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YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY FROM THE TRUTH

By Usman Mohammed

"No matter the head start or how fast a lie can run, the truth will

eventually catch up and overtake it in this race called life" Aesop

Fables.
This is one of the stark truths that many will have to contend with as

the recession marches on. Left in the pits of despair, Nigerians are

left wondering the way out of this quagmire. Few can dare to say that

the recession is all but a myth. Even when many habour the notion that

the present Government is performing admirably in its bid to lift the

nation out of the abyss. Even in Abuja the nation's citadel of power

and affluence, the recession smiles maliciously at the men and women

of means.
A shortage of Jet A1, aviation fuel has virtually crippled the airline

industry as flights from the nation's capital have trickled to an

unexpected halt. The specter of international flights refueling in

Accra prior to arrival in Nigeria has given way to a total shut down

of most local flights. The confusion and despair on the faces of

passengers speaks volumes of how one finds the cold hands of the

recession in the midst of the most affluent of Nigerians.

Rumors of a fuel cartel hoarding precious Aviation Kerosene abound but

the truth remains that the dwindling fortunes of the Naira continues

to militate against the profitability of such a capital intensive

industry.
Now in the midst of this gnashing of teeth and frustration one can

only ponder if a vox populi of the most cerebral of Nigerians exposed

to this mess of unimaginable proportions, how many will dare sing "Sai

Baba until 2019 and beyond?"
Nothing more dastardly exposes the frailty of a regime amidst the

discontent of its people than the plain truth. No one can run from the

truth.
For when Garba Shehu rushes to convince us all that Nigerians will not

abandon The President come 2019 even if the current hardship persists

then I have to humbly remind him that he can't runaway from the truth.

"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people that

you are, then you aren't" Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady).

Is a quote that summaries the dwindling power base of a stand alone

President whose mind is beclouded by his inner circle which comprises

of a parochial cabal. When one has to stand on the roof tops to

proclaim that a man is not ON YOUR OWN (O.Y.O) then one must reflect

deeply on the words of the Iron Lady. When the most powerful and

successful politician in the land upon whose back one road to power

better known as the Jagaban has obviously abandoned the prancing paper

tiger whose past history of serial failure at the polls remains ever

vivid in the minds of those who care to remember, until fortunes were

changed by the lackluster corrupt rule of a predecessor and the

fortitude of the Kingmaker, upon whose back shall the President

Muhammadu Buhari continue to ride upon in 2019?
Even his own kinsmen are tactically distancing themselves from the

authoritarian rule of chaos and confusion. Even his own wife has said

her piece and let out a sound warning before slipping into the shadows

once again.
And when one feels the pulse of the people, one is left wondering for

how long will the President continue to evade the truth? X-raying the

plight of the people of Zamfara State makes one wonder who really is

deceiving who? Fearful of criticizing their hallowed and revered PMB

the hushed tones of discord from Zamfara are like the muffled cries of

a woman enduring an obstructed labour. Exhausted and exasperated the

people of Zamfara are finding it difficult to shed the ethnic garb of

blind support as an old threat undergoes metamorphosis into a new one.

Since these silent majority are too scared to say the truth the

specter of crisis in this state will continue unabated. Daily so

called "unknown gunmen" have unleashed an orgy of violence in Zamfara

State killing scores, raping women and kidnappings defenseless people.

Considering this is one of the theater's of war harboring the elite

Special Forces Units trained by the dreaded Russian Spetnaz and

Commandos from Belarus, one is deeply troubled. But when PMB gave them

a mandate to protect cows from cattle rustlers and recover all lost

sheep, the guile to protect the most vulnerable of people has deserted

these battle hardened troops.
One is left to wonder what appellation should be ascribed to these

deadly marauders. If they are labelled Fulani herdsmen, the egocentric

ethnic jingoist will raise a flag and shout to the heavens that this

is sensationalism geared towards giving a dog a bad name in order to

hang it. But for how long can the PMB and his last keel of supporters

continue to ignore the truth that his kin have suddenly become a

menace to Nigeria and need to be reigned in.
The massacres in Agatu and Southern Kaduna are witnesses to this

truth. Zamfara is now held by the neck as a new front in the battle

against securing the Nigerian State takes a new horrific turn. And in

the midst of this war and strife the recession continues its deathly

dance like a pantomime in a slapstick comedy.
Another truth that The General is hoping to run away from the crisis

he instigated in the Niger Delta. High tide or high water, they are

the same to a drowning man, thus the General's claims of fighting

Militants to end corruption vis a vis ignoring the successes of

previous administrations like Yar Adua's, which successfully

implemented an amnesty programme for militants, is the crux of the

matter in why Nigerians should place all the blame for the recession

squarely on the shoulders on the recalcitrant General. Indeed these my

claims are not new but the evidence to buttress this has been given

some new life by the People and Power documentary aired by Al-Jazeera,

the Qatar based Cable News Channel last night.
Conducting a deep cover expose into the activities of these Niger

Delta Militants, their foray into criminality is seen as pitiable and

depressing. And questioning the failing nature of the Nigerian State

that is buoyed by lopsided appointments despite the specter of a ghost

called Federal Character, these militants asked why their country

can't afford them good paying jobs amidst the opulence enjoyed by the

ruling elite. Even the General's most cherished and loved daughter is

to married off this Friday to the son of an Oil Magnate from Borno who

made his billions from the creeks of the Delta while spending Billions

on building pet projects in his daughter's school in Harvard meanwhile

his homeland, reels in squalor the real genesis for its rise as the

heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Yes we may runaway from the truth and embrace the deception that

claims the General identifies more with the masses but his current

body language paints the exact opposite to the blatant truth.

While Z-girl is marrying into a fairy tale kingdom of riches and

prodigal luxury, the youths of the source of the wealth are left

rotting away jobless and homeless despite their education and finesse

hence they embrace criminality to overcome the sea of hopelessness.

Criminality and bombing of the nation's infrastructure should not be

condoned for this is an act of economic sabotage. If all Nigerians

embraced the might over right who then shall live to tell the tale?

However without mincing words Nigeria is slowly descending into that

scenario where disobedience and violence is the only means to attract

the attention of a recalcitrant Government.
ASUU has now ended their one week warning strike without reaching a

mutual compromise with Federal Government, and that is a prelude to

another Mother of all Strikes. Doctors across Nigeria are being owed

salaries like never before hence may soon down tools once again.

NAFDAC is reeling in crisis under its new High-handed Acting DG. The

list of discontent is endless but the Niger Delta restiveness is more

worrying.
The World Bank says that the only way Nigeria can escape the tentacles

of the recession is to ensure oil production rises to 2 Million BPD by

January 2017 lest one should expect the recession to slip further into

a Deep Depression.
Hence the General has less than two months to end the crisis in the

Delta and repair the damage done before this deadline. His ploy of

militarizing the Delta with the rise of the nation's latest division,

The Sixth Division is not bound to end the crisis when one recollects

the penultimate new Division was the 7th stationed in Maiduguri

created 2 years ago to annihilate Boko Haram, two years down the line

the results are there for all to judge honestly.
But the arrival of 14 new aerial weapons of war from Brazil, Pakistan

and Russian may bolster the morale of troops. Four new Mi 24 Hind

attack Helicopters from Russia, 5 new JF-16 fighter jets from Pakistan

and five new Super Tucanos from Brazil have been added to the nation's

arsenal to fight Boko Haram and Niger Delta Militants.

However the twin beasts of Ideology and Hunger
respectively are not easily erased by the weapons of war for violence

only begets more violence. But can a General of war who looks down on

peaceful overtures take a nation in endless warfare against itself

into an oasis of endless peace?
That will be the most enduring of legacies for without peace the

recession will not end and that is the truth many shy away from.

An economy can not arise from the ashes of a recession while guns and

bombs are still dropping on our heads. The General's new toys will

only escalate the arms race and deepen the resolve of these groups to

perpetuate more
warfare.
One may run from the truth like Usain Bolt but eventually just like

the great Olympian, one day old age and retirement will come knocking.

We all should thank God for the breath of a new day as we seek to live

in honesty and truth devoid of ethnic bias. Only by saying and living

in truth shall the grace to overcome the recession be ours.

We cannot run away from the truth as the recession marches on!