“Why me? Why did I rule Nigeria now when while others ruled oil sold for 146 dollars per barrel.” – President Buhari (paraphrased), February 5, 2016
Dear Sir,
When life gives a Fulani man soup, he does not complain he has no cassava to make garri or akpu. He takes his rice and makes tuwo.
I wrote an article immediately after you took office as President of Nigeria. In that article, I raised concern over your constant flipflops and complaints of not having money. I said you sounded like a man who deceives another man’s wife to leave her husband and that he would love and cherish her, only for her to pack out of her matrimonial home and move in with him, and then, the new lover-husband starts telling her he does not have the money to take care of her. I suggested then that If you know that you cannot manage the country without oil selling for $146 dollar per barrel, why did you keep contesting? Why not leave our Goodluck Jonathan or let Atiku Abubakar or Aminu Tambuwal inherit the APC structure created by Tinubu?
To think that all you ever think of is oil is understandable. You have never worked in your life. Everything has come free. You have never guaranteed your own salary. As a youth you joined the army. In the army, your uniform and gun is paid for with oil money from the Niger Delta. You became Governor of the North East region. You merely relied on allocation to states. Then you became Minister of Petroleum and then NNPC Managing Director. Of course, that meant more free oil money. Then you forced your way to becoming military head of state. That came with a free house in Dodan Barracks and again free money. Then you went in prison, another round of free house and free food. You came out and became Petroleum Trust Fund (PTC) boss, the richest ministry under former dictator, General Sani Abacha. Again, free oil money. And when you left office, as a former president, everything has been free free free.
Let’s compare your career trajectory with that of Atiku Abukakar. Atiku has invested in and ran a company. Even as Nigeria is going through hard times, Atiku is calculating and thinking how best to MANAGE his huge investments. Okay, let us look at Aminu Tambuwal he owns a law firm. Nasir El Rufai has his estate management consulting firm. These people, having run businesses, understood the inevitability of good times and bad times and they know how to keep pressing forward. They know they have no time to blame the breeze, the sun, the moon, or the clouds. They know they must pay their workers at the end of the month.
Every Igbo man with a store knows this. You complain a bit about the business climate, but then you shut up most of the time and work. Iya Basira that sells kpomo at Oyingbo Market in Lagos knows how to cut her kpomo when economy is good and how to cut it when it is bad. But you, President Muhammadu Buhari, your addition to free-and-easy everything is your undoing.
I owned a record label. We do not know where promo money will come from for our news album, but we believe and we hustle, and we fight and when we have money, we go to Puffy T, OJB, and we produce great music. And when we do not have much, we leverage on friendship with Charles Duke and other fledging music producers who do awesome work, but don’t charge us so much. We do not cry.
Your constant whining is one reason I maintain that you, Buhari, for failing to improve yourself since you were ousted from power in 1984, for failing to educate yourself, for failing to learn new things, for not following your passion in cow husbandry, for not bringing up your cow business to modern standards, for not having any non-profit organisation, for demonstrating that you have never been an entrepreneur, never built anything worthwhile, you have passed through life SPOILT.
As a Fulani, you did not even need a WAEC certificate to enter the army. You used a school principal’s promissory note THAT YOU WIIL PASS, but the truth is that you DID NOT PASS. Even during your only successful presidential campaign, Tinubu and Amaechi did all the work. Tinubu laid the structure to buy over Professor Jega’s INEC machine to rig in your favour, Amaechi managed your rebranding and brought 80% of the money from the treasury of Rivers State.
During your campaign rallies, you only spoke for four minutes at each stop. Amaechi shielded you from every kind of debate. “That man must not debate anybody, anywhere,” Amaechi told your campaign surrogates. Fayemi designed your campaign promises and produced all the documents you used to deceive Nigerians that you had a plan. You never even read your 100-day covenant with Nigerians. You, Sir, are spoilt rotten. “Sai Baba, Sai Baba” that your ignorant followers chant, have made you think that you know it all and do not need to develop yourself.
In contrast, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, an army general like you and your former boss, went back to school in front of us all and he did it while he was president. General Yakubu Gowon has gone back to school and Ojukwu cannot deceive him with CONFEDERATION anymore, where he still alive. But you, General, you have not risen up to any challenge in life. I doubt you even know what that means. 
So crude oil at $36 dollars a barrel is a challenge to be faced squarely by any president who has run a business. He or she would know that it is no time to buy new BMW cars for people who already own multiple cars or budget N39 billion just for for propaganda aka ministry of information. In times of crisis, such as this, you do not get told in a media chat that the Senate is collecting car loan and then getting cars free and then saying “that is bad” as if it is not your budget. You look at every item with a view to limiting expenditure, ensuring there are no leaks or wastage.
Atiku is doing that with his companies now. El Rufai is doing it. Every Igbo man is doing it in their businesses. The Yoruba elite continue to study and develop their minds. For example, your Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is planning to spend N5 million on books this year. But for you, your learning ended in 1985, that is the reason you still think there is a country called West Germany and that Netherlands still use the deutschmark, and the French still use the francs.
