By Odimegwu Onwumere
Stephen King was it who wrote in the work – “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” – that Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
The former surmises the donkey weeks that it took General Muhammadu Buhari to resume office perhaps where he was waiting for inspiration on how to start, something that took ex-President Goodluck Jonathan a minute to do.
Exactly on June 22, when Buhari packed into Aso Rock, his dearth in economics pushed him to say that there was an empty treasury he inherited. But he was not lucky to hoodwink the citizens as Abubakar Sulaiman, the immediate past minister of national planning, was reported to have faulted the claim.
The slogan that Buhari inherited “virtually an empty treasury” was rebuffed by Sulaiman, saying, Jonathan, left about $30 billion before handing over.
This is the type of government that Nigerians said they voted Buhari for? If there was no one who stood up to speak for Jonathan, many Nigerians would have believed Buhari in whole, just as a certain part of the media spectrums started calling Jonathan “a go slow president” on assumption and that glued around Jonathan government till it exited.
It was absolute crassness to say that Jonathan left an empty treasury when his government has not been audited or probed. Two acquaintances have said that their anger with the government of Buhari is the unprofessional way it is going about it, which they think is the crux of this treatise.
They said that they would have loved Buhari to appoint an independent and internationally credible accounting and auditing firm to review the books and state how much that was left by the previous government and publish and, not making blues for the marines. Then the new government simply shots up its mouth and go to work.
They continued that Buhari is though a British vassal: A vassal has no power except that which is given to it. Buhari has been in government since the 70s, when he started as a mere kid. He has not solved anything yet and he is not going to. The issues he said that he is going to address are the very ones he was among those who manufactured them.
This goes a long way to show how dictatorial tendencies may still be running in Buhari’s veins like a virus. Archetypal to his dictatorship was using the word “vow” when he told Nigerians that he would recover whatever money he said that were stolen in the past administration.
It might be only in Buhari’s government that one could be sent to prison without a court of competent jurisdiction. How could Buhari say of “the rot in federal agencies under previous governments” when no commission has said that such existed in the past government? This is a way of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
Lawyers would tell us that a suspect remains innocent till convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction, but this may not be applicable in Buhari’s government.
Buhari should stop making utterances to boost people’s praise of him, thereby demonizing Jonathan. One thing is that Buhari has spent much time thinking about how to rubbish the government of Goodluck, not how to make Nigeria better.
But it is obvious that none of these he may get right. This is a man who thought that the best way to be sincere with Nigerians was to tell them that at 72yrs, they should not expect much from him. He did not take to cognizance that productivity in governance is not about age but about the acceptance of morality and allowing consciousness to control the existence of that government.
It’s expected of Buhari to talk less and go to work, but the reverse is the case. Maybe, he is overjoyed that he was declared winner of the presidential election: Something he once vowed and wept before the public that he would never contest again, having lost severally in the same election. So, what do we do to a dog that goes back to its vomit? Time for some people to hide their faces in shame?
Many Nigerians are very sure that times of great calamity and confusion have set in for Buhari and instead of showing his much boasted mettle in governance he wants to cause distractions. It behooves us to tell Buhari that he cannot pull Jonathan down, even though that Jonathan government might have goofed in some areas.
It will be pertinent Buhari is reminded that the seat of the president is not for showing animosity. Before he probes Jonathan government, all the present and past leaders should be marshaled out for probe and the north should tell the rest Nigerians where it kept Nigeria for 48 yrs under its rule. Buhari should stop considering his presidency as an experiment.
Let Buhari concentrate all his thoughts upon the work in hand and not to make himself holier-than-thou. He should stop drawing us back and focus on thinking of a new Nigeria that many are yearning for with his heart, but create with his mind.
Whether Jonathan’s government stole trillions, it is not on the stool of Buhari to say in a democracy. Afterall, the Code of Conduct Bureau refused to declare the review of Buhari’s wealth giving flippancy excuses not to do so.
-Odimegwu Onwumere, writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348057778358.