Former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was recently quoted as saying that he had not yet finished with Nigeria.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) takes this statement with a pinch of salt. It is an expensive joke. Coming at a time when Nigeria faces fuel shortages and poor electricity output, the former president must have read the signs upside down.
Jonathan’s latest remark is pregnant with meanings. It exposes the cunning subterfuge behind the reluctant handover of power on May 29, 2015. That handover was never meant to be and the ex-president had meticulously laid landmines on all paths that led to Aso Rock.
A vivid example is the twilight appointments and sacks ordered by Jonathan on the eve of his exit from office. He was deliberately packing the civil service with his own loyalists in order to make things difficult for the incoming administration. Jonathan at the time was not thinking or building Nigeria. He was destroying his fatherland.
Another glaring instance is the refusal of the Jonathan administration to pay oil marketers thereby amassing debts for the incoming Buhari regime. Nigerians will recall that oil marketers refused to lift oil by the middle of May 2015. There were long queues at filling stations all over the country and a liter of petrol sold for as high as N300. It was a well-rehearsed maneuver to scuttle the incoming administration and a cruel parting gift.
This explains the recent fuel crisis and Jonathan’s statement which coincided with the fuel shortage was a coded message. But the wind has blown and we have seen the ruff of the hen. Nigerians are not fools. They remember ‘the evil that men do’.
Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supervised the destruction of the Nigerian economy for sixteen years. They turned Nigeria into an orange, squeezed out all the juice and left nothing but the peel for the Buhari regime. That is why we are where we are today.
However, the new regime is picking the seeds and replanting them. Seeds do not grow into trees overnight. That is why Nigerians need to be patient with the Buhari administration. We just cannot afford to go back to those who wasted this generation. There is very little choice in rotten apples.
We disagree with those who ask President Muhammadu Buhari to abandon the war against corruption. We believe that this is a war that must be fought to a logical conclusion if we must save coming generation from ruination. The fight against corruption is a priority and it must be steadily prosecuted because corruption is at the root of all challenges facing Nigeria today.
What is killing the power sector? Why can’t Nigeria fix its roads? What is responsible for falling standards in education? Why have our hospitals turned into public mortuaries? Why are Nigeria’s gallant security agents unable to nip crime in the bud? Why are Nigerian judges compromising on matters of principle? Why can’t the average Nigerian get three square meals per day?
It is all due to the cancer called corruption. Cancer destroys anything it touches. It also spreads fast and only a good surgeon will remove a cancerous tumor to save the rest of the body. Nigeria is bedridden with the cancer of corruption. Let the surgery operation continue otherwise total collapse of the anatomy will follow.
That is why we cannot consider the possibility of Jonathan’s return to mainstream Nigerian politics. This is a man under whom massive plundering of Nigeria’s economy took place and he did not bat an eyelid. What did Jonathan do despite loud outcries against former aviation minister’s scandalous purchase of bullet proof cars? What did he do about the fatal immigration recruitment exercise?
Jonathan’s reaction to the monumental kleptomania during his administration was to institutionalize corruption. He dined with drug barons, hobnobbed with ex-convicts and dashed out our national honours to bail-jumpers on a platter of gold.
He said stealing was not corruption. He followed up this preposterous statement by describing public officials as goats and the tax payers’ money as yam! He reportedly said “You cannot stop a goat from eating yam”. So the ‘impossible’ task of keeping a goat away from eating yam became Jonathan’s parable of corruption. Jonathan is an interesting study for political scientists.
It is just two days to the anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 Chibok girls. Those girls would have been found had Jonathan reacted early enough. The whole Northern Nigeria would have been history had Jonathan won a second term going by his lackadaisical attitude to the war on insurgency. Allowing $2.1 billion arms money to be frittered away during his administration is culpable treason.
How then can Jonathan be thinking of coming back for an unfinished business? Nigerians are chanting ‘Bring back our girls’! Jonathan and PDP are singing ‘Bring Back Corruption’! It is unacceptable. We reject any attempt to bring back corruption. We denounce Jonathan’s glorification of stealing and his trivialisation of kleptomania.
What is Jonathan coming back for? What did he do with Nigeria’s money when Nigeria was producing 2.4 million barrels per day and selling at $93.61 per barrel. He was making $224 million per day, $81billion per annum (a whopping N12.8 trillion naira)). What did he do with that money? Where is Niger Bridge? Where are Ore-Benin and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways? How much of all that money did he save? So come back for what?
Let no one be under any illusion that corrupt public officials should be treated with kid gloves just to please saboteurs and bourgeoisie cabals. Islamic liberation theology rejects economic oppression. We will rather be free men in our graves than live as puppets and slaves. The fact remains that greedy people will never willingly let go one kobo from their massive loots unless ‘by fire by thunder’. Neither will there be any genuine moral reformation in this country unless thieves who plundered our common wealth are made scapegoats.
Nigeria’s current setbacks are temporary. It is corruption fighting back. Bad times do not last but strong men do. How do you shoot an arrow from a bow? Is it not by bending the bow backwards? We are simply bending back our bow to shoot the arrow. Nigeria is not finished. We are not finished except with looters and clueless leaders.
Not finished with Nigeria? We advise Jonathan to perish the dream. In what capacity is he coming back? To pick the annual million naira cutleries he forgot in Aso Rock or to finish the job of rocking the Rock? Not finished with Nigeria? This must be a joke and an expensive one at that. The truth is that if Jonathan thinks he has not finished with Nigeria, Nigeria is finished with Jonathan.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)