Enough Of Theatrics, Mr President —Prince Charles Dickson

Opinion

When a nation with enormous wealth has a vast majority of its populace living under the poverty line, it means that government is either not doing enough, it needs to do more or it is simply not doing anything.

In Nigeria, it seems with each passing day it is case of a nation badly bruised, abused and used by its own. A nation that nothing is being done except when it benefits a few.

From the steps taken by the current administration, it is almost painfully safe to conclude that except a drastic re-focusing is done, we are again going that very familiar cycle.

Interesting times with very little happening, it is becoming obvious that this government will as usual only benefit a few. Leaving the substance of the matter to deal with non-issues that benefit a few.

While we are being encouraged to give Mr. Jonathan more time, he has done very little with the time he has been opportune with, preferring rather to serve the selfish calls of a few Nigerians.

The Jonathanians despite all the signs continue to defend the blind steps and seeming one-way direction of this PDP-led government to the benefit of a few Nigerians at the expense of all.

We have watched as Mr. President and thirty-six governors played around with some fat-chubby faced labour leaders. These men seem to be in a world of their own. A world where they could not pay N18K but can buy jets, spend bogus security votes and employ idle PAs, SAs SSAs and all sorts of aides.

Same men that negotiate to give a married man with six kids N600 per day, give their girlfriends, concubines and bedfriends car gifts and pay rents in millions for “job well done” from public purse.

President Jonathan is a leader of few Nigerians which is why we are waiting for Ngozi-Iweala to resume. Nigeria can afford to wait on one person because no other person can do it…

Mr. Jonathan is president of a few Nigerians that can still afford to build houses so the reduction in the price of cement by one man that has no business running a product monopoly for a nation of 150 million is seen as a plus.

With all the gimmicks and intrigues that has followed the grammar class on tenure elongation, extension and who benefits, we need no soothsayer to tell that this administration is for the few, by the few, and with the few.

Mr. Jonathan has shown by an increase in tariff for a non-existent power sector, there are no plans for the majority of Nigerians, especially when we keep hearing different dates, one morning, it is 2014, next it is 2050, one evening we need N20 trillion, next evening it is N14 billion per year for the fairy constant power supply.

This is same president that said he could not promise on power and would in fact make just a few promises to many Nigerians. These days, more promises are being made, to the direct benefit of a few, who do we believe?

Mr. Jonathan needs to understand that he is in charge of Nigeria and with his men and women have to go beyond the current theatrics.

While Mr. Jonathan and his few Nigerians will celebrate post-amnesty programme, he needs to be told that Nigerians do not know which issues really matter to him, As he sets up a fact-finding team on Boko Haram, we are told that they are not a negotiating team.

The majority of peace loving Nigerians deserve to be told why with all the madness in Borno and parts of the North it has taken this long to set out to identify the faces and hear their grievances. While the police take on a hapless MASSOB in the East, we are still watching as the Lemu post-election panel does its dance around, with little to show. There is a panel now on NDDC, another one tackling privatization matters. At the rate we are going, all Mr. Jonathan may achieve will be setting up panels and commissions that only benefit a few and the real criminals are out there on the prowl and the citizenry hang out on the dry.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has paid out a total of N131.49 billion to 148 farmers under its Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) as at June 2011.

This report on the apex bank’s website shows that a total of 148 beneficiaries, made up of 122 individuals and private promoters, and 26 state governments accessed N1 billion each. It also revealed that the balance of the N200 billion CACS funds, stood at N68.507 billion as at June 2011.

Mr. Jonathan, Nigerians need to know what kind of society invests N1 billion and no one feels it, if not that these monies are for just a few Nigerians.

For this year’s budget while we rejoice about a significant increase in the percentage for education, of the N306 billion that has been approved for education, a whopping 84% is for personnel cost, 4% on overhead and paltry 10% on infrastructure. 84% for just a few Nigerians to enjoy themselves?

The Nigerian economic jewelry as usual continues to hang around as it has in the past in the neck of a few. On paper a lot is likely to be achieved with all sorts of positive ratings from independent state bodies and government functionaries.

Sadly, Mr. Jonathan is running a risk of coming with a maternity of ideas at an alarming rate but will face the usual high infant mortality as even the funeral parlour of reality remains littered with shattered dreams.

Someone should tell Mr. Jonathan amongst the few around him that you cannot spend four years doing the wrong thing and achieve the right results. This government needs to get its acts right. It is living in illusion.

•Dickson is editor, burningpot.com, Nigeria’s 1st online newspaper Tel.234-08033311301, 08057152301

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