By Sam U. Asowata
Do you need a belching, teeth-picking treasury to “scrap the Office of First Lady if I win the election “?
Do you need nearly all of eight months before being able to constitute your Cabinet of “Noise Makers”?
How much of eternity must you fritter away before you pay jobless youths the N5,000 dole that your campaign sophistry whetted their parched appetites with?
How come that all ministers have portfolios when you boasted before man and spirit that “Not all ministers will have portfolios”?
Did you “crush Boko Haram in December” of 2015 as you vaunted in your inauguration grandstanding?
You promised much, and in black and white, in your First 100 Days, but you frenetically denied this when the first 100 days tolled its hour.
Yes, you disowned even yourself!
You went to India, and launched a Jeremiad: “My country is corrupt! Nigeria is corrupt! Nigeria is broke! My country cannot pay salaries! Only a few of the 36 states can pay salaries”!.
Is that not a campaign of calumny against country, and a scare-foreign investors pontification? Is there a single country on the planet that has buried corruption up to its hydra head?
All right, by what magic do you intend to make the “Empty Treasury”, which you wailed that Goodluck Jonathan cursed you with, fund your feeding budget of N1.8 billion for only one year?
All right, you budgeted N18 billion for refurbishing The Presidential Villa; the Residential Quarters of The Villa’s Security Agents; the State House Clinic and its “conversion to a Centre of Excellence”; the Presidential Zoo, and many, many more.
Yet, the treasury is “empty”, you said.
In less than one year, you have travelled, with the typical Nigerian leader’s ‘carnival’ delegation, to about EIGHTEEN countries, financed by a starving treasury! What say you, Mr Buhari?
Many of your own APC governors boasted that they can no longer pay their workers the minimum wage of N18,000 monthly! If converted into Pound Sterling, or into Dollars or Euro, will N18,000 not equal to starvation wage fit only for slaves?
Indeed, one of your governors, the megalomaniac, posturing, garrulous and callous Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, followed up on their submission by sacking three thousand workers through only one circular! Had he written one more, Imo civil service would have been abolished.
He caused a “Change” war with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and with the Trade Union Congress (TUC.)
The latest on that encounter?
Yesterday, the 10th day of February, reports had it that the erratic gubernatorial assailant of poor workers had succumbed to punches from the NLC and the TUC by reinstating the devastated victims of his heartless idiocy. But, who terminates their post-trauma stress? Will they be ‘allowanced’ for it?
When scarce resources become scarcer, sane minds edit their lives, expenditures, tastes, outings, wardrobes, automobiles, and more.
Real LEADERS become real EDITORS of their own pay, those of their appointees, those of agencies, departments and quangos and of general spending…
Therefore, in 1976, Lt-Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, as Head of State, introduced “low profile”. He and his Supreme Headquarters colleagues and Federal Commissioners dropped their Mercedes-Benz and other expensive official cars for Peugeot 504 just to further conserve diminishing cash.
His successor, the civilian President Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, took the Obasanjo cue; he launched his own “Austerity Measures” and an “Ethical Re-Orientation”, all to conserve resources.
Buhari, as military Head of State, carried out a “War Against Indiscipline”, fighting against “corruption” but with neither “low profile” nor “austerity .measures” glued to it.
Ibrahim Babangida operated a “Structural Adjustment Programme,” or belt tightening…But…
So much for comparative history.
Muhammadu Buhari has been yelling about an empty treasury; about fighting corruption, about loot recovery; about borrowing $5billion because “Nigeria is broke”, but which Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, discouraged….
But Has Muhammadu Buhari Launched Any Frugality Measure?
On the epicurean contrary!
He has splashed N1.8 billion on feeding alone! For only one year! Yet, the treasury is empty! Yet, he wants to borrow $5 billion.
He refuses to edit his taste. He refuses to disclose why he must live an opulent and flatulent life in an epoch bellowing for “Low Profile”, “Austerity Measures” and a “Structural Adjustment Programme”.
Now, you know why I will not, as a great journalist, interview Muhammadu Buhari….
I will embarrass him before Heaven and Earth! That is Why!
His inconsistencies, his incongruities, his inanities will attack him should I interview him. This is why I have not.
Or, Do You Want Me To?
Asowata, a journalist, sent in this opinion piece from Abuja, Nigeria