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The Father Christmas In Aso Rock By Achike Chude

August 7, 2022

And before I forget, a brand new working refinery in Niger Republic complete with pipelines from Nigeria. 

A brand new rail line to Maradi in the Niger Republic and a whopping N1.84 billion spent by Nigeria to acquire state of the art cars for Niger Republic.


And before I forget, a brand new working refinery in Niger Republic complete with pipelines from Nigeria. 


Very brilliant strategy! 


Since our refineries in Nigeria have refused to work, we would help them build one in Niger and pipe the product back to Nigeria.


It is said that the powerful forces - natural or supernatural that have prevented our refineries from working and being repaired in Nigeria are impotent and helpless in Niger Republic. 


There is serious speculation and suspicion in some quarters that the powerful destructive forces responsible for our non-working refineries in Nigeria do not have the liver to cross into Niger Republic to do to their new refinery what they did to ours. 


But back to the story of the vehicles!


Our president is generous, very generous with money that is not his. Besides, Niger is a personal issue to him. He has his roots or genealogy in that country. Surely, a little bit of 'legitimate' diversion of funds for his 'other' people in Niger Republic is not a bad thing. Surely, that is ethically defensible even if the constitution might frown at the personalization of state power.


After all, his Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has told us that the controversial vehicles were bought for security purposes in the fight to win the war against bandits and terrorists. 


And she is right about the importance of security. Anything that can help in winning the war against the bloodthirsty killers plaguing and afflicting our country must be done. 




Not luxury vehicles like the ones President Muhammadu Buhari ordered to be bought for Niger. 


They are state-of-the-art luxury vehicles with full options. You don't fight terrorists with air-conditioned luxury vehicles. 


Someone or some people are lying to us. 


The cars are for the elites of Niger Republic. 


A few other people have told us that the vehicles are delayed rewards for the participation of these elites in the presidential campaign of our president before the 2019 general elections. I don't want to believe it.


Do you remember the regional or provincial governors and politicians who came into Nigeria from Niger Republic to campaign for the president?


Well, they say that this is their reward.


If only our president could equally reward ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) with what is legitimately theirs so that our students could go back to school. 


If only the same ASUU had benefited from part of the 1.84 billion dollar contract for extending the Kano to Maradi rail line in Niger Republic being paid for by Nigeria. 


But you know, ASUU is not really important to the government. The government knows that there are more important things than students going back to school. 


Pumping $5 billion into Dangote refinery by our government is considered more important than education in Nigeria, especially since we cannot build ours. Also, the $1 million given to the Taliban in Afghanistan by the same federal government is equally critical for that country as equipping our universities. 


Better to keep the elites in Niger Republic happy with luxury vehicles and rail lines than to waste funds on the education of our youths and opening up our higher educational institutions. 


After all, the elites in Niger Republic help in winning elections. 


But how can a poor country keep on pretending that she is rich by pretending to be a Father Christmas? 

Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty level is unprecedented. The misery index is unexceptionably high. Our educational system has been compromised by a deliberate lack of funding while social infrastructure like healthcare roads, etc, are in deplorable conditions.


And we still act like we have when we don't?


What a grand illusion!


What chicanery!


What perversity!


In Nigeria, it is called 'posing'.