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(OPINION) Buhari’s Squandered Goodwill: Atiku Abubakar To The Rescue? -Wole Adejumo

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Three and a half years and as the Muhammadu Buhari administration winds up, the Federal Government has made everything Nigerians complained about in the Goodluck Jonathan era look like a side show. No one ever thought Nigeria would find herself in such a situation, not with the many electoral promises.

The last three years have shown that most of those who voted for Buhari are no longer pleased with him. He has found himself in a situation similar to the one Goodluck Jonathan found himself shortly before the 2015 presidential election. Almost everything Dr. Jonathan did then was seen as insipid; simply lacking flavor. And when Nigerians decided his fate, it was a sentence without appeal.

It has however become clear that the man brought to replace the immediate past President might not have been the right one after all. The fact that President Buhari aspired for office for 12 years before eventually becoming President didn’t mean he was prepared for the office. He couldn’t just translate the long wait into action. For months, activities were almost at a standstill, no thanks to the President’s refusal to appoint people to oversee the various Federal Ministries. In the President’s opinion, the Ministers were “noisemakers”.

Not a few Nigerians saw President Buhari as a man of distinction before the 2015 elections. Mai Gaskiya (the honest one) was seen as the solution to Nigeria’s problems. That has however changed now as people now believe that being transparent is one thing, for people around the leader to be upright is another. The famous quote, “I belong to nobody” went a long way in raising the hopes of millions of Nigerians when Buhari was sworn in. But three years down the line, it became clear that Mr. President indeed belonged to some people.

The much anticipated anti-corruption crusade has proved to be more or less a moral disaster. Right under the President’s nose, grass in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camp was cut for hundreds of millions. And when the culprit was asked to step down by the Presidency, he had the effrontery to ask reporters “who is the Presidency?” That was enough to tell the people that something was disturbingly wrong in the seat of power.

The Buhari Nigeria presently has as President is far different from the Buhari those who were around in 1983 knew. He was known to be a man full of high principle. Some of those who supported him however had cause to change their minds when he posited that General Sani Abacha might not be corrupt. The question they could not ask publicly was ‘where did all the loot being repatriated by foreign governments come from?’

One wonders why people still complain despite the achievements the government reels out in the media almost on a daily basis. The truth is that the achievements do not translate into what the ordinary people can see or lay hold on.

What Nigeria needs is a blend of experience, of age matched with vigour. At the beginning, the President tried exhibiting both but it was only a matter of time before it became crystal clear that some of the things he promised would not happen. A cabal of “hyenas and wolves” soon rose and they have been taking full advantage of the situation. Some would even aver that the cabal has successfully wrested power from the President.

Sadly, those who should offer advice seem to have become part of the problem as the country’s leadership became the butt of jokes. One major undoing was that under a living President, dead people were penciled down for appointments.

The blame game too went on for too long. Rather than facing the job of charting a new course for the country, which he signed up for, the President started a portrait of tragedy in trying to paint the immediate past administration in bad light. While the portrait remains uncompleted, the job has largely remained undone.

Till today, the “technically defeated” Boko Haram still sacks villages; they still kill soldiers and take Nigerians and foreigners hostage. Nigerians have now realized that the Buhari we were proud of during the Nigeria-Chad border crisis of the 1980s has lost the vigour he was known for.

The Shiite matter is also another ember of trouble being gradually fanned into a big flame. It is starting almost the same way the Boko Haram crisis started two administrations ago. Between then and now, the sect metamorphosed into a full blown terrorist organization.

The Naira still stands at about 360 to one American dollar while food has become largely unaffordable.

With the 2019 presidential race reaching the final lap, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is about the only man that can give President Muhammadu Buhari a good run. He is not a stranger in Nigeria’s political circles, having served as Vice President for eight years.

Apart from being an astute businessman, Atiku, the Wazirin Adamawa recorded a number of feats while in office. He oversaw the revolution of the telecoms sector which paid off with the addition of about 500,000 direct jobs into the Nigerian economy. And outside office, he is about the biggest private employer of labour in Adamawa, his home state. Incidentally, more than half of his 50,000 employees are youths.

He single-handedly brought in young people in their 30s and 40s to become Ministers, some of them later did well as Governors of their respective states. To show that leadership truly matters, the woman Atiku brought in from the World Bank was the star minister in the Obasanjo-Atiku years, only for things to change when she served with another government.

Atiku also oversaw the privatization of many public enterprises that consumed government resources without yielding profit.

In the years Atiku served as Vice President, Nigeria’s territorial integrity was preserved. Internal and external aggression got curbed as appropriate. In one of the meetings with South South leaders that time, President Obasanjo made jest of militants, asking them “which kind militants you be wey you dey run when soldier man come?”

