Nigeria: Political, Economic, and Socio-Cultural Discussions

Posts tagged ‘Political Unrest’

Servile, Paranoid, or Tyrannical: Chronicling the Man with no shoes

By

Ahmed Garba

It is hard to forget the image of an innocuous “Goodluck” Jonathan as he sat mum while Turai Yar’Adua put her thumb screw on him during late President Yar’Adua’s health saga.   The Jonathan, who could not even mutter a word of protest or self assertion as the so-called “cabal” dangled carrot and stick in his face.   He, who confessed to an American ambassador that he didn’t have it in him to be president.  Jonathan, who was then Ebele, but not yet “Azikiwe” said that he grew up without shoes but, according to wikileak reports, he has been siphoning up to $150 million a month from the national coffers ($1 per barrel per day for him, another $.50 per barrel per day for David Mark!).  The recent revelation that NNPC is unable to account for about 65,000 barrels of oil a day may be the smoking gun, or at the very least, it may shed more light on this monthly ‘remunerations’.  In any event, suddenly, Jonathan became “Goodluck” Ebele (‘s’election period Azikiwe) Jonathan.  He now has shoes and he has been trampling on everyone with his new shoes.

“Goodluck” Ebele Jonathan (henceforth Jonah) came to the national theater under the tutelage of that incestuous, maniacal fellow—Obasanjo; a man whose own sponsors (Retired Generals Danjuma, Babangida, etc.) have been biting their own fingers as their souls and consciences are drenched in eternal guilt and regret.  As he manifests himself, it would appear that Jonah learnt a lot from Obasanjo.

Episode 1:  As soon as Turai and the rest of the ‘cabal’ have been ’persuaded’ to release their choke-hold on him, Jonah will begin to show his true color.  One of his first casualties was Dr. Sam Egwu, former governor of Ebonyi state (minister for education under Yar’Adua).  His crime?  Well, during the Yar’Adua health saga, Egwu, in the presence of then Vice President Jonah, thought it would be funny to relate a story of how he (Egwu) had to go for medical treatment while his deputy was also out of the state.  So, he asked the Speaker of the house of assembly to act as governor.  Before he knew it, the Speaker had taken over his office and virtually everything else except his wife.   Apparently, Jonah didn’t think it was funny; he thought somewhere in there, was an implicit, snide remark against him. Therefore, once he became substantive President, paranoid, vindictive Jonah ‘axed’ Egwu.

After he was ‘s’elected as president, Jonah started ‘hitting’ Nigerians below the level of awareness.  Remember how during the presidential ‘s’election, Jonah was all too willing to claim his “Igboness”?  He even went as far as “adopting” the name of an Ibo icon ‘Azikiwe’, urging, encouraging, and eventually garnering as many votes from the people of the South East.  Well, in his next act of tyranny and/or paranoia, his victim was one of them—the South Easterners that is.  As soon as the post-election violence erupted, Jonah dropped the axe on none other than Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, (minister for internal affairs), son of the South East, who, at the time had only about one month left in his tenure.  Poor Captain Ihenacho was tossed out like a useless rag (worse than a sacrificial lamb), even though, there was no evidence that linked him to the post-election riots.  In fact, it didn’t seem to occur to Jonah that security matters actually rest on the shoulders of all security agencies/apparatus, including the Directors of SSS, DIA, IG of Police, with even Jonah himself, at the top of the pile.

It was also right about this time that Jonah jettisoned the name ‘Azikiwe’.  What is the use, the name had served its intended purpose.  The South Easterners had voted for him in droves and now his “Igboness” has suddenly ceased.

Ihenacho is gone now, yet, insecurity in the land has not even abated.  Could it be that maybe, just maybe Ihenacho didn’t deliver his ward?  Jonah will also show his “gratitude” to the abominable northern “leaders/rulers/politicians”–who bent over backwards to rig the ‘s’election for him in their respective quarters–by saying that it was the Ibos who voted for him in the north.  Thank you!  One wonders if there are indeed half a million Ibos in Sokoto state.  If there are, why couldn’t there be an equal number of Northerners in the South-South and South-East combined, who could have also voted for a northern candidate, that is, if we follow Jonah’s logic?

