Being half literate is like a piece of meat being half cooked. From the outside, the meat looks cooked. It is only when you taste it that you realize that the cook is not cooked through.
This is the problem with Muhammadu Buhari. The President does not like to read. If he was a reading man, he would not have made the statement he did about $16 billion being wasted on power projects by the Obasanjo led administration.
The President had said while playing host to the Buhari Support Group as follows:
“One of the former Heads of State between that time was bragging that he spent more than 16 billion American dollars, on power. Where is the power? Where is the power? And now we have to pay the debts.”
The figure of $16 billion does not exist and it is sad that a President, with records available to him can make such a reckless accusation, especially when the facts are available to him if he would only read!
Since President Buhari is so enamored with Nasir El-Rufai, the manipulative Governor of Kaduna state and uber Buhari sycophant, I would like to quote from an interview that El-Rufai gave on October 17, 2009.
In that interview, entitled ‘My Grouse With Yar’adua, El-Rufai said:
“When Yar’Adua came in, he made statements while receiving Oby Ezekwesili in her new capacity at the World Bank to the effect that he believed that the amounts spent by Obasanjo were wasted. He came up with a figure of $10 billion. When his own Senior Special Assistant (Engr. Foluseke Shomolu) wrote him a memo to the effect that the figure quoted was inaccurate, the president fired him. Very conveniently, the House of Representatives began a probe of the NIPP under Obasanjo and sensationalised it.
The National Economic Council also had a committee under Governor Suswan of Benue reviewing this NIPP. After a year, both committees were not able to establish any wrongdoing against Obasanjo and in fact confirmed that the actual amount spent was not $10 billion, but actually a fraction of that amount (less than $6 billion committed and $3 billion actually disbursed – the exact amounts quoted by Engr. Shomolu).”
If the report of the various committees that investigated these allegations are to long for a President who prefers to read cartoons as his own spokesman admitted, then perhaps he can spare the 25 minutes it would take him to read his protégé’s interview.
But the question that discerning Nigerians should be asking is why is Buhari bringing this up? After all he and Tinubu once begged former President Obasanjo to be their ‘navigator’. Did they not know he was a crook when they started their bromance with him?
Last year on Obasanjo’s birthday, President Buhari called him a statesman ‘with commitment to good governance’. Today, he is hinting at probing Obasanjo’s alleged $16 billion power project contracts just because Obasanjo is against his reelection. This is just vindicating my stand that we have war on C̶o̶r̶r̶u̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ opposition!
As long as you are on the President’s side and praising him, all your sins are forgiven like Musiliu Obanikoro. But the minute you get a bout of conscience, your old real and imagined sins are dredged up.
On this matter of Obasanjo however, President Buhari has met his match. I like Obasanjo’s response to Buhari. Trust Baba Iyabo. He said, inter alia that:
“If he (Buhari) cannot read the three-volume book (My Watch), he should detail his aides to do so and summarise the chapters in a language that he will easily understand”.
Buhari is an ungrateful ignoramus for saying he is paying Obasanjo’s debt. Obasanjo did not spend $16 billion on power. Obasanjo actually paid ALL our foreign debt and left a total reserve of $67 billion.
Thank God it was an All Progressive Congress Senator that got up on live television and revealed that this administration has borrowed more money in three years than the Peoples Democratic Party borrowed in 16 years, yet what has been the impact?
Imagine a man like Buhari, who has not initiated, started and completed any project in three years (beside the helipad he built for his personal use in Daura) attacking men who initiated and finished thousands of projects.
The President’s comments overshadowed an even more important issue which very few journalists appear to have picked on.
The Buhari Support Group, whose visit excited the President and moved him to indict Obasanjo, is led by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service.
A serving Comptroller General of Customs heading the Buhari Support Group without resigning, a serving Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission publicly wearing a Buhari re-election lapel pin on live television is how low the Buhari administration has taken Nigeria.
At that same event, the President also lavished praise on former head of state, General Sani Abacha.
