There are two statements that President Buhari made in the last few days that I find curious and misleading. I have read them over and over again and I am left with no other conclusion than the fact that we have a President that has no recollection of history. Firstly he said that the PDP governments that were in power for 16 years before him had achieved nothing and had “left nothing” for him in terms of development.
Secondly he said that the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria that are agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra should “forget it”. Permit me to begin with the latter and my response is as follows: Mr. President, you are right when you say that a war was fought in which two million people were killed just to keep Nigeria one. Yet the cause of that war and the reasons that it had to be fought in the first place are still very much with us and have not been resolved or even addressed. Worst still, the barbaric acts of savagery that provoked it still occur on a daily basis in our country.
You seem to have forgotten that the catalyst for the war was the fact that over 100,000 innocent and defenceless Igbo civilians, including women and children, were murdered in cold blood in a series of well-planned and well-executed pogroms in the north. If you want the Igbo or any other southerner to stay and if you want Nigeria to remain one then you must treat us all as equals, offer our children and our people equal opportunities.
In addition to that, you must defeat, destroy and dismantle Boko Haram, decommission Fulani militias whom you call herdsmen and put a stop to the marginalisation, intimidation, threats, genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder of our people. You must also desist from implementing a contrived and ill-motivated economic policy whose primary objective is to pauperise and impoverish the Nigerian people and bring them to their knees and whose purpose is to ensure that no individual or group of people has the resources and means to fight you and to stop you from coming back in 2019.
It is after you have done all these things that you can make a passionate appeal to us for the continued unity of Nigeria. And please bear in mind that it must be an appeal and not a demand. There must not even be a whiff of the usual threats or intimidating words. To President Buhari’s assertion that sixteen years of PDP-rule “left him with nothing”, I say it is manifestly dishonest and by saying this he has inflicted what William Shakespeare describes as “the unkindest cut of all”.
I say this because if one considers the state of the country in 1999 when President Olusegun Obasanjo took over and compare it to what it was in 2007 when he left office, one will have no choice but to concede the fact that this was not just development but a miraculous transformation in every single sector. That is what Obasanjo managed to achieve and I am very proud to have been part of that government and part of that legacy. After Obasanjo left President Umaru Yar’ Adua took over and after his passing came President Goodluck Jonathan. As far as I am concerned Jonathan built on Obasanjo’s legacies and foundation and he took us to yet another level. If you compare Nigeria in 2015 by the time Jonathan left to 1999 before Obasanjo came in, you will have to thank the PDP for lifting this nation up and taking us from strength to strength.
By the time Jonathan left office in 2015, Nigeria had the largest economy on the African continent, the 24th largest economy on earth and the third fastest growing economy in the world, among many other things. And Jonathan managed to achieve all that whilst fighting a civil war in the north east against a relentless enemy. Sadly, in one year, and three months all of those gains have been destroyed by President Buhari and his APC and we are now back in the dark ages. Every sector in the country has been destroyed whilst poverty, misery, tears and suffering stalk the land.
All hope appears to have been lost and virtually everyone, including many of those that supported Buhari and helped to bring him to power, are murmuring and complaining. The truth is that President Buhari has brought nothing but poverty, incompetence, fascism, ethnic cleansing, recession, abuse of power, persecution, genocide, chaos, destruction, division, fear, death, shame and the gnashing of teeth to Nigeria. Finally the President would do well to remember that a large number of people that supported him in his quest to become President in last year’s election were all originally from the PDP. This is whether they were PDP Governors, PDP Ministers or PDP legislators who decamped to the APC.
No less than 70 percent of the people that helped to put Buhari in power used to be in the PDP including President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, former Speakers of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, Aminu Masari and Umar Ghali Na’aba, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El- Rufai, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Minister of Transport and former Governor of Rivers state Rotimi Amaechi, former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Segun Oni, Danjuma Goje, Aliyu Wammakko, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Murtala Nyako, George Akume, Senate Leader Ali, former PDP National Chairmen Barnabas Gemade and Audu Ogbeh and many others.
When Buhari insults the PDP legacy and says that nothing was ever done by the PDP in 16 years, he is insulting the 70 per cent of his support base and people that put him in power starting from Obasanjo. I think that this is most unfair and very ungrateful of him. We leave it to Obasanjo and Buhari’s other new-found friends, political associates and allies to take up the challenge, to rise up to the occasion, to educate the President and to defend their own history, legacy and record in public office.