As a man who has seen it all in the business sector, which he can effectively combine with the experience of being a two-term Vice President, Atiku stands a bright chance of becoming Nigeria’s next president. He is first a businessman before being a politician; he believes in human and capital development, which he describes as “the effort to increase the productive capacity of a society, improve the people’s well-being and expand the frontiers of freedom, while protecting the ecosystem for current and future generations”. With the elections a few months away, Atiku has already cut the image of the infinite precious leader Nigerians have been waiting for. The name Atiku Abubakar is already echoing in the political firmament.

Not someone that showed his interest overnight, the man Atiku has done his assignments and he is in the best position as he not only understands the Nigerian problems but is poised as the man that has the solution.

The message is clear for all to see, and his ambition is clearly giving nightmares to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress which has gone out guns blazing to try and cut him down based on the knowledge that he is a formidable candidate, a strong wind that is shaking the political structures of the nation.

Among the teeming Nigerian youths, he is the hope, with the aged, Wazirin Adamawa is a choice and as they say…’time will surely tell’ as Nigerians have less than four months to decide.

Wole Adejumo is a journalist and publisher of Theanchoronline.com.ng

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From Boardroom To Politics, Ex-First Bank Boss Eyes Oyo Governor’s Seat

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Adesola Adeduntan, the erstwhile Managing Director of First Bank has been named as one of the would-be successors of the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde come 2027.

 

The banker who was allegedly eased out of banking for some undisclosed misdemeanors is claimed to have began consultations as he charts a new path in politics.

 

Sources hinted that Adeduntan had been interested in an elective position but his participation was measured because of his banking career. But now, the coast is clear and he is already aligning himself with some stakeholders ahead of 2027.

 

A list of names including Ilaji boss, Dotun Sanusi, Taofeek Arapaja, Stanley Olajide and many more has features as interested minds gunning for the number one seat in Oyo, a list Adeduntan has recently joined.

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Ex First Bank Boss, Afonja Dies In Auto Crash

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-Femi Bamgbose

 

Details have emerged on Monday, 20th May, 2024 regarding the tragic death of a former Chairman of First Bank Plc, Ajibola Afonja.

 

The 82 year-old man was said to have died in a car accident.

 

The accident occurred somewhere around Oyo town.

 

Sources hinted papermacheonline that the former Minister popularly known by his company name ‘IDS’ Integrated Dimensional System was rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan where he eventually gave up the ghost.

 

The news spread like wildfire within the society circle across Oyo State where Afonja was highly revered.

 

Family sources claimed he would be buried today according to Islamic rites.

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‘How Yahaya Bello Withdrew Almost $1M From Kogi Account To Pay Child’s School Fees’ EFCC boss, Olukoyede

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, transferred $720,000 from the government’s coffers to a bureau de change before leaving office to pay in advance for his child’s school fee.

 

Olukoyede revealed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

He said, “A sitting governor, because he knows he is going, moved money directly from government to bureau de change, used it to pay the child’s school fee in advance, $720,000 in advance, in anticipation that he was going to leave the Government House.

 

“In a poor state like Kogi, and you want me to close my eyes to that under the guise of ‘I’m being used.’ Being used by who at this stage of my life?”

 

 

Olukoyede further stated that he personally reached out to Bello, offering him a chance to clarify the situation in a respectful setting within the EFCC office but the ex-governor reportedly declined to cooperate, citing fears of harassment from an unnamed woman.

 

The EFCC boss added, “I didn’t initiate the case; I inherited the case file. I called for the file, and I said there are issues here.

 

“On my own, I called him, which I am not supposed to do, just to honour him as an immediate past governor. ‘Sir, there are issues. I’ve seen this case file. Can you just come let us clarify these issues?’

 

 

“He said, ‘Ha! Thank you, my brother. I know, but I can’t come. There’s one lady that has surrounded EFCC with over 100 people to come and embarrass me and intimitade me.’

 

Bello was said to have suggested that the EFCC come to his village rather than conduct an investigation at the agency’s quarters.

 

“I said if that is the issue, I’m going to pass you through my own gate, and you will come to my floor. We will accord you that respect. I will invite my operatives; they will interrogate and interview you in my own office. What could be more honourable than that to allay the fear?

 

“You know what he said: ‘Thank you, sir, but can’t they come to my village? Olukoyede added.

 

The chairman also highlighted the agency’s achievements during his tenure, stating, “We have recovered close to 120 billion and secured over 1,600 convictions in six months.

 

“I’m so passionate about the need for us to move forward in this country. We need the EFCC to survive. There are so many victims that we have wiped tears off their eyes, people that have been swindled in their millions. Every day, we keep recovering money for victims.”

 

PUNCH Online reports that the EFCC chairman, Olukoyede, has vowed to resign from his position if Yahaya Bello is not prosecuted.

 

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust, and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

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