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Is Buhari a Nigerian? – Part 2

By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa
16 August 2022   |   3:40 am
President Buhari last Wednesday was also reported to have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed to release the sum of N1.14billion for the purchase of 10 Land Cruiser Jeeps, to the government of Niger Republic.

Buhari

President Buhari last Wednesday was also reported to have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed to release the sum of N1.14billion for the purchase of 10 Land Cruiser Jeeps, to the government of Niger Republic. The approval was based on the requests for supports by the government of Niger Republic. The vehicles, it was gathered, would “assist the country in the transportation and movement of VIPs, high-ranking officials, top government functionaries and visitors scheduled for official visit to Niger at this time of its nascent democracy, with all its attendant consequences on their collective and individual security and safety of lives and property.”

The immediate issue arising from these ‘philanthropic’ gestures is whether there is any economic benefit for Nigeria from this self-serving largesse. Which item of value is Nigeria producing for export to Niger? Or what is Nigeria importing from Niger that has warranted such humongous expenditure on infrastructure to that country? With the worsening situation of roads in Nigeria, farmers suffer untold hardships to move their farm produce from one region of Nigeria to the other. Some spend days upon days on the road in order to transport their goods from one State to another. And when the economic costs of diesel are added to this, plus insecurity and other criminalities, the prices of these goods go beyond reach. It will be right to opine that the main purpose of the rail line to Niger Republic is to assist in transporting citizens of both countries. Now, it has recently been established that many of the insurgents troubling our land are remnants of the rebels in Libya and they entered Nigeria through the land borders in the Northern part of the country. Since their dressing, language and outlook are similar to those of our brothers in those regions, it becomes very difficult to isolate them or even stop them. What is certain is that the rail line will help the influx of insurgents into Nigeria, so that at the end of it all, we would have deployed our own resources against ourselves, leaving our farmers stranded and frustrated.

This is the basis of the title of this piece, to discover the motive of the President for some of these strange actions. What is so special about the Niger Republic that qualifies it to benefit from our scarce resources? How do you take oil revenue from the decrepit and abandoned Niger-Delta region, with all the people traumatized and dehydrated from the wicked effects of oil exploration and exploitation, from the flames of gas being flared in that region uncontrollably, to give to foreigners who turn around to kill and maim our people? How do we open up our borders to terrorists by way of an open invitation? Is President Buhari truly a Nigerian? What is his affinity with the Niger Republic?

The National Assembly has the onerous responsibility to call the President to order on these phantom projects that bear no direct economic value to us as a nation. A project such as a rail line from Nigeria to Niger Republic will surely involve crossing our territorial borders. Who will save our land? Who is speaking for Nigeria? From the disclosures made by the former Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria took huge loans from China to be able to fund the Nigeria-Niger rail line. So, in point of fact, we do not even have the resources to feed the greed of the Niger Republic or the largesse of the Nigerian President. You and I (and maybe our children) will have to pay back this loan one way or the other, since the rail line itself is not commercially viable to pay it. Meanwhile, Nigeria has shut down many of its rail lines due to threats from the same insurgents that the President has extended his good gestures to. So, I ask the question again, is President Buhari a Nigerian by birth? Does he have Nigerian blood flowing in and through him? Does he feel what farmers in Nigeria feel? Is he aware of the hurdles that our people go through navigating on the road from one State to the other? If he has no direct plans to ameliorate these sufferings why add to them? Is Buhari a Nigerian or a Nigerien (from Niger Republic)?

Concluded

Adegboruwa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN)