APOLOGIES TO GEJ
Alas, President Buhari's first 100 days as president of modern day Nigeria came too soon. It is now history; a figment of yesterday's paper. It is hard to say if it came with a mournful air or a copious reverie. We may not find common lines of agreement on it being a success, failure or something in between, but we'll sure agree on this one thing: some things happened between PMB's 1st and 100th day in office and there is still no economic policy or framework on what he intends to do for us and how he intends to do it for ours.
The other day, Mallam Shehu Garba, one of PMB's media handlers almost bored us to death with his verbose and poorly written and proofread “Understanding President Buhari in 100 Days” article. A few days after, another of President Buhari's lying machine – as they have turned out to be – regaled us with yet another 100-day rant. Rather than win sympathy for his principal, his “New Sheriff in Town” article reminds us of the need to tender hearty apologies to our immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan.
Yes, the new Sheriff in town is a miracle worker. He hasn't invested a dime, let alone wave his magic wand, and our power woes are beginning to “abracadabra style” disappear. This mystery disappearance – the reason why our power Generation Companies(GENCOs) now have an output of close to 5000mw, has been said to be due to this new Sheriff's body language. In the words of Mr. Adesina, “Some call it the Buhari bounce. Others describe it as the Buhari effect… A new Sheriff has come to town.”
But that isn't only crass, it is idiotic. It isn't only idiotic, it betrays zilch understanding of simple logic and makes little children sneeze derisively because of its distortedness. Come to think of it; what if the previous administration didn't invest in the power sector? What if the Power Holding Company of Nigeria wasn't unbundled into 18 companies for greater efficiency and effectiveness? What if GEJ didn't create the Nigerian Bank Electricity Trading Plc(NBET)? What if GEJ didn't launch the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform?
Will the Buhari bounce still be bouncy? Will the Buhari effect be effective enough to boost power generation from the 2200mw bequeathed to GEJ in 2012? Will it? Can it? If it will, why didn't it stop unemployment from rising from7.5% to 8.2%? If it can, why couldn't it stop Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) from reducing by 0.20 percent? Why didn't it stop our Gross Domestic Product(GDP) from plummeting by 40 percent to 2.35 under the very watchful eyes of President Buhari?
He didn't stop there. He went further to say; “even our foreign reserves know that a new Sheriff is in town, and has responded appropriately. In June, just one month into office, … our foreign reserves surged from 29 billion USD to 31.89 USD. Holy Moses!” This reveals more than you think. It is worse than you imagine.
If I were cultured to be an abusive dude, his Holy Moses crap would have made me call Mr. Adesina the Yoruba brainless name; Olodo. But I wouldn't. Still, I strongly believe he is. If not, how will he not know that our foreign reserve rose by 10 percent to 35 billion USD, while our power generation capacity rose to a record breaking 4000mw – its highest level ever – when GEJ marked his first 100 days as a president in 2011? It beats my imagination that this “self acclaimed” veteran journalist, who also won Nigeria Media Merit Awards Editor of the year in 2007 is gifted with poor research skills and a dwarf knowledge of history. Or could he have conveniently choose not to include it in his article? Did he forget that it behooves media practitioners to give out fair and balance reportage?
This brings his English degree from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University. It also makes one wonder how he got to become the Managing Director an Editor-in-Chief of Sun Newspapers.
He still didn't stop there. He went further to make the most ludicrous statement of the century; “another imperceptible but momentous achievement is the faith that Nigerians now have in their leader.” Are you kidding me? Please, tell me this is a joke. Oh, it must be a typographical error. He must have meant “fate,” not faith. It can't be faith. It just can't be.
Before May 29, yes, there was a reasonable amount of faith in candidate Buhari. But in President Buhari? No. I'm not sure. How can we have faith in a someone who, just a few days after he was sworn in as president, reneged on his promise or obligation of publicly declaring his assets? What faith should we have in a man who promised to lead the war against Boko Haram, not from the lush posh of Aso Rock, but from Borno, the war front? What faith is to be reposed in a man who denies the covenant and promises that landed him the presidency gig? What of the 20, 000 jobs he promised each state? What of his promise of making 1 USD equal 1 Naira?
Or could Mr. Adesina be disconnected from reality? Could he's be a case of self delusion? Is there a chance he missed the #100WastedDays campaign that almost broke the internet?
Looking back, Goodluck Jonathan isn't a kettle, after all. What has simply been playing out is simply a legendary case of pot calling kettle black. It is a typical example of a politician calling a lawyer dishonest. But sadly, we fell for it. We made our eyes gullible for them to pull the wool over. The die is however cast and the deed is done.
Last Saturday, the only urge I felt was to tender an apology – with the urgency which an Usain Bolt races to the finish line – to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. For shaming doomsayers and giving potency to PMB's bounce or effect. For choosing not to go the way of Burundi's Pierre Nkuruniziza. For making this bequest called Nigeria still inhabitable. For affording wailing wailers the opportunity to wail, Facebookers the opportunity to Facebook, writers the opportunity to write, and readers the opportunity to read.
Or who writes when the next rocket launcher might be landing on his roof? Who uses Facebook when his above is eclipsed by sadness? Who reads when all he has around him is a bleak hill of war and an accompanying congregation of displaced persons? Who tweets when his ears are filled with rhythms that tickle sorrow? Who wails when the sporadic hoots and ratatata of gunshots rents the air like a tenant, becoming his oxygen.
***Joel Pereyi is an award winning essayist and freelance writer. He maintains a bimonthly column for the Abuja-based FCT Post.