The real essence of the presidential election on Saturday, March 28 is a continuation of the illusive search for the architect of modern Nigeria. Every other interpretation given to it is mere exercise in cognitive dissonance. Our transition from one republic to another has been associated with this search. Unfortunately, we have been consistently deprived of selfless leaders with vision.
On our part, we, the followers, have been unable to mold the leaders we have, to become exemplary leaders by holding them accountable. We have, instead, provided the leaders excuses for their failures; alibis for their crimes, handkerchief for their shame and an invented proverb for their fiction.
We blame the leaders because the followers, for long subjected to manipulation and mental malnourishment, often know no better. Scars of history distort the followers’ perspective of reality.
It is therefore paramount that a nation that wishes to climb out of the doldrums of underdevelopment must get for itself a leader, if not already bestowed with the right prerequisites, then one who has the fundamentals and the will-power to go inside of himself and explore the potential in him.
It is only in the context of finding such a leader that anyone could honestly assess the two leading candidates in this election- Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and President Goodluck Jonathan. Which of them is better placed to do for Nigeria what Lee Kuan Yew did for Singapore? That is the question that ought to be paramount in the minds of voters as they vote on Saturday.
What did Lee Yew do for Singapore? He turned the third world country into a first world in just one generation. Singapore had no natural resources but Lee Yew established a meritocratic society that is efficient and self-reliant. Through hard work and collective sacrifice, Singapore earned a place as one of the Asian tigers.
When he died this week, newspapers across the globe gave him a befitting obituary. They did not write the same obituary they wrote for Idi Amin of Uganda or Umaru Ya’Adua of Nigeria. They did not say that Lee Kuan Yew’s “tragedy was to have admired a civilization whose external trappings he strongly desired, but of whose internal workings he had no idea, while at the same time he was partly enclosed in the mental world of a primitive tribalist…” They did not say so because it did not apply.
But that same obituary first written by The Sydney Morning Herald for Idi Amin of Uganda has continued to apply to subsequent African leaders. It will apply to President Goodluck Jonathan unless we do something.
Here is the summary of what all the newspapers are saying about Lee Kuan Yew- with foresight and sacrifices, he brought Singapore from a third world country to a first in a generation. In six years, President Goodluck Jonathan wasted over $470bn in earnings and brought Nigeria to its knees.
Here is how I have looked at the last six years of President Jonathan's administration. I have followed the money.
I surely have followed for a long while, the money, the Nigerian money.
In the following articles and many others, I have gone far to pinpoint the monumental fraud that is going on in the management of Nigeria’s economy.
I can even say that nothing that the former CBN governor, Charles Soludo, wrote in his articles about the missing billions of dollars could not be found in those articles of mine. Unfortunately, the Nigerian woes and the mismanagement of our economy are not over.
Take for instance, last month, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said that it generated N4.69tn from taxes for the Federal Government in 2014.
Nigeria’s budget for 2014 was N4.64 trillion. So, in essence, if all the money Nigeria made in 2014 came from FIRS, Nigeria should have had N0.05tn or N50bn deficit. But the FIRS money is not all the money Nigeria makes in a year. Yet, the deficit that Nigeria incurred for 2014 was 1.9 % of GDP, which came up to N572bn.
The only question that I cannot stop asking is, if crude oil price was an average of $102 for the last 6 years and those achievements touted all around were the best that President Jonathan could accomplish, what would he be able to accomplish in the next four years when the average price of crude oil is expected to be about $54 a barrel?
Looking at the debt profile of Nigeria (N7.9 trillion at the end of 2014), the only way left to turn Jonathan into Lee Kuan Yew of Nigeria in the next four years is to….