Episode 2:  The newly minted President Jonah will then turn on his political opponent—General Buhari. Within days of the presidential ‘s’election, We would read that Buhari had been barred from entering Suleija to pay condolences to the families of the13 people who lost their lives in the Abuja bombing prior to the April ‘s’elections.  For sure, those who revile him have repeatedly mentioned that Buhari, during his military rule, was more than guilty of civil right violations.  Yet, not even his or any other of Nigeria’s myriad of military regimes can be accused of ever preventing any prominent Nigerian from entering any town, city, or village.  Some of us still remember how the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti  ran his mouth, railing against the military government of the day, yet, he was never prevented from entering Lagos.  Instead, they turned him into a weekend (sometimes weekly) resident of Kirikiri.  In fact, even Jonah himself, going as far back as his days of running around barefoot, cannot claim that he was ever prevented from entering any city or town, with or without shoes.  But, here it was, unfolding in a democracy headed by a closet tyrant.

This conduct is more opprobrious, even vulgar, if one recalls that when Jonah was sitting in the Kitchen as Turai Yar’Adua and the rest of the “cabal” worked to deny him the presidency, some of the people who rose to march in protest on his behalf, in the city of Abuja included General Buhari and his later running mate Pastor Bakare.  Now he “thanked” them by repressing their civil right.  This new act of civil right violation will be repeated again when, a few months later, representatives of Governor Aregbesola were waylaid on their way to Abuja.  In December 2011, similar act was meted out on members of MEND who were stopped in Lokoja on their way to Abuja.

Even the Russians known for their intolerance for protests have not been this repressive. Events during their recent elections point to this fact.

Unfortunately, we may not have seen the worst of this behavior yet.  It has been rumored that paranoid Jonah has surrounded himself with Israeli mercenaries. This, despite the fact that he had retired more competent Army Generals, in order to promote his brother in-law, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika to the position of Chief of Army Staff.  Upon reflection, one is compelled to note that this new strategy of restricting freedom of movement is typical of Israeli strategy.  It shares eerie resemblance with Israel’s treatment of Israeli Arabs within the state of Israel, as well as the Palestinians in general.  Permit me a brief moment of musing here:  If armed “barricades” are showing up in Lokoja to the south and in Abuja to the north, could it be that the widely speculated matter of Nigeria breaking up has already begun and Jonah just hasn’t made it official yet, until his American handlers/masters tell him to do so?

Episode 3:  As election tribunals were about to start hearing cases, Jonah will make another anti-democracy move, by summarily suspending erstwhile, highly respected Justice Ayo Salami of the Nigerian Court of Appeal.  Why?  Because Justice Salami could be trouble, he is incorruptible and that is not good for Jonah and the way PDP does business.  Sadly, the Nigerian Bar Association did not come together and stand its ground and do right by Justice Salami, in the same manner that the Pakistanis did against Musharaf when he pulled a similar stunt against an equally respected judge.  Under normal circumstances, Salami’s summary and unceremonious dismissal will have the appearance of judicial tampering/meddling by the executive. But in Nigeria, there is no respect for propriety.   Also, Jonah extricated Farida Waziri from the EFCC.  While not many shed tears about this development, it is not hard to see that this move was an act of servitude to the British and the Americans, who have been complaining against the woman.  So, Jonah obliged.

Episode 4: While bombs were going off in the northern part of the country, and people were being wantonly killed by a group of contemptible, loathsome, sadistic, horrible excuses of human beings called Boko Haram–a group consisting of nothing but degenerates, who are abjectly wretched in heart, soul, and basic intellect; the sort of people (along with armed robbers, kidnappers, and thieving heads of state and politicians) for whose precise purpose abortion must have been invented–Jonah will busy himself settling score with one Timipre Sylva—the governor of his home state of Bayelsa, evidently, a man for whom Jonah harbors inordinate amount of contempt.  Full of rage and foaming at the mouth, not only will Jonah disregard court orders, but he will blanket the entire state of Beyelsa with military forces as his own act of domestic brinkmanship.  The military forces that could have been used to beat down Boko Haram were instead deployed to harass a governor, who by the way is just another PDP standard issue kleptomaniac governor.

Unfortunately for Nigeria, gone were the days when security forces, especially the military had some shred of honor.  Ever since Babangida killed off a few of Nigeria’s quality military officers, some of what is left can be divided into a handful of  genuflecting generals, and truck loads of gun-toting, devil-may-care, trigger-happy, murderous army ants. They have sworn to aggressively ‘forage’ on disagreeing Nigerians, for the benefit of their own pay masters.  So, the people of Bayelsa–whether they were for or against Jonah– had to bear the wrath of the tyrant. This is how president Jonah belittled the office of the president. Intervention by the likes of Shehu Shagari and Yakubu Gowon (Northerners who appear oblivious to the fact that they hardly matter to Jonah) could not dissuade the warring Jonah as he smelled the blood of his arch enemy.

