COUNSELS FOR OUTGOING PRESIDENT GEJ
Like a 'man of God', he suddenly began to prophesy. Like a prodigal son, he suddenly realized the efficacy of parenthood. And like a love-spoilt, he is bracing up with the reality in woo-manhood. I earnestly appeal to those who are close to the outgoing President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to counsel him to calm down and feel relaxed as a Nigerian citizen cum statesman. His utterances in most recent times have revealed the trauma of a man awaiting trial for crimes he disclaims in advance. He should be man enough to face the reality of life outside Aso Rock villa. After all, the downfall of a man is not the end of his life. He has not fallen down to poverty or dejection – surely he may never taste poverty again – he has only lost the transient power the most populous nation on earth.
Yes, the fear of the name Buhari is the beginning of wisdom for Nigerian politicians and looters. It is the beginning of wisdom for the outgoing President and his cabinet, so GEJ should explore the wisdom in that fear and do the needful before the handover day and final exit from the Aso Rock villa. Let the inherent wisdom not lead to jittery and confusion. Let it not lead to sorrow and indignation. Let it be the wisdom that leads to Nigeria's unity and greater expectations as GEJ has always propounded.
But worried by some actions and programmes embarked by GEJ recently, one thinks it necessary to offer these five pieces of advice to curtail further engendering of rancor and acrimony in the polity. We can recall that the incoming government is feeling that GEJ is tactically setting traps that will make governance uneasy after handover.
GEJ is predicting persecution and hard times for himself and members of his cabinet. “For ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathize with them; they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution. I wish them what I wish myself. They will have hard times. We will all have hard times. Our ways will be rough”, GEJ declared at a thanksgiving and farewell service in his honour at the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Cathedral Church of Advent, Life Camp, Gwarimpa Abuja.
Howbeit, in as much as it is true that more than half of members of his cabinet were incorrigible, there were few members who were above the law. They defiled all civil ethics and culture, bamboozled all legislative and judicial procedures and powers, and hid under the Presidential wings to commit anything that was imaginably possible for them. No need of mentioning names. They know themselves as much as GEJ was their cover. Therefore, now that the Day of Account comes closer and every cabinet member must carry his or her cross, there is no need of shedding the crocodile's tear or seeking sympathy for anybody who has committed crime against Nigerians. Whichever word that is more apt: persecution or prosecution or both, let justice take its course.
GEJ, who has recently confessed that he has been deserted by his confidants, should act fast, gather and treat them to a secret dinner. He should not beg in futility trying to stop them from writing their experiences under his government. He should rather beg them to soft pedal in exposing the dirty businesses that transpired during the height of GEJ's politicking and politricking at Aso Villa. Chief Bode George in an interview with the Channels Television has indicated strong interest to gather his political experiences in a book. He is the supposed leader of PDP in the South West and cannot be unconnected with GEJ's administration. Many of his likes will soon become writers and publishers. As difficult as writing has been, Nigerian politicians create time to write only after they have been forced out of their political offices. Even many Nigerian professors and Doctorate degree holders have not written such volumes by politicians. Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has beautifully written books to his credit, though it can be ascertained that politicians engage the services of academicians to achieve the feat. This reminds us of the period before the digitalization of the communication system when our uneducated parents would ask us to write letters for them. However, writing fictions, though, is easier than writing facts and figures. That is number one.
The 11th-hour contracts and appointments by the outgoing government would be serious issues of contests after handover. Apart from, yet not limited to statutory ones due to the fact that government is a continuum and there should be no vacuum in governance, these actions are seen as final steps to compensate party loyalists. It is simply viewed as fixing PDP stalwarts who have serious connections with GEJ and his aides. How they can work harmoniously with the policies of the incoming government is yet to be presumed. But the dismissal or forceful removal of some appointees on the ground of their stringency to laid-down rules and regulations, not mere loyalty to a fault, demands review. Let GEJ allow the few remaining days to pass without gang-up of frustrating the incoming government. Deputy National Chairman (North) of APC, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, asserted, “We are going to revisit these last-minute contract awards and appointments; they cannot stand.
I am sure Nigerians would want them revisited. Though they are still in charge, they should have put the collective interest of Nigerians before personal interests. I don't think they are doing that.” APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed raised an alarm over last-minute looting of the nation's resources, hurried recruitment into the public service and rushed privatization of key financial institutions by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan administration, warning that such egregious actions would have serious repercussions. That is number two.
GEJ should not regret his action of conceding defeat because that was the only available best option. Nigerians spoke loud and clear. Nigeria was ripe for a revolution, though. Nigerian patriots were in support of a non-violent, bloodless revolution, such kinds that were led by Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi of India and even our own Nnandi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi Awolowo against colonialism. We needed a revolution in the change of attitude. Majority of the African and Western countries including the Americas were against his continuity. The key members of the leadership of his party were already aware of the strength in the broom. There were enough evidences that heralded his defeat even before the elections. But his wife and a handful of grave diggers would not let him see the world. So, if he is afraid of being divorced by his wife for losing the elections, one should believe that he can seek solace in some other women, nay
girls, who have been kind to him throughout his hard times as President of Nigeria. One can be sure that his wife couldn't have given him enough of the needed matrimonial support, except the showoff in the political appendage of first lady. Let GEJ rediscover himself and know that he was created before his wife and given superior power over her by God the Creator of mankind. That is number three.
The fourth counsel is the quick recovery of our looted funds. GEJ should act fast by asking his cabinet members to return 'unused' funds that have been trapped outside the nation's treasury. The incoming government may not want to disturb GEJ's peace after handover, but it will largely depend on the level of cooperation given them in this regard by the outgoing regime. Too many contracts were shrouded; jets were purchased and maintained for and by individuals who are in government or attached to the President. Simply put it, Nigerians will demand for their looted funds under GEJ's administration. Recent revelations on the state of the nation's economy from the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala are breathe-seizing.
The fifth piece of advice is to stop the PDP's blame trade over his failure at the 2015 presidential polls. The general elections have come and gone peacefully. Our concern, and we advice GEJ, should be how to recover the monies spent for campaigns from the national coffer. Over N21 billion was raised for the campaigns. Equal sum or more was raised for North East Boko Haram victims, which many people believed was partly for campaigns. Monies for different government organs were diverted to fund the campaigns and state governors starved their people to fund the campaigns. What would have been expected from Adamu Mu'azu when his own people dared him and seized his ward from him for APC? Remember that many Governors of states of Northern Nigeria, especially those of Niger and Jigawa were upbeat of delivering their states to PDP. But their electorates stood up against them and seized even their wards. So, PDP should simply blame the electorate for finding GEJ and his PDP stooges in many states culpable and unworthy to continue to lead them. He has had enough evidences of the hypocrisies and deceit around him. So let him not allow himself into another caricature of contesting the outcome of the elections at any Nigerian court. These are my humble counsels, and I wish GEJ a life full of reality, full of self-reliance and full of nationalism.
***Muhammad Ajah is a Writer, Author, Advocate Of Humanity and Good Governance based in Abuja
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