The Vanguard paper Abuja Bureau Chief, Emma Ujah in an editorial of September 6th captioned “How America, West frustrated Jonathan’s anti-Boko Haram war,” did a very adroit job of defending the administration of Goodluck Jonathan on its failure to purchase weapons and invariably to process its war against Boko Haram.
Emma Ujah quietly laid down in the article, as if it was new news, that the US hindered Jonathan’s ability to purchase needed weapons and that this frustrated the anti-terror war. He said,
“A security source disclosed …that Nigeria, under … Jonathan, wrote 25 letters to the United States of America and other Western nations, seeking to acquire state of the art weapons to deal decisively with the terrorists. However, they all turned down the requests, the source said. What was most painful was the fact that Nigeria was not begging to be given those weapons as gifts. We were ready to pay for them but they turned their backs on us when we needed them most.”
The immediate question that arose in the mind of any reader who perused the article was, if so, then where is our money? Where are the billions that the article says Jonathan was “ready to pay for them” with?
In the 5 years of Jonathan’s administration as with the overall 16 years of PDP rule, Nigeria enjoyed some of its largest oil sale rate-based earnings in history. At an average of over $100/barrel, with billions of barrels pumped out of the Niger Delta soils every year, Nigeria should have earned over $100 billion every year, without stealing, that is.
The International Business Times in an article this June, captioned, “Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration Spent Trillions On Nigerian National Security In Past Five Years, Yet Boko Haram Remains: Report,” said, “Jonathan’s administration spent a whopping 4.62 trillion naira or $23.2 billion on national security over the past five years,” quoting PremiumTimes.
So, Jonathan was “frustrated” by the US and could not buy weapons, but had and spent a budget of $23.2 billion mostly for this purpose and indebted Nigeria with a further loan of $1 billion in late 2014 again for this same purpose, where is the money? You just cannot have it both ways. If the Jonathan government was frustrated by the US after writing over 25 letters and could not buy arms which at least $20 billion of that budget was for then we do hope the money is intact and was handed over to President Buhari and Osinbajo, no?
I’m thinking of a story where a mother sent her son to the market to buy provisions and he came back without the provisions and without the money? Who got the money? Bandits? Boko Haram? Idriss Deby? Dokubo and Tompolo? Ihejirika? Patience will tell I guess.
Other factors that need mention are, why didn’t the PDP administrations for their 16 years buy any weapons? Same reasons? When Jonathan was “frustrated” and couldn’t get weapons from the West, what did he do for the 5 years? Why did he not inform Nigerians of the frustration-based failure so the nation can decide what to do including possibly organizing an exigent emptying of the northeast of all human life which the Jonathan government had realized it will not be able to fulfill its constitutional obligation of protecting? These questions can go on and on.
We plead the media has empathy on us and respects our intelligence without giving us such horrible old tales to read that are only further incriminating of the former PDP administrations. Nigerians have moved on. We will probe and prosecute the former administration on its war failures and corruption successes and no radio or print media station can obstruct us from that.