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Thursday, November 13, 2014
NIGERIAN WRITER WILLIAMS J.K.F GIVES THE MOST INSIGHTFUL RESPONSE TO GEJ DECLARATION SPEECH
Within minutes of the release of President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech on his official Facebook page, a concerned Nigerian as responded with an insightful letter, exposing every loophole in his claims of four years of achievement. Here is a link to the official declaration speech
I have watched you in the last one year jump from pillar to post under the pretext of governance; clinging to the inconsequential and deliberately ignoring that which the times demand of governance in today’s Nigeria. From themoment you were sworn in as an elected president, it’s been a galore of gaffes and conscious distraction of Nigerians from the things that actually do matter to them.
Within weeks of your presidency, your first executive move was to amend the constitution so as to allow for president and governors to serve just one term of six years in office. Not sooner than the dust raised by that move settled, you declared an economic war on the Nigerian people with an imposition of fuel tax, called fuel subsidy removal, which was just a way designed for you to avoid confronting your friends and officials who defrauded the country you preside over.
Mr President, you may recall that October 2 years ago, during a church service to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day, you lamented that we condemn you at home while Obama commends you abroad. Even then, we argued that Obama’s commendation of you – whatever it was meant to achieve – was ill-timed and ill-informed. We reasoned that we were the ones who elected you our president and so were best qualified to assess your performance in office. Today, the table has turned. Does Obama still commend you? Just in case you haven’t heard, the United States government has seen you for whom you are – a president who presides over a criminal empire without making any meaningful efforts to curtail corruption. Before you dismiss my message as another baseless rant from a disgruntled opposition member, well, you are wrong sir as I voted for you in that election without compromising.
I will go straight again to your last year’s Democracy Day speech. As expected, it could not boast of any visible achievement other than economic indices and statistics that were quite divorced from the stark realities on ground. You showed an amazing excitement when you announced your administration’s empowerment of 1200 youths who benefitted from your Youth Enterprise with Innovative Programme, YouWin. I was surprised that such was considered an achievement by you Sir let alone being included in your anniversary speech. Mr President, may I humbly inform you that 70 per cent of the Nigerian population is comprised of people who are thirty five years and below? Each year, Sir, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) churns out at least 100 thousand young Nigerians who throng into the labour market in search of nonexistent jobs. This is in spite of the fact that a larger percentage of those who passed out before them may not have gotten jobs. So why should we be excited about 1200 people in a population of 170 million? Is it a deliberate celebration of mediocrity or just an attempt to appear serious with the job we elected you to do?
In reference to electricity supply, you said, “By mid-2010, the national power output was about 2, 800 MW. By the end of 2011, we reached a peak of more than 4, 000 MW. A National Gas Emergency Plan has also been launched to redress the problem of gas supply which are essentially due to poor planning.”
Curiously, you didn’t tell us where we were by end of May, or mid-May this year, the period you were reeling out the your achievements. So I ask now, Mr President, where are we on power generation? How many megawatts have we achieved between 2011 and mid-May, 2014?
Where we are on electricity generation, Mr President, is on the region of total darkness. The wattage is negligible. Nauseating sound of generators still buzz in my neighbourhood daily, and darkness is the light in the villages where poverty even bites harder. That must be why you jumped it.
The efforts you put in advertising your cassava bread, if not tragic, would have been funny. You cannot re-write history Sir, Cassava bread is not novel. Your constant efforts to lay claim to it as your achievement in office is worrisome. For the records, on 1st July, 2005, Obasanjo’s government made it mandatory for bakers to include 10% of cassava flour in the production of bread. I followed that administration closely. Yet even at that ,you cannot force people to eat what they do not want. Telling us you eat it makes no difference in our lives. Our billions are stolen by the day, anyway; and you watch without taking any punitive action against the criminals.
Your penchant for majoring in minor, if not entirely irrelevant issues, should worry every sound mind. Your change of my school, Unilag to MKO Abiola University just by a presidential fiat betrayed your love for vanity; your lack of appreciation for substance. And as expected, it stirred up eruptions in the school. Yet rather than quickly reconsider your stand, you declared to many who think you made another gaffe; “no going back”. I know political expediency informed that decision. But unfortunately, that was politically incorrect. It has boomeranged, and will not shield you from the harsh verdict of your critics, which is that your years in office as president was a total failure.
It was a shock to me that you ended your speech without making any mention of the fuel subsidy scam – the biggest in Nigeria’s history. You said nothing about your plans to prosecute the offenders. In case you don’t know, Mr President, the amount involved in that fraud is N2.6trillion, more than half of our annual budget. If that is not weighty enough to cause you to act, I wonder what will. Should I mention the abducted girls? Should I mention the porous security? I dont need to bother sir.
You could see, Mr President, that I didn’t have time to pretend about the message I wanted to pass across. You already have enough praise singers to last you a lifetime. Pardon my directness, it was meant to deliver the message in a manner you will be stirred to act.
Do have a great day, Sir. I hope the domestic staff will remember to not prepare imported rice for this your occasion. Kindly remind them of your “resolve to always eat local rice”. Today should be for Abakaliki or Ofada. Though I will still vote for you since there are no better alternatives, but sincerely sir, I’m not impressed.
And lest I forget; happy declaration Mr President!”
We believe Williams has spoken for everyday Nigerians who are neither religious or ethnically biased about the current spate of governance in Nigeria, we will like to hear your opinions too.