerian bad roads. He would fix the roads instead. Obi will not appoint 50 Ministers at a time like this. Obi will not borrow money to buy vehicles for himself, not to talk about his wife. Obi will never travel in and outside the country with an entourage of 500 people. Obi will not run a government where N4billion is used to verify 15million beneficiaries for a poverty alleviation programme.
Yes! Obi will be decisive and brook no excuse for the wanton carnage being unleashed in the country by either bandits or terrorists, which has prevented people from either accessing their farms or engaging in other meaningful daily activities. Obi will not permit the continued stealing of oil from the Niger Delta. He will ask questions and plug all the loopholes. He will stop the bleeding of the country.
That was exactly what he promised during his campaigns for the job. He not only promised so, but stated in clear terms how he would go about it. Anyone who was able to achieve the development he did in Anambra State, and still save a whopping N75billion, refuse to steal it and keep it for his successor could save Nigeria.
What it means is that the person has conquered the basic disease afflicting Nigeria – greed. Greed either by himself of preventing the greed of family, friends, associates and allies from getting to public till. This inability for Buhari to do so and the clear indication that Tinubu is not succeeding either is the major reason for the current crisis in Nigeria today.
At this stage, Obi, may just be a metaphor. It may not be him per se. But the template is there. First, shed weight individually by divesting yourself of worldly desires, such as the dream of owning the best buildings in the world or riding in the best cars or being richer than Elon Musk. Then shed the weight of government by reducing the crowd and feeding less mouth. That is the template.
Incidentally, Obi has said that he is not desperate to be President, but desperate to see Nigeria work. So, even Tinubu could adopt the Peter Obi template and by so doing, instead of taking over from Buhari as the worst President of Nigeria, which is becoming quite evident by the day, he would have succeeded in creating the New Nigeria everyone desires. Why not?

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