When pot calls kettle black
The reasons for our present economic predicament are not far- fetched. They are deep-seated and widespread corruption, mismanagement and waste of the past, especially, the last 15 years of political party rule and inability of the nation to diversify its economy from dependence on one commodity, notably crude oil.
Most of the leading politicians and office holders of that era betrayed the nation and its people in that they failed to think of the future and the need to keep something away for the rainy day. For many of them, there would be no rainy day, therefore all the revenue that accrued to the nation during those years notably from crude oil was used up. If those revenue and wealth were used for productive purposes, the nation would today be reaping the benefits and stay afloat notwithstanding the current price of crude oil. The ruling political elites not only did not plan, nor diversified the economy; they were also rapacious and took more for their personal aggrandizement and waste than putting in place infrastructure and facilities that would serve the nation for the future.
Therefore, when today, the nation is confronted with the inability of a majority of the states to pay salaries of their workers and provide social amenities for the people, such failure did not happen overnight. In fact, the present widespread insolvency afflicting many of our states for which President Muhammadu Buhari has been providing bailouts to reduce the suffering of the people is the result of accumulated mismanagement and corruption that has been the lot of the nation for a long time.
One problem which most suffering Nigerians have today with Buhari is that those identified as having taken part in the mindless looting of the nation at all levels have not been sanctioned. Again, Buhari is handicapped on this matter. The justice system under the rule and supervision of these people has been skewed in such a way that for looting the treasury and bringing misery to millions, the culprits often go free while the pauperised, for seeking little solace through any act of misdemeanor, are easily sent to jail!
In better ordered societies, people found culpable in bringing misery or suffering to a nation are usually censored and humbled and lack the effrontery to criticise those in government especially a corrective administration. However, democracy has made it that everyone, including those that should refrain from public affairs on account of their short comings and crimes against the nation, take liberty to cast stones at change-agents.
The above brings us to the case of two men, namely Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and Alhaji Sule Lamido, both of whom were at various times governors of Sokoto and Jigawa states.
These two men have recently found an engaging past time in criticising and casting aspersions on Buhari and taken the liberty to sermonise on good governance and how Buhari is not doing well in running the nation’s economy.
The two men mentioned above, contributed in no small measure to bringing the poverty that Nigerians in the states they governed are passing through today. Thus they are better advised to keep quiet and refrain from their ill-advised and incredulous attacks on PMB. According to one commentator, their attack are ill- motivated and derives from the fact that PMB has the guts to pursue an anti- corruption agenda that has made Nigerians to see many of the prominent men of yesterday in their true colours!
Bafarawa has faced allegations of misappropriation of funds belonging to the people of Sokoto State when he was a governor. Specifically, the former governor, after investigations by the state government, was alleged to have misappropriated the whopping sum of N15 billion using 47 private bank accounts. Similarly, on October 30, 2009, the Sokoto State government ordered its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, to arraign the former governor and five of his former officials before a Sharia Court for alleged serial fraudulent practices amounting to N2.9 billion. The ex-governor and the five officials were later ordered to refund the N2.9 billion they allegedly fleeced from the state coffers while they were in government. It is not known whether they have complied with the judgement of the court.
In late November 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the former Governor for corrupt practices. Alhaji Bafarawa, was alleged to have collected the mind-boggling sum of N4.6 billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki! Alhaji Bafarawa acknowledged receipt of the money which he said was for spiritual purposes!
The former Sokoto State governor must have fallen under the bad influence of the cabal of corrupt people for him to be criticizing PMB in recent times. Not long ago, Bafarawa who could pass as a devout and religious man declared support for the anti-corruption campaign of PMB, adding for good measure that all those found guilty of corruption should be made to face justice!
Lamido on the other hand wasted the resources of Jigawa State on prestigious projects that could not lift the people of that impoverished state out of poverty. He was also once arraigned for corruption and money laundering alongside two of his sons!
However, from the profile of the average person of Jigawa State origin today, the economic recession is biting really hard as the state is among those in the federation, grappling with insolvency. Certainly, these are not qualified political leaders for criticizing Buhari.
• Okoroma, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Abuja.