Dele Momodu: The Judas Iscariot Of Nigerian Journalism, By Saleh Ibrahim Bature
The pendulum, the name which Dele Momodu chooses to call his weekly column certainly captures the true contents of the stuff which he writes therein. Momodu’s views, as represented in the column, peddle his delusional analysis of the unfolding events in our country. He vacillates between truth and falsehood defending on the motives. His latest open later to President Muhammadu Buhari is one of those tirades. Nigerians read Momudu for the belief that he is a trusted citizen journalist who can be relied upon for information and guidance. So Columnists like Dele Momodu should not take the goodwill of Nigerians for granted. They should understand that they occupy delicate and sensitive positions in the society that demand thoughtfulness and circumspection. I read the Pendulum, his weekly analysis of events on the social media last week. In this write-up, Momodu is wrong. So he should not expect me as a devoted reader of his column to accept his delusional narratives about President Muhammadu Buhari`and his government as the truth. Nigerians are perceptive observers who can read between the lines in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is no denying the fact that the Buhari led APC government is embroiled in myriad of problems, but the enormity of the problem is not like how it has been presented by Dele Momodu.
Genuine supporters of Buhari do not believe in the mirage which Momodu in cahoots with his accomplices believe that Buhari possesses “the magic wand and talismanic effect to make all our problems evaporate and vamoose in a jiffy“. Critics and detractors of the government who Momodu represents would find it difficult to accept that no man can fix Nigeria within a short period of 3 years, the time within which Buhari has presided over the affairs of the country. We must accept the home truth that in a complex country like Nigeria, whose people are divided along ethnic and religious fault lines, a country whose national wealth had been ruined by the people who were entrusted with leadership, fixing problems in such a multifaceted ambience is not as easy as writing a one page critique in a newspaper.
Even in most of the developing and developed countries in Europe and Asia we often look up to as role models, none of the leaders in those countries who had shaped history has achieved prosperity in an instant.
For example, The United Arab Emirate [UAE] did not transform from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East’s important economic hubs in a jiffy. It is quiet true that one man can transform a nation as exemplified by Lee Kuan Yew who changed the small island of Singapore to become one of the most advanced nations in the world, “that has an economic standard that would rival most countries in Europe and America. This is a task that took Minister Lew many years. The “Miracle of the Han River “, a phrase referring to the rapid industrialization of South Korea from a developing to a developed nation did not happen within the short time frame which Dele Momodu expects Buhari to transform Nigeria. In the same way, Mahthir Muhammed did not claim to have magic wand with which he used to create the export-driven industrialization programs, nationwide entrepreneurial skills and effective work ethic that brought prosperity to Malaysia.
The subtle message in the infamous letter crafted by the columnist of the pendulum was to denigrate President Muhammadu Buhari so that Nigerians will completely lose hope in him. This is a sinister move aimed at preparing the ground for the emergence of a yet to be announced candidate who would slug it out with the incumbent President in 2019. Momodu’s ill-fated and unsolicited advice tells it all: “is it not better and more profitable, to return home, triumphantly, with your reputation intact than to win a pirich victory with everything you earlier stood for wasted on the altar of vainglorious aggrandizement“. He did not stop there. What guarantee, Momudu further asked the President, “do you have that you will win in the election…“.
If we shall look at the above question in relation to the campaign promises made by Buhari, I will not hesitate to say that the President will win the upcoming election regardless of all the verbiages and lies labeled against him by detractors. His government has done very well in fulfilling its major campaign promises under the broad themes of -Fight against Corruption, Economic Diversification and Security.
Development, pundits say, is relative. So the best way to appreciate this government is to place it on the same pedestal with the one it has inherited. Buhari took over a broken down nation that was “dancing on the brink“. We should not forget that the PDP under Good Luck Jonathan earned a record $460 billion oil revenue in 5 years which is the highest in the history of our nation.
Instead of the government to diversify the economy for growth and prosperity, we got in return a depleted foreign reserve, demolished Excess Crude Account, accumulated more foreign and local debts, abandoned key projects due to indebtedness to contractors, left N600 billion fuel subsidy bill, N60 billion fertilizer subsidy bill, accumulated salaries and pension arrears for workers and retirees running into billions of Naira. I do not want to bother you with the details of damage done to Nigeria by those that plundered and raped our economy, and who are surreptitiously trying to stage a comeback.
Nigerians are happy that a revolution that has attracted foreign and local investors is taking pace as evidenced in the rice and wheat production in Kebbi and other states especially in the north. Private capital is flowing into the processing sector of the agriculture value chain. Lagos and Kebbi states have made history in Nigeria when they jointly launched the “Lake Rice“brand for consumption to Nigerians. WACOT just opened N10b Rice Mill, Dangote opened Tomatoe Paste Factory in Kano, Olam will commission N20billion Livestock Feed and Chicken Hatchery Plant in Kaduna among other investors“. This is the first time in decades when Agriculture is revived to be a major source of employment and revenue for the government.
Today, almost all the newspapers in Nigeria carried the heartwarming news of report that our Foreign Reserve has grown to $40 billion – the highest in 4 years! In a similar development, Nigeria’s All-Share index has recorded the highest surge since 2008. The nation’s stocks were on a first class ride into record territory at the end of 2017. CNN money had reported that Nigeria’s money market was the darling of investors as it recorded a bullish performance against all the odds in 2017. Nigeria recorded a top score of 43% price increase in shares, giving it the enviable global 3rd position after Argentina and Turkey. The accomplishments of Buhari in the last 3 years cannot be listed in a write-up like this one. These are the kinds of stories Momodu and his fellow faultfinders would not avail Nigerians.
In the area of fighting terrorism in the country, those of us in the north know what the government has done. For that alone, Buhari deserves our votes. In my own hometown in Bauchi state, which had been attacked 5 times in 2 years, we lost lives, property and stability to deadly and incessant Boko Haram attacks.
There is no doubt that the popularity rating of President Muhammadu Buhari has dwindled. Nigerians who supported him in 2015 had high expectation on him. Some of his supporters wrongly assumed that he had immediate solution to the myriad of ills bedeviling the country as caused by the PDP. It is wrong to therefore believe in the spurious and deceptive narratives given to us by politicians who masquerade as journalists. They are Promoting a covert Political agenda. We should not be deceived by their antic. I do not say Buhari is flawless. The Nigerian masses make the president through their voting powers. They still have confidence in him, in spite of the calumny by his detractors to bring him down. We look forward to who among the politicians angling for the most coveted office in the country will slug it out with Buhari in 2019.