Buhari: The basis for the blitz against the baseless bashing-Bala Ibrahim
“Ya shugaba na, the defence for the Buhari Administration is too much. Universities remain closed, security issue, virtually every aspect of life has collapsed”.
The cliché above was sent to me by a very close friend, who, from our ‘aluta’ and students unionism days in the University, has unilaterally allocated to me the title of, “Ya shugaba na”, which in hausa means, oh my leader!
The friend in question is a patriot par excellence, who frowns at treachery or anything in the realms of betrayal of trust, and one that vigorously supports his country, and is prepared to defend it against any enemy or detractor. Yet, perhaps out of the feeling for the less privileged, my blue blooded friend thinks, the time has arrived for me to put a halt on the Buhari publicity blitz.
I don’t want to disagree with my cherished friend, because I know the magnitude of the negative narrative making the rounds about Buhari’s performance, and how that is having an impact on the public perception of his leadership in Nigeria. However, I wish to assure my humble friend that, the Presidency is not unaware of such slush.
Some years back, at a public lecture, titled, “The Unravelling of Boko Haram and the Rebuilding of the North-East of Nigeria’’, at the Harvard University’s Weather head Centre for International Affairs, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, made attempt to assuage that feeling, when he said, PMB is determined to change the narrative and perception of leadership in Nigeria and Africa, because of his widely acclaimed uprightness and honesty.
On my side also, I have long developed a thick skin over the attack of being a paid agent of the Buhari administration. And I wouldn’t have bothered responding, had it not been for the fact that the comment came from a dear friend, who must have written with an honourable intention.
Yes, much as I cannot convince all the critics all the time, and at the risk of doing what I was advised to slow down upon, I want to reassure my friend and the other reasonably minded, about the merit of good intentions, and how nature has vested such virtue in President Muhammadu Buhari.
In doing that, I would publish a material copied from the Defence News Nigeria, which has this to say about the Paradox of our country Nigeria, and the way some of us think:
“We have a lot of political zealots on this page. You see them in the comment section turning every tweet and every conversation into some opportunity to slam the government. I could be making a tweet about a recent successful airstrike, and you will get them leaving comments about how the NAF bombed civilians the other day.
There used to be a time when most of us, no matter where you stand politically, you kind of want the best for the country. Today, wanting the best for the country makes you a paid propagandist.
What’s worse, they choose to display this madness by latching on any positive news about the country, forgetting we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
Over $70 billion of investment came to Africa in the last ten years. Of that figure, only $4 billion came to Nigeria. Why? The venture capital investment industry is driven by just two emotions- fear and political instability.
Over 80% of Nigeria’s industrial capacity is located in the South, the region protected from the decade long insurgency that has ravaged the north.
Industrial capacity has quadrupled in recent years. New industries have sprung up. Lagos is now the Tech start-up hub of Africa. Naturally, investors, multinational corporations are eager to tap into this dynamic market. And just about when they announce their intentions, the self proclaimed activists and their army of saboteurs swing into action, describing how evil and dictatorial the government is, manufacturing social unrest when there is non, scaring away investors into moving to safer climes, to places like Ghana and losing thousands of potential jobs.
This is the Great Paradox of Nigeria.
People want development and FDI. And when seeds of developments are sewn, the same people see it as something that will rob favourably on the government, and would rather self sabotage, than allow anything punch a hole on their narrative.
Nigeria borrowed a ton of money revamping the nations railway infrastructure. Terrorists, who cannot stand development attack these infrastructure and people rally behind the terrorists in celebration, because it’s an opportunity to show how incompetent the government is. And when the FDI needed for development is diverted to other countries, we cite it as an example of a failed government, and the vicious circle self perpetuates.
China, South Korea, Japan, Dubai developed because of Foreign Direct Investment. No government can develop a nation.
Do you think Twitter was happy basing its regional HQ in Ghana with its puny 8 million Twitter users over Nigeria with over 48 million Twitter users?
Lagos is as safe as Accra, their investment portfolio is probably even safer, but we scared them away thinking we are hurting the Buhari government.
In the West, there is a vast academic literature, known as behavioural finance, which is devoted to the topic of understanding market psychology. Their heart may be in Nigeria but they apply common sense, not emotions to decision making.
They know letting emotions govern investment behaviour often leads to irrational decision making that can cost you dearly. So they opt to play it safe and seek safer grounds.
Two groups lost: TWITTER and NIGERIANS.
Nigerians accuse the government of stifling free speech, TWITTER responds by attempting to censor the government’s Tweet.
The FG bans Twitter.
By now Twitter has ditched its plans to setup its Africa HQ in Lagos and moved to Ghana.
Twitter misses out on one of the world’s most dynamic market over “perceived social instability”
The thousands of jobs that could have been created for Nigerians, with its attendant trickle down economic impact is forever lost.
The government in Abuja?
Now here we are again.
The current geopolitical situation in Europe has made it necessary for Europe to strengthen its relations with Nigeria, especially in the supply of gas. Nigeria has suddenly become a crucial partner of the EU at a time when Europe is trying to rid itself off its dependence of Russian oil and gas. Heck a delegation from the EU visited Nigeria just last month and secured Nigeria’s commitment to step up its production.
This is the time that self proclaimed activists like and have chosen to write crazy Op-eds, claiming Nigeria is run by a mafia regime and does not have the capacity to step up production, and we have Nigerians backing them up.
How stupid can we be?
We have a rich EU ready to pump billions into Nigeria’s energy sector to help boost gas production and the self saboteur brigade, together with the brown envelop copy and paste media, are already out in force trying scare the EU away.
Who are we hurting with these senseless pessimism and activism?
Buhari or our future generation?
Nigerians have to put on their thinking hats”.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja.