“Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge which is returning evil for evil; while ingratitude returns evil for good.” W.G Jordan.
Two weeks ago, the Federal Ministry of Finance published the monthly revenue allocations for February; paid in March. One line read: 13% Derivation N57 billion. The meaning is clear. In just that month, the mineral, mostly oil, producing states shared exclusively that amount. If Obasanjo, Buhari and all the evil military Heads of State have had their way, and if Alamesiegha, Ibori and Attah had not fought for 13 per cent, those states would have received only N4.4 billion only. The N52.6 billion for February represents the “gift” those three gallant fighters for RESOURCE CONTROL gave to the people of the Niger Delta.
On Wednesday April 25, 2018, as previously announced on this page, the revised version of ATTAH ON RESOURCE CONTROL was launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA. On that same day, all the Governors of Nigeria and their Finance Commissioners were in Abuja to collect their monthly allocations. The mere fact that all the Governors of Nigeria had to gather like beggars asking for alms is all the evidence we need in this country that RESTRUCTURING must take place as soon as possible. In no other federal republic on earth doe such a monthly gathering take place; certainly not in the USA, whose constitution we copied and bastardized.
Whether or not it is mandatory for the Governors to be physically present in Abuja to receive their states’ allocations is unclear to me. But, they were all there including the Governors of all the oil producing states – people now enjoying the funds for which Attah, Ibori and Alams laboured and suffered. All the Governors were invited, twice, to the book launch which was an occasion to recognize the labours of the “heroes” who made N57 billion possible in one month alone. Only one, Governor Udom Emmanuel, of Akwa Ibom State, AKS, though absent, sent a top government official to represent him. My eternal gratitude to His Excellency AKS is hereby publicly expressed. Others also graced the event and they will be recognized soon.
Other “Excellencies” from other oil-producing states, including all the Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, as well as Speakers and members of State Houses of Assembly failed to show up or even acknowledge the calls made at great pains and expense to them. In other words, those now directly benefiting from the struggle could not even pause long enough to express gratitude to those who made it possible.
Of the lot, political leaders in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers surprised me the most because they remain the biggest beneficiaries of the epic struggles of 1999 to 2004/5 when the “political solution” procured the 13 per cent derivation without onshore-offshore dichotomy. Before then, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto received more federally allocated revenue than all the oil producing states. Today, the reverse is the case. None of the Governors showed up.
Incidentally, I could not suppress the tear drop from my eyes when a few months ago Bayelsa State hosted Obasanjo lavishly with funds won by Alamiesiegha. Left to Obasanjo Bayelsa would have been receiving one per cent derivation with onshore-offshore dichotomy thrown in. The irony of welcoming a sworn enemy might not have occurred to those who organized the event. But, Alams must be rolling in his grave for what was in effect a betrayal by his won people – especially former President Jonathan. He benefited immensely from the downfall of his former boss which was brought about by Obasanjo. So the book launch which was supposed to be an occasion to set the record straight by acknowledging Alams’ contributions to their welfare was ignored by those who celebrated his enemy. There is only one name for it – INGRATITUDE.
We are already in campaign mood. And very soon, the politicians will be coming with their promises, mostly to be broken, money, bags of rice, vegetable oil and salt. Invariably, the few beneficiaries of those bribes will exhaust them in a few days and cast their votes in appreciation – only to be left empty-handed after the elections. For voters in mineral producing states, especially oil, it is important to note that the book launch was also supposed to provide an opportunity for the current leaders of the Niger Delta to forge a new partnership designed to move the struggle forward. As former Governor Ibori announced on that day, and the rest of us are in total agreement, thirteen per cent was only a stop on the way to fifty per cent which is what true federalism implies.
Alams is no more; Attah will be 80 in November and Ibori alone cannot carry on the struggle to get fifty per cent. That was the main reason we wanted the current leaders of the Niger Delta at the event. As the outcry for restructuring gets louder, the people of the region need to speak with one voice on RESOURCE CONTROL. It is non-partisan, non-ethnic issue. We certainly will get back in touch with all those invited because there will soon be another chance to address the issue.
EDO DUNCES AND $496M
“Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And, hain’t that a big enough majority in any town? Mark Twain, 1835-1910.
Obasanjo started the racket; and one of these days he might live long enough for a determined President of Nigeria to get him prosecuted and jailed for the corrupt practices associated with anticipatory approval and the Excess Crude Account, ECA. The two matters which have created conflict between Buhari and the National Assembly, NASS, could not have occurred without that evil former President. Obasanjo was the first elected President who in 1999 released N10 billion to Chief Anenih for poverty alleviation based on the illegal procedure called “anticipatory approval”. Elsewhere it is impeachable offence because it is deliberate, Buhari, not being very clever, simply adopted that 1999 precedent which the PDP-controlled NASS allowed to go unpunished.
Obasanjo was also responsible for creating the rogue account called ECA. Having failed to stop the oil-producing states from collecting thirteen per cent derivation, he and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a traitor to Niger Delta interests, colluded to create ECA. That way, revenue that should have gone to the states is kept by the Federal Government to be abused as the President wants. If the ECA has not existed, Buhari would not have had $496 million to spend without NASS approval.
One great Senator from Edo State who had enough sense to raise objections to Buhari’s expenditure of $496 million from ECA was mobbed by dunces from Edo State – undoubtedly instigated by APC political leaders wanting to be Chairman. The fools and their political leaders obviously fail to ask three questions about that money spent.
First, the $496 million was taken from Excess Crude Account, not the Federal Government’s own account. Are oil-producing states the only ones to pay for arms to fight Boko Haram and other murderers in the North? Second, illegal as the ECA was, it was not established to fund the FG’s war effort. If $496 million is found to be insufficient, will it be acceptable for Buhari to seize the rest of the money in the account to solve security problems caused by his own people and his own incompetence? Third, how much is the mob prepared to give away? With so many Edo girls in Libya, is it not better to spend the state’s share of $496 million helping the girls than going to bury it in the North? What sort of fools are these?
In fact, if ever there was good argument for RESOURCE CONTROL, the $496 million taken out illegally by Buhari has provided it. If President Trump wants to buy weapons he goes to the US Congress; he does not call and bully the state Governors and he has no slush fund he can dip his hands into. With ECA, Obasanjo created the fund which had been accessed by him, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and now Buhari.….
HABA! BABA BUHARI — 1
“In fact very few major infrastructure projects were completed in Nigeria in the years leading to my inauguration as President..”
President Buhari in the USA. April 30, 2018.
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, in his play AS YOU LIKE IT, called old age as period of “second childishness”. Dr Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, was not so charitable to old people who repeat themselves while talking utter rubbish. Writing columns under the pen name “the Rambler”, he summarized our collective frailty when we get old and forgetful as “imbecilities of old age”. That is when we can no longer recollect facts – including those bright children can see plainly. Buhari, apart from again going to America to run down his country, was credited with that statement which stretches “inexactitude” to the point of being called a GREAT LIE.
Three FACTS, among several thousands, will reveal the falsehood Buhari pronounced in the USA. When he was kicked out of Dodan Barracks, Lagos, as Head of State in August 1985, ninety-nine per cent of Abuja was still virgin land. He now runs Nigeria down from Aso Rock which did not exist then. Second, he flew out of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport which he did not build before his departure in 1985. Third, Secretariat and Three Arms complex he met in 2015 were built by his predecessors. He saw all these before going. He “forgot”?
Should I continue? Baba Buhari needs a long rest. Americans who knew Nigeria’s history must have dismissed what he said as a bad joke. Jesting is unbecoming of serious Presidents…