Osinbajo’s selective amnesia
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has told Nigerians that the Buhari government has not tackled corruption effectively. He seems to be alone here. Every other member of the Buhari cabinet including Mr. Buhari himself will swear that corruption has been decimated and degraded just the same way they claimed to have decimated Boko Haram. Yet, the insurgents still bomb us and Shekau, their leader, a man the military has’ killed’ many times still taunts us. While speaking at the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum for private sector stakeholders at the State House conference on Monday, Osinbajo, who seems to be the lone honest(?) voice in this administration, discredited the previous government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, accusing it of stealing N150 billion in just two weeks to prosecute its failed agenda to win the 2015 election.
This is not strange considering the philosophy of this government to accuse everybody but itself as reason for its failure. What is rather strange is that the same Jonathan and his crew said to have stolen much of our national wealth in just 14 days are still walking the earth as free men. As a professor of law, albeit law of evidence, Osinbajo knows that having incontrovertible evidence against a thief and not using such evidence to nail such rogue is a disservice to humanity, and more so to the justice system. If he has evidence as he claimed, he should use it to nail these rogues otherwise let him keep quiet and ponder the failure of his government and the insufferable pain it has brought on the people.
Things have turned too greasy in Nigeria that no public official should ever try to smell like rose flower. By putting down the previous administration just to make the incumbent look clean is a clear stunt in futility. This present government in which Osinbajo is a key player has brought more pain, poverty and penury on Nigerians than any other government. A good four million people lost their jobs last year alone, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Does Osinbajo know how many small and medium scale entrepreneurs have closed shop in the last 12 months?
Does he know how many private enterprises have downsized in the last two years? Not even the media is immune. Many newspaper houses have downsized massively since last year in a manner never before seen. Mounting the soapbox to blame extraneous factors for the obvious collapse of governance in Nigeria is a cheap descent to subterfuge. It does not help to genuinely interrogate the critical issue of ‘cause and effect’.
Jonathan, without a doubt, was a failure. He was a weakling. And weaklings do not make good leaders. He was the archetypal Mr. Nice Guy who wanted to please everybody but ended up pleasing nobody, not even his fans. But in his weakness and with all his unforced errors, Nigerians lived at least on the margins of comfort. Prices of goods and services were not as crazy as we have them now. Life was bearable under Jonathan. This government can blame PDP for all it can, but it has shown no sign that it is a shade better.
I make no case for the PDP and its locust mentality of plundering the treasury but the same plundering has continued in an even larger dimension in Osinbajo’s government. Does it not bother Osinbajo that while his government has ‘jailed’ former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki for over two years and denied him bail in brute defiance of court orders over expenditure of $2.3 billion, the same Buhari government has brushed aside allegation of fraud of $25 billion within the conclave of the NNPC. The allegation of surreal contract bazaar by the NNPC was not from the ignorant man on the street. It came from a man who should know and who actually knows much about the rot and malfeasance in the usually messy oil and gas sector. Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum, blew the whistle on the tardy machinations of some undertakers in the NNPC and the ministry he presides over and all we could do was to wave it aside.
Osinbajo and indeed members of the Buhari cabinet have mastered the art of painting previous administrations in dirty ink but they fail to acknowledge that their obsessive inclination to looking back at the misdeeds of the previous government has made them to lose focus of their own destination. Some even argue very strongly that this government has no destination. They argue that it is a drifting government without a compass. It does appear so especially when it continues to label others as corrupt but fail to acknowledge the grotesque and monstrous corruption within its fold.
When a serving minister cried out that contracts running into $25 billion were awarded without due process and without his knowledge as a minister and Chairman of the Board of the awarding agency, what was Osinbajo’s reaction? The $25 billion NNPC contracts which according to Kachikwu were awarded without due process cannot be explained away with sophistry of language and propaganda. It remains a sore point, a putrefying leprous finger of this administration. The open display of nepotism that has defined this government is antithetical to national unity and a negation of the pristine values of nationhood. What is Osinbajo doing or saying about it?
Corruption is evil. It is at the core of why Africa is backward. But corruption is never conquered or overawed when one group garbs itself in a pious and sanctimonious cassock while dismissing the other groups as filthy and lewd. It has to be said, the Buhari government is a corrupt government. It is as corrupt as any Nigerian government in the past including the government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, if not worse. Nigerians are not fooled by the propaganda of labelling previous administrations as evil by the likes of Osinbajo and Lai Mohammed among others.
Professor Osinbajo should stop blaming others for the ineptitude and incompetence of the government he serves in. He should stop seeing the rat-size corruption in other governments when there is elephant-size corruption under his nose.
It is barely 12 months to the eclipse of four years of this administration. Inventing fibs and lies to discredit past governments has lost its magic and charm. It no longer resonates with Nigerians. Osinbajo should be working on leaving a legacy of development. And he cannot achieve this by blaming his predecessors. If in three years, the Buhari government is yet to find its way through the maze of governance, then it has no business being there in the first place.
By 2015, Nigerians knew that things were going awry hence they voted you to make sense of the nonsense. And if all you have done these past three years is to keep blaming our ancestors and latching on to historical artifacts to sustain your propaganda, then there is a problem. Osinbajo may not know this, but ordinary Nigerians are beginning to regret ever staking their votes on you and Buhari. You may be too engrossed in the failings of past governments to notice the tears of millions of Nigerian youths looking up to you. From the manner you are carrying on it’s not likely you will ever see their tears. That should worry you more than the shadow of past administrations.
Culled from Sunday Sun