The Other Reason Why All Nigerians Must Now Stand With Atiku -By Charles O. Sado

Filed under: Political Issues |

Lekan, I share your frustration and I understand your position. It’s a valid position. I just respectfully disagree with you.

I disagree with you because if we do as you suggested, we further reinforce the intellectual laziness that has become the bane of our existence at all levels in Nigeria.

It pains me so much that Nigerians, both home and abroad, take the simple way out. Leaders like Chief Awolowo, Zik etc were thinkers. The south west, that used to be the conscience of our nation lost its place by going to bed with a known quantity called Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. He was packaged as a “Change” agent, when many of us shouted from the moutain top that Nigeria was being sold the biggest scam of its existence as a nation. So, to that extent, I share your position that we need new blood.

Atiku Abubakar.

What you haven’t done is define what you mean and who you’d like to see succeed the current scam of APC government in Nigeria.

Before you suggest, let me remind you of a few things thus: the youngest governor in Nigeria today, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, is 43yrs old. I don’t know that he’s paid up to 1yr worth of salaries cumulatively since he came to office about 4yrs ago.

Rauf Aregbesola became governor at 52yrs old after serving as comissioner in Lagos under 2 terms of Tinubu’s administration. He left Osun state in debt and was owing salaries for about 24months cumulatively when he left office.

Senators Bukola Saraki and Godswill Akpabio are 56yrs old. They were 2-term govs before going to the senate.

Hon Yakubu Dogara, current Speaker of the NASS, is 51yrs old. Dimeji Bankole became Speaker at 37yrs old and right now, he’s running for governor in Ogun state at 49yrs old.

I wouldn’t bore you with rot in the civil service that’s to be the spine of government in all nations of the world. What wr lack, among other things, are ideas. Nigetians are educated but very limited when it comes to ideas. So, we subscribe to ethnocentri sympathy, emotional diatribes, abstract facts, and arguments that lack logic to justify our decisions.

The question then is who destroyed our country? Where were these “youths,” who had positions of power, and still weild such influence today, to stop that destruction as it happened. My brothers and sisters, we continue to deceive ourselves.

It is convinient to sit in your chair in Maryland or California to just gas. When Buhari came to power 4yrs ago, he was the Messiah to the small minds. He was this man that would address corruption as if “Mr. Corruption” lived in a room in Oyingbo. He would just go to Oyingbo, arrest Mr. Corruption, lock him up, expropriate his property and it would be Eldorado in Nigeria. We were either lazy to do basic research about his pedigree or just kotowed to emotions, deceit and hate of GEJ/PDP. Nigerians across the world bought into the scam, elected him and the nightmare may survive 2019.

For perspective, Nigeria’s GDP was about $57 billion when OBJ/Atiku came to power in 1999…that was less than the budget of the City of Los Angeles at the time. Nigeria had no communication infrastructure. Many of us here would attest to it that we used to book appointments for our family members to go take a call at a friend’s or local nitel office.

For me, it meant that my father had to travel.from my village to our local govt headquarters in Auchi to wait for that call which may never come. We had analog technology that was Flintstone era at the time and was unreliable.

Our banks were in the 18th century platform, albeit limited in choices and capacity. Sometimes ur name could disappear from the bank ledger and there wasn’t much you could do about it. You had nobody to report to and even if u did, there was no guarantee for resolution. I could go on and on. This was a small glimpse of the state of our nation that Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling class left for OBJ/Atiku administration.

We tend to develop amnesia and forget so soon. When OBJ came to power, he made Atiku the head of his Economic council. Besides, he recruited the best brains across the world and traveled the globe to address Nigeria’s debt problem.
Under that administration, we paid off our debt and got a refund on shady deals made by unpatriotic elements that governed before his second rodeo at the helm.

More importantly, his Economic council, headed by Atiku Abubakar, unleashed the ingenuity of private citizens that resulted in the largest economic expansion in our nation’s history. Masive deregulation of our economy and divestment of govt interests in moribund enterprises created a middle class that has all but disappeared in 3yrs of APC vodoo government.

