Spare Nigeria of empty presidential debates
Sir: I can only hope that Shola Seriki was not implying that those committing ritual murder in southwest Nigeria are adherents of African Traditional Religion (ATR). He is ordinarily a very brilliant person, and I can forgive him for not knowing that money-making ritual murder is a national issue not limited to the southwest, and that none of those caught so far are adherents of ATR but Christians and Muslims who need plenty of money to build exquisite churches and mosques for God. In traditional Africa, God is not confined to a place, and there is high respect for life, above all human life, whereas Christians and Muslims would wage wars and display all sorts of gimmicks to convert and colonize peoples.
It is rightly said that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. A presidential debate in Nigeria that will not touch on the unjustifiable war against Boko Haram and protection of the Fulani herdsmen terrorists is a waste of time, because nothing else can explain why Nigeria has suddenly become “the poverty capital of the world” than the way the successors of the former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), have been running the country. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua abused his own presidency to attack the Boko Haram Muslim community of men, women and children that did not attack anybody until attacked. After Yar’Adua’s death, his deputy, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, who became the Acting President, abused his own position to truncate rotational presidency and compounded the Boko Haram crisis. When GMB attained power, he paid homage to Shehu Usumanu Danfodio, and focused nothing but how to defeat Boko Haram, protect the Fulani herdsmen terrorists and avail himself of the good life in London, until protests in Nigeria and London dissuaded him.
Yes, GMB has degraded Boko Haram, but along with it, the populations of the northeast, the security operatives, and the economy of Nigeria has also collapsed, with worsening inflation, skyrocketing debts, underfunding of public institutions, and deaths from penury. If then those crafting the presidential debate questions ignore vital issues that are responsible for retrogression, only to be talking about “how Nigeria will cease to be the poverty capital of the world, improve life expectancy, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and improve other growth and development indices”, and not about how Nigeria will attain peace for progress, it will be empty barrel making noise and distracting Nigeria. Was it right for GMB to double himself as the Petroleum Minister, increased fuel price from N87 to N145, and be recovering looted funds without accountability for anything to anybody?
GMB is always claiming that the PDP ruined Nigeria for sixteen years. He is right only to some extent. Was it also PDP that stopped him from installing his ministers until more than five months after his own inauguration as the President? Did PDP ask him to be fighting Boko Haram and protecting the Fulani herdsmen?
Professor Oyeniran Abioje, wrote from University of Ilorin.