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Tinubu’s one year: Celebrating his distractions, denying our hunger By Ikeddy ISIGUZO

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DO not allow the headline distract you. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu, has done so well that we are hungry for more sterling performances hinged on making Nigeria the best country on earth.

President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu

Best country in what? We do not know. If the President’s idea of the best country is to place Nigeria at the lowest rungs of the indices of human development, it is his prerogative.
Tinubu has done well for himself, his people, not necessarily the South West. The core promoters of Tinubu’s myths have been appointed to choice positions. Some who thought they were qualified for those offices are also complaining about being left out.
Has Tinubu done anything wrong? No. When Muhammadu Buhari did it, some called it the ‘Northern presidency”. It left Nigeria poorer, and the North more so. Tinubu had promised during his campaigns to follow in Buhari’s foot-steps. The truth is that he has exceeded Buhari’s “achievements”.
Executive President is the more befitting title for Tinubu. He gets what he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it. The copious garnishing of his achievements with constant reverence by media experts, unrepentant believer in the economic wizardry of a Tinubu who acts mostly as if he has found himself in strange settings, is not surprising.

Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senate President

He is drowning in his own doubts about hope and what its renewed version involves. One thing is certain, nothing is being done about the issues that hit Nigerians most, hunger, insecurity, and rising prices that heighten the fears and doubts about daily survival.
“It has been challenging. It has been fulfilling as well. We took over, and we have stopped the bleeding. I can say categorically now that Nigeria is no longer bleeding. And it will not bleed to death, but rather will now move to prosperity. That is the promise that I made to you all, and it is also the charge that you gave to me,” he told Yoruba Leaders of Thought, who visited him in Abuja.
Why would it not be fulfilling when Tinubu wanted to be President and had achieved it? Which bleeding point in Nigeria stopped? Is it oil theft? Is it budget padding? Is it insecurity? Does the cessation of the haemorrhage include the floating Naira?
“The worst is over for Nigeria. We will prevail. I thank the team who have been working really hard. We are determined and we will work so that all Nigerians can feel the impact of good governance,” the President spoke with rolls of applauses from his guests.
If you are still in doubt, the President is talking about the same Nigeria where uncertainties reign supreme. In his own Nigeria, “the worst is over”. He needs to be congratulated.
More importantly, Tinubu hinted that his policies would benefit the future. He is saving the country not for us, but the unborn, those who cannot ask about today and the yesterdays that brought us to the halting realisation that “Nigeria just remain small”, as a friend who believes fervently in the country, puts it.
Narratives about Nigeria skip the present in acknowledgement of the barrenness of Tinubu’s first year. We are discussing 2027, the President’s re-election, and making the old national anthem, importantly, by law.
In the midst of the hungers in the land, Professor Wole Soyinka launched his missles on how unqualified Peter Obi was to be a presidential candidate in 2027. Soyinka was actually providing friendly fire for Tinubu. Discussions have been on Soyinka and his preference to discuss the future, like his candidate, Tinubu.
Soyinka had last December promised to assess Tinubu after his first year in office. He found nothing to assess or did he think Peter Obi was the President?
The President is doing well. His health is robust. He has joined his acolytes in bragging about where he has taken Nigeria. Since his circunstances have vastly improved from 29 May, he pretends that the situation of Nigerians has improved with his presidency.
Where else would you find a President who is intentional in demolishing the fragile strands of the economy? The applauses are muffling the damage Tinubu is doing.
Look at the gale at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Nothing is sacred. Nowhere will be spared. Does anyone consider the survival of that institution in any shape that will make it work better? Decades of relevant competence will be swept away to make spaces for those who have been anointed for appointments.
The “repositioning of the Central Bank” also affects the bank’s future. Younger staff rising through levels of competence, learning from experts in the bank’s operations, the bank’s future managers, were also affected. More will go.
Everyone claims to know the importance of the Central Bank in the management of the economy, an economy that is daily dented by policies made without profound perspectives about their possible impact. For the President, a reading of that importance is to seize all the important positions at the Central Bank, and farm them out to the select.
Whether it is at the President’s insistence or that of those with eyes on the plum opportunities at the Central Bank, everything is being done to create vacancies for the entitled. The Central Bank is just an instance.
Tinubu has been praised for his giant steps in infrastructure development. The major legacy project is the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway which is chaotic. Work goes on without an Environmental Social Impact Assessment, ESIA, and a Resettlement Action Plan, RAP.
Frightened by public criticisms of the project, we are told that work would also start from the Calabar end. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is among those who wondered why work could not start at the Calabar end of the project.
When was the design for the Calabar side of the project done? Does it have ESIA and RAP reports? Will this sector be exempted from public scrutiny like Lagos? How much will it cost?
The grumbling of stomaches are loudly demanding attention. Hunger blights our present. We are just wondering why the President and his supporters are fixated on 2027. Do they intend to get there without Nigerians?

Finally…
THE attack in Obikabia, near Aba, that resulted in the death of five soldiers is absolutely condemnable. Innocent residents of the area are in hiding, scared of the reaction of the military which could be sweeping. “Accordingly, it is absolutely imperative that the military retaliate against this dastardly act against troops. The military would be fierce in its response. We would bring overwhelming military pressure on the group to ensure their total defeat,” said Major-General Edward Buba, Director of Defence Media Operations, said, in a statement. The military should through thorough investigations find the killers and let the law punish them. The “fierce response” Buba promised should protect the innocent.
AJURI Obari Ngelale, 38, Spokesman to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was bellicose, caustic, and usparing in telling Nigerians that Bayo Onanuga, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, was not authorised to make the statement on the President’s itinerary.
The tone and tune of Ngelale’s rebuke to Onanuga, 66, suggest fights that had not been public. Someone was getting into someone’s territory. It was time to halt that.
Not once in the Muhammadu Buhari presidency did we witness a public spar between his media aides. How Onanuga got the 29 May schedule that the President “did not follow” is worth probing. Are there two schedulers for the President? Who authorises what gets to the public? If the President’s team was working together, Ngelale would have just announced a change of the earlier schedule. He could offer an explanation or keep mute. Ngelale must have a reason for asserting that Onanuga made an unauthorised statement. Just when Ngelale seemed to have won, President Tinubu appeared at the National Assembly and spoke for “seven minutes”, when persuaded by Senate President Dr. Godswill Akpabio, who also had told Senators the President would not come. The President has pleased both aides. Does that resolve the matter? Would there be consequences? Mark this as public spar number one in one year. Not so bad for people competing against themselves to confirm who has the louder voice in mumbling uncertainties.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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