The Nigerian government played an own goal last week by announcing the names of about a dozen people amongst the list of over 1500 appointed into the Board of federal government agencies.
Aside from the dead people there were other issues. At least one of those nominated appear to have been convicted of corruption charges. Another one had a high profile and ‘evidenced’ charge leveled against him publicly and appears not to have exonerated himself of that charge. The government also nominated people to potentially 2 agencies that shouldn’t have government representation.
No matter how you choose to cut it, the government made a big mistake and it was right for one of the government’s spokesperson to come out, admit the error, give the background and promise amendments.
The issue of the list has come at a time when many are hurting from petrol scarcity and this has magnified the reaction. The petrol scarcity issue appears to also be an own goal too and all the commentaries suggest that key personnel of the government also dropped the ball on this issue.
The mass movement of Nigerians during Christmas didn’t start today and it won’t end in 2017. Anybody responsible for a critical product such as petrol ought to be planning way ahead for a spike in consumption in the period leading up to Christmas and putting themselves in a position where the impact of blackmail attempts by any stakeholder will be minimal. But that was sadly not the case.
Yes this government dropped the ball on those two issues but going through social media posts in Nigeria, you will think President Buhari had woken up drunk at a United Nations General Conference and had to cancelled all of his meetings as a result of his drunkenness. Or you will think he has instructed Mr. Emefiele to give General Monguno over two billion dollars in cash to buy alms from prayer warriors.
The army of Twitter Overlords have labeled both the fuel scarcity and federal agency list issues as signs of incompetence by the President and the government. This labeling is silly signaling.
This is similar to the same people’s attempt to label any and everything as a smoking gun or evidence of corruption by this government. They did the same with the recent leaked memo of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
If you do a review of commentary on social media, you will find that the people who try to label The Buhari government as corrupt are the same ones who are vociferous in conferring the incompetence toga on the same government.
These people have discovered that these twin sins of incompetence and corruption were terminal to the administration of Goodluck Jonathan. Following this genius like discovery, these ones are ready to label this government with everything and anything they can find as a sign of incompetence and corruption with the hope that it will prove terminal to this government at the polls.
These people are a collection of spurned supporters of this administration especially those people who believe that the government owes them patronage for encouraging their 200 followers on Twitter to vote for Buhari.
Amongst them are also die-hard supporters of Goodluck Jonathan who have the bitter pill of his defeat in their mouth but they have refused to swallow. And then there is the demented Reno Omokri who was ineffective as a paid government PR person and spends all his spare time baying at the moon in response to every pronouncement of this government.
If the influence of these people is limited to those like them, it wont be a problem. But considering the fact that some might believe these woefully wrong labels, it is worth reiterating the following:
Nigeria has experienced petrol scarcity at Christmas since time immemorial. If you don’t know, ASK YOUR DADDY as Wizkid sang.
Also there was a petrol evaporation (not scarcity) during Jonathan’s time when the whole country shut down for days.
Well the ABB (Anybody But Buhari) social media warriors might try to retort that this government was voted in to correct all the ills of the world.
Well Yes. Two out of three Christmas with flowing petrol is a very good mark. Thank You.
On the issue of appointing dead people. Yes this was administratively bad. But think it through. The dead people appointed will never steal a dime of Nigeria’s money.
Ask yourself honestly, which do you prefer? A government that appoints dead people who cant steal your money? Or
A Jonathan Government that kills Nigerians and its soldiers. Thousands sent to their early grave because his people stole the money meant for soldier’s body armour, bomb detection equipment, weapons, petrol to fuel trucks or money for soldiers’ welfare. Can you imagine how many soldiers and civilians lost their lives to that thievery?
All of these are matters of historical record although it appears the memory of the average voter is short. If not, no member of the PDP or anybody in support of Goodluck Jonathan should be allowed to talk amongst decent people. Shame and self-pride should prevent them from opening their mouths anywhere. EVER.
But they feel Nigerians are easy to deceive. They hold Nigerians in contempt. That is why they have a voice let alone an attempt to participate in future elections.
If PDP was a company or brand selling products to consumers in Europe or America, that brand will now be demised, banned, permanently suspended for its toxicity and the harm to human or its lack of usefulness. Like Pan AM Airlines or Concorde that can no longer fly anybody anywhere.
But no. PDP keeps shamefully raising its head like a snake that refuses to die. It makes generic comments that lacks substance about matters of state. How can a party desirous of presenting candidates who will manage over the affairs of Nigeria not understand the supposed petrol subsidy issue for instance?
Is their stance that government should increase petrol price or are they alleging that NNPC is wrong to be paying itself subsidy? Do they actually understand what the Vice President meant when he said that NNPC will bear the cost of selling petrol to Nigerians at N145?
I am also disappointed with the PDP’s response to the President’s New Year speech and it appears so banal. Do they have any specific rebuttal to the president’s promises of infrastructure, more infrastructure and even more infrastructure? NO. Perhaps the more reason why nobody should pay them any attention.
PDP should apologize to Nigerians. Dissolve itself and merge with some grass roots party like KOWA who are untainted and perhaps ready to lead some aspects of the Nigerian National Debate.
Nigerians should demand some retribution for the destruction the PDP visited on Nigeria in the Goodluck Jonathan years.
– Baba Grumpy works in financial services in the United Kingdom. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy