Okonjo Iweala: We Are No Babies Here
The former Minister of Finance under President Jonathan has been in the news for sometimes now, making interventions in the body polity with respect to past administration with emphasis on Jonathan's six years tenure. PDP ruled Nigeria for 16 years. Okonjo Iweala served President Obasanjo. She also served President Jonathan. As a finance person, she has a lot to tell Nigerians how PDP government frittered away hundreds of billions of dollars in sixteen years without much to show for it. Crude oil price rose up to 150 dollars a barrel during Jonathan tenure but the boom did not reflect in our foreign reserves neither did we see any meaningful development in areas of infrastructure. The nation was told that when oil sold for 50-60 dollars per barrel, Nigeria had nearly 62 billion US Dollars in the reserves but when it sold for 140-150 dollars per barrel under Jonathan, the foreign reserves depleted to 32 billion US Dollars. So what went wrong? Mrs. Okonjo Iweala has been telling the Nigerians that Governors did not allow President Jonathan to save for the rainy day. Now who was in charge of Nigeria? Jonathan or the Governors? Did the Governors force President Obasanjo not to save for the rainy day? Did the Governors force Jonathan to share the money at gun point? The bucks stop on the table of any president anywhere in the world and he takes responsibility for any achievements or setbacks. You cannot pass the bucks here or shift blames. For sixteen years PDP ran the affairs of this country. The billions of dollars made in sixteen years would have reflected on our economy via infrastructure development the way Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria did it.
In sixteen years we did not see any landmark development. No new refinery was built, not much in the power sector, our schools, hospitals, transportation sector etc. were neglected. All the money went down the drains and into private pockets. We now have individuals who are richer than the country. Everywhere you look at you see corruption staring you in the face. I am sure if Jonathan had won the 2015 elections nobody would have known the state of our finances and decay today.
Manufacturing excuses, and blaming others for the mess of PDP years is playing to the gallery. Leaders must accept responsibility for actions and inactions. President Trauman accepted responsiilty for ordering the dropping of Atomic bombs in the island of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He accepted the consequences as a burden he has to carry for the rest of his life. I have seen the Presidents and Prime ministers in different parts of the world accepting responsibility for what they did differently that led to difficulties and pains. That is the hallmark of leadership.
Now did Okonjo Iweala resign her appointment as Minister for Finance? Did she raise her voice to support the argument she is raising today? Look here, we are not babies here. Chibok girls were kidnaped from their school by boko haram. Their school was destroyed and burnt. 14 local governments were seized by the boko haram and yet people like Mrs. Kema Chikwe, Ayo Fayose and many others never believed it was not real until recently. President Jonathan was busy going to Jerusalem to pray with his ministers and aids leaving our soldiers without arms, without salaries, without uniforms, without food, without vehicles. We saw the consequences. Today Nigerians have seen where all the money meant for the Soldiers went to. Under Jonathan and Okonjo Iweala's eyes the Service Chiefs stole everything meant to be used to prosecute the war against boko haram, and Nigerians and our soldiers died in their thousands.
Instead of PDP and their leaders to accept responsibility that they have failed Nigerians in 16 years, they are busy ganging up on how to take power again. They have been busy shifting blames and manufacturing excuses. Okonjo Iweala should keep quiet and simply lie low. They have thoroughly messed up the country and left her lying prostrate. Look at what the rapacious greedy idiots in the Budget Office and the rats and rodents in the National Assembly did to 2016 Budget. They are blinded by greed and avaricious tendencies. They do not know when to say enough is enough. It is in their blood. It has no cure again. Enough can never be said to be enough.
Every leader writes his own history by his actions and deeds. It is left for historians to do their work for the country and posterity. It pains me to no end that none of these PDP Chieftains has stood up to tell story the way it should be, speak the truth and damn the consequences. No, not PDP leaders. They are shameless, remorseless, unrepentant and arrogant. They are ganging up again on how to regroup in 2019 to seize power. Oh my God, how I wish these people will remove the veil in their eyes and see the big picture that it all over for them for a long time to come.
Written by Joe Igbokwe.