What type of anti-corruption crusader chooses Abacha, a proven thief, who was also a blood thirsty buffoon, as his mentor? When I schooled in England, my university had a module on Abacha’s thievery. This is the man Buhari aspires to be? The man who exiled Tinubu and NADECO!
Abacha’s killer squad killed many Nigerians during his reign of terror including Kudirat Abiola, Chief Alfred Rewane, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua (rtd) Bagauda Kaltho, Sola Omatsola amongst others, yet this is the very same man a democratically elected President like Buhari praises as his mentor. A murderous thief! Are we then surprised that there are killer squads of herdsmen going round Nigeria killing people? Like mentor like mentee!
What was the point of Chief MKO and Kudirat Abiola’s sacrifice if Abacha is today the hero of our President? Why stop at Abacha? President Buhari should also declare Anini and Shina Rambo as national heroes. How unfortunate for a nation when a thief is the President’s role model.
In the year 2000 Osinbajo, then the Attorney General of Lagos, prosecuted members of Abacha’s killer squad including Hamza Al-Mustapha, who was sentenced to death for Kudirat Abiola’s murder. In the year 2018, Osinbajo’s boss, President Buhari, eulogizes Abacha as his hero and mentor. Can someone help me ask Osinbajo, what he is still doing in this wicked government?
On the same week that the Buhari administration charged Shekarau to court for ALLEGEDLY looting ₦950 million, the head of the government, was busy praising Abacha a man that has been CONVICTED for looting over $5 billion. Buhari charges small thieves and worships big thieves!
This is the same Buhari, whose government brought back, reinstated and double promoted Nigeria’s biggest ever thieving civil servant, Abdulrasheed Maina. How can anybody in their right minds believe that Buhari still has integrity?
And this is the man who wants Nigerians to re-elect him next year? A man who thinks Nigerian youths are lazy, who thinks Nigerians are criminals (as he told the Telegraph of London), who goes about telling international investors that his country is corrupt?
That is why he has surrounded himself with people like Lai Mohammed and Garba Shehu.
Lai Mohammed said President Buhari’s re-election in 2019 will be easy because the APC has kept their campaign promises. Can someone remind Lai that he is meant to be fasting during Ramadan and that fasting is not just abstaining from food, it includes abstaining from lies! Lai, fear God!!!
Why should Lai Mohammed still Lie even in Ramadan when he is meant to be fasting? The name Lai is not enough for this remarkable liar! We should just add Linus, Liability, Lion, Liebaran and Lieraba to his name. Someone that lies during Ramadan that Buhari has fulfilled his campaign promise can never be trusted to ever tell truth!
And as for Garba Shehu who told me to tell my friends in the PDP that they are not coming back to power, my response to him is that he should buy a mirror and what he will see is the face of PDP.
Garba Shehu was Special Assistant on media for years during the Peoples Democratic Party administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Garba did not resign from that government.
In fact, Garba Shehu was affiliated with the Peoples Democratic Party for 12 good years. He has been in the PDP for more years than he has been APC. He was in the PDP longer than I, Reno Omokri, have been associated with the PDP.
Garba Shehu cannot deny this because his office was opposite mine at the Presidential villa between 2003 when I returned from the United Kingdom and 2005 when I went to the US.
Garba shehu used to craft very strong anti-Buhari press releases for the PDP during his 12 year sojourn as a PDP member, which included years spent as SA media under Obasanjo. Now he crafts press releases for the same man he once attacked against the same people he once praised! Garba is the epitome of AGIP-Any Government in Power. I am the epitome of loyalty. There is no basis to compare myself with him. I follow my conscience. Garba follows his stomach.
Let me stop here for now and continue to observe the unraveling of Buhari. I warned Nigerians but they never listened. Sadly, the man had to ruin the nation before my fellow countrymen and women saw him for who and what he truly is-a pretender who used subterfuge to get to power.
What can separate Abacha from the love of Buhari? Certainly not the over $5 billion Abacha stole. Certainly not the people Abacha killed. Certainly not the June 12 Mandate that Abacha frustrated by throwing Abiola in jail where he died. Nothing can separate Abacha from the love of Buhari.
By Reno Omokri