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Re: Trust me, something fishy is going on

Re: Trust me, something fishy is going on
February 21
11:45 2021

BY MUSTAPHA YA’U GUMEL

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Last week, Dele Momodu published an article in one of Nigeria’s dailies, through his pendulum series titled ‘Trust me, Something Fishy is going on’. Prior to 2015 general election, I was on the same page with Uncle Dele, as we used to call him in those days. Because I believed he was a true patriot, with the interest of Nigeria at heart. I followed his write ups with utmost sincerity.

However, later on, Dele like many others parted ways with President Buhari. After carefully analysing the situation of those who left PMB, I discovered that they have one or two things in common. It’s either they lost the support of the ruling party to retain their tickets (as is the case with elected officials), or are sacked government appointees as is the case of a former Kaduna senator who suddenly became a social media activist or the former NHIS boss. You don’t expect me to join that league of course. As a patriotic Nigerian, I expected Dele to at least say something about the killing of Hausa-Fulanis and destruction of their properties worth millions in Ibadan last week.

Utterances by governors and acclaimed activists are widely believed to be responsible. But that is none of his business. He went ahead to say the Nigerian military is falling apart. A military that has recorded its best successes so far since the Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009. It’s not easy to equip military nowadays, it takes time. But we have started really well. This military has acquired about 22 aircrafts in 2020 alone, with additional 18 including 12 super tucano fighter jets to be delivered this year.

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Infact, it’s predicted that the war against insurgency will end this year. And once we are finished with Boko Haram, other internal security challenges like kidnappings and banditry will be crushed. That is a fact. I expect uncle Dele to do better than this. In the write up, he apologised to former President Jonathan for not supporting him in the 2015 presidential election. What a shame. A president under whose leadership Boko Haram took control of about 17 local governments in Borno, while they attacked other states including Abuja.

About 2000 civilians were killed in Baga in just one night in 2014. The federal government was borrowing every month to pay workers salary, 27 states were not paying salaries for between 6 and 11 months. I can go on and on. What are you apologising for? I voted for President Buhari in 2015 and 2019, and I never regreted it. This is why.

It’s a tradition in Nigeria that most times, we don’t appreciate our leaders until they have left office. Campaigning for President Buhari throughout the campaign trail and eventually casting my vote for him was one of the best decisions I have made in this life.

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However, he came to power with the highest expectation we have seen in this country so far. At a time the economy of the country was in distress, after years of misrule and economic mismanagement had left the nation with huge infrastructural deficit and a broken security architecture. Nigeria was on her knees. To add salt to the open wound, the crude oil which accounts for about 90 percent of our foreign exchange earnings was almost valueless. At a time when about 27 states were not paying salaries because of the slim federal allocations that was nothing to write home about. Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak, with the insurgents controlling about 17 local governments in Borno state.

Furthermore, to fully understand a story, we need to go back to the beginning. The military under PMB started really well against the criminal elements in the north-east, regaining control of the seized territories and implicating serious casualties on them. Nigerian Custom Services was energised under the active leadership of the comptroller-general and retired colonel Hameed Ali to check smuggling, block revenue leakages and improve our revenue base. Treasury single account was introduced, banks were mandated to implement the bank verification number directive already in place. Just last week, Nigeria exited economic recession. At a time when most countries of the world are struggling to deal with the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. But against all odds and beating IMF predictions and the rest, Nigeria miraculously exited recession. And according to the statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics, agriculture was one of the major reasons. But our elites not happy with that at all.

Finally, I voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019, and I am not regretting.

Mustapha Ya’u Gumel wrote from Dutse, Jigawa state. He can be reached via [email protected]

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