The Tinubu Reckless Regime

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

July 12, 2023

Widely viewed as a counterfeit president, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ought to know that he must not rub salt into the injury. But, as predicted, expecting true change from Tinubu is akin to demanding one to become left-handed at an old age. The point here is that his new status has even emboldened him to become as reckless as he is shady.

But the dilemma is not unexpected. The cloud of illegitimacy hanging over the Tinubu presidency is thickening day-by-day. The Asiwaju has become more desperate. He does not mind kissing a Tasmanian Devil if such vagary could garner him any measure of credibility. He does not mind embracing a Judas as a Mohammed insofar he gets hailed for a pyrrhic victory. The fact of the matter is that this man no longer cares what he says or does. The problem is that this tendency risks a new wave of crisis worse than the situation under Muhammadu Buhari.

Let us begin to dig the degree of recklessness from an area an ordinary eye can see, and an ordinary person can feel. Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy is a cold-blooded disaster. The outrage, of course, has nothing to do with the policy change itself but the recklessness in the change. In a selfish attempt to gain instant traction in the polity, Tinubu hastily implemented the subsidy removal without putting in place the necessary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of such sudden change on the people. Nothing can be more inhumane!

In effect, the subsidy crisis alone has already placed today’s Nigeria worse than the situation under Buhari. Today, pump prices in the country (where minimum wage is about $40 per month) has become same with the pump prices in America (where the average minimum wage is $1,800 per month). Today, inflation has risen to a near 18-year high of 22.4%, as more Nigerians continue to enter abject poverty with increasing stridency. Today, barely six weeks under the Tinubu regime, the value of naira has continued to crash to record lows.

Even more reckless is the Tinubu bamboozlement in the education sector. To curry favor with the Nigerian youths who generally rejected him at the polls, the former Lagos State governor now says he is introducing a student loan scheme. But he then turns around to announce a plan to defund Nigerian public universities that are already grossly underfunded.

Very mindboggling is that low tuition is one of the very few areas ordinary Nigerians can claim to benefit from their commonwealth. Suddenly, Bola Ahmed Tinubu wants to deny them such rare social security while members of his family continue to enjoy foreign education funded through our commonwealth. His idea to defund Nigerian universities is most misguided, most insane, and most unpatriotic, especially coming from a man who parades a degree from an American public university.

Forget the loan scheme which is already known to be as phony as its promoter! The objective fact is that self-funding by Nigerian public universities will lead to high rise in school fees, which then makes higher institution unaffordable for the ordinary people. The consequences are grave and do not need to be narrated here.

Enter corruption. Clearly, Mr. Tinubu is on pace to win a place in the Guinness Book of Records for a plot to create the most corrupt regime in the human history. For instance, with Godswill Akpabio as Senate President, both the executive and legislative arms of the government are already in firm control of two henchmen of the Nigeria’s corrupt oligarchy. Combine such oddity with the fact that both Tinubu’s Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff are also tainted with a stark stench of shadiness. There and then emerges the common sense that, barring any last-minute rebuke, the core of Tinubu’s ministers is bound to be no different.

Already auditioning for roles, as shown in recent Aso-Rock guest list, are James Ibori, Abdullahi Ganduje, Ayo Fayose, Olisa Metuh, Nyesom Wike, Asari-Dokubo, among others. Imagine a Nigeria with a bullish bozo like Dokubo retaining his current position as the country’s de facto Chief Security Officer!

Tinubu’s naked attempt at vendetta politics is even the most pig-headed. It is a common knowledge that Buhrari’s heedless hostility towards the sections of Nigeria that did not vote for him combined to derail his eight-year tenure. Yet, Mr. Tinubu, as promised, has started exactly where Buhari stopped by targeting the Igbo—once again.

The decision by the former Lagos Governor to ensure that Igbo people must not represented at the upper echelon of his regime is instructive. Like Buhari, Tinubu has discarded an equitable template embraced by Nigerians upon return to civil rule in 1999, whereby principal positions, particularly the offices of the President, Vice-president, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the ruling party, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation were spread across the six geographical zones — regardless of voting patterns.

Yes, the Igbo did not vote for Tinubu and must not vote for him to assume their rightful place in the Nigerian state. After all, it is on the record that, besides the South-East where majority of the Igbo call home, no other section of Nigeria has suffered such level of political persecution because of their free choice since the return to democracy in 1999. Absolutely none!

But there is hope on the horizon. Unlike the situation under Buhari, where Nigerians had to endure eight straight years of acute misrule because the dictator could claim decent mandate in successive elections, the case of the current occupant of Aso Rock is transient. This goes without saying that, unless there is a brazen miscarriage of justice at the ongoing election tribunal, the Tinubu regime will not last.

SKC Ogbonnia writes from Ugbo, Enugu State.

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