by Umar Sa’ad Hassan,
After Gov Godwin Obaseki of Edo state announced that the governors of the 36 states had resolved to donate $1bn out of the excess crude account to the Buhari administration for it to fight the boko haram insurgency, either 1 of 2 things was bound to happen. Either Buhari and his loyalists blame Jonathan and the PDP for making the war very expensive instead of telling us how the funds were going to be spent or they will try to justify what is practically unjustifiable.They chose the latter.
But selling it was none easier than finding a Nokia 3310.P articularly noteworthy was the lack of vigour that accompanied the defence by core Buharists.The lies are starting to get embarrassing.Public opinion was a one way traffic with the overwhelming summation that the Buhari administration is no different from the one before it.
Vice-President Yomi Osinbajo understood the damage done and moved to mitigate it by telling us the funds were not meant for the war on boko haram alone but also for ‘security issues’ in all the states.That hasn’t seem to have done much good.Rather what it has only proven is that even the government is starting to find its own lies ridiculous.
One thing is obvious however-every narrative from who should know including Osinbajo’s, places boko haram at the fore front.
The same boko haram Buhari promised to squash within 2 months if voted President and the very same boko haram he has come out to say is defeated.
The boko haram sect currently has no captured territories or camps and that technically implies the bulk of the work would revolve round sourcing intelligence.The government certainly doesn’t intend to install CCTV cameras everywhere in the North East so even a quarter of a billion dollars is too much for that. Osinbajo’s damage control could come much cleaner. Not that he could do much anyways, because no matter the form, it would still appear a knee jerk reaction to the most plausible explanation offered by Gov Fayose and the PDP that the money is intended to be used as campaign funds for 2019.
The government will not yield to the many calls for a break down of how the money would be utilized because it is not being honest with us.
A government that prides itself on ear-marking record breaking sums for capital expenditure but still can’t boast half what the government we ‘changed’ could at this stage.One that still won’t let us know why President Buhari said there was no Abacha loot when the Swiss government is about to send us the latest installment of $321M.
Interestingly, the $1bn donation provided an insight into why President Buhari is not serious about looking into why some states still owed 6 month salaries despite the Paris club refunds.He turned a blind eye when the Bauchi State governor went as far as saying he wasn’t obligated to pay wages owed civil servants with the funds.Perhaps PMB recognized they were going to be quite useful.When i compare the Buhari we thought we knew to the Buhari we now actually know, i can’t help labelling him the biggest scam ever pulled.
If it smells like a fish, then its a fish.There is something not right about the $1bn song and even the remix hasn’t fixed it.
Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano