What Is It That President Buhari Is Doing With The Economy? (A Rejoinder to Garba Shehu’s Most Recent Article Titled What is President Buhari Doing with the Economy?)


A Rejoinder to Garba Shehu’s Most Recent Article Titled What is President Buhari Doing with the Economy?
Good day Mr Garba Shehu, please what is President Buhari really doing with the economy? I read your article and tried all my possible best to understand it word for word, but something in me is dissatisfied. I don’t know what really, but what are you people doing in Aso Rock? From here, we can’t see any good; we do not see any light coming in this dark time. This raining days show no sign of stopping. (Before I rant on, I will like to state that I am not an economist –like many other Nigerians- and all we know is arithmetic, that’s how much we earn and spend).


What do I tell my grandmother who now has to buy (previously sold) 70naira bread for 120naira (due to reasons known only to the bakers)? What do I tell my father who now parks his car daily at Agric bus stop in Ikorodu to jump into buses to get to work in Ikeja (due to unsustainable petrol purchase)? What do I tell my stepmother who is pained that 1,500naira can’t make us a proper pot of soup for a whole weekend (due to the exorbitant price of even kerosene alone)? What do I tell my younger ones who cry after the first few weeks of school resumption because their school teachers flog them over their non-payment of school fees? How do I explain economic recession to these people because they didn’t read your article on the newspaper or internet? What do I even tell myself after many months of no-show since NYSC completion? I have applied for a lot of job openings, including President Buhari’s N-Power program, but still no-show!

What happened to that job recruitment drive? Where is the transparency in the Police and N-Power program recruitment? Where is the 5,000naira for unemployed youths? Oh, you also mentioned NIS jobs (where thousands of unemployed graduates were exploited and few killed). Please why are those who were finally recruited and trained on the streets now on hunger strike protesting? Why did the Buhari government deemed it fit to kick those 2000 graduates out?

Please sir, how does “talking about past administrations” answer all the questions I asked above? Why is your “avoid repeating past mistakes” shortchanging Nigerians instead of bringing forth the purported CHANGE? How did the episodes of courtroom drama thriller in Jonathan’s era kept the economy going? How come the most popular lexicon in our political space is becoming “Bring Back our Corruption” (never mind that you can’t bring back our girls yet after all the promises).

If the economy now has a broken leg like you mentioned, why should it be only we the poor feeling all the pains? Why should we be the ones enduring the pain? As much as President Buhari has shown to be frugal, since May 2015, we have seen a lot of traveling with no positive yield? Truly, Jonathan bragged about the Presidential private jets, but we all know none has been sold till date and Nigerians can barely afford to eat still, why? Is President Buhari a lowkey bragger? We the poor are enduring to the adjustments but salaries and allowances of Political officers (voted & appointed, from the Presidency to the Local Government Council) remain the same, why? Is it that endurance has been deleted from your own dictionaries? What an unfunny joke!

Yes, we saw all the mismanagement of the previous administrations. We know they borrowed instead of saving when crude oil was selling at $140. We saw that HRH Emir Sanusi 11 of Kano and Prof Soludo warned the government (even though they were one time (mis)managers as former CBN governors in those governments). The warnings were ignored, but Buhari and APC saw it and came on to power with a promise to do things right by Nigerians, but why have we suddenly decelerated?

I don’t you know what you meant by the “courage and vision” that you labeled the present Economic Team and the Ministry of Finance. Is that courage and vision related to the swift move by Madam Adeosun to convert her official Twitter account to a parody account? Truly, so far, the federal payroll has been rid of about 40,000 ghost workers, but sir, I haven’t seen 40,000 unemployed graduates get a job sir? My logic here is that if the previous government was paying ghosts and we survived, how come President Buhari cannot pay 40,000 real people? The 8billion naira that was saved, why can’t it be channeled to something else, like the reinstatement of the NIS 2000 graduates? Who are we saving for? Is it the next generation? Is it the same leakages that were blocked that have now turned our financial space into a cash-crunched one?

Going forward, I noticed how you have effortlessly used “if these, now that…” and I don’t know why you are ‘thanking’ Madam Adeosun over her “Boom & Bust” term, but most of what I can still make sense of in your piece is still the same pre-election promises that were chanted together with CHANGE.

Blame not, Buhari? Who do I blame? Do I blame my father/mother for not joining politics to have earned enough (legally/illegally) so that I could have been schooled in the UK (like the President’s children) and I wouldn’t be saddled with punching my computer’s keyboard to write a rejoinder to you right now? Oh, you sure want me to blame the Jonathan who is now a UN election observer in neighboring countries? If the past administrations had caused our present pains, why is this administration bent on prolonging the pain? Why policies that have further squeezed our economy? Why policies that have pushed foreign investors out of the country and made local businesses forced to close shops with hundreds of thousands going jobless? Why the policy of subsidizing dollars which only made some powerful and rich people richer, whereas we the poor people are the ones paying the price for devalued currency? Why the Forex policy that turned manufacturers into Forex merchants overnight? Why will there not be a recession?

Isn’t it funny how you throw this statement “…they must direct their angers at the right quarters,” to our face. Please, what is the address to those quarters? Are the 500billion naira intervention programs held up in Abuja traffic because no government intervention is visible since pump price of Petrol had been jacked up from 97 to 145naira?

This government has been fighting corruption since May 2015, but how has that transformed our lives? Reports from Aso Rock said some money has been recovered, biko where is the money? Is it that we are using them to service the debts incurred by your beloved previous administration? No doubt, corruption need to be reduced in our nation, but we have heard rumors of illegal recruitments in federal government agencies like CBN, and the silence that followed from the Presidency is baffling, are you people using one hand to flog monetary corruption and using the other to pamper nonmonetary corruption?

7,500 armed forces mergers with Niger, Cameroun and Chad over Boko Haram, yet the blood monger terrorists stand firm in the middle of Sambisa forest. Crude oil price has collapsed below $28 but this administration has watched Niger Delta Avengers blow up pipelines to cripple the economy (yet you want us to blame Jonathan). And can you explain how subsidizing dollars to hajj goers helped our economy? (Three of those who benefited from the dollars subsidy even had to travel with hard drugs, fantastic), but local manufacturers cannot access same dollars, and our #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira champion, Innoson motors just suspended production.

If the Music Icon Fela Kuti you famously quoted was still alive, he sure would be spending months alongside Nnamdi Kanu and Zazaky in prison. Autocratic measures have been meted out on certain people with no transparency in their hearing. Fulani herdsmen have suddenly become the new Boko Haram. Niger Delta Avengers have turned Marvel Studios fiction into reality. The only –criminal- group our new face military (that the administration you represent is auditing) can properly deal with are Shi’a militias, but not NDA, Fulani herdsmen or BH.
Sir Garba Shehu, you people should continue (in our Former President’s First Lady’s melodious voice) to ask us to blame previous administrations when we complain, 2019 is not far away. I can only hope the story would have changed by then. Thanks.


From a Troubled Unemployed Graduate.

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