Episode 5:  Jonah’s opening salvo after being sworn in was to start demanding for tenure elongation.  He now wanted a single term presidency, which he deceptively presented to the public as a single 6-year term, but is actually a 7-year term.  Jonah reasoned that, since he has had one year of substantive presidency, by pushing for a 7-year single term, he will fulfill the PDP requisite 8-year presidency per candidate (Yar’Adua couldn’t fulfill this requirement for obvious reason).  This also means that Jonah would have stuck to his feign campaign promise of one term only.

Talking about campaign promises, sneaky devil Jonah never mentioned anything about fuel subsidy removal during his campaign, yet, this is the one thing that he is now hell-bent on wreaking on the already impoverished Nigerian masses–including those who ‘voted for the man and not the party’.  If ever there was a case of logic being literally turned on its head, this creative denial by Nigerian voters is it.  Not even the Athenians/Greeks who invented modern democracy have been ingenious enough to separate a candidate from his party.  Certainly, the Americans, whose system Nigeria has copied, and who have been doing it for about 200 years have never deluded themselves into thinking that there is such a thing as ‘voting for the candidate and not the party’.

But I digress.

There have been recent revelations that Jonah had intended to remove fuel subsidy before the April ‘s’election but he figured that it might affect his chances.  Therefore, he resorted to that cowardly act of deceit by waiting till after the ‘s’election before springing it up on unsuspecting Nigerians.  Doomsday Jonah has been going around telling those who are brain-dead enough to listen, that Nigeria’s economy will collapse shortly, if fuel subsidy remains.  One has to wonder, isn’t this the same economy that has remained comatose– but refused to die–ever since that certified, evil-man Babangida giddily implemented IMF’s SAP, in a hurry to justify his utility to his foreign lords?  That is going on 26 years now, and the economy has not collapsed or died.  It has simply been wobbling along, squeezing blood and tears from the average Nigerian.

In any case, we now have a president who has resolved to challenge Nigerians to a duel.  In the dead of night, on January 1, 2012, Jonah sneaked subsidy removal on Nigerians.  Never mind that, only a few weeks earlier, he had sent out his ‘economic team’ to dazzle and confuse the country with his argument in support of subsidy removal, while also ‘responding to the concerns of stakeholders’.

Like the brutal stealth tyrant that he has been shaping up to be, this heartless, calamitous man now maintains that he is prepared for mass revolt.  He figures, he can brow-beat Nigerian masses, even have the police/military kill a few of them if it came to it.  And indeed, the security forces have already started killing the helpless masses, who dared to practice ‘democracy’, during the reign of an evil emperor.  As the body count mounted, our own home-grown atrocious tyrant decided to fly his wife– Patience, ’the Grammarian’ to Europe for “medical treatment”.  This, after he had, in so many words, communicated that the idea of belt tightening is not for him and his accompanying cannibals, but for those who voted for him.  As far as he was concerned, that half billion naira budgeted for feeding in Aso Rock is not negotiable, even though, the president of the richest country on earth pays for his own food, except for state dinner (see here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/21928).  In fact, for Jonah, nothing of the flagrant, profligate cost of running his government should be subject to review.  It shouldn’t matter at all how much he spends, or how much the 469 people in the legislature cost the country.  No, the irking problem is that suspect figure of 1.3 trillion naira spent on subsidy, which ‘benefitted’ the majority of 150 million people, who he views with disdain.  Even his‘Prime Minister’, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala couldn’t understand why the masses could be so obsessed with subsidy removal, after all, 70% of them don’t own cars.  The Harvard/MIT Economist (PhD) was unable to fathom the ripple effects of an economic policy.  You’d think that a right-wing Economist will be familiar with that thing we (mere mortals) call ‘trickle-down’ economics.  In Nigeria, and particularly in this scenario, this is when an astronomical jump in fuel price, unleashes unimaginable increases in cost of living, thereby, pushing the price of everything into the troposphere.  Hence, the poor masses obsession with subsidy removal.  Okay Ngozi?

In a one-two punch, Calamity Jonah has also indicated that he plans to clubber Nigerians on the head with another anti-people measure called tolling.  Imagine, paying toll gate, in Nigeria, where even the best of roads are still nothing but death traps.  I tell you, it is not easy being Nigerian and poor these days.  If your life is not summarily snuffed out for failing to give twenty naira bribe to the police, you can expect to be a victim of armed robbery, or Boko Haram, or you can take your chances and wait to become a victim of death by government strangulation, or any other form of ‘motto strangulati’.