Our GDP went from $57 billion to $450billion. Because of the work they did, Ican call my mother today and she picks the phone in the farm of all places…..she doesn’t have to travel to Auchi to take that call anymore.

In additon, the economic policies of the OBJ/Atiku administration created world class business leaders that are captains of industries recognized by Forbes as legitimate global game changers. I’m talking about Aliko Dangote, the Otedolas, Mike Adenuga, Tony Elumelu etc.

We can have a legitimate debate about their source of seed money and that’s fair game. But u cantndeny that their returns transformed Nigeria such that we will never be the same. They invested in our initiatives, resources, peoples and our nation became an investment destination for elite venture capitalists in the US and Europe. Those were the good old days as at today.

I would agree that problems remained even as we made these giant strides with the PDP in power. However, it it’s also fact that when GEJ left office, our GDP was $500 billion. Our CPI score, a measure of corruption perception, was 136 out of 164…a jump from 158 during Abacha’s regime. Unemployment stood at but 8 million and private enterprise was boomed in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the OBJ/Atiku govt set up agencies like the EFCC, ICPC, reformed FIRS, BVN regime, and achieved bank recapitalization to accomodating the rapid economic expansion in our nation. The impact of these agencies on our nation cannot be discounted. Where will I stop?

What policy has PMB’s administration proposed/executed that has real impact on the common citizen on the street? When Buhari came to power, he told everyone he didn’t need Economic Adviser yet he didn’t have a basic WAEC qualification himself. The best he had to show for 35yrs of cattle ranching was 150 herds of cattle. You could say the man was a failure at raising cows yet he was the Messiah to pilot a $500 billion economy to greater heights. Our GDP as at Dec 2017 dipped to $397billion for the 1st time and we all act surprised that he hasn’t performed? You can’t give what you don’t have and we’re on the verge of making the same mistake again.

In the first year of his presidency, there was capital flight of $80billion due to irresponsible statements he made across the world calling Nigerians crooks. He came with this myth that he’ll fight corruption yet our CPI dropped 12 points to 148 under his maladministration. There’s palpable hunger everywhere…I go to Nigeria at least 3 times a year. So, I’m not your typical arm chair gas mouth in America who doesn’t have a true assessment of what’s happening in Nigeria. It’s a desperate situation at home that deserves seriousness and rigorous solutions.

Here we are today, making the same mistake again. We acquiesce to simple slogans and bumper sticker axioms that have no basis in reality. Say what you may about Atiku but here’s what I know about the man. He signs checks and pays salaries to at least 50,000 Nigerians who work in many businesses he owns across the geopolitical zones of our country. He knows how to read, and he reads balance sheets too.

In contrast, Buhari has never run a business other than a 150 cow ranching coral. While Atiku built schools to educate and develope Nigerian children, Buhari ran a miyetti Allah camp of rampaging terrorists that cause mayhem in our nation today.

Whereas Atiku surrounds himself with cerebral minds who advise him on policy, Buhari has a cabal who thinks Nigeria is their farm. They don’t even need to till the soil. The likes.of Tinubu, Amaechi, Festus Kenyamo etc will do the work but they harvest it’s produce at the expense of their southern slaves.

Whereas Atiku believes we can tap into the ingenuity of our nation’s human resource base, Buhari thinks we must establish 18th century style cattle.colonies everywhere in the country for his rampaging herdsmen or else blood will continue to flow.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a surrogate for the Atiku campaign. Whereas it is true that I reached out to the campaign to offer help and I’m still waiting to hear back from the campaign. I needed to make that disclosure for the integrity of this discourse.

But beyond that, we deceive ourselves if we fail to recognize that we face a binary option for how our nation moves forward in the next election. Regardless of how I felt about Atiku in the past, a totality of his detribalized personality, temperament, experience, management style, and campaign policy document make it clear to me that Nigeria will be better served with him as President.

If you choose, out of emotion and low information, to waste your vote that would be unfortunate. But please do not come 4yrs from now to say that you didn’t have the chance to make a tiny informed decision no matter the results. May God help us and may God help Nigeria.

Charles O. Sado
Minneapolis, Minnesota.