Buhari, when you complain and blame everyone else, except yourself, it leads to new questions. Why does it appear as if you did not know that Ibrahim Babangida “killed the naira” before you became President? Did you not know that the Chibok school abductions happened under Jonathan? Why did you go promising Nigerians that you will make the naira equal to the dollar and that you would bring back the Chibok schoolgirls, cute and healthy to their parents? Why did you go around saying that Boko Haram was a piece of cake for you and you just needed to land in an airport? “What is Boko Haram?”, you asked with disdain. Why? Is it that you blatantly lied to the Nigerian People or that you just couldn’t think about the implications of issues?
General, it has been 9 months since you took oath of office and instead of presenting a roadmap to success, you are busy insulting the old map. Where is your replacement policy for the “failed policies” of the past?
Nigeria is not the only country affected by the oil slump, for goodness sake. In fact, many countries have no oil. Aren’t the presidents of these countries running them without complaining? How many times have you seen a president of an OPEC country lamenting on CNN about oil prices and why he can’t do anything for his country?
Providence (or Jega’s rigging machine) has called you to become President of Nigeria at this time. Stop asking, why me? You desperately wanted to be president. You did all you could to become president, including pretending to Tinubu and co that you would work with them when you got power. So, get to it. Start to govern and govern well. Enough is already enough!
What good does whining do? NONE. Oil will never sell for 100 dollars per barrel ever again, except our sweet crude or Bonny Light happens to cure cancer. Those days are gone forever. So what do you do, Mr President? Here are 13 key steps you can take and turn things around.
1. Take back that ‘Anini Budget’, formally. Get real experts to look at it. There is a guy I know on Facebook, his name is Kalu Aja, he is young and has brilliant ideas. I believe him and people like him can help you refocus your expenditure and make every naira work for us.
2. Jonathan’s team is made of brilliant minds. His agriculture minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is boss of the Africa Development Bank. Ms. Aruma Oteh is Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala remains a financial goddess. Use their influence and get financing. Stop demonizing Nigerians just because they served under Goodluck Jonathan.
3. Buy Nigeria. All government official cars should be Innoson. I heard that a Yoruba man in Osun fits bullet proof on cars, but from him. Serve Nigeria-produced food in government functions. Eat grown in Nigeria. Wear spawn in Nigeria, made in Nigeria clothes, shoes. Lead the way. Let us keep our money in our economy.
4. Switch the forty billion naira for oil search in Sambisa forest to investment in farming and gem stone and metal search in the North and Middle Belt and to bitumen in Ondo. Come up with a plan to utilize the coal in Enugu.
5. Ensure there is peace in Niger Delta and in the South East. Whatever is spent to achieve peace within reason will not be regretted. Peace is cheaper.
6. Complete key Jonathan projects in the South South and South East like the Maritime University, the 2nd Niger bridge, and others. You can punish fraud without stopping the projects. These are laudable projects.
7. Get Northern children enrolled into Jonathan’s Almajiri schools and build more of them. Pay parents in the North to send kids to school. we will complain in the South, but ultimately, this is the true end to Northern backwardness and Boko Haram.
8. Buy weapons and motivate the army. Imagine that Boko Haram started in your time and forget about what Jonathan bought or did not. Take the army AS IS and move on and crush Boko Haram through financial offering to those who will take it and stop fighting and crushing those who will not.
9. Get the best advisers. No one expects you to know everything
10. Cede some power to your Vice President, Professor Osinbajo. If Bola Tinubu trusts him, he must have some quality. You trusted Fashola, a Tinubu creation. Trust Osinbajo too. You cannot do it all
11. Again, you cannot do it all. We see you moving FEC meeting from weekly to bi-weekly. We know it is over your health and age. We hear you want to make it monthly. DO NOT. We need you on the ball. Even if you cannot be there, let Osinbajo be a true deputy. Dambazzu is there to watch him for you.
12. You are president of the whole Nation, not of Daura. Act like it. Texas did not vote Obama. It does not matter what areas voted you. Be president of all.
13. Economy, economy, economy. Reconsider your position on the naira. Keeping it officially at N197 to a dollar, when all of us buy it at 307 is foolishness. We are losing investment in trillions. Please reconsider. Make those in diaspora have confidence in banking their dollar in Nigeria again. We desperately need their dollars.
There is so much to say sir, but I say this, finally, there is nothing you have spoit that cannot be repaired.
Get better advisers, Sir.
Yours Patriotically ,
Ena Ofugara
Ena Ofugara studied law in the University of Benin for some years before leaving Nigeria for the United States where he is studying while working. He has a passion for Nigeria. He has a clear bias for his people of the Niger Delta and he believes the Nigerian system – justice, social, economic – is rigged against his people. So he became a social and political commentator to highlight this injustice. Connect with him on Facebook
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