It is not hard to imagine where Jonah’s new resolve is coming from.  After pilfering, pillaging, and burning down the barn in order to win the April ‘s’election, it has suddenly dawned on him that ‘there will be consequences’—The blood suckers who did his bidding for him must be paid, or is it “settled”, in Nigerian parlance.  Even Pa Edwin Clark—the man who doggedly demanded that Jonah must run for the presidency has been restless lately, lamenting and wailing that Jonah has not come through for him/them—the South-South people.  Edwin Clark recently contends that under Yar’Adua’s presidency, even ‘hausa language became the lingua franca in Aso Rock’ and here it is, Jonah has failed to equally honor the Ijaw language, among other things.   Therefore, in his callous anti-people form, which has always been mildly concealed anyway, ruthless Jonah decided to turn up the heat on the Nigerian masses and teach them a lesson for “voting for the man and not the party”.

He is now prepared to extract a ton of flesh if that is what it will take to “settle” the monsters breathing down his neck, which by the way, as we now begin to figure out, may include foreign actors such as the World Bank and IMF.    I suppose, the way Jonah sees it, mass protest will not last, since, unlike the Arabs, Nigerians are not known for their stamina for sustained protest.  Furthermore, once the police/military kill a few innocent, poor Nigerians, the rest will cowardly retreat, and that is enough price to pay.  Besides, even the magnitude of sudden increases in commodity prices, and general cost of living should be punitive enough to shorten the life of any mass protest.

In an act of cruel dishonesty, his apologists say he is taking all these steps, in order to rise up against the blood sucking, leeching elite class—the amorphous cabal. Oh Really?  So, Jonah wants to win the fight against the nebulous ‘cabal’ by throwing the Nigerian toiling masses under the bus?

If one sets aside the many credible commentaries suggesting that fuel subsidy is nothing but a phantom/mirage, other credible reports have also pointed out that it will cost approximately 250 billion naira to resuscitate current refineries, but Jonah said, so far this year alone, in a space of 10 months, his administration has ‘illegally’ spent up to 1.3 trillion naira on subsidy—more than 70% above the legislature-approved amount!  In fact, more than three times the most amount Obasanjo ever spent.   If true, it begs the question, why incinerate this much money when about a quarter of it could have restored the current refineries, which will therefore negate the argument for subsidy removal?  Furthermore, one has to wonder about the ‘urgency of now’ with which Jonah has been pursuing this issue.  Exactly how much does Jonah owe the “Fixers”?  Or, must the economies of Western Europe be revived with the blood of Nigerians?  The average Nigerian has nothing to do with how the ‘Quants’ used their ‘advanced’ knowledge to burn up western economies.  So, why is Jonah offering Nigerians to the altar for sacrifice? (Note to self, I need to write another article on “When Compradors manage the affairs of State”).

Let’s not forget that, perhaps the Americans must also be “settled”, maybe with unrestricted access to oil.  After all, they wrote that script about how Nigeria will soon be ‘Balkanized’.  Some conspiracy theorists even believe that Jonah may be in on this plan, and his blind side subsidy removal policy, which entered stage left, out of nowhere could add strength to this argument.   (There are also indications that the Americans have been itching for a fight or is it a quick skirmish with those Muslim Northerners, ever since that case of that idiot, Umar Abdulmutalab, and now the imbecilic, merchants of death, Boko Haram have been taunting them. This too could lend credence to the balkanization of Nigeria theory).

It was recently reported that tiny, little, old Niger Republic has been able to build a brand, spanking new oil refinery (capable of processing 20,000 barrels a day) for $600 million in 3 years.  This is roughly the length of time that Jonah has been Acting President, Substantive President, and ‘s’elected President!  How ironic.  Let me also point out that some, if not all oil producing countries (e.g. Venezuela) subsidize oil products in their countries.  I wonder if these facts matter to Jonah. In fact, even developed countries subsidize certain sectors of their economies (e.g. agriculture, aerospace industry, etc. in Europe and the U.S.A).  Yes, these are means of production as opposed to consumption that we have in Nigeria, but which is the most consumptive group that is most highly subsidized in Nigeria?  They are all in the three branches of government, with Jonah being the alpha of them all.

Ijaw language may not have become the ‘lingua franca’ in Aso Rock, but Nigeria is sure experiencing the deceit, paranoia, and tyranny of an Ijaw man.  ‘Jonahism’ has now been established as a political doctrine in Nigeria, with the following elements:

  • When Jonah’s lips are moving, know that he is lying.
  • Whenever he says something, know that the opposite is true (e.g. “I have no intention to punish Nigerians”)
  • Government anarchy, deceit, pain, suffering, sudden and certain death now represent the new ‘normal’, so, get used to it.

 Leave it to Nigerians, that when given an opportunity to make a choice, they will deliberately, and proudly make the wrong choice, with their ‘eyes wide shut’.

 

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: