Corruption, Insecurity, Shambolic Economic Policies Destabilizing Nigeria Under Tinubu, Not Politicians Who Lost Election In 2023; APC Chieftain Eze Replies VP Shettima

Urges Him to Understudy and Leverage Atiku’s Economic Blueprint for a Guide
…Says Tinubu is Overwhelmed, Has No Clue About Possible Techniques to Wriggle the Country Out of Her Deepening Woes
…Fears a Possible Revolt as the Patience of the Suffering Masses Seems Stretched to its Elastic Limit
..Says Giant of Africa is in Coma

“…Eze highlighted that apart from insecurity another major cause of our present woes was the inability of our President who by 2012 highlighted the consequences of removal of subsidy but carried away by his election victory as the President of Nigeria announced without a proper study and provision to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians, the removal of oil subsidy…..”

Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has rejected the excuses and blame game dished out by the presidency as cause of the deepening economic woes.

Chief Eze rather says President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his team seem entrapped in a quagmire as hope is nowhere on sight to get the country out of the pickle.

He says while the Nigerian economy has progressively continued in a free fall, the value of the Naira to other convertible currencies is steadily on a downward trend and is nearing a state of worthlessness in the international money market.

The effect of the uninterrupted journey of the Naira to its place of final rest is the hike in the price of food and other basic commodities. And the attendant reality is the hunger and starvation that is feasible on the faces of angry Nigerians who are unsure of a square meal for each passing day and most of whom go to bed each night hungry.

Despite the overwhelming challenges of the time which has sealed Nigeria’s place as the poverty capital of the world, Eze wondered why some analysts still hold the view that Tinubu is right in his policies.

Countering the assertions of pro-Tinubu commentators, Chief Eze says assuming the policies were good, with very little or no thought towards the complex chains of reciprocal interactions and variables required in the translation of policies into actions, there is definitely bound to be a widening gap between intentions and results as is the case in the present.

In a statement made available to the media, the APC Chief expressed shock over a recent comment credited to Vice President Kashim Shittima, where he said the VP stressed his attempt to escape responsibility of the challenges suffered by citizens. He said the action of the VP was hasty and calls for a serious concern and security screening.

Vice President Kashim Shettima had inferred that politicians who lost in the 2023 general election were orchestrating a plot to destabilize Nigeria. Shettima claimed that intercepted trucks smuggling food out of the country were part of a scheme to trigger food price hikes and plunge the nation into anarchy. He asserted that the interception of 45 trucks carrying maize led to a drop in maize prices by N10,000.

Though VP Shettima wasn’t specific about the politicians who were that desperate to undermine the nation due to their failure in the last election, top contenders in the general election, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi can easily be postulated as the main targets by this stand; and probably former Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, who ran for the APC presidential ticket against Tinubu and emerged first runner-up behind the President.

Describing Shetima’s claims as inconsequential, Eze said Tinubu was never prepared to make any meaningful impact on Nigeria; his only concern was to be President and nothing more. The pernicious effects of perpetual poverty have become real under his administration and these are his chief legacies.

There seems to be no efforts at by the present administration in tackling the economic concerns of the country and if there are, he said, it means such efforts were not good enough and shifting blame to patriots who are in their private capacities thinking out ways to help the country is to say the least myopic.

He said as much as we appreciate the commendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praising Tinubu’s structural reforms even when there were no effects, the fact remains that our inability to curb insecurity is one of the reasons for food scarcity and not the opposition political parties as being speculated by the Vice President.

“I laugh at the reasons expounded by some of our leaders and Scholars as the factors behind our present food Crisis. They failed to highlight insecurity as the main bane of the present economic woes facing Nigeria. Where do we get the food to eat when most of the farmers both in the North and Southern sections of this country particularly those in the North Central are now in the IDP Camps leaving their farms in the hands of herders? And we are busy fooling ourselves that we don’t have enough food to feed the populace. What part of Nigeria is safe or secured for normal farming activities to take place? This is the reality. Our problem is human-induced yet we are expecting God to send us manna from Heaven as he did to the people of Israel who had no means of farming at the period God sent manna to them.

Eze highlighted that apart from insecurity another major cause of our present woes was the inability of our President who by 2012 highlighted the consequences of removal of subsidy but carried away by his election victory as the President of Nigeria announced without a proper study and provision to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians, the removal of oil subsidy.

Critically, neither Atiku, Amaechi, Obi, nor Kwankwaso wrote President Tinubu’s speech or attended his swearing-in ceremony to have influenced him to make such a drastic, unthoughtful, and untoward policy that have plunged our nation into an unprecedented poverty.

Eze expressed shock that President Tinubu who on January 11, 2012, published a sober, thoughtful, deeply insightful, and penetrating foresightful article titled “Removal of Oil Subsidy: President Jonathan Breaks Social Contract With the People” that uncannily prefigured the untoward consequences of petrol subsidy removal that Nigerians are currently grappling with and still went ahead to remove the subsidy without any provision to cushion the consequences is to me shocking

Eze further stated that the 4,000-plus-word article and finding out that it predicted the current petrol-subsidy-removal mass excruciation Nigeria is suffering with almost mathematical exactitude it becomes confusing why Mr. President should pluck this nation into her present messy situation knowing all these facts was simply to ensure the ouster from power of Jonathan and to enthrone our party into power or what exactly was his goal by then?

In the said article, Tinubu derided the 2012 removal of petrol subsidies as the “Jonathan tax,” “Government claims the subsidy removal will create jobs…. The stronger truth is that it will destroy more jobs than it creates. For every job it creates in the capital intensive petroleum sector, it will terminate several jobs in the rest of the labor intensive economy.

“Subsidy removal will increase costs across the board. However, salaries will not increase. This means demand for goods will lessen as will sales volumes and overall economic activity. The removal will have a recessionary impact on the economy as a whole. While some will benefit from the removal, most will experience setback.

“What is doubtless is that the Jonathan tax will increase the price of petrol, transportation and most consumer items. With fuel prices increasing twofold or more, transportation costs will roughly double. Prices of food staples will increase between 25-50 percent….”

Tinubu removed fuel subsidy without providing any other alternatives, deliberately causing the demise of many businesses and leaving people feeling hopeless, while benefiting from the people’s taxes

What Mr. President needs to explain to Nigerians, is his decision to remove the oil subsidy a means to break the Social Contract With the Nigerians as envisaged by his 2012 article

Eze reminded Shittima that our dear President removed the fuel subsidy and introduced the bad policies that destroyed our economy and not opposition political Leaders. Same President prior to the election, campaigned vigorously and promised heavens to Nigerians and even openly said “Don’t pity us as we asked for it”.

The same Tinubu has suddenly reverted to the tactics of attempting to blackmail the opposition political parties as being behind the economic woes and this simply exposes us (the APC) as a political party lacking in the requisite wisdom needed to address the consequences of corruption and careless, ill-conceived policies.

MAJOR ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS:

I sincerely sympathize with VP Shittima as the Chairman of the Economic Council of this country with the 36 State Governors as members. The collapse of our economy is an indictment of his office and person. Today, under his watch, Nigerians are feeding from the dustbin and are all protesting all over the country. Many are dying while struggling for the Nigerian Custom’s cheap rice and 100 Naira worth of bread. We have never had it this bad.

The fact remains without mincing words and not minding my membership of APC as one of her founding fathers that under Eight months of Tinubu/Shittima Administration, hundreds of people have been killed. In a single day, almost 200 people were killed in Plateau state by suspected Fulani militia.

Kidnapping in Nigeria has become a lucrative business that many people are involved in. The policies implemented by our Administration have harmed numerous businesses in the country and led to the premature deaths of hundreds of people. It is obvious that Tinubu is enforcing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agenda against the desires of the people but what are the consequences on our people?

Nigeria’s current inflation rate stands at 29% and is projected to reach 49% in the second quarter of the year. This indices points to a looming disaster if government fails to address the issue with dispatch. People are already expressing their discontent with the economic hardship in the country by beginning to mobilize for a revolt against the government. Revolution is building up and it is sad and unfortunate that APC we sacrificed to build is being linked as a reason for these actions

Famine has engulfed the country, leading to widespread hunger and deaths. The prices of food have skyrocketed due to many farmers abandoning their land because of insecurity. Unfortunately, the Tinubu government has failed to address this critical situation.

SOLUTIONS:

By way of concern to the sufferings of Nigerians, VP Shittima as the Chairman of the Economic Council should, without being confronted, be making efforts to reach out to Atiku Abubakar to explore his wealth of knowledge in economic management particularly, on how he managed to turn around the economic fortunes of Nigeria with the support of great minds like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nasir El-Rufai, Dr. Ngozi Ezekwesili, and many others who were members of his economic team; same team that brought hope and revival to Nigeria, negotiating debt cancellations for Nigeria. It is obvious that those in charge of the Nigerian economy are bereft of the requisite knowledge and will only drive us deeper and deeper into economic depression if not checked

Accordingly, Vice President Shettima should find time to study Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during his period as Vice President. And Sambo as Vice President and Chairmen of the Economic Council had a very strong Economic Team unlike what we have at the moment under your watch where economic policies are yielding bad results with his team obviously seeming to run out of ideas.

Furthermore, Amaechi’s Economic Blue Print appears to be an elixir to the country’s woes and the VP should consult the former Transportation Minister to oblige him and his team a copy for proper study and adoption to save the soul of our dear country.

Eze highlighted that insecurity is another driver of our many problems and the Nigerian government must find reasons to intensify efforts to end this herder menace, if not, we will transition from inflation to famine.

Today, the cost of living has skyrocketed considerably and as a matter of fact, the Take-Home of an average Nigerian worker can no longer pay his transport fare back home, let alone feed himself, not to talk about his family yet the government is relaxed as though everything is alright.

We must consciously adopt a wholistic approach towards problems management. Part of the strategies should include measures to control inflation, increase income, create jobs, provide social safety nets, diversify the economy, improve governance, invest in infrastructure and put up a manly fight against corruption.

As a matter of fact, priority should be given to diversifying the economy. Nigerians have dwelt for so long on this narrative without result because government seem unconcerned. When we foster growth in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and technology, the attendant result will reflect significantly on the economy. This is a sure-bet for job creation. It will improve the livelihoods of households.These strategies will help water down the healing pressure for revolution.

Chief Eze notes further that the APC administration must explore the experiences of the likes of Atiku Abubakar, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Peter Obi and their likes who made remarkable impacts in public service. He said the government can achieve this by undergoing serious study of their economic blueprints particularly that of Atiku while as Vice President and how he managed to assemble the calibre of seasoned bureaucrats he used to change the fortunes of this nation.

It must be noted that neither Atiku, Amaechi, Obi, nor Kwankwaso wrote President Tinubu’s speech or attended his swearing in ceremony to have influenced him to make such drastic, unthoughtful and untoward policy of fuel subsidy removal unpreparedly, which has now plunged our nation into an unprecedented poverty.

It is grossly unreasonable to remove fuel subsidy without providing alternatives.
That decision is deliberately causing the demise of many businesses. Job loss is on the increase and our people are hopeless. Indeed the times are serious.

Tinubu’s thoughtless policies have strangulated the country, establishing legacies of famine. The country is wallowing in poverty and this has led to widespread hunger; Nigerians are dying in droves out of hunger. The prices of food have skyrocketed because the safety of farmers have been compromised by marauding herders who are on a deliberate mission with some religious undertone. Yet government is doing absolutely nothing about the ugly trend.

Giant of Africa is in Coma under our watch! What a pity!!